Is volunteering for the military potentially unethical?

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John K
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Re: Is volunteering for the military potentially unethical?

Post by John K » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:28 pm

HexHammer wrote: Can you bring a bit more solid argumentation instead of this preposterous silly argumentation?
You made the claim. You back it up.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Is volunteering for the military potentially unethical?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:33 pm

Ned wrote:I have never been in any army, so I don’t have a personal experience.

The assumption though is that, once you are in the army, you have to follow orders, regardless weather you agree with the ethical nature of the orders or not.

In a sense you suspended your own personal morality and placed it into the hands of people all over on the chain of command: from your immediate superior in the army to the president and the congress itself.

We know from history that horribly unethical decisions have been made on this chain, over and over and, you, as a soldier, have to carry them out, no matter how unethical and downright evil those decisions and orders were.

My question to those who volunteered to the army is the following:

How can you live with this exposure of having to perform potentially evil and unethical duties, just because you suspended your right to protest.

How can you live with this – does it ever bother you?

Did you ever have an instant when you regretted joining the army that forced you to do things you would have never done by your own volition (like firing white phosphorus shells at civilians - including children - in Fellujah)?

ETA:

From Wikipedia:
Quote:On November 15, 2005, Dept. of Defense spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Barry Venable confirmed to the BBC that white phosphorus had been used as an incendiary antipersonnel weapon in Fallujah
In joining the military you are washing your hands of your personal choice and responsibility and making yourself the tool of forces beyond your control.
This is the essence of unethical.
You might as well be putting a sharp knife in the hands of a baby, and when it cuts itself you can tell yourself it was not your fault.

After the war, when lads were still conscripted into the National Service, they had a saying "professional soldier, professional bastard."

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Is volunteering for the military potentially unethical?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:38 pm

John K wrote:You could ask this question to any profession. You could even ask al-Qaeda or al-Shabaab this question. The oath of enlistment (US) includes words to the effect ...obey the lawful orders of those appointed over you. A glaring example of "lawful orders" going horribly wrong is what happened in Germany during National Socialism. They simply changed the laws to accommodate their agenda. Your question is much to general.
Any professional does not have to follow the orders laid out by the profession - they can always leave the profession, or work within it in ways that they believe to be in line with their judgement.
For example a lawyer can work for defence or prosecution, and can refuse cases on several grounds within reason.
But if they believe that not all people deserve an advocate, they can do prosecution only. There is nothing in the rules which mean they can, or are even allowed to conceal guilt, for example.

When it comes to the military you have no choice whatever, except to face court marshal.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Is volunteering for the military potentially unethical?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:39 pm

Ned wrote:Wild Dogs

I saw a pack of wild dogs
on TV, the other day,
they brought down a gazelle,
didn’t kill it outright but
started feeding,
tearing out chunks of its flesh,
still alive.

It’s the gazelle
that shocked me most:
head slightly raised,
just watching them,
with almost an interest.

I didn’t see hatred,
outrage or moral indignation
in those sad eyes,
I saw only pain,
acceptance,
fast fading light.

Not the gazelle,,
nor the wild dogs
knew about evil.
The dogs had to eat
what they could find,
they were hungry,
had pups to feed.

And then I knew:
for carnivores
life is just survival,
by hunting, killing, devouring,
by sheer force or deception…
…they have no choice…

…we do.
How is this relevant?

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HexHammer
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Re: Is volunteering for the military potentially unethical?

Post by HexHammer » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:40 pm

John K wrote:
HexHammer wrote: Can you bring a bit more solid argumentation instead of this preposterous silly argumentation?
You made the claim. You back it up.
I did, now stop trolling.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Is volunteering for the military potentially unethical?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:40 pm

John K wrote:
Ned wrote: Raising awareness in ethical people that volunteering for the military might force them into unethical actions.
The qualifier "might" suggests that unethical action doesn't accompany military service by necessity.
I don't think that is the case.

Once you sign you are making an unethical choice, because you are offering your strength and body as a tool for others to do with as they please.

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Re: Is volunteering for the military potentially unethical?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:42 pm

The Voice of Time wrote:
Ned wrote:In a sense you suspended your own personal morality and placed it into the hands of people all over on the chain of command: from your immediate superior in the army to the president and the congress itself.

We know from history that horribly unethical decisions have been made on this chain, over and over and, you, as a soldier, have to carry them out, no matter how unethical and downright evil those decisions and orders were.
This is not true. If you commit atrocities during war you'll be held accountable in most modern states regardless of whether you followed orders or not. This kind of mentality you mention there is from the last century, like WW2, Korea War and Vietnam, or alternatively the remnant of some socially retarded state.

There are legal and illegal orders, and if your officer is insane for instance you might very well be excused from refusing to follow orders. .
Wrong,
Not a single enlisted man in any concentration camp was ever prosecuted.
Of the thousands following orders only the highest decision makers were ever brought to book.

Modern examples are the same. Only those acting on their own volition in the act of unethical behaviour whilst NOT actively following orders have been prosecuted.
Where their is an implication that human rights are breached systematically (from higher up) do enlisted soldiers escape prosecution.

Thus the implication for the thread is; when you sign up you are allowing your person and bodily strength to be used by others and thereby absolving your self of personal responsibility. That I suggest is an unethical act.
Becoming a professional soldier is ipso facto unethical.

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Re: Is volunteering for the military potentially unethical?

Post by John K » Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:35 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote: When it comes to the military you have no choice whatever, except to face court marshal.
You probably mean court martial, where the accused could win and have all charges dropped.

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Re: Is volunteering for the military potentially unethical?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:44 am

John K wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote: When it comes to the military you have no choice whatever, except to face court marshal.
You probably mean court martial, where the accused could win and have all charges dropped.
No. I mean court martial where evidence of failing to follow an order leads to punishment.

PS Marshal is a perfectly respectable alternative spelling or martial.

John K
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Re: Is volunteering for the military potentially unethical?

Post by John K » Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:00 am

Hobbes' Choice wrote: PS Marshal is a perfectly respectable alternative spelling or martial.
Never heard it used that way. I'll take your word on it.

Tusok
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Re: Is volunteering for the military potentially unethical?

Post by Tusok » Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:06 am

Gentlemen,

The disdain you all seem to have for one of our oldest and most refined professions alarms me.

The properly disposed military is what fundamentally keeps us safe to play on the internet and enjoy our back yards without fear.

Some of the finest people of the best character who have ever lived have donned the uniform of their nation, and worn it proudly.

Contrary to what many of you seem to feel, entering the military does not mean sacrificing your values or ethics. It generally leads to strengthening them. Most decisions in the military are in fact of the highest standard. Where they fail is only where humanity fails - and you will find that fault in every single profession that has ever existed.

Tusok

PS - There may be someone working for the court who is a marshal, but in the military, justice is always handed out through Court Martial. Martial is another word for military. There is no acceptable alternative words for this court.

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HexHammer
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Re: Is volunteering for the military potentially unethical?

Post by HexHammer » Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:28 am

Tusok wrote:Gentlemen,

The disdain you all seem to have for one of our oldest and most refined professions alarms me.

The properly disposed military is what fundamentally keeps us safe to play on the internet and enjoy our back yards without fear.

Some of the finest people of the best character who have ever lived have donned the uniform of their nation, and worn it proudly.

Contrary to what many of you seem to feel, entering the military does not mean sacrificing your values or ethics. It generally leads to strengthening them. Most decisions in the military are in fact of the highest standard. Where they fail is only where humanity fails - and you will find that fault in every single profession that has ever existed.

Tusok

PS - There may be someone working for the court who is a marshal, but in the military, justice is always handed out through Court Martial. Martial is another word for military. There is no acceptable alternative words for this court.
I'm afraid you don't know what you are talking about.

It has only in recent decades caused more unrest, the real peacemaker is trade.

John K
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Re: Is volunteering for the military potentially unethical?

Post by John K » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:10 pm

Anyone posting have military experience?

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HexHammer
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Re: Is volunteering for the military potentially unethical?

Post by HexHammer » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:29 pm

Been in the danish army shot silver with uncalibrated rifle, was bazooka gunner.

John K
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Re: Is volunteering for the military potentially unethical?

Post by John K » Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:06 pm

HexHammer wrote:...the real peacemaker is trade.
What's the easiest way to acquire goods? Produce them? Harvest them? No. The easiest way to get stuff is to steal it. Just ask the Spaniards; they let the civilizations of South America mine the gold, gather the silver, and once the hard work was completed, stole it. But wait, the Spanish were often outdone by other Western powers who stole their booty and their ships. Your trade as a peacemaker model may work for a while, since the parties involved must be at peace for trade to occur. Upon closer inspection however, we find nothing can be further than the truth. Who was Japan's leading trading partner during the early twentieth century? The very same nation that was attacked by Japan. What bigger power keg of potential conflict is there than trade? "You ripped me off!" or "You didn't pay your debt!" The Tupinamba (coastal people of today's Brazil) traded with their inland enemies during agreed upon truces, then fought the very same people they traded with weeks before. This cycle of war and barter seems endless, and is repeated throughout history.

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