During the movie Billy Budd, the captain of the ship had a hard decision over Billy’s situation. As Billy killed the master in arms due that he couldn’t control himself, the law of the ship stipulated that he would be hanged. Later there is a huge discussion between the leaders of the ship where some of them argue to follow the rules, whereas other belief to do an exception. At the end the one in charge of the decision was the captain, who chose to hang Billy. In this essay, I would take the role of the captain over Billy’s case and state in which law I will base my decision.Order now
After looking carefully to Billy’s case, I would chose to free Billy from the punishment that he had been subjected. Even if the ship’s law stipulated clearly that anyone who killed another crew member would be hanged, no matters what is the situation, I will still chose to free Billy. I would take this decision based on the utilitarianism law. Even though if we compared to this law Billy’s hanging would be seen as the right option. Although I belief that each case had a situation which can vary the result.
Therefore I would tilt to free Billy; due that I know his situation and I think would be unfair to kill him. On the other hand, Billy’s situation is more delicate and inflexible if we base our decision in the universal law rather than utilitarianism law. From this rule it can be said that if we let this sailor kill a general with no hanging, as the rule stipulated. Then I would not want to live in a “world” where any sailor can kill his superiors. Hence the best option would be to hang Billy in order to avoid this “world” where any sailor can kill any general and risk my life as the captain of this ship.
During the story it can be seen how does Billy is a nice man who is sincere and good worker. The captain had a very good image from Billy; to the point that he is doubtless about hanging or not Billy. In the scene where Billy kills the major in arms, it can be seen how does he punches in his face. Although what killed the major was when he hits his head with the ground, so it can been seen that isn’t a purpose death. Hence, the conditions of Billy’s case are very delicate to sentence to hang him. Although from this scene it can be seen how Billy’s does punches the major in arms directly to his face.
After we look from the universal law, the captain must end this action and don’t let other sailor to do the same actions that Billy just did. Then it can be consider that Billy did kill purpose, due that he punches the major in arms even if it wasn’t self-defense. Therefore the captain might not consider any exterior conditions of this action and chose to hang Billy in order to avoid any major problem within the ship. Ethics is a very complex issue that is hard to interpret, even more when we have to judge if an action is right or wrong.
From this particular movie it can be seen how does Billy’s case is highly discussed, although at the end the captain is the one who chose. The captain from the movie decided to hang Billy, due that he base his thought in the universal law in order to avoid major problems. Whereas me as the captain I would consider the situation of the action and base my decision in utilitarianism law, where I would end to free Billy. I would be more flexible due that the universal rule is to general, where in some cases it can been found unfair because not always the situation is the same.