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  #51  
Old 05-20-2019, 07:20 PM
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I don't feel this way either. I think one can be perfectly sincere and be a coward at the same time.
Isn't this same thing dragged out every time someone like Warren Buffet says the wealthy don't pay enough tax? The refrain is, 'well Warren, pay more then'.

The two are seperate. Warren Buffet isn't greedy because he only pays pays taxes due despite it being less than what he thinks all wealthy people should pay.
  #52  
Old 05-20-2019, 07:21 PM
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The problem is, 'stupid, unnecessary wars' is also completely subjective, except maybe in hindsight. Even then, with the lens of history it's not always clear what wars were necessary and which ones were 'stupid, unnecessary wars'. I'm not convinced we should have intervened in WWI, for instance. Many at the time and even today opposed the Korean 'war'. Vietnam seems pretty clear cut, but what about the first Gulf War?
You're leaving out dozens, if not hundreds, of military actions. Looking at them all, it's clear to me that this country has a serious problem of getting into stupid and unnecessary wars (and smaller actions that still get lots of people killed but the media doesn't label as war). The really, really important ones, like WWII (and just a few others) will happen no matter what we do. It's the wars of choice that I want to avoid, since those almost always go badly, and cause more problems than they solve.

Basically, I want our country to be more skeptical of using military action for foreign policy goals. I think this is a tool that could help increase that skepticism. You are free to disagree.



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What about wars that might be necessary? Are we allowed to support those? What about ones that are definitely necessary? Who decides what wars can be supported, and which ones can't be and those who do (and aren't military) should be shunned or called names or have other verbal stones hurdles at them? Do you decide? Do I? Is it a poll and the people decide? And how do we even ask, since the default position you seem to be advocating for is that ONLY those in or former military can advocate without being called a coward.
This thread is about my beliefs, and what I advocate that others push for. This is purely about conversations - these are the discussions (and arguments) that I want Americans to be having, including contentious things like calling people cowards if they are chickenhawks for wars of choice.

And your last sentence is inaccurate with regards to my positron.
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  #53  
Old 05-20-2019, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii
Basically, I want our country to be more skeptical of using military action for foreign policy goals. I think this is a tool that could help increase that skepticism. Your are free to disagree.
I disagree with your method, not the goal. I, too, want the country to be more...not skeptical, but more rigorous for when the US needs to use military force. I want us to be able to explore more options.

But...I also think there are times that the US needs to use military force, or at least to be willing to use it if we have too. And countries that oppose the US need to know we can and will use it if we have too. It's a fine line for us to collectively walk. Calling people names because they do or don't agree with you is not, IMHO, the way to do any of this, it's merely the way to further ratchet up the already wide political divide and disconnect.

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This thread is about my beliefs, and what I advocate that others push for. This is purely about conversations - these are the discussions (and arguments) that I want Americans to be having, including contentious things like calling people cowards if they are chickenhawks for wars of choice.

I get that. It's just a conversation. No heat here. I just think you are wrong, and that if we did so something like this it would make things worse. Instead of calling people names (which don't work to do anything but get folks backs up IMHO), you should work on your logic and debating skills, as well as using facts. Sure, many people the facts will just bounce off of, but eventually a narrative can be changed. Look at the Second Gulf War to see this in action.

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And your last sentence is inaccurate with regards to my positron.
Again, I disagree. It's the logical progression of what you are advocating that you seem unwilling to look at. But I'll leave it there with my disagreement.
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  #54  
Old 05-20-2019, 08:36 PM
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How many of you watched that and thought "Damn, that Col. Jessup is right. We should just say 'thank you' and keep our opinions about the military, military actions, and actions of members of the military to ourselves unless we're ready to 'pick up a weapon and stand a post'"?
You know Col Jessup was the bad guy in that movie, right? And I don't think this OP is about criticizing the military, but those outside of the military who say "Yeah! We should go kick Iran's ass! But I'm going to stay here in the safe USA"
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:02 PM
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iiandyiii, a few thoughts and questions -

1. Do you believe that those who are capable of serving in uniform, but did not, outside of your scenario here, are somewhat less honorable, courageous, patriotic, or whatever attribute you may choose to name, than those who did?
2. I understand that roughly 75% of young Americans are unfit for military service due to criminal backgrounds, health/obesity, drug use, educational background, and other factors. Do you think society is going to change its attitudes toward war by isolating the 25% of Americans who are fit to serve, and shaming a certain portion of them to oppose wars of choice? In other words, dont the vast majority of Americans have an easy out for being called cowards?
3. Why not just stigmatize the fetishistic view this country has toward violence generally? That if successful would seem to be fruitful in reducing the support for wars of choice, and also the violence we see on our streets and in so many homes - from gun violence to bar fights to child abuse.
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Old 05-20-2019, 11:54 PM
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... Yes, he absolutely is establishing an ethical framework around what someone who thinks the use of force by nations should be willing to do before they advocate for the use of said force. Well spotted! Now, can you explain why you think that's a bad thing? Do you not find the idea of saying, "I think this is important enough that you should die for it, but not important enough that I should die for it," at least slightly distasteful?
It's not that there's any issue with trying to establish an ethical framework generally, just that iiandyiiii's is badly flawed. As for the question about distaste: not particularly.

As others have noted, there are a fair number of activities, some of them dangerous and even deadly to the participants, that many of us support / advocate for / enjoy. For example, this evening I went to the hardware store and picked up several sheets of plywood for a home improvement project. I did this knowing full well that logging is one of the deadliest jobs in America, and despite the fact that I have no personal desire to become a logger.

No one bothered to ask, but if they had, I would have told them that I certainly hope logging efforts continue, even though I understand that I'm essentially advocating for my convenience to be able to go to the hardware store and pick up sheets of plywood at the cost of scores of mens' lives each year. If someone wanted to call me a 'gutless coward' for being part of the market for wood products, or supporting the logging industry, or argued that I have blood on my hands for it, I'd laugh and think less of the person making that argument. Ditto for things like eating crab, or enjoying electricity provided by a coal-fired power plant.

Do you think people have the blood of coal miners on their hands when they flip on a light switch? Do you think they're 'gutless cowards' for implicitly supporting coal mining, even though they're unwilling to dig up their own coal?
  #57  
Old 05-20-2019, 11:57 PM
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You know Col Jessup was the bad guy in that movie, right? And I don't think this OP is about criticizing the military, but those outside of the military who say "Yeah! We should go kick Iran's ass! But I'm going to stay here in the safe USA"
Yes, I'm well aware (it's probably part of the reason I'm comparing iiandyiiii's argument to his). I would hope it's obvious to most people that Col. Jessup's 'if you want to complain about what we're doing in Cuba, you can pick up a weapon and stand a post' line of argumentation is obviously flawed. I would also hope the flaws inherent in iiandyiiii's argument, which - while not identical to Col. Jessup's argument - is awfully reminiscent of its 'I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post' line of thinking. From many of the responses in this thread, it seems that they are, at least to quite a few Dopers.
  #58  
Old 05-21-2019, 12:09 AM
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It's not that there's any issue with trying to establish an ethical framework generally, just that iiandyiiii's is badly flawed. As for the question about distaste: not particularly.

As others have noted, there are a fair number of activities, some of them dangerous and even deadly to the participants, that many of us support / advocate for / enjoy. For example, this evening I went to the hardware store and picked up several sheets of plywood for a home improvement project. I did this knowing full well that logging is one of the deadliest jobs in America, and despite the fact that I have no personal desire to become a logger.

No one bothered to ask, but if they had, I would have told them that I certainly hope logging efforts continue, even though I understand that I'm essentially advocating for my convenience to be able to go to the hardware store and pick up sheets of plywood at the cost of scores of mens' lives each year. If someone wanted to call me a 'gutless coward' for being part of the market for wood products, or supporting the logging industry, or argued that I have blood on my hands for it, I'd laugh and think less of the person making that argument. Ditto for things like eating crab, or enjoying electricity provided by a coal-fired power plant.

Do you think people have the blood of coal miners on their hands when they flip on a light switch? Do you think they're 'gutless cowards' for implicitly supporting coal mining, even though they're unwilling to dig up their own coal?
Here's the thing. While it's true that loggers and miners and military are all in their professions by choice, only the military is *forced* by your favorite people, the Federal Government, to go die. Or be imprisoned.
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  #59  
Old 05-21-2019, 12:23 AM
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Here's the thing. While it's true that loggers and miners and military are all in their professions by choice, only the military is *forced* by your favorite people, the Federal Government, to go die. Or be imprisoned.
That's true of those three professions, but there are various other jobs that are volunteer positions, paid for and directed by the federal government, that are, at times, deadly. I don't want to be an IRS agent or work for the Border Patrol, but I do want someone doing those jobs, and I don't feel the smallest bit of cowardice at asking those people to do those jobs and risk their lives doing so, even though I'm not interested in them. In the words of Miller, "I think this is important enough that you should die for it, but not important enough that I should die for it".

What about you? Do you feel a tinge of cowardice at wanting someone to collect taxes, even though you aren't (AFAIK) an IRS agent yourself? Or do you think that's a stupid line of reasoning?
  #60  
Old 05-21-2019, 12:32 AM
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I think this will become an increasingly moot point in the future. With all the new technologies the military is using and developing, drones, smart bombs, missiles, aerial superiority I can definitely envision a future where wars could be waged largely by machines and unpiloted equipment. If we eventually reach such a point where ground troops are largely unnecessary I wonder if that changes the arithmetic of unwillingness to serve, but supporting military action automatically makes one a coward.

I agree with the OP that war should always be the last resort and our young men and women shouldn't be sent into the meat grinder without damn good and just cause.

I think the U.S. is too mired in the business of other countries, obviously sometimes meddling is necessary in the interest of national security but we shouldn't be toppling governments, fighting other countries' civil wars, or be in the business of nation building, there can be a fine line sometimes if real human rights abuses or genocides are occurring but it shouldn't be done without serious debate and discussion first.

I served in the military but did not see combat, the only way I could see myself voluntarily going back, is if it was a WWIII type scenario and our whole way of life and the lives of my family were threatened if we didn't enter the war.
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  #61  
Old 05-21-2019, 03:46 AM
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Spinoff from this thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=875473

In more detail, my position is this: The basis of whether military action by one's country should be considered should be based on the underlying risks, rewards, rationales, and causes of the possible military action. But IMO, if you support a military action, and you advocate that young people in your country be sent overseas and face unpleasant circumstances away from their families as well as risk of injury and death, and you have the relative youth and health that would enable you to join them, then if your proposed military action comes to pass and you choose not to join them, you are a gutless coward (even if the military action really is necessary!). If you are too old to serve, but you have children that have the youth and health appropriate for military service, and you advocate for military action while privately working to dissuade/prevent your children from participating in the military action (or use money/influence to get them into a non-combat unit or organization), then you are also a gutless coward.

Further, I believe such cowardice should lead to public shame and humiliation (by society, not law or government). I believe that this would be an effective societal deterrent against unnecessary wars, and thus would be greatly beneficial to society -- especially a society, like American society, that often seems to lean towards unnecessary wars in recent years.

I believe such cowardice is pretty common, but that doesn't make it any less cowardly.
This is a poorly thought out position. Its frankly undemocratic. It demands someone pass a virtue test before they can publicly state an opinion.

Im pro-education, but I dont have the aptitude to be a good teacher. I also recognise that its a difficult, stressful, underpaid and occasionally dangerous profession. I believe that both the UK and US governments should provide more incentives for people to become and stay teachers. Should my disinclination to become a teacher mean I should be shamed if I have a public opinion about education policy? What about someone whos not a teacher and prioritises deficit reduction over further education spending? Should they be labelled a coward if they state their opinion publicly? What if that person is in the military?

Turn the situation around. What if someone decides to serve their country by becoming a teacher, rather than joining the military? Suppose that person also publicly supports the ongoing anti-terror military strikes in Africa. Will the OP state that this hypothetical teacher is a coward because they dont quit teaching and join the military?
  #62  
Old 05-21-2019, 04:10 AM
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iiandyiii, a few thoughts and questions -



1. Do you believe that those who are capable of serving in uniform, but did not, outside of your scenario here, are somewhat less honorable, courageous, patriotic, or whatever attribute you may choose to name, than those who did?

2. I understand that roughly 75% of young Americans are unfit for military service due to criminal backgrounds, health/obesity, drug use, educational background, and other factors. Do you think society is going to change its attitudes toward war by isolating the 25% of Americans who are fit to serve, and shaming a certain portion of them to oppose wars of choice? In other words, don’t the vast majority of Americans have an easy out for being called cowards?

3. Why not just stigmatize the fetishistic view this country has toward violence generally? That if successful would seem to be fruitful in reducing the support for wars of choice, and also the violence we see on our streets and in so many homes - from gun violence to bar fights to child abuse.
1. No, not at all. Not even the tiniest little bit.

2. Most of those 75% (if that's accurate) have no idea they're "unfit" - they haven't tried to join. So my reasoning would still apply to most of them, if they supported any stupid and unnecessary wars, because their actions would show whether they intended to try and serve (or otherwise make sacrifices to contribute). In any case, what I'm suggesting is purely about discussion and argument, nothing more.

3. That sounds good too, and I'm all in favor of it. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've been quite critical of the violent nature of our culture many times on this board.
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:13 AM
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Here's the thing. While it's true that loggers and miners and military are all in their professions by choice, only the military is *forced* by your favorite people, the Federal Government, to go die. Or be imprisoned.
It's much more that this - coal and wood are resources. War is a fundamentally different kind enterprise than obtaining resources. Many or most wars are stupid and end up doing far more harm than good - this it's reasonable to treat advocacy for war differently than advocacy for obtaining resources.
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:16 AM
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This is a poorly thought out position. It’s frankly undemocratic. It demands someone pass a virtue test before they can publicly state an opinion.
This has nothing to do with anything I've said. In fact, it's directly contradictory - I want more opinions and more discussion, not less.

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I’m pro-education, but I don’t have the aptitude to be a good teacher. I also recognise that it’s a difficult, stressful, underpaid and occasionally dangerous profession. I believe that both the UK and US governments should provide more incentives for people to become and stay teachers. Should my disinclination to become a teacher mean I should be shamed if I have a public opinion about education policy? What about someone who’s not a teacher and prioritises deficit reduction over further education spending? Should they be labelled a coward if they state their opinion publicly? What if that person is in the military?
War is a fundamentally different enterprise than education. If you believe they're comparable, then we live in such different universes that there's no possibility of any discussion.

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Turn the situation around. What if someone decides to serve their country by becoming a teacher, rather than joining the military? Suppose that person also publicly supports the ongoing anti-terror military strikes in Africa. Will the OP state that this hypothetical teacher is a coward because they don’t quit teaching and join the military?
Depends on the details and situation. Teaching can certainly be a courageous decision.
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:15 AM
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I think it really sums up a militaristic culture that someone would post something like this let alone have several posters agree.
I would be unwilling to do the majority of jobs for all kinds of factors, with danger being just one factor.

If I am personally squeamish about blood, does that mean I am a hypocrite for suggesting we need doctors? Fear of water, life guards?

I'm not saying there's no hypocrisy out there; clearly there are people eager to beat the war drum while it's the faceless underclass actually doing the fighting and dying; not anyone they know. But the OP phrasing is ridiculous.

Last edited by Mijin; 05-21-2019 at 05:16 AM.
  #66  
Old 05-21-2019, 05:46 AM
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I think it really sums up a militaristic culture that someone would post something like this let alone have several posters agree.
I would be unwilling to do the majority of jobs for all kinds of factors, with danger being just one factor.

If I am personally squeamish about blood, does that mean I am a hypocrite for suggesting we need doctors? Fear of water, life guards?

I'm not saying there's no hypocrisy out there; clearly there are people eager to beat the war drum while it's the faceless underclass actually doing the fighting and dying; not anyone they know. But the OP phrasing is ridiculous.
I'll use any tool I can possibly think of to reduce the chance of stupid wars of choice. Yes, we're in an absurdly militaristic and violent culture. We use military action a ton, and it usually kills a bunch of people for little or no gain. I wish that advocating for war, barring very rare circumstances like WWII or similar, was treated the same way as advocating for rape or child molestation. What I suggest could be a small but still real way of inching our society towards having more skepticism and more disgust for sending young people to kill and die when it's not necessary.
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:54 AM
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What would be the purpose?


iiandyiiii, if I may ask, what is the purpose of your proposed public shaming? You say the public shaming and humiliation of a person's "personal character" will "be an effective societal deterrent against unnecessary wars" and will "help dissuade people from advocating for stupid, unnecessary wars".

At the same time you "have no interest in shutting anyone up -- quite to the contrary, ... [you] want to know everyone's opinions". You "want more opinions and more discussion, not less". You recognize the fact that a person's "cowardice" has no bearing on the validity of their arguments. You admit that the public shaming and humiliation "shouldn't influence your opinion about any particular case for or against any given war".

I must ask you, if the argumentum ad hominem is not intended to dissuade civilians from participating in public discourse, how will you effect your stated goal? How do you reconcile these statements?

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 05-21-2019 at 05:55 AM. Reason: removed quote box
  #68  
Old 05-21-2019, 06:11 AM
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iiandyiiii, if I may ask, what is the purpose of your proposed public shaming? You say the public shaming and humiliation of a person's "personal character" will "be an effective societal deterrent against unnecessary wars" and will "help dissuade people from advocating for stupid, unnecessary wars".



At the same time you "have no interest in shutting anyone up -- quite to the contrary, ... [you] want to know everyone's opinions". You "want more opinions and more discussion, not less". You recognize the fact that a person's "cowardice" has no bearing on the validity of their arguments. You admit that the public shaming and humiliation "shouldn't influence your opinion about any particular case for or against any given war".



I must ask you, if the argumentum ad hominem is not intended to dissuade civilians from participating in public discourse, how will you effect your stated goal? How do you reconcile these statements?



~Max
I think (if my opinion were widely held) it could help shift, in a small bit real way, the common and jingoistic attitude that military action is a reasonable option in many or most foreign policy scenarios. If people knew that most of their fellow Americans believed they were cowards if they advocate for an unnecessary war, some of them might reevaluate their positions.

Yes, maybe some of them might just keep quiet, too. Which also helps my main goal of reducing the chance of stupid wars. I want everyone to speak up and converse, but I want fewer dumb wars (and fewer wars in general) even more than that.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:17 AM
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Lots and lots of discussions like this, including naming names and calling out the cowards.
I think you need a mapping app - Namin' & Shamin'

You go to the site and put in someone's name and address and it puts a little pin on their house. Once you've outed them, other people can search by geography, click on a pin and add their own shit.

If any entrepreneur wants to pick up on this, it might be a good paid subscription service. It wouldn't have to be limited to chicken hawks, you could have separate maps for any kind of public shaming and humiliation people wanted to deliver. Because some shaming targets might not be on Facebook or Twitter or other social media, but people still need a way to get at them.

But anyway, back to the chicken hawk thing - how much research do you think a person should have to do before outing a gutless coward?

Say there's a woman in your neighborhood and sometimes you're out in your yard when she's walking her dog. And you know she's a Trumpie because when she walks by, you say "Mornin'" and she says something like "Where's the fuckin' emails?" So one morning when she walks by she says "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran!"

So you ask her "Would you go in the service if we got into it with Iran?" And she says "Hell no, I was in the service and I got groped." Now, you don't have any particular reason to believe she was ever in the service or got groped in the service, other than her say so. And pretty much every other thing you've ever heard her say is Alex Jones-level bullshit.

Does she get a pass for the alleged groping or do you go to Namin' & Shamin' and pin her house?

How about the guy up the street, known Trumpie. You know this because when he's on his lawn tractor, he cups his hands around his mouth and yells "FUCK OBAMA, FUCK HILLARY!" when you walk by. As Trumpies are wont to do. One day instead of "FUCK OBAMA, FUCK HILLARY!" he yells out "WE SHOULD TURN IRAN INTO A GODDAMN PARKING LOT!" So you ask him "Would you go in the service if we got into it with Iran?" And he says, "Hell man, I'm in the reserves!" But he doesn't offer any proof and you watch him for the next few months and he's always around. And you stalk his socials and there's no evidence he's in the reserves.

Pin or no pin?

Also, just want to make sure - all this naming and shaming can be done anonymously, correct?
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:23 AM
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A really wise woman once said to me "It's always easy to spend other people's time and money", and that's been a guiding principle of my life ever since. If you're a boss, it's so easy to add a half-hour task to someone else's daily workload and not think that's a big deal--but someone adding half an hour to your daily workload is a Big Damn Deal; if you run an organization, it's so easy to ask everyone else to chip in money for something you want to do, but beyond the pale when someone else demands the same amount for something you don't particularly support.

So it's galling that some people are as willing to throw away other's lives as casually as a bad boss throws away your day off but takes the day himself. There's nothing more narcissistic than "I think this cause is worth YOUR life, but not MY life". Now, I don't know how to actually enforce this, but it's a tendency people should be actively aware of. As a teacher, I remind myself DAILY not to spend other people's time and money too casually. I really do. I would hope that the powers that be think at least as hard about spending lives.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:31 AM
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I want everyone to speak up and converse, but I want fewer dumb wars (and fewer wars in general) even more than that.
Then this is the fundamental disagreement between you and I. I consider it more important that everyone speak up and converse than risking a dumb war. To me, liberty is more important than security. If we as a society cannot control misguided war hawks without stifling public debate, we have already failed our goals as a nation. That is my opinion.

~Max
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:35 AM
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I think you need a mapping app - Namin' & Shamin'

You go to the site and put in someone's name and address and it puts a little pin on their house. Once you've outed them, other people can search by geography, click on a pin and add their own shit.

If any entrepreneur wants to pick up on this, it might be a good paid subscription service. It wouldn't have to be limited to chicken hawks, you could have separate maps for any kind of public shaming and humiliation people wanted to deliver. Because some shaming targets might not be on Facebook or Twitter or other social media, but people still need a way to get at them.

But anyway, back to the chicken hawk thing - how much research do you think a person should have to do before outing a gutless coward?

Say there's a woman in your neighborhood and sometimes you're out in your yard when she's walking her dog. And you know she's a Trumpie because when she walks by, you say "Mornin'" and she says something like "Where's the fuckin' emails?" So one morning when she walks by she says "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran!"

So you ask her "Would you go in the service if we got into it with Iran?" And she says "Hell no, I was in the service and I got groped." Now, you don't have any particular reason to believe she was ever in the service or got groped in the service, other than her say so. And pretty much every other thing you've ever heard her say is Alex Jones-level bullshit.

Does she get a pass for the alleged groping or do you go to Namin' & Shamin' and pin her house?

How about the guy up the street, known Trumpie. You know this because when he's on his lawn tractor, he cups his hands around his mouth and yells "FUCK OBAMA, FUCK HILLARY!" when you walk by. As Trumpies are wont to do. One day instead of "FUCK OBAMA, FUCK HILLARY!" he yells out "WE SHOULD TURN IRAN INTO A GODDAMN PARKING LOT!" So you ask him "Would you go in the service if we got into it with Iran?" And he says, "Hell man, I'm in the reserves!" But he doesn't offer any proof and you watch him for the next few months and he's always around. And you stalk his socials and there's no evidence he's in the reserves.

Pin or no pin?

Also, just want to make sure - all this naming and shaming can be done anonymously, correct?
Anonymous "naming and shaming" would be contrary to the spirit of what I'm advocating for. As would casual or flippant "naming and shaming". This post appears to be an attempt at satire or something and thus I'm not really sure how to respond. Suffice to say I'm not in favor of any of this.
  #73  
Old 05-21-2019, 06:36 AM
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I think (if my opinion were widely held) it could help shift, in a small bit real way, the common and jingoistic attitude that military action is a reasonable option in many or most foreign policy scenarios. If people knew that most of their fellow Americans believed they were cowards if they advocate for an unnecessary war, some of them might reevaluate their positions.
If you cannot convince your neighbor that an act is unreasonable, how can you convince him of his own cowardice unreasonableness? The only way you justify his cowardice unreasonableness is by acknowledging that the act is unreasonable. My time is limited, and I prefer to spend it debating on the merits.

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 05-21-2019 at 06:38 AM. Reason: unreasonableness
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:37 AM
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Then this is the fundamental disagreement between you and I. I consider it more important that everyone speak up and converse than risking a dumb war. To me, liberty is more important than security. If we as a society cannot control misguided war hawks without stifling public debate, we have already failed our goals as a nation. That is my opinion.

~Max
I agree with you -- and I'm not advocating for anything that would harm or effect liberty in any way at all. There are few things I think are more important than preventing dumb wars, but free speech is one of them.

The possibility of individuals calling other individuals cowards does not conflict, in any way whatsoever, with free speech. It might affect the desire some have to say certain things, but that has nothing to do with free speech, unless that desire is curtailed by government force or threat of force.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 05-21-2019 at 06:39 AM.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:40 AM
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If you cannot convince your neighbor that an act is unreasonable, how can you convince him of his own cowardice? The only way you justify his cowardice is by acknowledging that the act is unreasonable. My time is limited, and I prefer to spend it debating on the merits.

~Max
I favor all possible approaches. I've known folks who were convinced of their wrongness on an issue by "debating on the merits", and I've known folks who re-evaluated their position only when they realized that others thought it was utterly monstrous (and used harsh, insulting language to make this clear).

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Old 05-21-2019, 06:42 AM
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A really wise woman once said to me "It's always easy to spend other people's time and money", and that's been a guiding principle of my life ever since. If you're a boss, it's so easy to add a half-hour task to someone else's daily workload and not think that's a big deal--but someone adding half an hour to your daily workload is a Big Damn Deal; if you run an organization, it's so easy to ask everyone else to chip in money for something you want to do, but beyond the pale when someone else demands the same amount for something you don't particularly support.

So it's galling that some people are as willing to throw away other's lives as casually as a bad boss throws away your day off but takes the day himself. There's nothing more narcissistic than "I think this cause is worth YOUR life, but not MY life". Now, I don't know how to actually enforce this, but it's a tendency people should be actively aware of. As a teacher, I remind myself DAILY not to spend other people's time and money too casually. I really do. I would hope that the powers that be think at least as hard about spending lives.
Thanks, this is a good description of the attitude I'm trying to convey with regard to advocacy for military action and war. Another good way to sum up my position, without the exceptions, nuance, and detail in my earlier posts, is the following:

"War is disgusting (including "little" wars and military actions), and barring a few rare circumstances, if you advocate for war or military action, you are disgusting."
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:44 AM
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I agree with you -- and I'm not advocating for anything that would harm or effect liberty in any way at all. There are few things I think are more important than preventing dumb wars, but free speech is one of them.

The possibility of individuals calling other individuals cowards does not conflict, in any way whatsoever, with free speech. It might affect the desire some have to say certain things, but that has nothing to do with free speech, unless that desire is curtailed by government force or threat of force.
It is not only the government who can curtail free speech. Don't you believe that the public shaming and humiliation you propose will have a chilling effect on public discourse? Healthy civilians will be afraid to come forward with their opinions, not because their opinions are wrong, but because society will shame and humiliate them for not joining the military.

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 05-21-2019 at 06:45 AM.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:48 AM
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Anonymous "naming and shaming" would be contrary to the spirit of what I'm advocating for. As would casual or flippant "naming and shaming". This post appears to be an attempt at satire or something and thus I'm not really sure how to respond. Suffice to say I'm not in favor of any of this.
Well then, how ARE you gonna do it?
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:50 AM
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I favor all possible approaches. I've known folks who were convinced of their wrongness on an issue by "debating on the merits", and I've known folks who re-evaluated their position only when they realized that others thought it was utterly monstrous (and used harsh, insulting language to make this clear).
And I, in turn, know folks who will never voice their opinion if they believe it will be met with vitriol and public shaming.

Surely there must be a middle ground? I've got it. In public debate, stick to the merits. Convince as many people as you can. In private debate, preferably among friends, let them know how you really feel.

~Max
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:51 AM
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It is not only the government who can curtail free speech.
Yes it is. IMO, of course. I'm suggesting speech, and nothing more than speech. It's impossible that speech alone can "curtail free speech".

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Don't you believe that the public shaming and humiliation you propose will have a chilling effect on public discourse? Healthy civilians will be afraid to come forward with their opinions, not because their opinions are wrong, but because society will shame and humiliate them for not joining the military.
This already occurs for many issues -- folks generally are afraid to publicly advocate for legalization of rape or child molestation because "society will shame and humiliate them". Same goes for bringing back slavery, or committing genocide, or many other things considered "beyond the pale" by most of society. Barring rare circumstances, I want advocacy for military action to join that category.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:52 AM
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Well then, how ARE you gonna do it?
By having conversations like this with lots of folks until most of them recognize how correct and awesome my view is.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:54 AM
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And I, in turn, know folks who will never voice their opinion if they believe it will be met with vitriol and public shaming.

Surely there must be a middle ground? I've got it. In public debate, stick to the merits. Convince as many people as you can. In private debate, preferably among friends, let them know how you really feel.

~Max
If this is what you feel comfortable doing, then you are perfectly free to do so. But I'll probably make a different choice, and I'll urge you and others to do so as well. You and everyone else is free to choose your own path.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:55 AM
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Yes it is. IMO, of course. I'm suggesting speech, and nothing more than speech. It's impossible that speech alone can "curtail free speech".



This already occurs for many issues -- folks generally are afraid to publicly advocate for legalization of rape or child molestation because "society will shame and humiliate them". Same goes for bringing back slavery, or committing genocide, or many other things considered "beyond the pale" by most of society. Barring rare circumstances, I want advocacy for military action to join that category.
Mr. iiandyiiii, war is different from rape, slavery, child molestation, genocide, and many other things considered "beyond the pale". Surely you will recognize that some wars, particularly wars of actual defense, are absolutely necessary and justified. In each of the other acts mentioned, it is considered that every such act is unjustified. No such absolute consensus exists on the act of war.

~Max
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:58 AM
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Mr. iiandyiiii, war is different from rape, slavery, child molestation, genocide, and many other things considered "beyond the pale". Surely you will recognize that some wars, particularly wars of actual defense, are absolutely necessary and justified. In each of the other acts mentioned, it is considered that every such act is unjustified. No such absolute consensus exists on the act of war.

~Max
I want wars of choice/unnecessary wars, which in my view includes the majority (but not quite all) of military actions that the US has undertaken, to be "beyond the pale". There should be "absolute consensus", IMO, that wars of choice are "beyond the pale".
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:58 AM
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If this is what you feel comfortable doing, then you are perfectly free to do so. But I'll probably make a different choice, and I'll urge you and others to do so as well. You and everyone else is free to choose your own path.
I will, and you are always free to choose your own path.

That being said, do you admit the possibility that some people will never voice their opinion if they believe it will be met with vitriol and public shaming?

~Max
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:04 AM
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If you cannot convince your neighbor that an act is unreasonable, how can you convince him of his own cowardice unreasonableness? The only way you justify his cowardice unreasonableness is by acknowledging that the act is unreasonable. My time is limited, and I prefer to spend it debating on the merits.

~Max
The problem is that some people just zero out the cost of the lives of others. They aren't even considering those, and if you bring them up, they dismiss that reason as silly, feminine, being a pussy, being afraid to break a few eggs, unwilling to face hard truths, etc. They think that by ignoring the cost of the lives of strangers and focusing on the dollars and sense, they are showing admirable stoicism and discussing the idea on it's "real merits" and that an argument that focuses on the lives of people is irrelevant on its face. They give lip service to "brave sacrifice" but they don't really care, because it doesn't seem real to them. It's never going to be them or anyone they love that pays that price.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:07 AM
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I want wars of choice/unnecessary wars, which in my view includes the majority (but not quite all) of military actions that the US has undertaken, to be "beyond the pale". There should be "absolute consensus", IMO, that wars of choice are "beyond the pale".
That's just the thing. Not everybody agrees that wars of choice are unnecessary. In particular, there are surely some people who think war with say, Iran is inevitable (I don't think this is the case). If one thinks war is inevitable, a pre-emptive strike does not carry the stigma of a war of choice. You must be receptive to the possibility that some young, fit Americans take this position while not actively volunteering for military duty.

Your proposal is to encourage the public shaming and humiliation of those Americans, should they speak up and participate in public debate. My counter is that unless you have a personal relationship with said Americans, you have no right to call them a coward.

~Max
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:13 AM
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I will, and you are always free to choose your own path.

That being said, do you admit the possibility that some people will never voice their opinion if they believe it will be met with vitriol and public shaming?

~Max
Of course, and this already occurs. I think it's a good thing that societal disapproval largely prevents advocacy of child molestation, for example.

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That's just the thing. Not everybody agrees that wars of choice are unnecessary. In particular, there are surely some people who think war with say, Iran is inevitable (I don't think this is the case). If one thinks war is inevitable, a pre-emptive strike does not carry the stigma of a war of choice. You must be receptive to the possibility that some young, fit Americans take this position while not actively volunteering for military duty.
Yes, I am very receptive to this possibility. This possibility is basically what motivated this entire thread! And it's totally disgusting and awful. Just terrible, horrible, revolting, cowardly, etc. Bad bad evil monstrous. I want this terrible horrible cowardice called out again and again, because such a war would be a massive catastrophe that would result in the deaths of thousands upon thousands and great damage to American wealth, resources, prestige, and security. There are almost no negative descriptors that are too much for this abominable possibility.

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Your proposal is to encourage the public shaming and humiliation of those Americans, should they speak up and participate in public debate. My counter is that unless you have a personal relationship with said Americans, you have no right to call them a coward.

~Max
You are free to believe this, but of course I do not.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 05-21-2019 at 07:14 AM.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:14 AM
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The problem is that some people just zero out the cost of the lives of others. They aren't even considering those, and if you bring them up, they dismiss that reason as silly, feminine, being a pussy, being afraid to break a few eggs, unwilling to face hard truths, etc. They think that by ignoring the cost of the lives of strangers and focusing on the dollars and sense, they are showing admirable stoicism and discussing the idea on it's "real merits" and that an argument that focuses on the lives of people is irrelevant on its face. They give lip service to "brave sacrifice" but they don't really care, because it doesn't seem real to them. It's never going to be them or anyone they love that pays that price.
I have no issue calling someone out for undervaluing human life. In my opinion, shaming someone simply because they support a war is out of line - it is possible (though certainly not necessarily correct) to appreciate human life and still support a given war.

~Max
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:20 AM
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That's just the thing. Not everybody agrees that wars of choice are unnecessary. In particular, there are surely some people who think war with say, Iran is inevitable (I don't think this is the case). If one thinks war is inevitable, a pre-emptive strike does not carry the stigma of a war of choice. You must be receptive to the possibility that some young, fit Americans take this position while not actively volunteering for military duty.
Yes, I am very receptive to this possibility. This possibility is basically what motivated this entire thread! And it's totally disgusting and awful. Just terrible, horrible, revolting, cowardly, etc. Bad bad evil monstrous. I want this terrible horrible cowardice called out again and again, because such a war would be a massive catastrophe that would result in the deaths of thousands upon thousands and great damage to American wealth, resources, prestige, and security. There are almost no negative descriptors that are too much for this abominable possibility.
Then let's look at this in particular. If I gauge your opinion correctly, the advocate is a coward because he advocates an unreasonable war while not volunteering himself.

The advocate does not think himself a coward because he thinks the war to be reasonable, and advocating for a reasonable war without volunteering for service does not impart cowardice.

Are you justified in publicly shaming the advocate without conditioning his cowardice on the unjustified nature of the war?

~Max
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:24 AM
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Then let's look at this in particular. If I gauge your opinion correctly, the advocate is a coward because he advocates an unreasonable war while not volunteering himself.
Yes (barring the kind of exceptions I've already described... though even with those exceptions, it's still disgusting and horrible, if not necessarily cowardly, to advocate for an unreasonable war).

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The advocate does not think himself a coward because he thinks the war to be reasonable, and advocating for a reasonable war without volunteering for service does not impart cowardice.
Actually I think even advocating for a reasonable war without volunteering or otherwise making major sacrifices to contribute (again, barring the exceptions above) is cowardly, but I'm not really worried about getting into the very rare reasonable wars, so I don't really see a societal purpose in humiliating and shaming those who advocate for the very rare but morally correct wars.

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Are you justified in publicly shaming the advocate without conditioning his cowardice on the unjustified nature of the war?
I probably wouldn't do so, for the above reason. My main goal is stopping dumb wars, not shaming cowards. I'll only attempt to shame cowards in the service of stopping dumb wars.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 05-21-2019 at 07:25 AM.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:28 AM
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I probably wouldn't do so, for the above reason. My main goal is stopping dumb wars, not shaming cowards. I'll only attempt to shame cowards in the service of stopping dumb wars.
Your opinion is that the war is unreasonable - a dumb war. Would you publicly shame the advocate? Will you do so in a way that conditions his cowardice on the unjustified nature of the war?

For example, "Mr. X is a coward for advocating an unjustified war against Iran without enlisting himself!" vs "Mr. X is a coward for advocating a war against Iran without enlisting himself!"

~Max
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:31 AM
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Isn't this same thing dragged out every time someone like Warren Buffet says the wealthy don't pay enough tax? The refrain is, 'well Warren, pay more then'.

The two are seperate. Warren Buffet isn't greedy because he only pays pays taxes due despite it being less than what he thinks all wealthy people should pay.
Buffet isn't advocating for a tax that he has no intention of paying.

The issue at hand is people advocating for a war that they have no intention of participating in.

I'm with iiandyiiii in the belief that war is different than just about every alternate case being proposed, because war is state sponsored homicide. The decision to go to war is not simply a decision to solve a problem, it's a decision to solve a problem by killing people. Sending our young men and women to another place with the goal of killing some of the people who happen to be there. To advocate for that, from a place of safety, knowing that you will simply choose to have neither the risk of being killed nor bear the emotional weight of killing another human, is distasteful.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:37 AM
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Your opinion is that the war is unreasonable - a dumb war. Would you publicly shame the advocate?
Yes, that's what I'm advocating.

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Will you do so in a way that conditions his cowardice on the unjustified nature of the war?

For example, "Mr. X is a coward for advocating an unjustified war against Iran without enlisting himself!" vs "Mr. X is a coward for advocating a war against Iran without enlisting himself!"

~Max
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.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:38 AM
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By having conversations like this with lots of folks until most of them recognize how correct and awesome my view is.
Yeah I wouldn't consider that as having anything to do with the naming and shaming process.

Last edited by UnwittingAmericans; 05-21-2019 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:49 AM
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This has nothing to do with anything I've said. In fact, it's directly contradictory - I want more opinions and more discussion, not less.
No, you want people who have hawkish positions to be silent. Your own words:

First if you support a military action, and you advocate that young people in your country be sent overseas and face unpleasant circumstances away from their families as well as risk of injury and death, and you have the relative youth and health that would enable you to join them, then if your proposed military action comes to pass and you choose not to join them, you are a gutless coward.

Second I believe such cowardice should lead to public shame and humiliation.

If someone supports a military action, then they must sign up to join that military action. If not, then they are a coward and should be publically shamed. There is no way you can frame that as encouraging more discussion.


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War is a fundamentally different enterprise than education. If you believe they're comparable, then we live in such different universes that there's no possibility of any discussion.
Your own words again:
I want more opinions and more discussion, not less. Theres a pattern of self-contradiction here.

You want someone to have skin in the game if they support military action, and shame them if they dont. But apparently that principle only applies to military actions. Or does it? What about economic sanctions? Does your business have to be affected before you can support economic sanctions? Withdrawal of foreign aid personnel? Do we have to be in the Peace Corps before we can advocate evacuating the Peace Corps, or risk being shamed? Every government policy is going to have positives and negatives, and its not only military actions that have the potential for hugely negative consequences. Requiring skin in the game for supporting military actions, but no other government policies is simply a narrow-minded focus on a particular agenda. And that agenda is probably aimed more at other posters on this message board than your actual ideals.
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:03 AM
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No, you want people who have hawkish positions to be silent.
Actually, I want to change their minds, just as I want to change the minds of people who advocate for rape, child molestation, or genocide. Silence is better than advocating these things (as well as dumb wars), but changing hearts and minds is best.

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Your own words:

First if you support a military action, and you advocate that young people in your country be sent overseas and face unpleasant circumstances away from their families as well as risk of injury and death, and you have the relative youth and health that would enable you to join them, then if your proposed military action comes to pass and you choose not to join them, you are a gutless coward.

Second I believe such cowardice should lead to public shame and humiliation.

If someone supports a military action, then they must sign up to join that military action. If not, then they are a coward and should be publically shamed. There is no way you can frame that as encouraging more discussion.
I'm encouraging more discussion, while at the same time advocating for this sort of criticism. I recognize that there's a possibility that this criticism could motivate some to be silent, but I still think it's important enough to prevent dumb wars to accept this possibility.

Quote:
Your own words again:
I want more opinions and more discussion, not less. Theres a pattern of self-contradiction here.
But I do want more opinions and more discussion. I also want fewer dumb wars. I want the second thing more than the first, which is why I'm willing to accept a tactic that might possibly demotivate some few folks to speak up. To make up for this, I'll try and encourage discussion in other ways possible. But the goal of preventing dumb wars is too important to throw away a possibly effective tactic just because it might demotivate some cowards from speaking up.

Quote:
You want someone to have skin in the game if they support military action, and shame them if they dont. But apparently that principle only applies to military actions. Or does it? What about economic sanctions? Does your business have to be affected before you can support economic sanctions? Withdrawal of foreign aid personnel? Do we have to be in the Peace Corps before we can advocate evacuating the Peace Corps, or risk being shamed? Every government policy is going to have positives and negatives, and its not only military actions that have the potential for hugely negative consequences. Requiring skin in the game for supporting military actions, but no other government policies is simply a narrow-minded focus on a particular agenda. And that agenda is probably aimed more at other posters on this message board than your actual ideals.
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.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 05-21-2019 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:14 AM
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Another good way to sum up my position, without the exceptions, nuance, and detail in my earlier posts, is the following:

"War is disgusting (including "little" wars and military actions), and barring a few rare circumstances, if you advocate for war or military action, you are disgusting."
Before, you were all for labelling people who advocate supporting military actions as cowards, unless they joined in that military action.

Now that you've added the label "disgusting" are you applying that to all people with hawkish attitudes, including those in the military?
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:20 AM
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Before, you were all for labelling people who advocate supporting military actions as cowards, unless they joined in that military action.

Now that you've added the label "disgusting" are you applying that to all people with hawkish attitudes, including those in the military?
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.
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
Before, you were all for labelling people who advocate supporting military actions as cowards, unless they joined in that military action.

Now that you've added the label "disgusting" are you applying that to all people with hawkish attitudes, including those in the military?
I'll apply it to the attitude (for dumb and unnecessary wars). I'll only apply it to the person if I think that would be an effective rhetorical tactic in the given circumstance.
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