Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

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Prinsessa
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Prinsessa » Wed 08 Jul 2015, 13:25

We don't need other hominid species for people to try to divide this single species by ethnicity and feeding equivalent atrocities like genocides and racism anyway, don't you worry...
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Lambuzhao » Wed 08 Jul 2015, 14:30

elemtilas wrote:
Xonen wrote:
elemtilas wrote:Or...we find a different definition!
I don't think we actually disagree on much here. I just seem to have the bad habit of getting hung up on arguments I don't entirely agree with even if I more or less accept the conclusion. [:P]
Yay! (About the general lack of disagreement.) I tend to get hung up in arguments as well -- for me, that means the underlying ideas are interesting a/o the arguments of the other people are interesting, well laid out or in some way thought provoking.

Xonen wrote:Other species of hominins would provide us with a lot more of that grey area, no doubt, but perhaps it's fortunate for this discussion that they're all dead.
Begs the question: if we still had other sentient / intelligent / non Homo sapiens / etc kinds of people around now, might this change our perspective any? Would we even be having this kind of discussion? Or perhaps the discussion is finally being engaged upon in that other modern world...

(I can say that, for example, in The World, this kind of discussion is actually taking place at high social levels (state & religious governance, mostly).)
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Tanni » Thu 22 Sep 2016, 12:25

This presentation/lecture sheds some new light to the topic of this thread:

Mark Passio - The Cult Of Ultimate Evil - Order-Followers & The Destruction Of The Sacred Feminine

Here are some of the things I consider important (but it is best to go through the whole presentation):

01:01:38 Indoctrination through repetition -- most powerful form of mind control
01:06:48 Ancillary cult members (largly women)
01:14:00 The Great Work -- Uncharted territory -- the unknown country
01:16:22 The tree of evil: the root is parental abandonment issues -- looking for a family in proxy
01:25:46 Parental abandonment
01:26:36 Abuse-Victim Cycle
01:31:52 Return of the sacred feminine
01:36:52 Care ultimately has to drive the will: Love is the law, love under will
01:38:30 The Lost Word
qwed117 wrote:here's a definition of person: a form of animal with enough brains to reject and even bash an idea or collection of ideas, if not hampered by unlucky circumstances or vague superstition.
Compare this to the concept of ''The Lost Word''.

Also consider Mark Passio - Occult Mockery Of Police & Military Personnel. This may open your eyes!

http://www.whatonearthishappening.com/
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by HoskhMatriarch » Wed 05 Oct 2016, 23:08

On the topic of people/non-people: Dolphins, elephants, chimps, etc. aren't people because they're not as self-aware as humans. If some sort of terrible thing happens to a human being, s/he'll probably start asking "why?" and looking to religion, art, science, philosophy, etc. and possibly talk to other people. Dolphins and chimps and so forth can feel pain and might even be decently intelligent, but they can't rationally contemplate what is going on (and by rational I mean from what is known as an ethical sort of rationality as well as logical). Computers can do more calculations and beat humans in chess but they aren't rational or reflective and they can more or less only do what they're told (as an instrument from a semantic perspective, but not an agent or experiencer). Animals at least are (far) above that, so we ought to care about their feelings, but still not at human level. Other hominids are at that level, and aliens might be if we encounter them.
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by clawgrip » Fri 07 Oct 2016, 05:08

These animals, particularly dolphins and chimps, are not decently intelligent, they're highly intelligent. And by what means are you able to determine the individual thoughts of a chimpanzee when some sort of terrible thing happens? How do you know they don't wonder why?

The real crux of the matter, I think, is determining whether or not you're biased by being human. How can you be sure what values are necessary for personhood and what values are simply incidental to being human?

What I mean is, when you talk about art and ethics, you are saying that the ability to think beyond logic and practicality is a requirement for intelligence, but what justification do you have for this position beyond "that's what humans do"? Is it not the case that ethics create contradictions in society? Trying to prevent the death of others is a strong human value that wholly contradicts nature and creates unsolvable ethical dilemmas. And could not art be considered a human deficiency, rather than a requirement for intelligence? Why are humans unable to feel fulfilled without viewing or hearing external objects created for the sole purpose of alleviating this deficiency?
Last edited by clawgrip on Fri 07 Oct 2016, 12:13, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Khemehekis » Fri 07 Oct 2016, 05:57

clawgrip wrote:Why are humans unable to feel fulfilled without viewing our hearing external objects created die the sole purpose of alleviating this deficiency?
Wow! A kind of shift-1 cipher! (Like "cold" becoming "frog" in a shift-3 cipher.) Except instead of alphabetical order, it's with qwertybetical order.
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by clawgrip » Fri 07 Oct 2016, 12:11

I have fixed my error. It was an input error on my phone, hence the qwertybetical order. My phone is not intelligent enough to intuit, it seems.
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by HoskhMatriarch » Sat 08 Oct 2016, 01:02

clawgrip wrote:These animals, particularly dolphins and chimps, are not decently intelligent, they're highly intelligent. And by what means are you able to determine the individual thoughts of a chimpanzee when some sort of terrible thing happens? How do you know they don't wonder why?

The real crux of the matter, I think, is determining whether or not you're biased by being human. How can you be sure what values are necessary for personhood and what values are simply incidental to being human?

What I mean is, when you talk about art and ethics, you are saying that the ability to think beyond logic and practicality is a requirement for intelligence, but what justification do you have for this position beyond "that's what humans do"? Is it not the case that ethics create contradictions in society? Trying to prevent the death of others is a strong human value that wholly contradicts nature and creates unsolvable ethical dilemmas. And could not art be considered a human deficiency, rather than a requirement for intelligence? Why are humans unable to feel fulfilled without viewing or hearing external objects created for the sole purpose of alleviating this deficiency?
Humans can have values rather than just reacting to their environment is what I'm saying. That's what makes us people. If a dolphin is in pain, it's just like "ouch", and there's nothing beyond that. If a human is in pain, they can decide it's necessary for them to feel pain and feel fulfilled not only despite but because of the pain. It has next to nothing to do with intelligence. If we just wanted to feel good, we could just do a bunch of drugs rather than artistic things. However, most people would object to a drug that you take and it just makes you happy all the time. Having values beyond just pleasure vs. pain is what allows us to accomplish more than ants. Without values, there would be no teleological kind of thinking that allows us to make various kinds of progress.
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by clawgrip » Sat 08 Oct 2016, 12:38

Please understand I am not attacking you, I am just trying to have an interesting discussion. With that said:

My question remains: How do you know the internal thought process of animals? You determine that "a dolphin does not think X" but this is just assumption, because we cannot determine the thoughts of anyone, even other humans, if they do not communicate directly with us.

You say that "Having values beyond just pleasure vs. pain is what allows us to accomplish more than ants." Despite what I said, other primates also share values you are associating with humans alone, such as creating dolls (art), appreciation of the desires of others above one's own (altruism), and awareness of death. Clearly, these animals have values that go beyond pleasure vs. pain, so how do you determine where to draw the line between person and non-person?

The solution is sticky. You can say that applying the label "person", implies, as elemtilas says, not only "people rights" but also "people obligations", and since human society currently determines what people rights and responsibilities are, those designated as "people" necessarily need to understand and accept the responsibilities with the rights. If a dolphin killed someone, we would have to take it to court and then send it to jail if found guilty. Yet mentally disabled people and young children also get people rights despite not understanding the responsibilities, this line of reasoning once again becomes less clear.
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Salmoneus » Sat 08 Oct 2016, 20:51

HoskhMatriarch wrote: Humans can have values rather than just reacting to their environment is what I'm saying.
This is highly debateable.
That's what makes us people.
That's extremely debateable
If a dolphin is in pain, it's just like "ouch", and there's nothing beyond that.
This is... random guesswork? I'm not sure we can even call that one debateable. It's just a religious claim.
If a human is in pain, they can decide it's necessary for them to feel pain and feel fulfilled not only despite but because of the pain. It has next to nothing to do with intelligence.
So rocks could feel exactly the same way as humans, if it's got nothing to do with intelligence?
If we just wanted to feel good, we could just do a bunch of drugs rather than artistic things. However, most people would object to a drug that you take and it just makes you happy all the time. Having values beyond just pleasure vs. pain is what allows us to accomplish more than ants.
That seems improbable. Although the magic drug or the orgasm button are interesting thought experiments, they are not yet practical possibilities - we do not yet have any easy way to bring ourselves pleasure without pain. [Drug abuse, for instance, is accompanied by side-effects, habituation, frequently addiction, and considerable risk, as well as high financial costs that impose great burdens on those who pursue it]. So given that this has not yet become a practical problem in modern society, it's clear that it's not been a practical problem in the development of civilisation.
Without values, there would be no teleological kind of thinking that allows us to make various kinds of progress.
I don't understand what this means. I don't think you're using the words in an ordinary way.


Going back to the heart of your theory, there's two obvious, massive issues. The first is the most glaring: we've no idea whether dolphins have "values" or "anything beyond ouch". This is a philosophical issue. We can't read their minds. We can't know whether differences in behaviour represent fundamental differences in (or lack of) personhood, consciousness, etc. [The same, of course, can be said of other humans. All you ever seem to do is react to your environment in complicated but predictable ways - how do I know you're not a zombie or a robot!?]

But we shouldn't overlook the second issue, which is that I'm not sure you understand how similar humans and dolphins are.

Here's what we think we know about dolphins:
- dolphins are able to recognise themselves
- dolphins possess a theory of mind. For instance, dolphins can be trained to show a spectator something the spectator hasn't seen before - that is, the dolphin is able to remember what a specific human has and hasn't seen before. They are even able to hypothesise what a given human might know or not know.
- they can create and execute long-term and complex plans, predicting future events
- they are able to solve complex puzzles
- they have a complicated language that is able to communicate abstract concepts
- they are able to transmit plans and concepts to one another through speech. For instance, if you tell two dolphins to do the same thing as one another, they can discuss between themselves what they plan to do, and then do it simultaneously. In one case: asked for an innovative (ie not trained and not recently seen or done, but something new the dolphins thought up themselves), synchronised action, two dolphins talked to one another, then rolled over and flipped their tails three times in unison. Asked to continue, they talked some more, then descended, blew bubbles, pirouetted, and tail walked, all in unison.
- we don't know how their language works, or what its limits are. But we do know they talk more than humans do, and in more complicated ways. And they have brains to match - dolphins take in twenty times as much information through hearing as humans do, and more information through hearing than humans do through vision.
- they are able to learn to understand simplified human languages. Crucially, this includes both the abstract use of symbols AND non-linear syntax.
- one area of their language that we have decoded, unique to humans and dolphins, is that they have names for individuals. Unlike in humans, dolphin names are decided by the dolphin themselves in childhood. When meeting new dolphins, they exchange names, and remember the names of other dolphins for long periods of time. It seems as though these names may incorporate elements showing maternal linneage, or at least affiliation with their mothers.
- areas of their brains associated in humans with language are developed to an extent matched only in humans, not even in other apes
- areas of their brains associated in humans with emotion (and in other animals with seemingly emotion-like states, though of course we don't know what they 'feel' like internally) are much more developed even than in humans
- dolphin political structures are more complicated than in any other non-humans, even primates and apes. Coalitions operate on at least three levels of sociopolitical grouping
- they are capable of analogical thinking at a high level of abstraction - they seem to recognise, for instance, that dolphin fins are analogous to human limbs (so waving an arm is often mimicked by waving a fin).
- they display cultural variations, learning behaviours from one another and passing the knowledge through generations
- they can use tools
- they appear to possess metacognition. They are able not only to give answers to questions, but to assess the degree of their own confidence in their answers: given a 'not sure' answer as an option, they give this answer more often as the questions become more difficult.
- they display elaborate 'play' or 'art' behaviours
- they display ritualised emotional behaviours, such as mourning the dead
- they display altruism even toward non-dolphins
- they display empathy with non-dolphins

Basically... if you want to say that dolphins don't have the 'anything else' of personhood, then leaving aside the philosophical difficulties with that you'd basically have to say the same thing about children, as dolphins and human children show pretty similar levels of intelligence, at the very least. (with dolphins certainly smarter in some ways, such as complex co-operative hunting strategies)
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by elemtilas » Sat 08 Oct 2016, 21:28

Salmoneus wrote:Here's what we think we know about dolphins:
Sounds like people to me!
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by pensivespace » Thu 09 Mar 2017, 04:42

I believe that the established nationalistic rhetoric (forms of propaganda) drive people to protect what they feel belongs to them. Recently, I was able to research the "primitive instinct" of man in regards to war and why we involve ourselves in something so gruesome and violent by choice. First would be the stigma of *not* seeming patriotic and loyal to one's country- being marked as a traitor is one of the worst labels. In terms of evolution, I believe there is a relation psychologically for man to want to protect and defend his territory. Thinking of a few historical examples- WWI and President Woodrow Wilson "making the world safe for democracy", something Americans value highly given the history. Another would be the Civil War and supporters of slavery defending what they felt was their way of life (I am in no way supporting slavery). Amazingly, a few words can incite a primitive force within us to fight for a cause. I agree this thought is not fully developed but it is something I feel is interesting- how the language can evoke such a defensive emotion and response in an individual. I apologize for the very American centered history in advance!
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by qwed117 » Thu 09 Mar 2017, 21:08

pensivespace wrote:I believe that the established nationalistic rhetoric (forms of propaganda) drive people to protect what they feel belongs to them. Recently, I was able to research the "primitive instinct" of man in regards to war and why we involve ourselves in something so gruesome and violent by choice. First would be the stigma of *not* seeming patriotic and loyal to one's country- being marked as a traitor is one of the worst labels. In terms of evolution, I believe there is a relation psychologically for man to want to protect and defend his territory. Thinking of a few historical examples- WWI and President Woodrow Wilson "making the world safe for democracy", something Americans value highly given the history. Another would be the Civil War and supporters of slavery defending what they felt was their way of life (I am in no way supporting slavery). Amazingly, a few words can incite a primitive force within us to fight for a cause. I agree this thought is not fully developed but it is something I feel is interesting- how the language can evoke such a defensive emotion and response in an individual. I apologize for the very American centered history in advance!
Propaganda is one hell of a drug, but religious and social changes can often cause war themselves. It's merely our instinct of self-preservation that causes war, and likely the same instinct encourages soldiers to continue their war.

It's funny that you mention slavery; during the early 1800s, from maybe 1760 to 1820, most Southerners saw slavery as "that necessary evil", that would hopefully be done away with by the mid 19th Century. Ultimately, the precipitating factor in changing those views was not racism, but rather religion and the very laws that sought to end slavery. Religion gave racism and thus slavery backing by proposing that a Christian slave's only duty was to serve his master, God, by serving his master, a white man. The end of the Atlantic Slave produced the American slave trade, where slaves were rent from their families and ultimately their lives further demeaned. The South used Baptist anger to fuel its war against abolition from 1820-1865. But ultimately the driving force was the fear that a Northern victory would change their life, and thus lead to hardship.
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by pensivespace » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 14:18

qwed117 wrote:
pensivespace wrote:I believe that the established nationalistic rhetoric (forms of propaganda) drive people to protect what they feel belongs to them. Recently, I was able to research the "primitive instinct" of man in regards to war and why we involve ourselves in something so gruesome and violent by choice. First would be the stigma of *not* seeming patriotic and loyal to one's country- being marked as a traitor is one of the worst labels. In terms of evolution, I believe there is a relation psychologically for man to want to protect and defend his territory. Thinking of a few historical examples- WWI and President Woodrow Wilson "making the world safe for democracy", something Americans value highly given the history. Another would be the Civil War and supporters of slavery defending what they felt was their way of life (I am in no way supporting slavery). Amazingly, a few words can incite a primitive force within us to fight for a cause. I agree this thought is not fully developed but it is something I feel is interesting- how the language can evoke such a defensive emotion and response in an individual. I apologize for the very American centered history in advance!
Propaganda is one hell of a drug, but religious and social changes can often cause war themselves. It's merely our instinct of self-preservation that causes war, and likely the same instinct encourages soldiers to continue their war.

It's funny that you mention slavery; during the early 1800s, from maybe 1760 to 1820, most Southerners saw slavery as "that necessary evil", that would hopefully be done away with by the mid 19th Century. Ultimately, the precipitating factor in changing those views was not racism, but rather religion and the very laws that sought to end slavery. Religion gave racism and thus slavery backing by proposing that a Christian slave's only duty was to serve his master, God, by serving his master, a white man. The end of the Atlantic Slave produced the American slave trade, where slaves were rent from their families and ultimately their lives further demeaned. The South used Baptist anger to fuel its war against abolition from 1820-1865. But ultimately the driving force was the fear that a Northern victory would change their life, and thus lead to hardship.




I totally agree! Obviously, when it comes to war, there is not just one single event that drives people to war. I would compare it to a chemistry experiment- the results do not just occur, the right conditions have to be in place. While obviously for war the conditions are never "right", but there is more to the Civil War than to just end slavery just as there is more to the start of WWI than the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. As such, I think you've definitely got a valid point, because the mentality of a society in a time period is not just their political policy, but their religious and social philosophies as well. This is why studying the humanities is so important in my opinion because contrary to popular belief, or rather the belief and desire for us to make it simple, there are few things that are truly black or white. I think the driving force behind the resurrection of slavery as it had been dying out was the slow and steady industrialization of America at the time. The Cotton Gin would make slavery profitable in a way it hadn't been before, and it made a comeback when it would have died out. For many Southerners, this was the way of life, and there isn't a way to understand the mentality of the time period because many did not consider these other human beings genetic equals. The underlying theory behind my original assertion that men have a desire to protect what they consider theirs is the fact that I consider our species as a whole to be a very materialistic society. From the beginning, we fight with others because we have a want that has not been fulfilled. Now, of course because of this the lines between want and need are now blurred and I think that blur makes it easy for soldiers to sign up for war, because they're not sure if its something the country wants, or the country needs. Thoughts?
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by masako » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 15:48

As a former soldier, I can tell you there is never a single correct answer to the original question of this thread. However, there's a line from the movie Jack Reacher that does a fairly good job at summarizing the most common (if not the full spectrum) reasons.

"There are four types of people who join the military. For some, it's a family trade. Others are patriots, eager to serve. Next, you have those who just need a job. Then there's the kind who want a legal means of killing other people."
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