Is volunteering for the military a potentially unethical decision?
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01-03-2012, 02:41 PM
RE: Is volunteering for the military a potentially unethical decision?
(01-03-2012 02:08 PM)lucradis Wrote:  So the answer is both yes and no.

Exactly the answer I was hoping for.

That is why I used the word 'potentially' in the title.

However, as I was trying to explain to KC, the thread was about INDIVIDUAL responsibility and ethics.

When you volunteer, you expose yourself to the danger of being used unethically in the service of evil men for their own personal gain.

This at least puts the onus on you to do everything in your power to research the issue of how much you can trust your government to use your oath of loyalty for good purposes.

You have to look at the history of your own country and look for precedents of how soldiers who volunteered before you, were used by your government.

If you find that in the majority of cases they were used in unjust, inhumane and unethical ways, then you had better think twice before signing the paper.

If you don't do this, and ignore all the evidence in plain site in history books, then you acted irresponsibly and potentially exposed yourself to be forced to do things against your own moral code, assuming you had any to start with.

Many do, some don't and it is a sad fact.
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16-03-2012, 12:14 PM
RE: Is volunteering for the military a potentially unethical decision?
(26-02-2012 12:18 PM)Zat 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.

A common assumption and as with many assumptions quite, quite wrong. It is the duty of an indvidual soldier to identify immoral or illegal orders and not follow them. A soldier that neglects this duty is guilty of an offence.

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.

In no sense what so ever do you suspend your own personal morality, if your morality is such that following legal orders are contray yoh should either have not volunteered in the first place, or in the case of conscription you should have declared yourself a conscentious objector.

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.

Again, see above, but wrong.

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.

I have served, I did volunteer to serve, I no point surrendered or suspended my morality or ability to protest if that was infringed and more to the point I was never put in the position were I would have to.

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

I live with it just fine, if anything the morality of civilian life causes me concern than my military life ever caused me.

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

By the time of the Gulf 2, I thankfully was no longer serving in HM Forces, but if I had been I would have declared myself a consetious objecter. The Second gulf conflict was not a legal action, and as I said above - it is the duty of the individual soldier to indentify and not comply with illegal orders.

In short, it comes down the assumption that you can compromise your morality because of circumstance placed upon you, if you can then they arent moral, theyre strongly held opinions. Morality, like duty and honour are not things your allowed to have if your prepared to compromise them.

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16-03-2012, 12:15 PM
RE: Is volunteering for the military a potentially unethical decision?
(01-03-2012 02:41 PM)Zat Wrote:  
(01-03-2012 02:08 PM)lucradis Wrote:  So the answer is both yes and no.

Exactly the answer I was hoping for.

That is why I used the word 'potentially' in the title.

However, as I was trying to explain to KC, the thread was about INDIVIDUAL responsibility and ethics.

When you volunteer, you expose yourself to the danger of being used unethically in the service of evil men for their own personal gain.

This at least puts the onus on you to do everything in your power to research the issue of how much you can trust your government to use your oath of loyalty for good purposes.

You have to look at the history of your own country and look for precedents of how soldiers who volunteered before you, were used by your government.

If you find that in the majority of cases they were used in unjust, inhumane and unethical ways, then you had better think twice before signing the paper.

If you don't do this, and ignore all the evidence in plain site in history books, then you acted irresponsibly and potentially exposed yourself to be forced to do things against your own moral code, assuming you had any to start with.

Many do, some don't and it is a sad fact.

Anything is potentially unethical.

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16-03-2012, 12:46 PM (This post was last modified: 16-03-2012 01:11 PM by Humakt.)
RE: Is volunteering for the military a potentially unethical decision?
[/quote]


What do you think you would do if say China invaded america and they had much superior weaponry than your army.


And as far as China invading, I assume it would be analogous to the British and the Revolutionary War. Of course I would resist the invading force. But as soon as my actions go from "opposed" to "kill the enemy" I am no longer an "innocent." There are other ways to make my defiance felt than to rig buildings to take human lives.

[/quote]

Im very much in your camp, but here buddy your in error. It would be in no analogous to the revolutionary war. The British did not invade, the 13 colonies were crown protectorates, the british troops had no need to invade you dont have to invade your own territory. As the term revolutionary, implies the revolutionary war was against the legal and recognised colonial goverment of his Britannic majesty and the rebellion of seditionists and traitors. I know that this is ancient history from your perspective, but its really closer to current affairs.

Still we're all friends now Smile



(01-03-2012 01:27 PM)Zat Wrote:  
(01-03-2012 01:15 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  No. As a whole, unethical decisions by a CO that affect lives are not common.

... and you talk about the BIG PICTURE?

How about the unethical decisions made by the ruling elite in Washington and the "military-industrial complex" that we were warned against by no less than one of your presidents?

Those who started the whole avalanche going?

When you volunteer, you undersign ALL of it, not just what your CO told you.

Come on KC, open your eyes a bit wider, will you? Huh

When you vote, when you dont resign citizenship and live in a row boat in international waters, when you pay tax, when you spend money your complict. We are all complict weather we serve in the military or not. Next time your neckin down a warm brown down at coffeebucks have a good think on the morality of the IMF and WTO and think about your complicity is in all of that every time you make a finanicial transaction of any kind.

There aint none of clean in this world, to reference a quote from Full Metal Jacket

"It's a giant shit sandwich and we're all gonna have to take a bite."

Maybe Im being unfair, maybe your principals match your outrage and your posting from your rowboat already and are blameless, in which case I apologise. If not how do you sleep at night knowing your economic security comes at the cost of the economic subjugation of a significant proportion of the worlds population.

At first I thought your OP, was ill informed and my first post attempts to address that. But having read through the thread, your attitude and discourse goes beyond ill informed into ignorant. But then we firebombed Dresden so you could enjoy that freedom of speech so by all means continue.

Anywhoo......
(01-03-2012 02:08 PM)lucradis Wrote:  First. All of us trust that where we live is actually better than most places. I mean seriously. it's true. Sure I'd probably rather live a couple of other places too, but I assure you there are more places I'm delighted to not be living in.

But that's totally besides the point. Bunch of derailers.

To actually answer the question posed within the title:

Yes it is potentially an unethical decision. But it is also potentially not. This keeps getting lumped into a whole. Some people are talking from experience, some are talking from having read shit, and some are talking about really large groups.
But this question in particular, the one in the title, is relative.
I would argue that there are people who would feel that they had to do whatever they were told, and I would imagine that there are people with positions of power that would use this position to do bad things. When these two people meet bad things can happen.
But I would also imagine (I have a great imagination) that there are people who would rather go to jail than purposefully do bad things, and I would imagine that there are people with positions of power that would feel it impossible to take advantage of their power, or just don't want to do bad things.
To lump every individual into one group and say that it is for one as it is for all, is not true.

So the answer is both yes and no.

[Image: mzIqm.gif]

Grats you win the thread.

gg all

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20-03-2012, 09:09 PM
RE: Is volunteering for the military a potentially unethical decision?
(16-03-2012 12:14 PM)Humakt Wrote:  
(26-02-2012 12:18 PM)Zat 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.

A common assumption and as with many assumptions quite, quite wrong. It is the duty of an indvidual soldier to identify immoral or illegal orders and not follow them. A soldier that neglects this duty is guilty of an offence.

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.

In no sense what so ever do you suspend your own personal morality, if your morality is such that following legal orders are contray yoh should either have not volunteered in the first place, or in the case of conscription you should have declared yourself a conscentious objector.

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.

Again, see above, but wrong.

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.

I have served, I did volunteer to serve, I no point surrendered or suspended my morality or ability to protest if that was infringed and more to the point I was never put in the position were I would have to.

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

I live with it just fine, if anything the morality of civilian life causes me concern than my military life ever caused me.

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

By the time of the Gulf 2, I thankfully was no longer serving in HM Forces, but if I had been I would have declared myself a consetious objecter. The Second gulf conflict was not a legal action, and as I said above - it is the duty of the individual soldier to indentify and not comply with illegal orders.

In short, it comes down the assumption that you can compromise your morality because of circumstance placed upon you, if you can then they arent moral, theyre strongly held opinions. Morality, like duty and honour are not things your allowed to have if your prepared to compromise them.

You should think on the positive side. Everyone kisses the veterans asses. even if they don't really deserve it.
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22-03-2012, 09:20 AM
RE: Is volunteering for the military a potentially unethical decision?
Thinking posativly or otherwise, in my expierance has little to no effect on how things are. That aside, being British and not some misty eyed colonial I can say Ive never had anything kissed, or indeed anyone care on that score.

It seems to me americans are more given to whoopin, cheering and "we're number 1ing" over anything than we are over this side of the pond.

Of course, this is pretty much cosmetic, american veterns are as likely to fall full the cracks as ours are.

Either side of the atlanic a medal and a gushing thank you, is no substitute for long term care.

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