Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

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

Post by elemtilas » Fri 19 Jun 2015, 19:34

qwed117 wrote:
elemtilas wrote:
qwed117 wrote:
elemtilas wrote: Fighting back appropriately? That is a thing, at least in the West, that is now nearly impossible to do. Modern (generally liberal) political(ly correct) thinking, the twenty four hour news cycle and social media make any kind of effective counter attack next to impossible.
:roll: This is an example of the disease known as "Fox News". Avoid at all costs. [;)]
I don't watch Fox News, so I don't know what you're referring to specifically.
"Fox News" has been reported to be spread by various other vectors.
Emphasis on symptoms of "Fox News". This disease is dangerous and causes hallucinations of Osama bin Laden and Stalin [sometimes terrorists and "those muney grubbin commies!")
I see. Perhaps. Just to be clear, I was simply referring to the impossibility of war being done without every smallest action being known to people in general, and without people (rightly or wrongly or just plain ignorantly) rising up indignantly against the very effort. Doesn't much matter what the news outlet is or what its slant might be. I simply can not imagine anyone pulling off a war like WWII if they had to do it in 2015.
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by qwed117 » Fri 19 Jun 2015, 19:41

elemtilas wrote:
qwed117 wrote:
elemtilas wrote:
qwed117 wrote:
elemtilas wrote: Fighting back appropriately? That is a thing, at least in the West, that is now nearly impossible to do. Modern (generally liberal) political(ly correct) thinking, the twenty four hour news cycle and social media make any kind of effective counter attack next to impossible.
:roll: This is an example of the disease known as "Fox News". Avoid at all costs. [;)]
I don't watch Fox News, so I don't know what you're referring to specifically.
"Fox News" has been reported to be spread by various other vectors.
Emphasis on symptoms of "Fox News". This disease is dangerous and causes hallucinations of Osama bin Laden and Stalin [sometimes terrorists and "those muney grubbin commies!")
I see. Perhaps. Just to be clear, I was simply referring to the impossibility of war being done without every smallest action being known to people in general, and without people (rightly or wrongly or just plain ignorantly) rising up indignantly against the very effort. Doesn't much matter what the news outlet is or what its slant might be. I simply can not imagine anyone pulling off a war like WWII if they had to do it in 2015.
I could easily believe it. We've fought Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, both Gulf Wars, another Afghaniwar. I believe what has happened is people don't want war, not just political correctness.
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by elemtilas » Fri 19 Jun 2015, 19:58

qwed117 wrote:We've fought Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, both Gulf Wars, another Afghaniwar. I believe what has happened is people don't want war, not just political correctness.
Agreed about people not wanting / being tired of war! Political correctness is but one piece of the puzzle. Even without PC in the mix, I don't think the US could fight another Big War (tm) and certainly not the way the last big one was fought!
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Squall » Fri 19 Jun 2015, 20:16

Thanks for the info. That will explain some things in my conworld.

It is easier to notice reasons to start hostility in a tribal society. In complex civilizations, we have to multiply the range of the same reasons. When a civilization evolves from the tribal stage, it already has a war institution.

The sequence Franco-Prussian War, WW1 and WW2 is related to nationalism and propaganda supporting revenge.

The reward paid by a corrupt government explains why soldiers crush rebels that fight for a better life.

I do not distinguish 'kill' and 'murder'. Maybe the distinction exists in my natlang as well, but there are many distinctions that are defined in laws and people who do not know laws, including me, do not know. [xP]

Anyway, the act of killing is sinful. Those who go to a war commit five capital sins:
wrath - revenge, sadism
pride - to get honor; nationalism
greed - loot, wages. It is as evil as being hired by a drug-trafficker gang.
lust - rape
envy - when one envies the enemy
English is not my native language. Sorry for any mistakes or lack of knowledge when I discuss this language.
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Ahzoh » Fri 19 Jun 2015, 21:10

Squall wrote:I do not distinguish 'kill' and 'murder'. Maybe the distinction exists in my natlang as well, but there are many distinctions that are defined in laws and people who do not know laws, including me, do not know. [xP]

Anyway, the act of killing is sinful. Those who go to a war commit five capital sins:
wrath - revenge, sadism
pride - to get honor; nationalism
greed - loot, wages. It is as evil as being hired by a drug-trafficker gang.
lust - rape
envy - when one envies the enemy
That's nice... however, we live in reality where morality, and thus the reasons to go to war, are not as simple as black and white. And it's almost as if you forgot the notion of "OMG they have come to loot and kill us. Defend! Defend!" and don't forget the Milgram Experiment!
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Squall » Fri 19 Jun 2015, 21:39

Ahzoh wrote:And it's almost as if you forgot the notion of "OMG they have come to loot and kill us. Defend! Defend!" and don't forget the Milgram Experiment!
I had forgotten to mention that I asked about the perspective of the invader.
English is not my native language. Sorry for any mistakes or lack of knowledge when I discuss this language.
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Ahzoh » Fri 19 Jun 2015, 21:54

Squall wrote:
Ahzoh wrote:And it's almost as if you forgot the notion of "OMG they have come to loot and kill us. Defend! Defend!" and don't forget the Milgram Experiment!
I had forgotten to mention that I asked about the perspective of the invader.
I can't find you saying that earlier, so you must mean now. Some invaders may have been previously assaulted by who they are invading and they want to genocide them to prevent any future invasions or possible genocide themselves...
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by qwed117 » Fri 19 Jun 2015, 22:00

I believe that Japan's attack on PH was justified, but so was the retaliation up to but not including the bombing of Tokyo and others
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Keenir » Fri 19 Jun 2015, 22:51

Tanni wrote:
alynnidalar wrote:I'd agree that 9/11 wasn't cowardly--I'm not sure killing yourself to kill others really qualifies as "cowardly", it takes some amount of guts to go through with suicide--but I definitely think there's a big difference between a sovereign nation declaring war on another sovereign nation to pre-empt the other nation declaring war on them first (even if the declaration did sort-of-accidentally-sort-of-on-purpose come after the attack), and a group that's definitely not a sovereign nation that attacking a sovereign nation for what arguably were symbolic reasons.
The cowards are those who prepared that attacks from behind their desks and let others do the dirty-work. The cowards are those who prepared the people actually flying the planes into the buildings.
yes, because support staff are evil. :roll:

EDIT: on the other hand, is it braver to commit suicide by cop or turn your gun on yourself? (optional: either of those after going on a shooting spree?)
Do you think they did it by free will? They might have got (psycho)drugs and were religiously prepared.
and they might have cuddled a giant bunny the night before - 'might' is what we can't know.
[:P]
I remember a documentary film about the incidents saying that the pilots were made to believe that they will meet god there.
'were made to believe'? it'd be easier to find people who already believe that.
Modern-day terrorism and, indeed, modern-day warfare are quite different from that of earlier periods. (which is not to say that it's all that special, in that regard. The warfare of the early 1900s was not much like the warfare of the 1800s, which was not much like the warfare of the 1500s, etc. Every time period is different.)
Yes! And the risks are different, too.
so...war was better when there was no risk of being nuked? only the threat of General Winter and starvation?
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by elemtilas » Sat 20 Jun 2015, 06:03

Ahzoh wrote:
Squall wrote:I do not distinguish 'kill' and 'murder'. Maybe the distinction exists in my natlang as well, but there are many distinctions that are defined in laws and people who do not know laws, including me, do not know. [xP]

Anyway, the act of killing is sinful. Those who go to a war commit five capital sins:
wrath - revenge, sadism
pride - to get honor; nationalism
greed - loot, wages. It is as evil as being hired by a drug-trafficker gang.
lust - rape
envy - when one envies the enemy
That's nice... however, we live in reality where morality, and thus the reasons to go to war, are not as simple as black and white. And it's almost as if you forgot the notion of "OMG they have come to loot and kill us. Defend! Defend!" and don't forget the Milgram Experiment!
Having a "reason" to make war does not in any way make the reasonable or understandable killing any less evil.

With respect to what Squall said above, "Anyway, the act of killing is sinful."

Right. I would take such killings -- war, self defense, abortion, etc -- and call them "understandable killings" or "explainable killings". I understand why a man shoots a burglar breaking into his house; I understand why this country fights against that country and I understand why mothers kill babies and why the law seeks the death penalty. However understandable and however explainable, all those actions are the act of killing, and not in any way an act of love. Therefore, as he says, they are sinful. I may understand or agree with or even engage in one or more those killings if put in that situation; but in doing so, I would not consider doing that act as anything other than a failing to act in a loving manner.

So in other words, Ahzoh, the morality is indeed crystal clear. We either choose to go the moral way, or we fail to choose the moral way. In whatever choice we make, there are prices to be paid and consequences to be reckoned. If "they" are coming to loot and kill us -- by all means, kill the bastards before they can even get close! But let's not sugar coat the fact that we have countered evil with evil. Let's not pretend like we have taken the morally high road in claiming "self defense". That's pretend morality. Let's in stead simply acknowledge the truth of the situation: we were presented with the horns of a dilemma and we chose to counter their evil act with our own evil act rather than choosing to do no evil act of our own. This is not about assigning blame or "judging" others or even assigning "better choice" / "worse choice" to these events -- this is about owning the simple truth of one's actions and the sequelae of those actions.

I am not saying it's right to let yourself be killed; I'm not saying it's wrong to kill in self defense. I am saying it is an act of evil to kill; and am recognizing within the act of self defense the nature of that act.

The Milgram Experiment is interesting on many levels: the experiment itself is unethical and therefore a failure to act in a loving way towards other people (the use of deceit to elicit participation, the nature of the experiment itself); and yet it demonstrates admirably how easy it is for people to behave in an evil way, just because someone "in authority" tells them to do something. It is also interesting to note how frequently participants were grateful to have participated -- I can only suppose that their eyes were opened to how easily they actually failed. (Even the numbers are interesting: two thirds of people undergoing the experiment failed to behave in a loving or moral way.

I found this response (on the WP article) to be instructive: "While I was a subject in 1964, though I believed that I was hurting someone, I was totally unaware of why I was doing so. Few people ever realize when they are acting according to their own beliefs and when they are meekly submitting to authority… To permit myself to be drafted with the understanding that I am submitting to authority's demand to do something very wrong would make me frightened of myself… I am fully prepared to go to jail if I am not granted Conscientious Objector status. Indeed, it is the only course I could take to be faithful to what I believe. My only hope is that members of my board act equally according to their conscience…" Here is an example of evil ultimately being turned to a good end. This doesn't excuse or alter the evil done, however.

Squall wrote:I do not distinguish 'kill' and 'murder'. Maybe the distinction exists in my natlang as well, but there are many distinctions that are defined in laws and people who do not know laws, including me, do not know. [xP]
For me, the distinction between kinds of killing is really a semantic one: one of intention & planning vs one of incident. If a person maps out his victim's daily routines, follows him around, finds the best opportunity to kill, has motive and means and plans in place -- this one is a murderer. If a person is at a bar and has been drinking and gets into a fight and lands a lucky blow against his opponent and kills him -- that one is a killer, but no murderer. If a person is constantly abused by another over the course of years and finds an opportunity to end the abuse by use of a weapon -- that one is a killer, but no murderer. The difference only appears when the death is accidental or incidental to other factors. If a person is driving along a street and passes a parked truck and another person runs out from behind the truck and is struck and killed -- the driver is neither killer nor murderer. The driver was not the cause of the death.

Semantic because, as above, whether a person plans & carries out the death of another or whether a person falls into a horrible incident that results in another's death, that person was the proximate cause in both instances of a sinful act.
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Ahzoh » Sat 20 Jun 2015, 06:22

You both have such simple ideas on killing, one that relies on the subjective view that "ending a life is evil". Despite the reasons, whether defensive or not, "nope, killing is evil". Too simplistic. If you are going to call an innocent someone evil for defending themselves from someone who wanted to kill them first, then you have a twisted and simplistic view of "evil". I guess hunters and farmers are evil too, unless you're delimiting to only humans.

Unlike you, I'm (almost) a complete moral relativist. I generally don't believe in absolute morality, with exceptions.
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Tanni » Sat 20 Jun 2015, 12:31

Ahzoh wrote:You both have such simple ideas on killing, one that relies on the subjective view that "ending a life is evil". Despite the reasons, whether defensive or not, "nope, killing is evil". Too simplistic. If you are going to call an innocent someone evil for defending themselves from someone who wanted to kill them first, then you have a twisted and simplistic view of "evil". I guess hunters and farmers are evil too, unless you're delimiting to only humans.
Very much seconded!
Unlike you, I'm (almost) a complete moral relativist. I generally don't believe in absolute morality, with exceptions.
You can put it this way. The problem is, that the moral we ''officially'' use is some 2000, 2500 or more years old. Times changed since them tremendously! There is a theory that there was a time where there only were a few humans left (after some incident, maybe a nature catastrophy). The ''thou shalt not kill'' might come from this. To enforce that -- and some other rules --, they used a psychological trick: GOD! See Orwell's 1984 and the televisors. As people back then weren't that enlightened as today, this worked -- or didn't work -- for many centuries. So many of our moralic problems -- especially if it comes to questions of life and death -- come simply from that psychological trick. We don't need morality, but fairness based on the Golden rule.
My neurochemistry has fucked my impulse control, now I'm diagnosed OOD = oppositional opinion disorder, one of the most deadly diseases in totalitarian states, but can be cured in the free world.
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Tanni » Sat 20 Jun 2015, 12:51

Keenir wrote:
Tanni wrote:
alynnidalar wrote:I'd agree that 9/11 wasn't cowardly--I'm not sure killing yourself to kill others really qualifies as "cowardly", it takes some amount of guts to go through with suicide--but I definitely think there's a big difference between a sovereign nation declaring war on another sovereign nation to pre-empt the other nation declaring war on them first (even if the declaration did sort-of-accidentally-sort-of-on-purpose come after the attack), and a group that's definitely not a sovereign nation that attacking a sovereign nation for what arguably were symbolic reasons.
The cowards are those who prepared that attacks from behind their desks and let others do the dirty-work. The cowards are those who prepared the people actually flying the planes into the buildings.
yes, because support staff are evil. :roll:
I didn't mean support staff! I meant Bin Laden and the people behind him.
EDIT: on the other hand, is it braver to commit suicide by cop or turn your gun on yourself? (optional: either of those after going on a shooting spree?)
The shooting spree reminds me on the outcomes of bullying. This is a very complex topic, so there is no simple answer.
Do you think they did it by free will? They might have got (psycho)drugs and were religiously prepared.
and they might have cuddled a giant bunny the night before - 'might' is what we can't know.
[:P]
''Might'' is a guess based on some general (background) knowledge. It is clear that incidents like that must be planned and that it must be ensured that things go the ways intended to go, as otherwise, there are so many possibilities things can go ''wrong''. So, the other way round, when things proceed like things have proceeded back then, it is a good assumption that things have been prepared for a long time before.
Modern-day terrorism and, indeed, modern-day warfare are quite different from that of earlier periods. (which is not to say that it's all that special, in that regard. The warfare of the early 1900s was not much like the warfare of the 1800s, which was not much like the warfare of the 1500s, etc. Every time period is different.)
Yes! And the risks are different, too.
so...war was better when there was no risk of being nuked? only the threat of General Winter and starvation?
To answer the opening question, it would make sense to try to answer the question for the time period respectively. Every period had it's own risks for the soldier.
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Lao Kou » Sat 20 Jun 2015, 14:16

Tanni wrote:As people back then weren't that enlightened as today, this worked -- or didn't work -- for many centuries.
Poor unenlightened ancients.
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Tanni » Sat 20 Jun 2015, 15:21

elemtilas wrote:
Ahzoh wrote:
Squall wrote:I do not distinguish 'kill' and 'murder'. Maybe the distinction exists in my natlang as well, but there are many distinctions that are defined in laws and people who do not know laws, including me, do not know. [xP]

Anyway, the act of killing is sinful. Those who go to a war commit five capital sins:
wrath - revenge, sadism
pride - to get honor; nationalism
greed - loot, wages. It is as evil as being hired by a drug-trafficker gang.
lust - rape
envy - when one envies the enemy
That's nice... however, we live in reality where morality, and thus the reasons to go to war, are not as simple as black and white. And it's almost as if you forgot the notion of "OMG they have come to loot and kill us. Defend! Defend!" and don't forget the Milgram Experiment!
Having a "reason" to make war does not in any way make the reasonable or understandable killing any less evil.

With respect to what Squall said above, "Anyway, the act of killing is sinful."

Right. I would take such killings -- war, self defense, abortion, etc -- and call them "understandable killings" or "explainable killings". I understand why a man shoots a burglar breaking into his house; I understand why this country fights against that country and I understand why mothers kill babies and why the law seeks the death penalty. However understandable and however explainable, all those actions are the act of killing, and not in any way an act of love. Therefore, as he says, they are sinful. I may understand or agree with or even engage in one or more those killings if put in that situation; but in doing so, I would not consider doing that act as anything other than a failing to act in a loving manner.
How can you know or understand all this? You cannot love all the people. I wonder if someone ever can truely love their enemies. This christian lore just leads into hypocrisy.
“Why should I not hate mine enemies―if I "love" them does that not place me at their mercy?”
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
So in other words, Ahzoh, the morality is indeed crystal clear. We either choose to go the moral way, or we fail to choose the moral way. In whatever choice we make, there are prices to be paid and consequences to be reckoned. If "they" are coming to loot and kill us -- by all means, kill the bastards before they can even get close! But let's not sugar coat the fact that we have countered evil with evil. Let's not pretend like we have taken the morally high road in claiming "self defense". That's pretend morality. Let's in stead simply acknowledge the truth of the situation: we were presented with the horns of a dilemma and we chose to counter their evil act with our own evil act rather than choosing to do no evil act of our own. This is not about assigning blame or "judging" others or even assigning "better choice" / "worse choice" to these events -- this is about owning the simple truth of one's actions and the sequelae of those actions.
Have you ever been in a situation where somebody suddenly attacked you? Do you think you have time to make elaborated choices in an surprisedly arising threatening situation, especially when weapons are involved or when there are more than one attacker or both, or if that happens in the void, so only you and the attackers? What's when there is no other way as ''to counter their evil act with our own evil act''? ''... rather than choosing to do no evil act of our own.'' Ever heard of the instinct of self preservation?

If you are in a dilemma, what do you think is the best way to -- morally -- deal with it? Does it make sense to apply morality to a dilemma? I don't think so! If you act in a dilemma situation, according to your morality, you will be guilty regardless what you're doing. (See it as a moralic system crash!) Here comes fairness into play: In such a situation, it simply isn't fair to apply morality. Or, the other way round, morality isn't fair! But the ones who in this case judge you by moralic standards are hypocrits.
Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit!
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
(BTW, I'm not a Satanist, but I see that there is more wisdom and straightforwardness in the Satanic Bible than in the original Bible)
I am not saying it's right to let yourself be killed; I'm not saying it's wrong to kill in self defense. I am saying it is an act of evil to kill; and am recognizing within the act of self defense the nature of that act.
Elemtilas, if you see it that way, then when you slaughter a rabbit, it is an evil deed? If you suffer from Pertussis and you body's immune system kills the bacteria, it's an evil deed? If you walk along to school, and you step on an ant, and the ant is dead, it's an evil deed? A moralic system like that brought the church lot's of money and was a main reason (paying for the forgiving of sins) why Martin Luther started the reformation. How moralic is a perverted moralic system?
The Milgram Experiment is interesting on many levels: the experiment itself is unethical and therefore a failure to act in a loving way towards other people (the use of deceit to elicit participation, the nature of the experiment itself); and yet it demonstrates admirably how easy it is for people to behave in an evil way, just because someone "in authority" tells them to do something. It is also interesting to note how frequently participants were grateful to have participated -- I can only suppose that their eyes were opened to how easily they actually failed. (Even the numbers are interesting: two thirds of people undergoing the experiment failed to behave in a loving or moral way.
I wouldn't equate ''loving'' with ''moral''. You simply can't love everyone.
“Love is one of the most intense feelings felt by man; another is hate. Forcing yourself to feel indiscriminate love is very unnatural. If you try to love everyone you only lessen your feelings for those who deserve your love. Repressed hatred can lead to many physical and emotional aliments. By learning to release your hatred towards those who deserve it, you cleanse yourself of these malignant emotions and need not take your pent-up hatred out on your loved ones.”
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
Squall wrote:I do not distinguish 'kill' and 'murder'. Maybe the distinction exists in my natlang as well, but there are many distinctions that are defined in laws and people who do not know laws, including me, do not know. [xP]
Interesting point of view! Me doesn't like the word ''murder'', it seems to be an moralic thought-terminating cliché.
For me, the distinction between kinds of killing is really a semantic one: one of intention & planning vs one of incident.
It would be interesting if there are societies which subdivide that semantic space differently.
If a person maps out his victim's daily routines, follows him around, finds the best opportunity to kill, has motive and means and plans in place -- this one is a murderer.
This can be someone who's seeking revenche, or could be some secret-service operation. In both cases, I wouldn't call that murder, but would like to know more about the background to judge it. It probably would be when there is no serious, justifying reason why somebody does this.
If a person is at a bar and has been drinking and gets into a fight and lands a lucky blow against his opponent and kills him -- that one is a killer, but no murderer.
You could also see that as an accident, especially if alcohol was involved.
If a person is constantly abused by another over the course of years and finds an opportunity to end the abuse by use of a weapon -- that one is a killer, but no murderer.
This is a defense action in a bullying-process, where the action aimes at the termination of that process. A bullying-process is some kind of undeclared war between small groups of individuals or single individuals, where there is (by definition) imbalance of power, intent to cause harm and repetiton. It is just fair to accept the victim having defended himself without coming up with insulting terms like murderer or even killer. Here, there is at least one third party: the society around the bully and the victim. If this society fails to help the victim or to recognice that process and acts accordingly, and in personal knowledge about being bullied, it is highly unfair und amoralic to call a bullied person who finally defended himself in the described way even a killer. Note, this is not a bilateral thingy, but a multilateral. Things only could develope that far because lots of people didn't react, even und especially people claiming to be moralic!
The difference only appears when the death is accidental or incidental to other factors. If a person is driving along a street and passes a parked truck and another person runs out from behind the truck and is struck and killed -- the driver is neither killer nor murderer. The driver was not the cause of the death.
If there would have been no driver, there would have been no death. So the driver caused the death by driving the car. If the driver -- for physical and physiological reasons -- never had a chance to avoid the death, how can he be a murderer or a killer? This is simply called an accident! There is nothing sinful about that, even so the incident itself is very sad. Why did the other person runs out without looking? See that the usual distinctions for killer and murderer are somewhat outdated, unappropriate and therefore wrong.
“There is nothing inherently sacred about moral codes. Like the wooden idols of long ago, they are the work of human hands, and what man has made, man can destroy!”
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
Semantic because, as above, whether a person plans & carries out the death of another or whether a person falls into a horrible incident that results in another's death, that person was the proximate cause in both instances of a sinful act.
Consider a language where there is no affix for denominating the doer or actor or perpetrator of an action. Would we have a discussion like that?
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by elemtilas » Sat 20 Jun 2015, 17:25

Ahzoh wrote:You both have such simple ideas on killing, one that relies on the subjective view that "ending a life is evil". Despite the reasons, whether defensive or not, "nope, killing is evil". Too simplistic. If you are going to call an innocent someone evil for defending themselves from someone who wanted to kill them first, then you have a twisted and simplistic view of "evil". I guess hunters and farmers are evil too, unless you're delimiting to only humans.

Unlike you, I'm (almost) a complete moral relativist. I generally don't believe in absolute morality, with exceptions.
Then you are misreading. Note that I did not call a person evil for killing, but rather the action the person has done is evil. And it is, quite simply, an evil action to end the life of a sophont, in our case, a human being. I would say that someone who has zero qualms about killing an intruder or executing a criminal has the more skewed understanding of evil.

Indeed, hunting and farming are quite different: killing an animal or a plant in order to eat is not a moral act at all (no sophonts are involved at the victim -- morality only comes into play when persons are involved).
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by elemtilas » Sat 20 Jun 2015, 17:34

Tanni wrote:The problem is, that the moral we ''officially'' use is some 2000, 2500 or more years old. Times changed since them tremendously! There is a theory that there was a time where there only were a few humans left (after some incident, maybe a nature catastrophy). The ''thou shalt not kill'' might come from this. To enforce that -- and some other rules --, they used a psychological trick: GOD! See Orwell's 1984 and the televisors. As people back then weren't that enlightened as today, this worked -- or didn't work -- for many centuries. So many of our moralic problems -- especially if it comes to questions of life and death -- come simply from that psychological trick. We don't need morality, but fairness based on the Golden rule.
People have not changed appreciably in 2000 or even 20000 years. Whether it may be deemed necessary or understandable, it was evil to kill and rape 2000 years ago, and it is still evil.

You, perhaps unwittingly, touch upon one of the great foundation stones of all morality: if you do not wish to be killed, then don't wish that on others. Until you can give life, don't be so quick to take it from others.

In stating the need for fairness based upon the Golden Rule, you have in fact stated the need for morality!
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Keenir » Sat 20 Jun 2015, 18:56

Tanni wrote:
Ahzoh wrote:Unlike you, I'm (almost) a complete moral relativist. I generally don't believe in absolute morality, with exceptions.
You can put it this way. The problem is, that the moral we ''officially'' use is some 2000, 2500 or more years old. Times changed since them tremendously! There is a theory that there was a time where there only were a few humans left (after some incident, maybe a nature catastrophy). The ''thou shalt not kill'' might come from this. To enforce that -- and some other rules --, they used a psychological trick: GOD! See Orwell's 1984 and the televisors. As people back then weren't that enlightened as today,
prove it.
(preferably that people now are more enlightened)
Tanni wrote:
Keenir wrote:
Tanni wrote: The cowards are those who prepared the people actually flying the planes into the buildings.
yes, because support staff are evil. :roll:
I didn't mean support staff! I meant Bin Laden and the people behind him.
support staff - the people who make a complex action possible. the ones who rented the apartment, who paid for flying lessons, meals, etc.
EDIT: on the other hand, is it braver to commit suicide by cop or turn your gun on yourself? (optional: either of those after going on a shooting spree?)
The shooting spree reminds me on the outcomes of bullying.
bullying? is that why that guy opened fire in a school full of Amish kids?

EDIT:
elemtilas wrote: Then you are misreading. Note that I did not call a person evil for killing, but rather the action the person has done is evil. And it is, quite simply, an evil action to end the life of a sophont, in our case, a human being. I would say that someone who has zero qualms about killing an intruder or executing a criminal has the more skewed understanding of evil.
so, you'd rather let an intruder kill your family, than feel squeamish or uneasy? [O.O]
Indeed, hunting and farming are quite different: killing an animal or a plant in order to eat is not a moral act at all (no sophonts are involved at the victim -- morality only comes into play when persons are involved).
is it moral to eat a dolphin or a chimpanzee? they aren't sophonts.
(if I remember my time with Uplift, a sophont has spaceflight abilities - and only one species on Earth has that distinction)
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by elemtilas » Sat 20 Jun 2015, 20:10

Tanni wrote:
elemtilas wrote:I would take such killings -- war, self defense, abortion, etc -- and call them "understandable killings" or "explainable killings". I understand why a man shoots a burglar breaking into his house; I understand why this country fights against that country and I understand why mothers kill babies and why the law seeks the death penalty. However understandable and however explainable, all those actions are the act of killing, and not in any way an act of love. Therefore, as he says, they are sinful. I may understand or agree with or even engage in one or more those killings if put in that situation; but in doing so, I would not consider doing that act as anything other than a failing to act in a loving manner.
How can you know or understand all this? You cannot love all the people. I wonder if someone ever can truely love their enemies. This christian lore just leads into hypocrisy.
[:)] Perhaps you should try it sometime? Before you tell someone it can not be done?
“Why should I not hate mine enemies―if I "love" them does that not place me at their mercy?”
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
First, this takes way too much energy. (Been there, done that.) Second, you will drown in your hatred, as you find more and more people that are distasteful to you.
Have you ever been in a situation where somebody suddenly attacked you? Do you think you have time to make elaborated choices in an surprisedly arising threatening situation, especially when weapons are involved or when there are more than one attacker or both, or if that happens in the void, so only you and the attackers? What's when there is no other way as ''to counter their evil act with our own evil act''? ''... rather than choosing to do no evil act of our own.'' Ever heard of the instinct of self preservation?
I have indeed been in such situations. (Happily, none of them involved imminent death!) I can tell you that one time I was hit at school and chased the attacker through the building, caught him and beat him up. Other times I was bullied but chose the way of non-violent acceptance. The failure to well handle that one situation still stings more than all the other incidents. Those have left no permanent stain.
If you are in a dilemma, what do you think is the best way to -- morally -- deal with it? Does it make sense to apply morality to a dilemma? I don't think so! If you act in a dilemma situation, according to your morality, you will be guilty regardless what you're doing. (See it as a moralic system crash!) Here comes fairness into play: In such a situation, it simply isn't fair to apply morality. Or, the other way round, morality isn't fair! But the ones who in this case judge you by moralic standards are hypocrits.
Not at all -- morality applies to every situation where you are involved with another person. Sometimes there is no good answer, and yes, sometimes you find yourself in a lose-lose situation. You simply have to accept that you made best possible decision in that moment and move on.
Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit!
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
(BTW, I'm not a Satanist, but I see that there is more wisdom and straightforwardness in the Satanic Bible than in the original Bible)
Wisdom can indeed be found in many places. I read the S.B. many years ago. More often than not, Satan represents the departure from all wisdom.
I am not saying it's right to let yourself be killed; I'm not saying it's wrong to kill in self defense. I am saying it is an act of evil to kill; and am recognizing within the act of self defense the nature of that act.
Elemtilas, if you see it that way, then when you slaughter a rabbit, it is an evil deed?
Not at all. Unless the rabbits in question are sophontic beings -- like us humans in their mental, conceptual, spiritual, intellectual capacities. If they are persons, then yes, killing one becomes an evil deed (again, whether or not that deed may be seen as understandable or explainable). Rabbits are not persons, however, therefore morality does not come into play with respect to the rabbit. (If the rabbit is the property of another person -- a pet, for example -- and I kill it, then I shall have committed a (relatively minor) immoral act against the rabbit's owner. In this case, the destruction of property.
If you suffer from Pertussis and you body's immune system kills the bacteria, it's an evil deed? If you walk along to school, and you step on an ant, and the ant is dead, it's an evil deed? A moralic system like that brought the church lot's of money and was a main reason (paying for the forgiving of sins) why Martin Luther started the reformation. How moralic is a perverted moralic system?
Any perverted moral system can not be moral. And no, the immune system destroying bacteria is not an evil deed. Morality pertains to persons and their relationships between one another; not to things, not to property, not to living beings that are not persons.
I wouldn't equate ''loving'' with ''moral''. You simply can't love everyone.
Fair enough, though I would come much closer to equating the two: if you behave morally, then you are engaging in love; if your attitude towards others is one of love, then you will naturally behave morally towards them. That Golden Rule thing is a key here. You say it is impossible to love everyone: I say stand back and let me try! In any event, I would strongly encourage you to give it a try rather than simply dismiss the notion! Start out simple, with yourself. Expand your circle from there. It takes some effort at the start, to be sure. Begin by not hating anyone in that widening circle; then start a widening circle of love. Once you get over self, it really becomes much easier.
“Love is one of the most intense feelings felt by man; another is hate. Forcing yourself to feel indiscriminate love is very unnatural. If you try to love everyone you only lessen your feelings for those who deserve your love. Repressed hatred can lead to many physical and emotional aliments. By learning to release your hatred towards those who deserve it, you cleanse yourself of these malignant emotions and need not take your pent-up hatred out on your loved ones.”
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
It is in fact, one of the most natural, and certainly one of the most liberating things you can do. La Vey is correct on this point: repressed hatreds can indeed lead to emotional ailments! These things must be released. Free yourself from hatred first; then work on allowing love to flow through you. And no, love can not be forced; but once allowed to move, it is a flood irresistible and unstoppable! La Vey is incorrect on this point: that loving more people diminishes the feelings for your inner circle. The opposite is in fact true. It becomes a positive feedback system: as you engage in love towards more and more people outside your inner circle, the feelings magnify and grow incredibly.
Squall wrote:It would be interesting if there are societies which subdivide that semantic space differently.
Indeed!
If a person maps out his victim's daily routines, follows him around, finds the best opportunity to kill, has motive and means and plans in place -- this one is a murderer.
This can be someone who's seeking revenge, or could be some secret-service operation.
There can be any number of ancillary factors. What I am getting at is "planned and executed" vs. "unplanned and incidental". It doesn't really change anything if the planning is motivated by (understandable!) revenge or (explainable!) government activity.
In both cases, I wouldn't call that murder, but would like to know more about the background to judge it. It probably would be when there is no serious, justifying reason why somebody does this.
Indeed. I would not call the second one "murder", but certainly the first one is. I find the first one understandable: the desire for revenge is very strong in humans. Terribly powerful. Governments are generally about the most corrupt and morally bankrupt organisations one can imagine. A SS operation may well be explainable, and also understandable, and perhaps in some way be laudable, but these facts really don't change the underlying reality. And yes, more information is better than less: learning the whole story and any mitigating or aggravating circumstances certainly helps with forming a good perspective of the deed, even though the nature of the deed itself is not changed.
If a person is at a bar and has been drinking and gets into a fight and lands a lucky blow against his opponent and kills him -- that one is a killer, but no murderer.
You could also see that as an accident, especially if alcohol was involved.
Exactly my point! The drunk still puts himself in a place where this is (more) likely to happen, and must bear culpability because he performed actions that directly led to the death of another person.
If a person is constantly abused by another over the course of years and finds an opportunity to end the abuse by use of a weapon -- that one is a killer, but no murderer.
This is a defense action in a bullying-process, where the action aimes at the termination of that process. A bullying-process is some kind of undeclared war between small groups of individuals or single individuals, where there is (by definition) imbalance of power, intent to cause harm and repetiton. It is just fair to accept the victim having defended himself without coming up with insulting terms like murderer or even killer. Here, there is at least one third party: the society around the bully and the victim. If this society fails to help the victim or to recognice that process and acts accordingly, and in personal knowledge about being bullied, it is highly unfair und amoralic to call a bullied person who finally defended himself in the described way even a killer. Note, this is not a bilateral thingy, but a multilateral. Things only could develope that far because lots of people didn't react, even und especially people claiming to be moralic!
Indeed. As I said, this kind of killing is understandable. Me, I don't think I could really bring myself to convict such a person of a crime, were I on a jury. But the focus here is not on the circumstances -- and we can wallow in circumstances for years and never get anywhere! -- but rather on the action itself, which is the intentional taking of another's life.
The difference only appears when the death is accidental or incidental to other factors. If a person is driving along a street and passes a parked truck and another person runs out from behind the truck and is struck and killed -- the driver is neither killer nor murderer. The driver was not the cause of the death.
If there would have been no driver, there would have been no death.
Indeed not! At least not at this particular time in history... That is why this is a true accident, and a tragedy. No immoral action was engaged in by the driver; the driver is not a killer of any kind, to say nothing of being a murderer!
So the driver caused the death by driving the car. If the driver -- for physical and physiological reasons -- never had a chance to avoid the death, how can he be a murderer or a killer?
As I said before, and just now, the driver is neither killer nor murderer. In this case, death was caused more by the running man's inattention than by anything the driver did.
This is simply called an accident! There is nothing sinful about that, even so the incident itself is very sad.
Exactly as I said!
Why did the other person runs out without looking?
Don't know; and as far as the nature of the death goes, not really relevant. There is no evil action here on the part of the driver.
See that the usual distinctions for killer and murderer are somewhat outdated, unappropriate and therefore wrong.
Agreed. This is why I said "the driver is neither killer nor murderer"! Neither term applies in this kind of circumstance.
“There is nothing inherently sacred about moral codes. Like the wooden idols of long ago, they are the work of human hands, and what man has made, man can destroy!”
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
This is of course true. We, as a society, have the power and ability to tomorrow allow as moral or disallow as immoral any action we deem changeworthy. This doesn't really alter the fundamental rightness or wrongness of those actions so redefined. All we shall have done is exchange one set of words on a piece of paper for another set.
Semantic because, as above, whether a person plans & carries out the death of another or whether a person falls into a horrible incident that results in another's death, that person was the proximate cause in both instances of a sinful act.
Consider a language where there is no affix for denominating the doer or actor or perpetrator of an action. Would we have a discussion like that?
Answer me this: do the speakers of this language have means other than affixes to describe the agent role, or is there simply no concept of agency whatsoever (and therefore obviously no means to discuss those roles in the language)?

If the latter, and if we wère those people, then I'd argue that no we probably would not be having this discussion. I might just shrug my shoulders and say "he died? que será será!"

A véry different culture and perspective -- and probably a species -- indeed! Maybe you should work this idea some more?
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Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by elemtilas » Sat 20 Jun 2015, 20:30

Keenir wrote:
elemtilas wrote: Then you are misreading. Note that I did not call a person evil for killing, but rather the action the person has done is evil. And it is, quite simply, an evil action to end the life of a sophont, in our case, a human being. I would say that someone who has zero qualms about killing an intruder or executing a criminal has the more skewed understanding of evil.
so, you'd rather let an intruder kill your family, than feel squeamish or uneasy? [O.O]
Did I say that? Did I not rather say something along the lines of "kill the bastard first before he can close?" [o.O]

Still, that is a valid choice, to do nothing and let the intruder run his course. Still another choice, and I think a very dangerous one, would be to attempt to neutralise the intruder (by tackling him & removing his weapon). Running away (by jumping out the window) and letting him take your stuff is also a viable choice, and greatly reduces the risk of a death occurring.
Indeed, hunting and farming are quite different: killing an animal or a plant in order to eat is not a moral act at all (no sophonts are involved at the victim -- morality only comes into play when persons are involved).
is it moral to eat a dolphin or a chimpanzee? they aren't sophonts.
(if I remember my time with Uplift, a sophont has spaceflight abilities - and only one species on Earth has that distinction)
If they are not persons, then there is no morality attached. Eat them or don't! Me, I would choose not to, because (and apart from the yuck factor attached to all non-beef, non-chicken, non-turkey and non-breaded-n-fried fish) because some animals approach personhood without actually / technically attaining to it. So, better safe than sorry may apply.

I understand a sophont to be "an intelligent being; a being with a base reasoning capacity roughly equivalent to or greater (though perhaps even slightly less) than that of a human being." So: not okay to eat humans, not okay to eat "Elves", not okay to eat "Vulcans", not okay to eat "Daine", probably not okay to eat "Ewoks", probably okay to eat "dolphins" and "dogs".
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