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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?

  1. Porn Star

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  2. Modern Solidier

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  1. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Deity

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    To them in general? Probably not. In a particular country? Sure. Sometimes it may come from internal elements, sometimes from external ones. These external enemies can also be liberal democracies :)

    Same applies to nation-states.
     
  2. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    And that's exactly where my dislike for the nation-state comes from: why should I fight for and defend a society built for and by those who see me and you as so much mooing chattel? Why not build a society for ourselves, and defend that? I don't scrabble around in their scraps because I actually want to, and I'm certainly not going to die- or kill- for the privilege.

    But, I'm a no good anarcho-hippy scumbag, so I don't expect to find too much agreement on that point. ;)

    If it's from internal elements, then conventional military service is unlikely to be much of a contribution outside of quite particular circumstances, and as for external ones, again: how many posters here can actually claim that their country is under imminent threat of armed subjugation? Let alone from another liberal democracy?
     
  3. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    Well, then we have to observe that the standard of living and quality of life has been increasing, even if the rich gain most of the advantages, more than might be fair.

    As well, bear in mind that I stated a whole bunch of things that I'd be defending. First and foremost is always the people. And even if it might be great to be invaded and see our exploiting overlords lose all they have, they'll probably get replaced by slightly more malevolent exploiting overlords. This ties back to the "lesser evil" point mentioned earlier. I could say more, but I believe I've made enough of a point here.

    You forget my ties to and love of communism, comrade!
     
  4. civver_764

    civver_764 Deity

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    You can say the same thing about slavery. Conditions for slaves were better in 1800 than in 1700. So what?
     
  5. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    Those same slaves are now free to change owner at their own liking, and some slaves can now be lucky enough to become slave-masters themselves. And society is showing signs of continuous progress. Only through stability will it achieve this.
     
  6. civver_764

    civver_764 Deity

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    Why does being able to choose their master make slavery ok?
     
  7. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    You forget that the slaves agree to the system. They want this system, and view it as the best system for optimizing societal "fairness". They laugh upon your system as being the opposite. So then why is the slavery a bad thing?
     
  8. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Deity

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    1) You disagree with this characterization of current societies
    2) You consider the benefits you receive from it to be worth the cost
    3) You are against such a society, but consider the current alternatives to be worse

    In general, I am also not a fan of "rise, you duped sheeple!" argumentation.
     
  9. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Were those increases dependent on the current social order? If they do not, that constitutes no defence.

    And again, that's fine if you can produce a second evil. What, for the overwhelming majority of posters on this forum, would that be today?

    Can they choose not to participate in the slave-society in the first place? That seems like a far more fundamental freedom.

    What is "progress", in this sense, and how is it manifesting itself?

    A debate in itself, no doubt.

    Since when did patriotism involve a cost-benefit analyses?

    And, as I've asked, what alternatives do we find threatening that can be meaningfully combated by conventional military service?

    And I can see why. That sort of elitist, I-am-a-one-man-vanguard reasoning is grotesque, and if that's what I seem to espousing, then I am grossly miscommunicating. But as it happens, I don't think that most people, at least not where I live, need to be told this. They worked it out for themselves years ago.
     
  10. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Deity

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    I was talking more about "defending" in a political way here, since the argument got out of pure military track by that point. I am no fan of militarism.

    Why not? Followers of an ideology may admit its flaws, but still follow it.

    I was referring the "slavery" analogies. Unless we are actually talking about slave-like conditions, these are fairly insulting to actual slaves.
     
  11. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Then what are we defending, against what, and how?

    Because patriotism assumes a duty to the nation for its own sake, not as the result of a cost-benefit calculation. That ceases to be patriotism, and so appeals to "your country" become hollow.

    What are "slave-like conditions", exactly? In the most general sense, the term could be taken to imply unfreedom, and that's the argument that is being advanced by myself and by Civver. But perhaps you feel that refinements are necessary?
     
  12. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Deity

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    Against, say, political parties that oppose liberalism, but that you don't define as better then what they oppose.

    In a more general sense, "rape" can be used as "violation", yet I'd raise my eyebrow at "every woman in the US is raped by the media every day" rhetorics.

    Depends on what degree you subscribe to utilitarianism.
     
  13. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    Many say they were. Many claim that our system, while creating social inequity, has created a greater absolute wealth for those on the short end of the stick than alternatives.

    For a defensive role, as in the reserves, any potential invaders. Deterrent would be sufficient.

    For an offensive role, any "evil" regimes, that are not only unfair in the wealth manner, but also in the "killing people" manner. (i.e. Gaddafi's regime, Al-Asaad's regime, etc.)

    I don't know, can you choose to participate in something that doesn't exist, and that just about nobody wants? How is this a remark on freedom then?

    Social progress. Previously, slaves could not choose their masters. Now they can somewhat (in Civver's analogy of employment).

    I foresee further progress in the future, but only if we do not descend into anarchy.
     
  14. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Deity

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    Woot! :bounce:
     
  15. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    I'm aware that they do. But can they actually demonstrate this? Can they actually prove that a monopolistic elite- bourgeoisie or nomenklatura, I recognise no fundamental difference between the two- played an absolutely necessary function as an elite in these increases?

    Deterring who?

    In what sense are they a threat to existing liberal democracies?

    It's the only remark on freedom worth making. What is "freedom" if its terms are imposed upon you by alien forces?

    But this "progress" of yours would appear to be entirely within the bounds of unfreedom. Is that all we can hope for in the future- a more benevolent subjugation?
     
  16. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    Only through theory, since there aren't alternate universes to compare to. And it isn't the "elite" that brought this about - it's the system that brought out the elite. Basically, the system provides superior wealth generation and retention while creating the elite on principle as a consequence.

    It is not necessary to know your enemies in order for them to exist.

    They typically are not. They are instead a threat to the local populace.

    What is "freedom" if it is unattainable? To introduce an extreme example, is it worth discussing "freedom" when we define it to be a logical impossibility - that of being free to kill AND free from being killed simultaneously?

    You speak of freedom for the people to live in a society that they do not want and does not exist. Perhaps this society would be better for them... but isn't part of freedom the freedom to chain yourself as a slave to someone?

    Either way, I think we're digressing far off the original point of the thread.

    I would disagree, that our progress is not bounded as you have stated it. The future transition to socialism is no less or more of a paradigm than the transition to capitalism was.
     
  17. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    That shouldn't be necessary. An industrial designer can analyse a machine in its totality and as a set of components, and from that establish what is essential and what redundant; why not in this case?

    "Superior" to what? To agrarian feudalism? Or to variant forms of capitalism, e.g. Stalinism? The former is self-evident to the point of triviality, and while the latter is certainly true, but doesn't really address the question in a fundamental manner.

    An argument for a police state if I ever heard one. :sad:

    So what does that have to do with us taking up arms "for your country"?

    Well, that definition is clearly invalid, so we'd abandon it. But I don't see how that would invalid other conceptions of freedom, of which there are no shortage.

    If you can shed your chains and walk away at any moment, then yes- but that's not actually slavery, is it? It's just an elaborate BDSM session.

    I don't know, I t thhink these issues are inherent in the question itself. It's not possible to discuss the moral content of an occupation in some heavily abstracted, idealised form, only in reference to the concrete political and social context in which it is embedded. After all, if the question was posed as "What is more moral: being a porn star, or or being a fascist stormtrooper?" then the former would easily win out, despite the fact that the latter is, abstracted from context, essentially the same occupation as modern soldiering. (Equally, a question of "Porn star vs heroic freedom fighter" would likely see an overwhelming turn out in favour of the man with the gun.) So these considerations are evidently acknowledged on some level, whether or not we address them explicitly.

    But if it is true as you earlier claimed, and I believe it is, that the current distribution of power and wealth is not something that simply occurs within a given social structure, but is a product of it, then how can we hope to supersede that distribution without superseding its parent structure? Certainly, you could argue for an evolutionary rather than revolutionary supersession, but in either case you find yourself orientated at a fundamental level against the existing social structure and its institutions, chief among which is the state, so to defend that structure on anything other than purely pragmatic grounds seems contradictory.
     
  18. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    I guess what it boils down to is that I plan on becoming a capitalist in the near future, and so would be willing to fight for and defend the creations and prosperity I plan to contribute to.

    Our system is not perfect, but I believe it is still fairly good*, and should have the machinations available to provide for a better change in the future.

    Just because the system is imperfect, doesn't mean that it's not worth fighting for.

    * - though I can see an argument that this is mainly due to technological advances, it is true that people enjoy a high standard of living regardless, which might not be true if we were to abstain from defending it

    Let's say yes. After all, the governments we would be deposing would certainly be worse in their exploitation than the current capitalist system.

    It wouldn't be. There are two types of military service (current date): reserves and active forces. In the reserves, you would be taking up arms for your country. In active service, like deploying to Afghanistan, you would be taking up arms for someone else's country, for other people's lives (and partly for your own, in culling terrorist training grounds).

    That's exactly it, I believe that an improvement in the social structure must come from within. In the meantime, we are left with an imperfect system that is still fairly good for most people, and is the best that is available so far.

    As such, we must fight to protect it, lest a more flawed system take over, and we must fight to spread it in the stead of more flawed systems, until superior systems come about. This is especially true because our system has the highest chance (I estimate) of providing an effective conduit for future change and evolution.
     
  19. Yeekim

    Yeekim Deity

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    If noone was willing to join the military of these liberal democracies, then they would be a pretty bad threat, I imagine.

    You don't start raising and training an army after someone has declared a war on you.
     

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