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        Soldiers of Conscience: Perspectives on the Morality of Killing in Wartime

        This lesson plan is designed to be used with the film Soldiers of Conscience, which explores the morality of killing in wartime. Classrooms can use this lesson to help students consider opposing arguments on this issue and then develop and defend their own positions.

        Soldiers of Conscience: Killing Haunts You (Clip 1 of 6)

        In the first clip associated with the Soldiers of Conscience lesson plan, Jamie Isom, a veteran of the Iraq War, gives his perspective on killing in a combat zone and talks about how people cope with their actions back home. He recalls his own experience having to shoot a child in order to save the lives of his squadron. Students should discuss whether or not it's important for the military to train soldiers to become desensitized to killing.

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        Soldiers of Conscience: One Soldier's Inner Struggle (Clip 2 of 6)

        In the second clip associated with the Soldiers of Conscience lesson plan, Aidan Delgado, an Iraq War veteran, remembers finding out about the September 11 attacks, his indoctrination in basic training and contemplating the morality of killing another human being. Ultimately, he questions whether he can kill without giving into hatred. Students should discuss what it means to be a conscientious objector.

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        Soldiers of Conscience: Becoming a Conscientious Objector (Clip 3 of 6)

        In the third clip associated with the Soldiers of Conscience lesson plan, Aidan Delgado, an Iraq War veteran, talks about becoming a conscientious objector and its repercussions. Meanwhile, veteran Jaime Isom says that when one joins the military, one has made an agreement to put their country first. Students should discuss why so many people in Aidan's company reacted with hostility when they learned that he was seeking to become a conscientious objector.

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        Soldiers of Conscience: The Problem with Conscientious Objectors (Clip 4 of 6)

        In the fourth clip associated with the Soldiers of Conscience lesson plan, Major Pete Kilner, a veteran of the Iraq War, comments on what he believes to be the fundamental problem with conscientiously objecting to war: If a person decides to not protect himself out of principle, that is one thing, but is it acceptable to not fight when it puts someone else in danger? Students should discuss this question.

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        Soldiers of Conscience: Sometimes Killing Is Morally Justified (Clip 5 of 6)

        In the fifth clip associated with the Soldiers of Conscience lesson plan, Maj. Pete Kilner argues that in particular situations, war is not only justified, it is the morally right situation. Human dignity, he explains, is worth nothing if it is not defended. Students should discuss whether it's morally justifiable to kill in combat.

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        Soldiers of Conscience: What If The Good Samaritan Had Come Sooner? (Clip 6 of 6)

        In the sixth and final clip associated with the Soldiers of Conscience lesson plan, Maj. Pete Kilner recalls the Biblical story of The Good Samaritan. Had the Good Samaritan arrived earlier in the story, when the victim was still being beaten, would it have been the Christian thing to do to use (possibly lethal) force to stop the beating? Students should discuss the arguments they have heard for and against killing in wartime.

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