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Which is a more moral profession?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Narz, Nov 18, 2011.

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Which is the more righteous profession?

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  1. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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    I'd hope they'd have changed their training to reflect the amount of civilians they have to deal with in Afghanistan and Iraq, because I recall that being a big problem sometimes when the soldiers panicked and shot civilians thinking they were terrorists or something. Plus one of the goals that the Canadian (and I assume US) armies kept talking about was reaching out to the people to get them on their side.
     
  2. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    I like how the sum total of opinions on American soldiery have come from an ostensible Brit para and a disparate collection of antimilitary types, both foreign and domestic
     
  3. kochman

    kochman Chieftain

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    I chimed in, but have mainly found this thread to be rather insulting... (US Para)
     
  4. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    I also contributed, but got fed up with people continuously assuming that any killing whatsoever = immoral and you are a bad person for doing it, regardless of who you're saving or killing. (planning to join Canadian reserves this January)
     
  5. NickyJ

    NickyJ Retired Narrator

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    I tried to contribute a little, but I gave up due to unending repeating of exactly what Defiant pointed out above.
     
  6. Atlas14

    Atlas14 "Sophomoric Troll Master"

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    It's about consistency and logic. Although I will certainly find the killing a soldier does immoral according to my beliefs in nearly every single case, I recognize that some people don't find the general act of killing wrong.

    What you are doing is making exceptions to a moral belief in order to justify external feelings of hate, passion, confusion, ignorance, frustration, anger, etc.

    Follow my logic and feel free to point out where I am missing something (or assuming too much):

    1. You believe killing another human being is wrong. This is a fact. The fact that you agree with laws prohibiting the killing of other human beings in your own country is evidence to this. Thus, it is reasonable to assume at this point that you also view the life of human beings to have some "higher significance", or to be "invaluable" (sacred, for the religious...). You get the point. Thus, because it would be illogical for this morality to have cultural, geographic, or time/space limitations or borders, you extend this morality by default to all human beings.

    2. You refrain from killing people in your own country, family members, friends, people who anger you, random strangers, people who own more than you do, etc. because you believe it is morally wrong to do so, not because it is socially convenient to refrain from killing any of these people.

    3. The very instant you even consider signing up for the military, because you believe it is immoral to kill another human being, is in violation of your morality. Nobody has directly harmed you or your loved ones so as to ignite a biological response of self-defense, vengeance, or protection. You are free from such powerful, passionate emotions. You are safe (relative and ambiguous term, but I assume you can see where I am going), you are willingly signing up for a long-term commitment, a profession, where you will be asked to kill other human beings. You will be pressured into killing other human beings. You will be forced to kill other human beings. You will be asked to help kill other human beings. You will be asked to pressure other soldiers into killing other human beings. You will be forced to force others into killing other human beings. This is the nature of the job, and you know this when you sign up. Just as your "enemy" knows this when he signs up. You holding a gun ready to kill whoever you are told to kill are no more moral than the man that does the same thing 2,000 miles away, or 200 ft. away.

    You fight for freedom, though when you signed up, nobody was in our homeland threatening to kill you. You fight for justice, though when you signed up, nobody was knocking down your door with an assault rifle demanding you to hold your hands up, cursing at you, willing to torture you. Nope, that is what you signed up to do because you want to believe that is what the man 2,000 miles across the sea wants to do. You haven't witnessed it yet, but you are willing to do it first. Is that moral to you?

    Whatever "ideals" you want to use as an excuse for breaking #1 as stated above, you are fooling yourself. You are letting people in positions of power fool you.

    You think I don't know how to shoot a gun? You think I've never shot a rifle? A shotgun? An automatic weapon? I've shot plenty of each, I'm accurate with each. You think I don't believe in freedom? You think I get a twisted pleasure when true terrorists crash planes into American buildings, when they kill soldiers with car bombs? I believe in freedom of every single human being on earth to do whatever the hell they want as long as they do not infringe on my right to do the same. That is freedom. Pointing a gun at someone's head and blasting it off because a 40+ year old president with maids, butlers, body guards, $400,000/paycheck, helicopters, a college degree, jets, etc. tells you to do so for the "safety of every American"? Is that freedom to you?

    I have plenty sufficient means to kill you. The president of the U.S. Anybody on earth that I want. That is a fact. I am athletic, at least slightly intelligent, and am a passionate person...I could relatively easily pull off any killing I wish.

    I despise American politicians and disagree with the entire ing system that keeps them collecting tax dollars election after election without any significantly greater problem-solving abilities than my own. I despise American foreign policy. I love America, don't get me wrong. I have been to 48 states and have emotional attachments to nearly all.

    I tell you this because I too have ideals. I recognize that there are people that threaten my ideals, domestically and foreign. I also value being a "good person" that is morally consistent, and where inconsistencies appear to be present, I support myself with logic. Killing you, the president, the head of Al-Qaeda, whoever would be an act of desperation, the act of a person too weak with words to carry on a peaceful protest, too weak to carry on a conversation. Too weak to show love, when everyone else is expressing hate and indifference.

    Whatever "ideals" you are using to justify the killing of human beings that you or some politician in Washington have labeled as "enemy", the fact remains that the physical act of killing remains the same. If you can show restraint from killing your fellow citizens (hopefully out of some moral belief, otherwise you're completely missing the point...), then you can certainly show restraint from killing citizens of other countries.
     
  7. kochman

    kochman Chieftain

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    Sorry, but that view is very black and white...
    I defend myself at home also (luckily haven't had to, but wouldn't hesitate to). I would rather kill the offender than have my family killed.
    Same goes for the national level.

    However, part of why I got out of the army after 6 years is I didn't believe in the wars at hand.

    I would have fought in WW2 till the bitter end though.

    See what I mean? There is a difference. It's not black and white. Simple logic alone does not serve well, as long as there are people out there who:
    1) Need killing
    2) Because they want to kill innocents

    I would kill Hitler to prevent/or stop dead the Holocaust, would you?
     
  8. kochman

    kochman Chieftain

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    I got a LOT of training, as an officer, on dealing with people (as an infantryman, you deal with the locals regularly)... not so much before Iraq, due to time constraints (I was in the initial assault), but before the follow up trip to the desert where we had more time to prepare. My men did too.
     
  9. Eat_Up_Martha

    Eat_Up_Martha Chieftain

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    I don't want to be that nitpicky, but are you trying to imply FP isn't who he says he is?
     
  10. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    I addressed your argument. The problem with it is that you can't prove that by killing people you're saving other people. If we had a time machine & could explore alternative realities we could find out whether all the people will killed in Vietnam and Korea and Iraq and Afghanistan prevented a greater number of other people from dying.

    What we can know is that if we'd spent that military fund domestically we could have massively increased quality of life here.

    I agree there was an era when being a warrior was noble. Ten thousand years ago it meant defending your home & clan, now it's something else entirely. I don't understand why it doesn't bother pro-military types that politicians who support war rarely, if ever, encourage their children to sign up for it.
     
  11. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    Sorry to break up the quote, but since this is an intricate train of logic, I want to point out inaccuracies and flaws as appropriate.

    The main external feeling that dominates me when "making exceptions to this moral belief" is compassion and empathy. I care about my friends and family so much that I am willing to both die and kill in order to protect them.

    I personally don't have it, but can see how somebody would have so much compassion as to risk their life for people from a different country. I, personally, want to continue living my life doing accounting and business, potentially to help them in other ways as such.

    Please don't accuse me of "hate, ignorance, anger", and so on. At most, knowing that innocents are being exploited and murdered will make me angry and hate the perpetrators of these crimes. But that's not the baseline emotion.

    This statement is meaningless.

    I believe that killing another human being is wrong. - except when it leads to saving lives by punishing the criminals with death
    I believe that stealing is wrong. - except when stealing food to prevent starvation in yourself or others, or taking back something that is rightfully yours
    I believe that lying is wrong. - except when protecting someone or making someone feel better

    Where are we at now, then?

    Yes, this is the basis of my belief why there are many people out there who should be killed.

    I would gladly kill a criminal, from my own country, to protect somebody that's not even from my country.

    I would not, however, kill someone out of "social convenience".

    So am I supposed to only care about myself and my loved ones? My ethics reach beyond my immediate bubble. I am willing to fight and defend more people than just the ones close to me.

    First of all, I personally am signing up for the reserves. I will only ever be mobilized if Canada is under attack, or if there's some sort of important war on the scale of WWII...

    ...But I can also understand those who would join for active duty. Those who would be willing to fight to protect and defend Canada's interests at home and abroad. They would be willing to risk their lives in Afghanistan just so that the Taliban don't come in and start pressuring Afghanis to follows their rules or be slaughtered.

    Now bear in mind that most soldiers know what they're signing up for. They aren't "pressured" or "forced" into killing others any more than a chef is pressured into making food.

    And I don't quite know how to show you just how wrong you are when you say that an American soldier ready to kill a genocidal regime is "no more moral" than a soldier from that genocidal regime. This is what I was talking about when you're equating all killing the same.

    So I guess an American killing a soldier from a genocidal regime is just as immoral as that soldier ethnically cleansing some unwanted race, right?

    Hyperbole and misrepresentation. You would do well to try seeing the other side. Part of our mission in Afghanistan is trying to keep down terrorists, yes. But the other part is also protecting the local populace, which is why we have an exit strategy and don't just leave as if we don't care.

    Only if you truly believe that blasting their head off protects people at home and/or abroad.

    I could just as well flip the example and accuse you of not blasting this person's head off, and letting them go on their merry murdering spree.

    You simply do not believe the things we are fighting for, or believe that all soldiers are being misled and manipulated, and that Gaddafi wasn't actually murdering his own people in Libya, and Al-Asaad isn't actually murdering his own people in Syria, so we shouldn't intervene and save anyone. I, personally, disagree.
     
  12. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    I guess we shouldn't incarcerate criminals either, because we don't have a time machine to see if they would actually murder again.

    Right, because the only thing that matters is [insert nationality here]. How morally benevolent of you.

    I support the military, but I would still probably not encourage my children to sign up for it. Why? Pure hypocritical desire to keep my children safe, while others do the sacrifices. (Though in reality, I'll probably encourage my children to join the reserves likewise, if they wish to)

    I support the existence of dangerous crab-catching sailors, but still wouldn't encourage my children to take that up.
     
  13. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    Rehabilitation would be better. I don't know if you've noticed but prison doesn't seem to work very well and the nation with one of the largest (probably the largest) prison populations also has the highest murder rate in the 1st world. USA #1.

    I know, I'm a goddamn monster right? How dare I want to improve schools & libraries when there are evildoers to blow up and foreign children to leave fatherless.

    Fair enough, at least you're honest.

    I bet I'd get all the chicks if I was a dangerous crab-catching sailor. Maybe I could make a porno on my boat even. "Crabs Galore!"
     
  14. Yeekim

    Yeekim Warlord

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    No, I do not and no, it is not a "fact" by any definition. :)
     
  15. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    That wasn't the point.

    We should also seek to build schools and infrastructure in those countries too (though we have to establish order first), like we have in Afghanistan. During Remembrance Day, the speaker at the ceremony described how there were almost no schools in Afghanistan, and now there is a decent number. That's what we're fighting for (even when the government might actually only care about the political stability or oil).

    Everybody's like that, including my parents. When I was much smaller and managed to convince a student not to go on a shooting spree at my school, my parents freaked out and told me I should never be talking to people like that ever, while the police lauded me for my intervention.

    It's normal. Those we hold dear and close, we wouldn't want in harm's way, regardless of how correct it would be for someone else or anybody to do it.
     
  16. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    While that sounds noble, I still think we should focus on our home first. If this country falls apart cause we're spending so much overseas the next generation won't be much help to anyone.

    Cool. How'd you convince him not to do it?
     
  17. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Oscillator

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    So if a terrorist attack happens we shouldn't try to deal with who's responsible? Quite sure that was the reason for Afghanistan. And I'm sure that all of the spending is to maintain institutions strong enough so that they don't harbor terrorists again. And major terrorist attacks have costs beyond people dying alone. I think I remember 2001 having a recession. But I'm being ridiculous. How could a devastating attack on America's preeminent financial center have any negative effects on the economy?
     
  18. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    I agree with this sentiment.

    Not sure exactly, it was more of trying everything I could think of, including talking to him frequently and trying to figure out whether he was actually going to do it. Plus, it was a long time ago - early high school. He eventually got found out when one of the girls he was talking to raised a concern with her parents who went to the police (something I was too young and stupid to realize at the time). He had been talking about coming to school to shoot up the place but claimed that I calmed him down in the conversations, which is why I got found out and questioned by the police.
     
  19. HannibalBarka

    HannibalBarka We are Free

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    How did you manage "morally" to be for 6 years in an army waging a war you did not believe in?
    Actually one of the reason I don't like the military "engagement" is that you sign to wage wars even if you're against them and consider them unlawful.

    Don't get me wrong, I do not consider all war to be bad. If I were courageous enough I'd have fought WWII. FFI (French Resistant) are among the people I respect most.
     
  20. Patroklos

    Patroklos Chieftain

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    The quoted position is not a logical one. Its just a string of inconsistant assumptions.

    There is noting illogical about having conditions where the taking of human life is justified while at the same time have conditions where the taking of human life is not justified.
     

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