Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #101  
Old 05-21-2019, 08:23 AM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 35,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
IIRC, iiandyiii is a former service member. Navy, I think. If you're implying that he has a general grudge against people in the military, you should rethink that.
Yes, Navy is correct. But you left out an "i".
  #102  
Old 05-21-2019, 08:30 AM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,558

What goal does it serve?


Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
Yes, that's what I'm advocating.

I'd probably tailor my criticism and condemnation to the specific scenario in order to make what I felt to be the most effective attack on both the argument and the person.

I generally think personal attacks are a bad idea in most debates, but not this one. War is a special case -- especially monstrous, in the vast majority of cases. We should use each and every possible tool, including (sometimes) ad hominem attacks, when we think it can be effective in order to prevent dumb wars.
What goal does it serve to include the argumentum ad hominem?
  • The people who already think the war is unjust don't need to hear it, and do not necessarily agree with you.

  • People on the fence about the justification for war will not be swayed by your calling the advocate a coward* because logically your accusation is baseless unless the war is actually unjustified. They might not even agree with you if the war was unjustified, and your name-calling might harm your own credibility.

  • People who already think the war is justified will think your character attack is low. Either the rest of society propogates a chilling effect despite not having convinced the advocate otherwise (eg: death threats), the advocate takes this as a sign that he is right and you have run out of valid arguments, or both.
*unless you make the argument that the public is swayed by attacks on personal character and cannot be trusted to follow logic. But be prepared to defend yourself against a "holier than thou" character attack.

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 05-21-2019 at 08:31 AM. Reason: spacing
  #103  
Old 05-21-2019, 08:33 AM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 35,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
What goal does it serve to include the argumentum ad hominem?
  • The people who already think the war is unjust don't need to hear it, and do not necessarily agree with you.
  • People on the fence about the justification for war will not be swayed by your calling the advocate a coward* because logically your accusation is baseless unless the war is actually unjustified. They might not even agree with you if the war was unjustified, and your name-calling might harm your own credibility.
  • People who already think the war is justified will think your character attack is low. Either the rest of society propogates a chilling effect despite not having convinced the advocate otherwise (eg: death threats), the advocate takes this as a sign that he is right and you have run out of valid arguments, or both.
*unless you make the argument that the public is swayed by attacks on personal character and cannot be trusted to follow logic. But be prepared to defend yourself against a "holier than thou" character attack.

~Max
I'm not sure I agree with your list above, but I think this particular rhetorical tool can be effective because of the special power words like "coward" and "gutless" hold in American culture (and especially the jingoistic parts of American culture).

I'm sure some of it comes from my own personal experience. I like this tactic because I've seen, up close and personal, how effective it can be. Of course no one should be swayed by my own anecdotes, but that's a big part of the answer to the question of why I like this particular ad hominem tactic (in this scenario and few, if any, others).

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 05-21-2019 at 08:35 AM.
  #104  
Old 05-21-2019, 08:43 AM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,558
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
I'm not sure I agree with your list above, but I think this particular rhetorical tool can be effective because of the special power words like "coward" and "gutless" hold in American culture (and especially the jingoistic parts of American culture).

I'm sure some of it comes from my own personal experience. I like this tactic because I've seen, up close and personal, how effective it can be. Of course no one should be swayed by my own anecdotes, but that's a big part of the answer to the question of why I like this particular ad hominem tactic (in this scenario and few, if any, others).
Perhaps you don't agree with the list I made, but the question still stands. Who are you trying to convince? The hawk? The public?

Adding a character attack to your argument could make someone back down and reconsider their position. But the blade is double-edged: it can easily incite threats or boycotts or other chilling effects; it can backfire and enrage your opponent; it can annoy those members of the public on both sides who want an open debate on a contentious issue.

~Max
  #105  
Old 05-21-2019, 08:47 AM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 35,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Perhaps you don't agree with the list I made, but the question still stands. Who are you trying to convince? The hawk? The public?

Adding a character attack to your argument could make someone back down and reconsider their position. But the blade is double-edged: it can easily incite threats or boycotts or other chilling effects; it can backfire and enrage your opponent; it can annoy those members of the public on both sides who want an open debate on a contentious issue.

~Max
All of these things are possible, and thus I would use this tactic when I think it had a better chance to be effective than to backfire.
  #106  
Old 05-21-2019, 08:53 AM
Shodan is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Milky Way Galaxy
Posts: 40,003
The CA Assembly is considering a law to raise the standard for police shootings from "reasonable" to "necessary". There is obviously concern that this will raise the risk for police officers. Do the CA Assembly members need to join the police before they can support the law? Can we call them gutless cowards if they don't?

Regards,
Shodan
  #107  
Old 05-21-2019, 08:56 AM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 35,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
The CA Assembly is considering a law to raise the standard for police shootings from "reasonable" to "necessary". There is obviously concern that this will raise the risk for police officers. Do the CA Assembly members need to join the police before they can support the law? Can we call them gutless cowards if they don't?

Regards,
Shodan
You can call them anything you like, but I don't think this is relevant to the thread. This appears totally uncomparable to advocating for dumb wars.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 05-21-2019 at 08:58 AM.
  #108  
Old 05-21-2019, 08:57 AM
Wrenching Spanners is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: London
Posts: 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
Yes, my point only applies to military actions. War and military action is a special case. We should indeed be focused on preventing dumb wars! Nothing has done more harm to America in the last few decades than dumb wars. I'm not sure if anything else comes close. The colossally stupid war in Iraq got thousands of Americans (and hundreds of thousands of others) killed for nothing, destabilized the region, and cost us enormous amounts of resources. It's absolutely imperative -- more important than any other issue right now -- that we avoid another dumb war of choice.
Whatís your position on the US Navy suppression of piracy off the coast of Somalia? Iíd presume that a strong majority of Americans support that military action. If you donít support that action, are you willing to personally and publicly state that every American who does support that action is disgusting, and if they arenít in the military, cowardly? And when you receive the inevitable torrent of vitriolic negative feedback, thatís perfectly acceptable right? Nothing wrong with a bit of naming and shaming. Alternatively, if you do support that action, are you happy to be shamed by someone more pacific than you declaring that you are disgusting and cowardly?
  #109  
Old 05-21-2019, 09:01 AM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 35,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
Whatís your position on the US Navy suppression of piracy off the coast of Somalia?
In my understanding and in my opinion, this fell into the rare case of actually being reasonably appropriate use of military force.

Quote:
Alternatively, if you do support that action, are you happy to be shamed by someone more pacific than you declaring that you are disgusting and cowardly?
I am happy to hear anyone's opinion, including those who think I'm disgusting and cowardly. I want to know all of my possible flaws. If I'm disgusting or cowardly, please let me know so I can re-evaluate my positions! I want to improve myself and become a better person, and criticism can be very helpful in that process.
  #110  
Old 05-21-2019, 09:01 AM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,558
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
All of these things are possible, and thus I would use this tactic when I think it had a better chance to be effective than to backfire.
Maybe I should have elaborated. Adding a character attack to your argument could make someone back down and reconsider their position, if you could convince them that advocating a justified war without enlisting is cowardly. I don't know any personality types that would be swayed to one side of a debate because you say, 'if your belief is wrong you are a coward'. At most you move the hawk-by-default to a skeptical position, while simultaneously risking a breakdown in honest public debate. You don't win anybody over with a character attack, and you risk the liberty of public debate in doing so.

You might keep the country out of war, but not by convincing the country that the war is unjustified. Instead you did it by injecting vitriol into public debate, by chilling free speech and shaming your opponents. Is it worth it? What if you are wrong?

~Max
  #111  
Old 05-21-2019, 09:02 AM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 35,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Maybe I should have elaborated. Adding a character attack to your argument could make someone back down and reconsider their position, if you could convince them that advocating a justified war without enlisting is cowardly. I don't know any personality types that would be swayed to one side of a debate because you say, 'if your belief is wrong you are a coward'. At most you move the hawk-by-default to a skeptical position, while simultaneously risking a breakdown in honest public debate. You don't win anybody over with a character attack, and you risk the liberty of public debate in doing so.

You might keep the country out of war, but not by convincing the country that the war is unjustified. Instead you did it by injecting vitriol into public debate, by chilling free speech and shaming your opponents. Is it worth it? What if you are wrong?

~Max
If it's a dumb war, then yes, it's worth it (in your hypothetical). If I'm wrong, then I'm wrong and deserve criticism.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 05-21-2019 at 09:03 AM.
  #112  
Old 05-21-2019, 09:14 AM
HurricaneDitka is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 14,592
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
... that has nothing to do with free speech, unless that desire is curtailed by government force or threat of force.
That is a rather narrow view of the principle of free speech.
  #113  
Old 05-21-2019, 09:15 AM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,558
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
If it's a dumb war, then yes, it's worth it (in your hypothetical). If I'm wrong, then I'm wrong and deserve criticism.
Very well, then that is where we disagree. I don't think it's worth it - even if my life were one of the ones thrown away in a dumb war, it wouldn't be worth the cost. I can't declare every war beyond the pale, and I'm not comfortable declaring young, fit citizens cowards for weighing in on that debate without enlisting.

ETA: Draft dodging is another thing entirely.

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 05-21-2019 at 09:17 AM. Reason: draft dodging
  #114  
Old 05-21-2019, 09:25 AM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 35,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Very well, then that is where we disagree. I don't think it's worth it - even if my life were one of the ones thrown away in a dumb war, it wouldn't be worth the cost. I can't declare every war beyond the pale, and I'm not comfortable declaring young, fit citizens cowards for weighing in on that debate without enlisting.

ETA: Draft dodging is another thing entirely.

~Max
I am comfortable with doing those things, at least in certain circumstances. So at least we have the point of disagreement.
  #115  
Old 05-21-2019, 09:48 AM
WillFarnaby is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 5,390
There are varying degrees of responsibility for wars. The highest degree of responsibility lies with those shooting bullets and pushing bomb buttons. A step removed would be the direct support for the killers. A step removed from that is the executive and/or legislative personnel that direct funds to the killing operations. Next step would be the academics and professions policy analysts. A step removed from that would be indirect support through manufacturing and service providers. After that, we should hold the voters responsible. Lastly, Joe on the street who supports war by rhetoric only.

There is much overlap in these. All of us are Joes on the street in a certain respect. Some Joes just talk about support for war. Some level up and vote for warmongers. Some bear more responsibility and provide support for the killers and military capabilities.

This hierarchy of responsibility may have some wiggle room in the middle levels, but undeniably certain is the fact that the killers bear the most responsibility for the wars. This is clear because if they lay down their arms, there would be no war. If their funding was cut by govt, and they wanted to wage war, they would loot, conquer, and exact tribute. This has been the course of history. It is plain as day. If Joe on the street ceased his rhetorical support for war, and the higher levels of the hierarchy still want war, Joe would have no effect. If the bottom part of the hierarchy up to the soldier pushed for war, but the soldier lay down his arms, there would be no war.

Take the stupid and unnecessary war in Afghanistan. Everyday Joes have no effect on this war. The soldiers continue the war year after year, neglecting moral obligations to lay down arms and shifting blame to the funders of the wars. That is a cowardice that has real impact. An important cowardice. The fact that Joe Schmo says he wants war but doesnít go to war is an everyday cowardice. A humble cowardice.

Now the intent of the OP was to gather support for shunning Joe Schmo in the belief that doing so will cut down on ďunnecessaryĒ wars. That is not controversial. Everybody can see this type of cowardice and besides being a humble cowardice, it is in fact already shun-worthy in our society. Completely shunnable.

What is not shunnable is military killing. Look at Trumpís recent nonsense. He want to pardon war criminals. A big chunk of society is probably in support of this. We should of course imprison war criminals. But we should also at the very least shun and shame military killing. The public always blames the third or fourth tier in the hierarchy of war guilt. This is the real problem. Shunning Joe Schmo is a big commonplace nothing. It will not stop wars. Shunning soldiers will stop wars.

Never in our history have soldiers been so coddled and above reproach. This is why we have interminable and unnecessary wars. The little boys grow up and see the artificial respect accorded to military service, as if it took great courage to take no responsibility for your actions.
  #116  
Old 05-21-2019, 09:56 AM
HurricaneDitka is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 14,592
Interesting turnabout for an OP that served in the Navy.
  #117  
Old 05-21-2019, 09:56 AM
steronz is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Oh-hiya-Maude
Posts: 5,060
Well I'm late to the party but I'm going to tentatively agree with the OP. For one, I agree that war is a unique case, and citizens who advocate for specific foreign action should be willing to make a personal sacrifice if they're able. Maybe not "dying on the front lines" level of sacrifice, but as a 17 year veteran who's never really served outside of the confines of a comfortably air conditioned office, I've still had to sacrifice opportunities, comfort, and convenience to serve my country. I will not advocate for a foreign conflict that I also wouldn't be willing to personally volunteer to deploy for, because I'm not willing to send my fellow servicemen into harm's way if I'm not willing to myself. I don't think that's a high bar for citizens to meet.

As far as comparing it to other jobs -- who are these people saying they wouldn't want to be miners or IRS agents or border patrol? We're not saying you have to make a career out of it, or be the first in line to volunteer. If I felt that our country needed miners or IRS agents or border patrol guards and nobody else was willing to step up, I would absolutely raise my hand to do any of those jobs. How can you advocate for a job to exist if you're not willing to do it yourself? Makes no sense to me.

As for being unfit due to not meeting the physical standards, or a criminal background, or not being psychologically strong enough to deploy, I don't find that to be an excuse. If you're going to advocate for a foreign conflict, maybe you should be willing to do what it takes to get into shape, not have a criminal record, don't do drugs, and generally be ready to follow through.

I know how this sounds and it doesn't seem to be terribly popular here, but I share Andy's frustration with people bandying about ideas of foreign conflict like it's no big deal because they don't have any skin in the game.
  #118  
Old 05-21-2019, 10:08 AM
HurricaneDitka is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 14,592
Quote:
Originally Posted by steronz View Post
... How can you advocate for a job to exist if you're not willing to do it yourself? Makes no sense to me. ...
I want a whole lot of job openings to be filled: for example, logger and teacher and doctor and Border Patrol agent and yes, soldier. I benefit, sometimes directly and sometimes only tangentially, from people doing those jobs. That amounts to, if not outright advocacy, then at least a tacit sort of support for those jobs.

Each of those jobs require different sorts of sacrifices. Sometimes, that sacrifice means the death of some of the people doing the job. That's unfortunate, but not, in my eyes, a very good argument for eliminating the job or ending my tacit support for those jobs.

Obviously I can't do all of those jobs at once. Choosing one of them (or another job) and not the one under particular focus in this thread, effectively amounts to not being willing to do it myself (or at least, one's "willingness" didn't amount to much if they made a different career choice). Does that mean loggers should be publicly shaming us and calling people at the hardware store 'gutless cowards' for being unwilling to harvest their own lumber? No, of course not. That would just be dumb, and as Max S. has eloquently pointed out, needlessly raises the temperature of public discourse for no gain at all.
  #119  
Old 05-21-2019, 10:12 AM
Velocity is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 15,410
Is it cowardly to say "____ an amount of money should be spent on such and such a cause" but not want to personally donate money towards it?
  #120  
Old 05-21-2019, 10:13 AM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,558
Quote:
Originally Posted by steronz View Post
Well I'm late to the party but I'm going to tentatively agree with the OP. For one, I agree that war is a unique case, and citizens who advocate for specific foreign action should be willing to make a personal sacrifice if they're able. Maybe not "dying on the front lines" level of sacrifice, but as a 17 year veteran who's never really served outside of the confines of a comfortably air conditioned office, I've still had to sacrifice opportunities, comfort, and convenience to serve my country. I will not advocate for a foreign conflict that I also wouldn't be willing to personally volunteer to deploy for, because I'm not willing to send my fellow servicemen into harm's way if I'm not willing to myself. I don't think that's a high bar for citizens to meet.

As far as comparing it to other jobs -- who are these people saying they wouldn't want to be miners or IRS agents or border patrol? We're not saying you have to make a career out of it, or be the first in line to volunteer. If I felt that our country needed miners or IRS agents or border patrol guards and nobody else was willing to step up, I would absolutely raise my hand to do any of those jobs. How can you advocate for a job to exist if you're not willing to do it yourself? Makes no sense to me.

As for being unfit due to not meeting the physical standards, or a criminal background, or not being psychologically strong enough to deploy, I don't find that to be an excuse. If you're going to advocate for a foreign conflict, maybe you should be willing to do what it takes to get into shape, not have a criminal record, don't do drugs, and generally be ready to follow through.

I know how this sounds and it doesn't seem to be terribly popular here, but I share Andy's frustration with people bandying about ideas of foreign conflict like it's no big deal because they don't have any skin in the game.
I consider it the duty of the state to provide for the common defense. This is part of the reason I pay my taxes. If I were to advocate for some war, I would be arguing that the war is necessary for the survival of the state and the people it represents. While I might not actively volunteer for duty, if my name came up in the draft you bet I would answer the call. And if I argued for the war, I have no right to complain about being drafted.

~Max
  #121  
Old 05-21-2019, 10:15 AM
steronz is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Oh-hiya-Maude
Posts: 5,060
If you want lumber to exist you should be willing to go chop down a tree. Doesn't seem that complicated to me. This is just a thought experiment, of course -- in the real world there's no reason for average citizens to position themselves in a manner to be able to chop down trees should the moment arise. There's plenty of people willing to be lumberjacks, and there are other jobs that must be done, and we all have personal preferences about where we live and what kind of work we enjoy. But that doesn't preclude someone from being willing to chop down a hypothetical tree if the country needed it.

But that's where I agree with Andy that war is unique. It's not just producing lumber, and if people want war then I think they should be positioning themselves to take part in it.
  #122  
Old 05-21-2019, 10:17 AM
Nava is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hey! I'm located! WOOOOW!
Posts: 42,758
Quote:
Originally Posted by steronz View Post
As far as comparing it to other jobs -- who are these people saying they wouldn't want to be miners or IRS agents or border patrol? We're not saying you have to make a career out of it, or be the first in line to volunteer. If I felt that our country needed miners or IRS agents or border patrol guards and nobody else was willing to step up, I would absolutely raise my hand to do any of those jobs. How can you advocate for a job to exist if you're not willing to do it yourself? Makes no sense to me.
Uhm... after a childhood and specially teen years whose main theme was "taking care of Mom" (including medically), I want to be a nurse like I want to jump off a cliff. If the cliff is tall enough that I'm guaranteed to die, I find the jump less repulsive, it would hurt less.

But I'm perfectly happy that there are nurses, doctors, hospital techs, EMTs… I expect most of them would have zero interest (and, for some of them and some of these tasks, not much trainability) in being IT people, doing process improvement or writing corporate manuals, yet they're very happy to call the IT people, have processes which aren't stupid or manuals which provide decent information. Your example is a pretty bad one.
__________________
Evidence gathered through the use of science is easily dismissed through the use of idiocy. - Czarcasm.

Last edited by Nava; 05-21-2019 at 10:17 AM.
  #123  
Old 05-21-2019, 10:17 AM
steronz is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Oh-hiya-Maude
Posts: 5,060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
I consider it the duty of the state to provide for the common defense. This is part of the reason I pay my taxes. If I were to advocate for some war, I would be arguing that the war is necessary for the survival of the state and the people it represents. While I might not actively volunteer for duty, if my name came up in the draft you bet I would answer the call. And if I argued for the war, I have no right to complain about being drafted.

~Max
That doesn't seem unreasonable, except why a draft? A draft will sweep up people who didn't advocate for the war, while only presenting a small chance that you (an advocate) would have to serve.

What about a draft that only picked from people who voted in favor of the war? If such a hypothetical could exist.
  #124  
Old 05-21-2019, 10:19 AM
steronz is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Oh-hiya-Maude
Posts: 5,060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
Uhm... after a childhood and specially teen years whose main theme was "taking care of Mom" (including medically), I want to be a nurse like I want to jump off a cliff. If the cliff is tall enough that I'm guaranteed to die, I find the jump less repulsive, it would hurt less.

But I'm perfectly happy that there are nurses, doctors, hospital techs, EMTsÖ I expect most of them would have zero interest (and, for some of them and some of these tasks, not much trainability) in being IT people, doing process improvement or writing corporate manuals, yet they're very happy to call the IT people, have processes which aren't stupid or manuals which provide decent information. Your example is a pretty bad one.
If nursing needed to be done and there were no other people around, you wouldn't step up and be a nurse?

Maybe I'm not explaining myself very well.
  #125  
Old 05-21-2019, 10:19 AM
Nava is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hey! I'm located! WOOOOW!
Posts: 42,758
Maybe it's a matter of Spanish verbs vs English verbs. I will nurse someone for a very, very short period of time.

More than two hours on someone who's not my direct relative, KILL ME. Multiple people, fuck no. Every working day nursing, I can't even imagine it without seeing red. Nurse someone for a very short period, yes; be a nurse, no.

Last edited by Nava; 05-21-2019 at 10:21 AM.
  #126  
Old 05-21-2019, 10:20 AM
HurricaneDitka is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 14,592
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
... I generally think personal attacks are a bad idea in most debates, but not this one. War is a special case -- especially monstrous, in the vast majority of cases. We should use each and every possible tool, including (sometimes) ad hominem attacks, when we think it can be effective in order to prevent dumb wars.
So would you say you're more of an "ends justify the means" sort of guy?
  #127  
Old 05-21-2019, 10:23 AM
steronz is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Oh-hiya-Maude
Posts: 5,060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
Maybe it's a matter of Spanish verbs vs English verbs. I will nurse someone for a very, very short period of time.

More than two hours on someone who's not my direct relative, KILL ME. Multiple people, fuck no. Every working day nursing, I can't even imagine it without seeing red.
I think people are getting stuck on "want" versus "willing" to do a job. Nobody wants to go to war, except maybe naive young kids trying to prove themselves and sociopaths. But many are willing to go to war.

I don't want to be a bus driver. I'm willing to be a bus driver, because I think bus drivers need to exist.
  #128  
Old 05-21-2019, 10:23 AM
Nava is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hey! I'm located! WOOOOW!
Posts: 42,758
That's the thing, I'm not willing to be a nurse. If my only options in life had been nursing school or nursing school, I understand that 10-floor falls are enough to kill you (we lived in a 10th floor and my room had a very climbable balcony).

Last edited by Nava; 05-21-2019 at 10:24 AM.
  #129  
Old 05-21-2019, 10:27 AM
HurricaneDitka is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 14,592
Quote:
Originally Posted by steronz View Post
If you want lumber to exist you should be willing to go chop down a tree. Doesn't seem that complicated to me. This is just a thought experiment, of course -- in the real world there's no reason for average citizens to position themselves in a manner to be able to chop down trees should the moment arise. There's plenty of people willing to be lumberjacks, and there are other jobs that must be done, and we all have personal preferences about where we live and what kind of work we enjoy. But that doesn't preclude someone from being willing to chop down a hypothetical tree if the country needed it.

But that's where I agree with Andy that war is unique. It's not just producing lumber, and if people want war then I think they should be positioning themselves to take part in it.
In what relevant way is war unique? Just like lumberjacks, there's plenty of people willing to be soldiers. Why is there any more reason for average citizens to position themselves to take part in war than lumber harvesting? Why is a vague "if no one else were willing to do it, I guess I would" sufficient in the case of lumber harvesting but not prosecuting a war?
  #130  
Old 05-21-2019, 10:28 AM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,558
Quote:
Originally Posted by steronz View Post
That doesn't seem unreasonable, except why a draft? A draft will sweep up people who didn't advocate for the war, while only presenting a small chance that you (an advocate) would have to serve.

What about a draft that only picked from people who voted in favor of the war? If such a hypothetical could exist.
I sort of want to get behind such a selective draft - you would have to put in exceptions for eg: people with dependents - but I just can't. The state cannot single out people for their political opinions. It would be unconstitutional and imparts the same chilling effect (to a lesser degree) on public debate as Mr. iiandyiiii's proposed public shaming.

People should have the right to lean in on public debate without being punished for doing so, and it is especially cruel to only punish the most physically fit citizens for exercising an inalienable right simply because they are fit for military service.

~Max
  #131  
Old 05-21-2019, 10:30 AM
HurricaneDitka is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 14,592
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
... People should have the right to lean in on public debate without being punished for doing so, and it is especially cruel to only punish the most physically fit citizens for exercising an inalienable right simply because they are fit for military service.

~Max
It also strikes me as cruel, and stupid, to single only the most physically fit out for public shaming, as iiandyiiii proposes.
  #132  
Old 05-21-2019, 10:32 AM
steronz is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Oh-hiya-Maude
Posts: 5,060
Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
In what relevant way is war unique? Just like lumberjacks, there's plenty of people willing to be soldiers. Why is there any more reason for average citizens to position themselves to take part in war than lumber harvesting? Why is a vague "if no one else were willing to do it, I guess I would" sufficient in the case of lumber harvesting but not prosecuting a war?
Because lumberjacks don't fall under the UCMJ. Soldiers can't back out of a war. They may be asked to do things that are uniquely dangerous, or psychologically damaging. War is hell.

If lumberjacking were like that, I wouldn't be willing to lumberjack without a damn good reason, and I therefore couldn't expect anyone else to lumberjack either.
  #133  
Old 05-21-2019, 10:54 AM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 35,576
That so many folks really aren't understanding that war is a fundamentally different enterprise than logging, mining, nursing, or a million other professions is a huge part of why we get into so many stupid wars. It's so clearly different that I have trouble conceiving that anyone could see them as similar. All these other professions are taking care of the necessities of society. Wars of choice are powerful authorities deciding to purposefully kill, and put at risk, many human beings, for some supposed benefit or advantage. War is very, very rarely necessary for human society (and it's only necessary when another human society has failed in some way). Gathering resources and taking care of people is always necessary, for every human society.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 05-21-2019 at 10:57 AM.
  #134  
Old 05-21-2019, 11:06 AM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,558
Quote:
Originally Posted by steronz View Post
Because lumberjacks don't fall under the UCMJ. Soldiers can't back out of a war. They may be asked to do things that are uniquely dangerous, or psychologically damaging. War is hell.

If lumberjacking were like that, I wouldn't be willing to lumberjack without a damn good reason, and I therefore couldn't expect anyone else to lumberjack either.
Agreed, war is different than lumber harvesting. In addition, an express consequence of war is the loss of human life, while the loss of human life during lumber harvesting is accidental. War always inflicts harm. The comparison is naÔve.

~Max
  #135  
Old 05-21-2019, 11:10 AM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 35,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
People should have the right to lean in on public debate without being punished for doing so, and it is especially cruel to only punish the most physically fit citizens for exercising an inalienable right simply because they are fit for military service.
Other citizens having the option to be critical isn't "being punished" in any way at all -- that's just part of normal human interaction. Further, I would be critical of anyone advocating for a dumb war, not just fit people -- I just would use different sorts of criticism (and possibly personal attacks) against different warmongers, depending on the circumstances.
  #136  
Old 05-21-2019, 11:15 AM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,558
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
Other citizens having the option to be critical isn't "being punished" in any way at all -- that's just part of normal human interaction. Further, I would be critical of anyone advocating for a dumb war, not just fit people -- I just would use different sorts of criticism (and possibly personal attacks) against different warmongers, depending on the circumstances.
In the strict sense, what you quoted applied to steronz's proposed politically-selective draft, not your proposal.

~Max
  #137  
Old 05-21-2019, 11:15 AM
Shodan is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Milky Way Galaxy
Posts: 40,003
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
You can call them anything you like, but I don't think this is relevant to the thread. This appears totally uncomparable to advocating for dumb wars.
The principle is one may not support government action that puts others at risk unless one is willing to put oneself at risk. The CA Assembly is willing to support government action that puts police at risk. Therefore, unless they are willing to put themselves at risk, they should be called gutless cowards. QED.

Unless you have a reason why the principle doesn't apply generally, it's more or less special pleading, not to say hand-waving.

Regards,
Shodan
  #138  
Old 05-21-2019, 11:19 AM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,558
Quote:
Originally Posted by steronz View Post
That doesn't seem unreasonable, except why a draft? A draft will sweep up people who didn't advocate for the war, while only presenting a small chance that you (an advocate) would have to serve.

What about a draft that only picked from people who voted in favor of the war? If such a hypothetical could exist.
I've got it. If the government actually needed more soldiers, and put out a public notice saying so much, in that case I would have no problem calling a hawk a coward for refusing to enlist.

~Max
  #139  
Old 05-21-2019, 11:20 AM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 35,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
The principle is one may not support government action that puts others at risk unless one is willing to put oneself at risk. The CA Assembly is willing to support government action that puts police at risk. Therefore, unless they are willing to put themselves at risk, they should be called gutless cowards. QED.

Unless you have a reason why the principle doesn't apply generally, it's more or less special pleading, not to say hand-waving.

Regards,
Shodan
That's certainly not the principle that motivates my position. My principle is about war, and unnecessary wars in particular. Not some notion of "risk". War is much, much more than just some notion of "risk".

But how do you feel about my position? Do you think it's cowardly, or not cowardly, to advocate for a war that one is capable of but unwilling to participate in?

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 05-21-2019 at 11:24 AM.
  #140  
Old 05-21-2019, 11:23 AM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 35,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
In the strict sense, what you quoted applied to steronz's proposed politically-selective draft, not your proposal.

~Max
Fair enough, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
I've got it. If the government actually needed more soldiers, and put out a public notice saying so much, in that case I would have no problem calling a hawk a coward for refusing to enlist.

~Max
Wonderful! I might go a bit further than you, but it looks like we're pretty close to being on the same page, especially in sentiment.
  #141  
Old 05-21-2019, 11:32 AM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,558
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
The CA Assembly is considering a law to raise the standard for police shootings from "reasonable" to "necessary". There is obviously concern that this will raise the risk for police officers. Do the CA Assembly members need to join the police before they can support the law? Can we call them gutless cowards if they don't?

Regards,
Shodan
If we replace the California Assembly with the national Congress, and police shootings with war, I think you would have to switch "support the law" with "oppose the law" since the law purports to raise the standard. Then it could be relevant to the thread.

My personal opinion (notwithstanding my opposition to the public shaming in general) is that legislators are exempt, but not their children. Otherwise we would be left with the awkward situation where a non-veteran legislator represents a population with hawkish veterans, but when he tries to voice the opinion of his constituency he is derided as a "gutless coward" by the rest of the country.

iiandyiiii, would you make this exception for legislators?

~Max
  #142  
Old 05-21-2019, 11:35 AM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 35,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
If we replace the California Assembly with the national Congress, and police shootings with war, I think you would have to switch "support the law" with "oppose the law" since the law purports to raise the standard. Then it could be relevant to the thread.

My personal opinion (notwithstanding my opposition to the public shaming in general) is that legislators are exempt, but not their children. Otherwise we would be left with the awkward situation where a non-veteran legislator represents a population with hawkish veterans, but when he tries to voice the opinion of his constituency he is derided as a "gutless coward" by the rest of the country.

iiandyiiii, would you make this exception for legislators?

~Max
I don't know, it would depend on the circumstances. Right now I'm happy calling many of those in Congress gutless cowards -- those that advocate for war with Iran, NK, or Venezuela (or elsewhere) and chose not to serve during wars they supported in the past and were of the right age/health/non-Congressional-status to contribute. But it depends on the individual circumstances, I suppose.
  #143  
Old 05-21-2019, 11:48 AM
Wrenching Spanners is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: London
Posts: 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
In my understanding and in my opinion, this fell into the rare case of actually being reasonably appropriate use of military force.

I am happy to hear anyone's opinion, including those who think I'm disgusting and cowardly. I want to know all of my possible flaws. If I'm disgusting or cowardly, please let me know so I can re-evaluate my positions! I want to improve myself and become a better person, and criticism can be very helpful in that process.
So your position is that some military actions are okay, but if someone disagrees with you, they should attempt to shame you by calling you cowardly and disgusting. And if enough people call you cowardly and disgusting, youíll change your position. Not because your convictions have been changed through reasoning, but because youíve been stifled by enough people calling you cowardly and disgusting. Meanwhile youíll be calling the people who support military actions you disagree with cowardly and disgusting, hoping to stifle them from declaring their support. And all these people calling other people names and trying to shut them up are supporting free speech. Also, while everyone is going around calling the people who support a military action that they disagree with cowardly and disgusting, if the people they disagree with are in the military or are willing to join the military, theyíre only disgusting, not cowardly and disgusting. Got it.

I realise youíre certainly going to disagree with my characterisation of your position, but thatís how it comes across. Itís immature, dysfunctional, and akin to mob rule. In a democracy, people should be able to have different viewpoints, express and discuss those viewpoints, and then have a consensus of the people or the government decide what action to take based on the viewpoints with the most support. I think the idea of achieving your political goals via name-calling and intimidation through attempted mass humiliation of those you disagree with is undemocratic. Frankly, it sounds like something Donald Trump would come up with.
  #144  
Old 05-21-2019, 11:50 AM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 35,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
So your position is that some military actions are okay, but if someone disagrees with you, they should attempt to shame you by calling you cowardly and disgusting. And if enough people call you cowardly and disgusting, youíll change your position. Not because your convictions have been changed through reasoning, but because youíve been stifled by enough people calling you cowardly and disgusting. Meanwhile youíll be calling the people who support military actions you disagree with cowardly and disgusting, hoping to stifle them from declaring their support. And all these people calling other people names and trying to shut them up are supporting free speech. Also, while everyone is going around calling the people who support a military action that they disagree with cowardly and disgusting, if the people they disagree with are in the military or are willing to join the military, theyíre only disgusting, not cowardly and disgusting. Got it.

I realise youíre certainly going to disagree with my characterisation of your position, but thatís how it comes across. Itís immature, dysfunctional, and akin to mob rule. In a democracy, people should be able to have different viewpoints, express and discuss those viewpoints, and then have a consensus of the people or the government decide what action to take based on the viewpoints with the most support. I think the idea of achieving your political goals via name-calling and intimidation through attempted mass humiliation of those you disagree with is undemocratic. Frankly, it sounds like something Donald Trump would come up with.
Thank you for your contribution. Yes, this is an inaccurate characterization of what I'm pushing for.

But even if it were accurate, what you describe sounds much, much less awful (and less damaging to the country) than a continuing endless stream of stupid, unnecessary wars that get thousands upon thousands killed for nothing.
  #145  
Old 05-21-2019, 11:53 AM
HurricaneDitka is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 14,592
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
... Further, I would be critical of anyone advocating for a dumb war, not just fit people -- I just would use different sorts of criticism (and possibly personal attacks) against different warmongers, depending on the circumstances.
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
I don't know, it would depend on the circumstances. Right now I'm happy calling many of those in Congress gutless cowards ...
You seem to really like ad hominem attacks. That's my biggest takeaway from this thread.
  #146  
Old 05-21-2019, 11:54 AM
Bone's Avatar
Bone is offline
Extrajudicial
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 10,868
War is different, like Scotsman I suppose. This seems simply a way to engage in unreasonable ad hominem rather than any kind of effective ends justify the means tool.

It's like Starship Troopers never quite grasped the concept of comparative advantage.
  #147  
Old 05-21-2019, 12:05 PM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 35,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone View Post
War is different, like Scotsman I suppose.
So you don't think war is fundamentally different than the other endeavors mentioned?

I supported the Iraq war as a young Navy Ensign in 2003. Foolishly -- extremely foolishly. And that's largely where I learned the lesson (not in Iraq -- I did spend some time in the Middle East, but never in Iraq, and never in combat) that wars of choice are almost certain to be utterly catastrophic, especially when the goal, end-state, and/or exit strategy are poorly defined from the start. I'm not sure if it's possible to overstate the incredible harm that long war did to the US military and the country in general, and of course there have been pages of pages of how wrong it was on this board.

It appears to me that some Dopers didn't seem to learn this lesson, and aren't utterly horrified by the possibility of a war of choice with Iran, North Korea, or Venezuela. Many (maybe most?) of you seem to be, but some of you do not. A few of you even seem more horrified by my suggestion of a rhetorical strategy that's meant to help avoid stupid wars than by the possibility that we may get into another one of these stupid wars.

But I appreciate all the discussion that my suggestion has sparked. Thanks to everyone who has taken part in this thread!

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 05-21-2019 at 12:05 PM.
  #148  
Old 05-21-2019, 12:10 PM
manson1972's Avatar
manson1972 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 12,041
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
A few of you even seem more horrified by my suggestion of a rhetorical strategy that's meant to help avoid stupid wars than by the possibility that we may get into another one of these stupid wars.
That's because being called a "coward" is worse than drone-bombing a Muslim family's wedding.
  #149  
Old 05-21-2019, 12:17 PM
Bone's Avatar
Bone is offline
Extrajudicial
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 10,868
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
So you don't think war is fundamentally different than the other endeavors mentioned?
War is different, like all things are different from each other. The problem is you haven't demonstrated why any differences are meaningful. Just announcing that one thing is different than another isn't particularly informative. I think you would be on stronger ground, yet still fundamentally flawed, if we didn't have an all volunteer military.

Plus, you've been cagey on what you mean by contribute. Overall I think the idea is of poor quality.

Last edited by Bone; 05-21-2019 at 12:18 PM.
  #150  
Old 05-21-2019, 12:20 PM
Ravenman is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 26,715
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
It appears to me that some Dopers didn't seem to learn this lesson, and aren't utterly horrified by the possibility of a war of choice with Iran, North Korea, or Venezuela.
I consider people who blithely cheer on the idea of carnage and tragedy in those countries, especially when so little is to be gained by such wars, to be reprehensible in their own rights. Further, I worry that if such people did volunteer for military service, they are more likely tend to be the sort of people that I do not wish to carry arms on behalf of this country.

That's because those who see a war of choice as being a reasonable thing to advocate for probably tend to dehumanize the enemy in ways that go beyond the simple psychological necessity to do so in order to make killing a reasonable thing to do. I'd say they are more likely to dehumanize the enemy because they really do believe that they are humans who are not worthy of life. We had a thread going the other day about accused war criminals who fall into that sickening pit of racism and hate.

Quote:
A few of you even seem more horrified by my suggestion of a rhetorical strategy that's meant to help avoid stupid wars than by the possibility that we may get into another one of these stupid wars.
I suppose my main issue is that for these people we are talking about, goading them into joining the military is probably not a good thing for any party involved. I also have a problem with societal shaming, but I don't think I can explain my concerns here very well. But that does not mean that I think casual warmongers should be given any respect; I just don't think they are worthy of respect whether or not they risk their own lives.

I think you have posted an interesting question and I continue to think about it.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:29 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017