@ sgoldj: hahaha
After finding that I was spending precious time thinking about this when I should be, well, writing the paper, I decided to just go with malevolence. It works pretty well. I defined it in the paper and then put in a footnote indicating that I was aware that I wasn't using it in the traditional sense.
That got me thinking about something:
I'm not in any way implying that this has happened or will happen. Please, DO NOT discuss it in terms of our current president, or in terms of any current global situations.
If the President of the United States were suddenly to go on national television and ask that Americans do something completely morally reprehensible, say, murder all of the foreigners they could find, what do you think would happen? Who is morally responsible? Who is legally responsible?
I think that a lot of people would do it SOLELY based on the fact that the president asked people to do it.
I think the president is the only one who could be held legally responsible for this, assuming that the actions were widespread. Individuals could merely claim that they did it on the mandate of the president.
I think that the individuals that commit the acts, and the president, are morally responsible for it. As individuals, we have the power to exercise our free will to refuse to commit a morally reprehensible act. Those who submit their free will to the president's request are submitting themselves to the president's moral responsibility, and thus, share the burden.
What do you think would happen, and who would be morally and legally responsible?