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  #51  
Old 09-27-2019, 05:00 PM
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s with many things, the answer is "it all depends."

First of all, the way I see it the military is one big team. They all work together towards a common goal. Whatever the team does, every member is responsible for it. A crewman on a cargo vessel that carries weapons to a war zone is morally responsible when the weapons are used to kill human beings. He may never personally fire a shot, but he's still a killer. Every job in the military is a killing people job. No exceptions. That includes the medical staff and the chaplain.

And yet so many refuse to accept the moral responsibility for their actions. They try to explain how they didn't kill anyone. That, in my opinion, is inherently immoral.

And then we've got to examine what they are fighting for, and why. Some wars are necessary. Some fights are moral and the people who participate might well be good people. Those who joined up to fight against Hitler I can admire. But then there are others who just see killing people as a career. They just willingly participate in any fight they are sent to, good or bad. And that is about the worst possible thing somebody can do without going to prison.

To take an example, consider the Iraq war. The first people to go in had been told that Saddam had WMDs and was a threat to the lives of innocent people. They put themselves in harms way for the protection of others. They might be good people, some of them. And then it turned out that they had been lied to. The war was a pointless waste of human lives. And yet some people continued to enlist. Knowing damn well that the war was wrong, they nevertheless joined up and willingly took part in it. That's immoral.
  #52  
Old 09-27-2019, 05:45 PM
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No.

I enlisted during Vietnam Nam, after college. I believe that I was exposed to others from different walks of life and vice versa, I see this as valuable to society and perhaps could reduce tribalism a bit.

As a matter of fact, I believe in mandatory service - which could be military. Or something like the CCC, National Parks, domestic Peace Corps, drug or mental health services, etc.

Everyone does their year or two and gets something in return - perhaps more tuition if you choose the military.
  #53  
Old 09-27-2019, 06:10 PM
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I believe that mandatory service is basically slavery. Every time it's proposed I get chills.
  #54  
Old 09-27-2019, 06:18 PM
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s with many things, the answer is "it all depends."

First of all, the way I see it the military is one big team. They all work together towards a common goal. Whatever the team does, every member is responsible for it. A crewman on a cargo vessel that carries weapons to a war zone is morally responsible when the weapons are used to kill human beings. He may never personally fire a shot, but he's still a killer. Every job in the military is a killing people job. No exceptions. That includes the medical staff and the chaplain.
Why limit moral responsibility to the military, then? Why not the spouse waiting to throw their deployed service member a big party when they get home? It’s basically the same logic used by airmen to justify (to themselves, at least) carpet bombing during WWII. Why not just cut right to the chase and hold the whole nation inescapably, morally accountable for the actions of every government employee, to include those in the military? I mean, if you still pay taxes... Why not stop? The worst they can do is put you in jail, and you could always try and emigrate to one of those countries that never ever does anything wrong, right?

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I enlisted during Vietnam Nam, after college. I believe that I was exposed to others from different walks of life and vice versa, I see this as valuable to society and perhaps could reduce tribalism a bit.
You volunteered to go to Vietnam?

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 09-27-2019 at 06:22 PM.
  #55  
Old 09-27-2019, 07:02 PM
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No. (Two of my cousins are Iraqi War vets, and I know them, and THEY'RE not immoral people)

Most of the people of my generation are the grandchildren of WWII/Korean War veterans. I don't think my grandfathers were immoral either, because they chose to fight against the Axis.

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  #56  
Old 09-27-2019, 07:11 PM
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No. (Two of my cousins are Iraqi War vets, and I know them, and THEY'RE not immoral people)
"They are good people, therefore, their actions must be good," has some logical flaws in it.

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Most of the people of my generation are the grandchildren of WWII/Korean War veterans. I don't think my grandfathers were immoral either, because they chose to fight against the Axis.
Circumstances have arguably changed in the seventy or eighty years since your grandparents served.
  #57  
Old 09-27-2019, 07:26 PM
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This is likely based loosely on something I posted a few days ago, where I said I hold the unpopular opinion that it's usually unethical to join the military. Not immoral, unethical. I'm hesitant to elaborate, but often choose unwisely, so I'll elaborate a bit.

First, I say "unethical" because, while I don't claim to have any supernatural insight into ethics, I do ascribe the view that ethics are as subjective as mathematics, that there are certain principles that apply better to the actual world we live in than others. I may poorly understand those principles, but it seems to me that they're probably a feature of the universe, and it's a good idea to try to understand them.

Second, I figure that we should try to act on the ethical principles to the best of our understanding. And even if I may respect your different ethical position, I may still think it's wrong, and act to prevent you (or dissuade you) from engaging in acts I understand to be unethical.

Third, armed forces require you to subordinate your understanding of ethics to someone else's. This may mean killing people even when you do not believe the situation warrants it.

In extreme cases, e.g., fighting Nazis when the Nazis look like they stand an extremely good chance of taking over much of the world, the ill of subordinating your ethical understanding to that of other people can be overwhelmed by the ethical necessity. The ends justify the means, sometimes.

But in general the people at the top of military chains of commands have not convinced me that they're adequately concerned about protecting innocent lives. This applies to modern US military commands, as well as those of every other nation I'm familiar with. Including Canada's.

So I don't think it's ethical to join the military.

Again, I recognize this is a vastly minority opinion. I don't expect others to agree. I think others can disagree, and can even join the military, and still be good people who are worthy of respect. But I'll not respect them for making this specific decision, and I'll wish they'd chosen otherwise.
  #58  
Old 09-27-2019, 08:59 PM
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You volunteered to go to Vietnam?
No, I volunteered in a role that that meant I would not go to Vietnam. (Sorry about the typo)
  #59  
Old 09-27-2019, 09:42 PM
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No, it's not immoral.
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Old 09-28-2019, 01:59 AM
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No, and I like the policies many countries have of having "military service by foreign national" be a pretty decent path to citizenship. I know some guys who are much happier in their highly-structured, military jobs (not every job is like that, but these guys' are) than they'd be in the looser world of most civilian jobs. And, as in Canada, in Spain the military is a superb emergency-situation resource; they're good for anything from helping people and animals in natural disasters to providing tent cities for a million-people meeting.
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Old 09-28-2019, 07:02 AM
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I would say in most cases it is not immoral because morality implies an informed decision. Most who enlist do so from a sense of indoctrinated obligation, a belief that the military provides society a useful service, and ignorance of what the organization actually does. Now, if the individual was actually aware of the activities the organization was involved in, then the morality would depend on the nature of those activities and on another philosophical principle:

Do ALL members of an organization bear partial responsibility for the evil done by that organization? To take the most extreme (albeit cliched) example, presumably the Nazis had accountants. Are they all evil by virtue of working for the Nazis? I'm not even talking about shady accountants, appraising stolen art or hiding funds from investigators. Just a payroll clerk, who works hard and just wants to make sure the troops all get paid correctly . . . Nazi troops, though. Look, government jobs are very stable, pay well, and doing good work in payroll keeps one out of the field.

I don't think that the U.S. Army is as bad as the S.S. was. But, I wouldn't call dropping drones on wedding parties, training Al Quaeda, overthrowing representative democracies, trafficking heroin, and arming Islamo-fascists "ethical". So the question is, "how large a part can you play in this kind of organization and keep you hands (and conscience) clean?". America has pretty much decided that if you get school children to face the flag every day, recite the pledge, support the troops, and repeatedly tell them that we're the freest people on earth, most 18 year-olds won't answer that question, or even think to ask it.

I can't control what my grown children will do, but they are fully aware that enlistment would not have my blessing or result in any show of support or encouragement whatsoever (the exception being for my son, should he join the Foreign Legion, as he could become a citizen after five years of service).

In stark contrast to the U.S. military-welfare complex, joining a military protecting a free people from actual threats is not only ethical, but honorable.
  #62  
Old 09-28-2019, 08:25 PM
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Not one bit.
  #63  
Old 09-28-2019, 08:42 PM
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If one is a pacifist, and rejects violence, then joining the military would be morally wrong. Others feel self-defence, and the defence of others, is a net good (but who is making strategic decisions? Surely not the raw recruit).

(As for joining and then picking and choosing which theatre of operation one would be willing to serve in, as in Vietnam is bad but Sierra Leone is OK (or whatever), that's nuts, it doesn't work like that.)
  #64  
Old 09-28-2019, 09:14 PM
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(As for joining and then picking and choosing which theatre of operation one would be willing to serve in, as in Vietnam is bad but Sierra Leone is OK (or whatever), that's nuts, it doesn't work like that.)
A moral soldier ordered to fight in an immoral war has some options. Some are able to resign immediately. Some have to wait out their enlistment contract, and then refuse to renew. During the waiting period they should obey orders to the letter, and not do one iota more. They can look for legal options for early separation.

This happened during the Iraq war, where many left in droves. Others tried to leave but were blocked by stop loss.

That is moral.
  #65  
Old 09-29-2019, 03:38 AM
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Immoral, unethical, unjust? Depends, depends, depends... on the volunteer, their background and impetus, what they volunteer for and expect, and so much more.

I volunteered for both US Army (end of VietNam-era; I was an undrafted 25) and National Guard later. Something like 90% of military are really civil service, not combat troops, said Robt Heinlein. In the Army I radio-clerked; in NG I worked a field hospital, mostly disaster relief. I saw no combat - but my Army artillery unit was hot-prepped for Gaza.

I knew troops who sought power, money, drugs, and sadism in service. My lure: GI Bill and possible career; big change for a former vagabond. Could I have endured as a war-machine cog? Can't say. Would I join back then, knowing what I do now? Yes.

Volunteering for evil, immoral, unethical reasons makes it so. So don't be evil.
  #66  
Old 09-29-2019, 04:00 PM
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Well, continuity matters if we're talking about whether the US Army can be credited with winning our independence from the British, which I thought was what we were talking about. A lack of continuity would mean it would make as much sense to for the NFL to claim the credit.

And even with continuity, it comes off like a fifty year old man bragging about his high school football career. After a certain point, if you have to dig back centuries to find things you're proud of, you don't have anything to be proud of.

(Not that the army lacking proud accomplishments makes joining it immoral, mind you.)
I'm still not sure why the continuity matters; you said "I don't think that the military deserves credit for our freedoms, such as they are.", which is the part I took issue with.

And my point is that "the military" in the broad sense of the armed forces of this country, not necessarily today's military, or some sort of military in continuous existence, were the muscle that let things like the Declaration of Independence and Emancipation Proclamation be effective, because the British and Confederates sure weren't going to obey otherwise.

Last edited by bump; 09-29-2019 at 04:01 PM.
  #67  
Old 09-29-2019, 04:23 PM
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  #68  
Old 09-30-2019, 03:35 PM
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I'm still not sure why the continuity matters; you said "I don't think that the military deserves credit for our freedoms, such as they are.", which is the part I took issue with.

And my point is that "the military" in the broad sense of the armed forces of this country, not necessarily today's military, or some sort of military in continuous existence, were the muscle that let things like the Declaration of Independence and Emancipation Proclamation be effective, because the British and Confederates sure weren't going to obey otherwise.
To be very succinct, continuity matters because despite the most tenuous of connections (and they do appear to be tenuous), the continental army was not the same organization as the US military and your attempts to dump them in the same bucket make me reject your thesis out of hand as being factually false.

Hell, I could claim credit for winning the war of independence, the civil war, and the fight against the aliens in Independence Day. If we're not going to bother with worrying about which organization is which, why shouldn't I personally claim credit?

And to bring this back to the subject of the thread a bit, I don't think it makes a lick of sense to equate (for example) the US military of 1940 with the US military of today, not in a thread about the morality of joining it. It's the same military in the sense that I'm the same person as I was when I was two years old. Times have changed, I have changed, the world has changed, the military's guiding powers' motivations have changed, everything has changed.

You're arguing one side of the Ship of Theseus thought experiment; I'm noticing that the ship of Theseus has changed from a canoe into a battleship and thus am arguing the other.
  #69  
Old 10-01-2019, 08:55 AM
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I think the premise of Verhoeven's "Starship Troopers" could be boiled down to "anyone who would voluntarily join the military is a sadomasochist Nazi". Bit of a slanted view there...
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Old 10-01-2019, 11:29 PM
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Who the he(( does the OP think forced desegregation in the south during the sixties?
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Old 10-02-2019, 07:33 AM
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Who the he(( does the OP think forced desegregation in the south during the sixties?
Possible topic for another thread: Why wasn't the Civil Rights movement answered by massive armed resistance in the South?
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Old 10-02-2019, 08:13 AM
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No, the military serves a vital purpose in democracies, and service can be an honorable and important choice. And for practical purposes a stint in the military can mature a person, teach them skills, and prepare them for a career elsewhere.

There can be countries where enlisting is much more questionable, but not for the examples you gave.
This, basically. All countries require a national defense of some sort, and signing up to defend one's country is not immoral as a general rule. There are certainly circumstances where joining up (or an individual's motivations for joining up) are immoral - for example, if you join up because you want to summarily execute unarmed civilians crossing the border - but those are extraordinary circumstances. Mostly I focus on the way in which the military is used by the political powers that be when making moral judgments. Sending troops into harm's way just to get re-elected or to make a profit would be grossly immoral, but in those cases it's not the soldiers that are to blame.

And I too think the US has gone way overboard on its worship of the military. I don't know how some people stand I - one or two "thank you for your service" comments is nice but a constant stream of them day after day would drive me postal.
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Old 10-02-2019, 09:11 AM
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I'm surprised at how seldom I see sentiment similar to the portion I BOLDED, and with which I wholeheartedly agree. Not saying I expect it would be the majority point of view, but I'd expect to see it at least somewhat more frequently than I do.
I didn't directly quote what you responded to because I don't see the need for that kind of crudity in expressing the general idea. I don't go along in general with the idea that crude language makes you sound more 'genuine'.

Still, and not left leaning here, I think you can reasonably debate about whether the image of the US military has gone too far in one direction because the 'right' and 'left' don't pull against each other on that point. They pull against each other too much on other issues IMO, sometimes to the point of 'I don't know what they proposed but if it was them proposing it, I disagree'. But in this case the right did get the better of the left in the wake of Vietnam as to most Americans' impression that elements of the left went overboard blaming the military or even individual people who happened to be in the military at low levels and never did anything illegal. The left realized that, and since then there's not been enough check and balance, give and take, IMO on critically assessing the US military.

Not that I think it's 'immoral' to join: it's IMO obviously not and that's a borderline ridiculous question. I mean more in the military's performance in subsequent wars, its true readiness for likely future ones, how wisely defense money gets spent, etc. Civilian politicians are ultimately responsible for all those things in the US system and those of comparable countries. In legitimate rule of law democracies civilian politicians and therefore the public can't really blame 'the military' in the long run. They create and control the military. They can still critically examine results though to see what they, voters and politicians, should do differently wrt the military. I agree that that discussion in the US can still be hampered by the political fallout from the anti-war left's sometimes extreme positions and rhetoric about the military during the Vietnam War.

Last edited by Corry El; 10-02-2019 at 09:13 AM.
  #74  
Old 10-03-2019, 06:49 AM
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The only militaries I would not join on pain of death are the rapist/mercenarized/jihadi-influenced ones (such as Pakistan's). Any other professional military, absolutely no problem. It is one thing to fight honorably for your motherland (even in a misguided/unnecessary war) and entirely another to rape/subjugate entire populations because you are in the military and have the power to do so.
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:46 AM
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I don't think it is immoral at all to join the military.

Maybe being drafted into military and being forced to be a combatant against your will is immoral. But there are lots of things you can do in the military besides handling weapons.
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:50 AM
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And I too think the US has gone way overboard on its worship of the military.
And the size. Biggest employer in the world, and that's direct jobs only (source: newspaper article in Spanish, don't have it handy).
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:21 PM
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But there are lots of things you can do in the military besides handling weapons.
Doesn't make a difference. The military is a team. Whatever the team does, every member has a greater or lesser share in the credit or the blame. In a war, I don't see any moral distinction between a front line soldier and a paper pusher several thousand miles from the action. They are both participants in killing.
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:51 PM
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Doesn't make a difference. The military is a team. Whatever the team does, every member has a greater or lesser share in the credit or the blame. In a war, I don't see any moral distinction between a front line soldier and a paper pusher several thousand miles from the action. They are both participants in killing.
Iím still not sure how you draw the line at the military, no at the taxpayer.
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Old 10-03-2019, 01:53 PM
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Iím still not sure how you draw the line at the military, no at the taxpayer.
It crosses my mind that taxpayers don't have a choice. It's one thing to knowingly and voluntarily drive a mass shooter to a school, and rather different to do it only because he has one of his many guns to your head. I figure similar logic can be applied to people who voluntarily join the military - they choose to be part of the killin' team, for one reason or another.
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Old 10-03-2019, 02:21 PM
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It crosses my mind that taxpayers don't have a choice. It's one thing to knowingly and voluntarily drive a mass shooter to a school, and rather different to do it only because he has one of his many guns to your head. I figure similar logic can be applied to people who voluntarily join the military - they choose to be part of the killin' team, for one reason or another.
What if:

1. Your country legitimately is under attack. This happens from time to time. Do you just get invaded and roll over?

2. Your military career isn't something you chose. You were drafted.
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Old 10-03-2019, 03:12 PM
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It crosses my mind that taxpayers don't have a choice. It's one thing to knowingly and voluntarily drive a mass shooter to a school, and rather different to do it only because he has one of his many guns to your head. I figure similar logic can be applied to people who voluntarily join the military - they choose to be part of the killin' team, for one reason or another.
Of course taxpayers have a choice. They can choose to go to prison as a tax protester or, because I know that must not sound appealing, they can choose to earn less money and accept a lower standard of living to pay fewer taxes and thus be less culpable.

But I don’t really think they should have to do that, particularly if they didn’t vote for the people making the decisions (but if they did...)

As to the idea that the military is some monolithic entity, a "killin' team" as you say, and then go on to compare to one who drives a school shooter to school... What about a school bus driver for the Dopes School District, one who knows that some fraction of students nationwide will go from a bus, into a school, and then shoot the school up, is the bus driver morally accountable as a functionary for school transportation if some other bus driver working for the same district (knowingly or unknowingly) delivers a child to one one of many DSD schools and goes on to carry out a school shooting? I mean, after all, the bus drivers for a given school district all work together as a team to accomplish the same goal. If one is guilty, then he others are too, right?

With that as a preface, let me say I spent a good part of my 20's (and the Iraq War) overseas, in Japan. My days, when out to sea, were spent conducting anti-submarine warfare exercises, floating around waiting for shitty little North Korean missiles to launch, and just generally showing the flag in the Western Pacific. Which is basically the same thing the Navy had done prior to the GWOT and continues to do today (and may still after this current unpleasantness in Iraq is settled, even if it takes a hundred years). Like it or not, the peacetime functions of the military, great power competition, and the need for deterrence (if you grant there is one, I realize that’s not a given) did not disappear overnight just because the US invaded Iraq.

But then I did spend a year of my twenties in Iraq. From 2010 to 2011, I was an advisor with the Iraqi Navy. My job was to help reestablish a sovereign Iraqi government, of which a military capable of defending its borders and infrastructure is a part. Iraq doesn’t have much of a coastline, but it does have one, and it’s a critical outlet for getting their oil out into the global market, which is in turn essential for the economic well-being of the country (just as soon as they can get over that whole endemic corruption thing). I sincerely believe that my presence in Iraq was necessary, or at the very least not a harm, to the stability of a free and independent Iraq, whether or not it chose to remain aligned with the US post-war (and 2011 was the year the Iraq government decided not to renew the SOFA, and so when I left in August of that year, no one arrived to relieve me).

So, without knowing what I was "willing" to do (and we can discuss that in a later post if you like, and ), was my service during those years "immoral"? Particularly while I was in Iraq, even if someone somewhere else in Iraq was completely off the reservation, taking actions to the detriment of Iraq, why should my moral stake depend on their independent actions?

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 10-03-2019 at 03:17 PM.
  #82  
Old 10-03-2019, 03:45 PM
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What if:

1. Your country legitimately is under attack. This happens from time to time. Do you just get invaded and roll over?
Me personally? Yes. But what you're actually asking is whether a person can feel that volunteering for military service is justified, and the answer to that is a) of course a person can feel that, have you seen this thread, and b) this has nothing to do with whether somebody who hasn't volunteered is party to the military's actions.

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2. Your military career isn't something you chose. You were drafted.
I thought about mentioning draftees as specifically not sharing moral culpability (what there is of it) with volunteers, but figured that this was incredibly obvious and in fact had been an underlying fact of the thread since its inception, and thus didn't mention it because I didn't want to insult anybody's intelligence.

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Of course taxpayers have a choice. They can choose to go to prison as a tax protester or, because I know that must not sound appealing, they can choose to earn less money and accept a lower standard of living to pay fewer taxes and thus be less culpable.

But I donít really think they should have to do that, particularly if they didnít vote for the people making the decisions (but if they did...)
I'm glad you agree that this argument is absurd, and that persons who do not volunteer, support, or endorse the government actions in question are in fact not culpable for what is done with money they are coerced out of on threat of dire punishment.

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As to the idea that the military is some monolithic entity, a "killin' team" as you say, and then go on to compare to one who drives a school shooter to school... What about a school bus driver for the Dopes School District, one who knows that some fraction of students nationwide will go from a bus, into a school, and then shoot the school up, is the bus driver morally accountable as a functionary for school transportation if some other bus driver working for the same district (knowingly or unknowingly) delivers a child to one one of many DSD schools and goes on to carry out a school shooting? I mean, after all, the bus drivers for a given school district all work together as a team to accomplish the same goal. If one is guilty, then he others are too, right?
Absolutely! However none of them are guilty. The DSD is not culpable for actions that non-affiliates with the DSD chooses to carry out, and if one of the other DSD drivers goes rogue and rebels against the DSD goals that is not the DSD's responsibility.

Maybe if the DSD had in its mission statement to slaughter any kid who the DSD thought had gotten out of hand you might have had an analogy.

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Originally Posted by ASL v2.0 View Post
With that as a preface, let me say I spent a good part of my 20's (and the Iraq War) overseas, in Japan. My days, when out to sea, were spent conducting anti-submarine warfare exercises, floating around waiting for shitty little North Korean missiles to launch, and just generally showing the flag in the Western Pacific. Which is basically the same thing the Navy had done prior to the GWOT and continues to do today (and may still after this current unpleasantness in Iraq is settled, even if it takes a hundred years). Like it or not, the peacetime functions of the military, great power competition, and the need for deterrence (if you grant there is one, I realize thatís not a given) did not disappear overnight just because the US invaded Iraq.

But then I did spend a year of my twenties in Iraq. From 2010 to 2011, I was an advisor with the Iraqi Navy. My job was to help reestablish a sovereign Iraqi government, of which a military capable of defending its borders and infrastructure is a part. Iraq doesnít have much of a coastline, but it does have one, and itís a critical outlet for getting their oil out into the global market, which is in turn essential for the economic well-being of the country (just as soon as they can get over that whole endemic corruption thing). I sincerely believe that my presence in Iraq was necessary, or at the very least not a harm, to the stability of a free and independent Iraq, whether or not it chose to remain aligned with the US post-war (and 2011 was the year the Iraq government decided not to renew the SOFA, and so when I left in August of that year, no one arrived to relieve me).

So, without knowing what I was "willing" to do (and we can discuss that in a later post if you like, and ), was my service during those years "immoral"? Particularly while I was in Iraq, even if someone somewhere else in Iraq was completely off the reservation, taking actions to the detriment of Iraq, why should my moral stake depend on their independent actions?
I'd just like to restate that I have explicitly stated in this very that I do not consider volunteering for military service immoral, unless you do it specifically because you're looking for opportunities to slaughter people.

But regardless of how immoral a person does consider volunteering for military service, I maintain that civilians who are forcibly separated from their money on threat of incarceration are not responsible for it when the government decides to do things with that money that they don't approve of and wouldn't have paid for if they had the choice.
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Old 10-03-2019, 06:43 PM
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What if:

1. Your country legitimately is under attack. This happens from time to time. Do you just get invaded and roll over?

2. Your military career isn't something you chose. You were drafted.
The way I see it, there are basically three types of soldier.

The first joins voluntarily putting the good of his country before himself. And this person might be good, or might not be. Someone who volunteered to fight for the good of Nazi Germany probably wasn't very moral. Someone who volunteered to protect England against the threat of Nazi invasion probably was moral.

The second type is conscripted, forced into a fight against their will. The fight they are involved in might well be immoral, but they aren't there by choice. And these people can be excused their actions ... up to a point. I can have a lot of sympathy for them. I would also say I employ a loose definition of conscription in this argument. For example, a few years ago I heard a lot of people claiming that they enlisted after 9/11 to fight against Bin Laden, but were then ordered into Iraq instead. They tell me, "this isn't what I enlisted for, I didn't want this." They were forced into a fight against their wishes. And that is sort of like conscription.

The third type is the professional fighter. Killing people is simply a job that he does. He's hired to fight a battle, and he does so without thought as to the right or wrong of it. He would protect my country from invasion, if told to do so. But also he would assist the invasion if told to do so. And he wouldn't see any difference between the two. Either way, he just doing a job. Usually motivated by selfishness.

My contempt has always been directed at the third type.



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Originally Posted by ASL v2.0 View Post
Iím still not sure how you draw the line at the military, no at the taxpayer.
Taxpayers count as conscripted. Many of them opposed the Iraq war, and didn't want to fund it. But if they refused to hand over their money, they would go to prison. They are not to blame for the killing.
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:01 PM
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How do you distinguish between the first and the third category (or type) when one's country has chosen, with the support of voters, to engage in a morally questionable campaign? Is it, in your opinion, impossible to join and continue to serve for altruistic reasons during such a time period?

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 10-03-2019 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:12 PM
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How do you distinguish between the first and the third category (or type) when one's country has chosen, with the support of voters, to engage in a morally questionable campaign? Is it, in your opinion, impossible to join and continue to serve for altruistic reasons during such a time period?
If a person believes that their army is currently being used in an immoral way, wouldn't signing up necessarily include an implicit agreement to actively further that immoral cause if the situation arises?

This of course presumes that you actually believe that your side's cause is immoral. You could be one of those voters who supports the cause, or just unaware of the moral questionability due to inattentiveness or the effects of propaganda.
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:44 PM
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How do you distinguish between the first and the third category (or type) when one's country has chosen, with the support of voters, to engage in a morally questionable campaign? Is it, in your opinion, impossible to join and continue to serve for altruistic reasons during such a time period?
I don't understand the question. How can someone join for altruistic reasons during a war that they think is wrong?
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:06 PM
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I don't understand the question. How can someone join for altruistic reasons during a war that they think is wrong?
Think of excuses.
  1. You can't overcome your moral qualms, so you don't. Not then. I waited until after the VietNam accords were in and Nixon was out. Or
  2. You hope to be assigned elsewhere than combat or support. That may be a foolish fantasy unless your family Has Pull. Or
  3. You overcome your qualms because bonus or career; altruism is an unaffordable luxury for the downtrodden. Or
  4. You think you can effect changes "from inside the machine". That may take awhile. Have another drink.
Those thinking war accomplishes nothing should interview Carthaginians.
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:35 PM
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I don't understand the question. How can someone join for altruistic reasons during a war that they think is wrong?
If you believe that the nation requires a military for defense, your belief in that need doesnít necessarily disappear when the nation goes on offense. And large portions of the military are, for better or worse unengaged in the present conflicts. Your positive assertion that the military is just one big team working toward a single end notwithstanding.
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Old 10-04-2019, 05:55 PM
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If you believe that the nation requires a military for defense, your belief in that need doesnít necessarily disappear when the nation goes on offense.

Maybe so, but what exactly are they defending against? THe North Korean military is a threat, so we also need a strong military for defence. Do you see the key word there? The North Korean MILITARY is a threat. They are a threat because they have a strong MILITARY. Some of them are conscripts, and as I said they aren't to blame for what they do (up to a point). But many are there by choice, they deliberately choose the military as a lifelong career. Do you consider them to be moral people?

I'm a realist. North Korea can hire people like you to threaten us, so we have to hire people like you to protect us. But if there were no people like you then there would be no threat.

Quote:
And large portions of the military are, for better or worse unengaged in the present conflicts. Your positive assertion that the military is just one big team working toward a single end notwithstanding.

It depends on your definition of engaged. Consider, for example, someone whose job it is to repair the computers in an office several thousand miles away from any conflict. But those computers might be used to purchase missiles which are then used in a conflict. With broken computers and nobody to fix them, the supply of missiles would stop. Our friend the computer repair man keeps the supply of missiles going. Every time a missile is shot and kills a bunch of human beings he is a little bit responsible. Is he engaged in the conflict? I say yes. In fact, he can be engaged in several different conflicts at the same time. And it makes no difference if it is missiles or MREs. If the troops didn't get their food they'd mutiny.

And yes, many are not engaged in an actual war. They are part of a force that acts as a deterrent, as you were during your twenties in Japan. They might not actually kill anybody, but they provide the threat of being willing and able to kill on command. The threat is still an act of violence whether they actually have to carry out the threat or not.
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:10 PM
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Do you believe it's immoral to willingly enlist in the military?
Not as immoral as it is for someone to run their pie-hole on the bones of the dead who defended that right.
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:19 PM
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Not as immoral as it is for someone to run their pie-hole on the bones of the dead who defended that right.
Jingoistic rhetoric
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:00 PM
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Jingoistic rhetoric
right now China is rating it's citizens based on a combination of politically correct behavioral metrics. they are not alone in this behavior.

You either get it or you don't.
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:12 PM
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Yes, because the Chinese government is using the military to suppress the freedom to speak. Anywhere in the world where people DON'T have freedom, it's because of a military.

You either get it or you don't. Obviously you don't.

Last edited by Peter Morris; 10-04-2019 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 10-06-2019, 04:03 PM
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We're all (americans) funding US support for genocide in Gaza and Yemen. We've all participated in funding/providing the radical public square beheading Islamist Saudis with cluster bombs known to have a 90% collateral casualty rate in the field. We're all funding an endless bogus war (among others) in Afghanistan, ostensibly for 3000 killed on 9/11, while we've murdered 4000 innocents thus far this year in Afghanistan alone. We fund US support for 73% of the world's dictators.

Quote:
This World is imperfect, & we have no choice but to do as we must to survive.
To refrain from killing, if unneeded, but....
... but we always need the killing don't we. Bombing somewhere e'ery 12 minutes.

Last edited by Fentoine Lum; 10-06-2019 at 04:07 PM.
  #95  
Old 10-06-2019, 04:05 PM
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Not as immoral as it is for someone to run their pie-hole on the bones of the dead who defended that right.
Yes of course, rights are not to be actually realized. Fweedumb.
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:11 PM
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No, nope, absolutely not.
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