Do soldiers sin by killing in war?

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LuckyR
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Re: Do soldiers sin by killing in war?

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AverageBozo wrote: March 8th, 2022, 9:01 pm
LuckyR wrote: March 8th, 2022, 2:30 pm
Pattern-chaser wrote: March 8th, 2022, 7:30 am
Good_Egg wrote: March 7th, 2022, 5:02 am Seems to me that top generals almost never order individual deaths. That's assassination, not war.
This is what is called 'rationalisation'. Such rationalisations are often used to 'justify' unjustifiable desires and aims. The one you offer here as an example is no exception. Top generals give orders that will necessarily result in the deaths of soldiers, both enemy and friendly forces. This is inescapable. What you describe is not distinct from assassination. In fact, it could as easily be called "assassination" as anything else. War includes and embraces assassination, and other things such as torture, the capture and imprisonment of civilians, senseless deaths, and so on. It's all war.
All very true but you're not getting to the crux of the issue. Just as generals give orders that soldiers carry out, you're missing the point that generals don't declare wars, politicians do. Though we shouldn't stop there, the society as a whole (since funding is through broad taxation) approves the creation of a professional military. Why blame someone specifically for using a military that had/has broad support for it's creation? It was, after all created to be used.
War is declared by politicians. War is carried out by generals giving orders that are translated into actions that a frontline soldier can enact.
Exactly, therefore where does the primary responsibility lie? My vote is for the society at large that paid for the military complex to begin with. That demonstrates acceptance of the concept of war killing before the first casualty has occured. Anyone who later laments the use of the military they signed off on previously, is just being disingenuous.
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Re: Do soldiers sin by killing in war?

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Good_Egg wrote: March 7th, 2022, 5:02 am Seems to me that top generals almost never order individual deaths. That's assassination, not war.
Pattern-chaser wrote: March 8th, 2022, 7:30 am This is what is called 'rationalisation'. Such rationalisations are often used to 'justify' unjustifiable desires and aims. The one you offer here as an example is no exception. Top generals give orders that will necessarily result in the deaths of soldiers, both enemy and friendly forces. This is inescapable. What you describe is not distinct from assassination. In fact, it could as easily be called "assassination" as anything else. War includes and embraces assassination, and other things such as torture, the capture and imprisonment of civilians, senseless deaths, and so on. It's all war.
LuckyR wrote: March 8th, 2022, 2:30 pm All very true but you're not getting to the crux of the issue. Just as generals give orders that soldiers carry out, you're missing the point that generals don't declare wars, politicians do. Though we shouldn't stop there, the society as a whole (since funding is through broad taxation) approves the creation of a professional military. Why blame someone specifically for using a military that had/has broad support for it's creation? It was, after all created to be used.
True. I was just trying to deal with the assertion that "That's assassination, not war", as though there's a meaningful difference between them. But yes, I agree that war is prosecuted by society/family/tribe/nation, even though it's the soldiers who carry and fire the weapons. The responsibility for war carries across the entire tribe.
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Re: Do soldiers sin by killing in war?

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Pattern-chaser wrote: March 10th, 2022, 7:34 am
Good_Egg wrote: March 7th, 2022, 5:02 am Seems to me that top generals almost never order individual deaths. That's assassination, not war.
Pattern-chaser wrote: March 8th, 2022, 7:30 am This is what is called 'rationalisation'. Such rationalisations are often used to 'justify' unjustifiable desires and aims. The one you offer here as an example is no exception. Top generals give orders that will necessarily result in the deaths of soldiers, both enemy and friendly forces. This is inescapable. What you describe is not distinct from assassination. In fact, it could as easily be called "assassination" as anything else. War includes and embraces assassination, and other things such as torture, the capture and imprisonment of civilians, senseless deaths, and so on. It's all war.
LuckyR wrote: March 8th, 2022, 2:30 pm All very true but you're not getting to the crux of the issue. Just as generals give orders that soldiers carry out, you're missing the point that generals don't declare wars, politicians do. Though we shouldn't stop there, the society as a whole (since funding is through broad taxation) approves the creation of a professional military. Why blame someone specifically for using a military that had/has broad support for it's creation? It was, after all created to be used.
True. I was just trying to deal with the assertion that "That's assassination, not war", as though there's a meaningful difference between them. But yes, I agree that war is prosecuted by society/family/tribe/nation, even though it's the soldiers who carry and fire the weapons. The responsibility for war carries across the entire tribe.
We are in complete agreement. As to actual assassination, say by the CIA, is IMO not the responsibility of the populace at large, because although the CIA was also created/funded through tax dollars, I believe that there was not transparency that (secret) assassinations would be a part of the bargain. Thus political leaders bear that responsibility.
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Re: Do soldiers sin by killing in war?

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LuckyR wrote: March 10th, 2022, 2:13 pm We are in complete agreement. As to actual assassination, say by the CIA, is IMO not the responsibility of the populace at large, because although the CIA was also created/funded through tax dollars, I believe that there was not transparency that (secret) assassinations would be a part of the bargain. Thus political leaders bear that responsibility.
In this last, I think we still disagree. 😉 The way democracy works, we elect representatives to govern on our behalf, and we all agree to abide by their decisions, and to own them. And politicians, being human (?), do wrong just often as they do right. We cannot expect to own their actions only if they perform as we hoped they might. We have to accept it all, even the bits where things go wrong. So CIA assassinations are still the responsibility of all American citizens, even if they shouldn't've done them; they did them, and that's it.
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Re: Do soldiers sin by killing in war?

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Pattern-chaser wrote: March 13th, 2022, 7:12 am
LuckyR wrote: March 10th, 2022, 2:13 pm We are in complete agreement. As to actual assassination, say by the CIA, is IMO not the responsibility of the populace at large, because although the CIA was also created/funded through tax dollars, I believe that there was not transparency that (secret) assassinations would be a part of the bargain. Thus political leaders bear that responsibility.
In this last, I think we still disagree. 😉 The way democracy works, we elect representatives to govern on our behalf, and we all agree to abide by their decisions, and to own them. And politicians, being human (?), do wrong just often as they do right. We cannot expect to own their actions only if they perform as we hoped they might. We have to accept it all, even the bits where things go wrong. So CIA assassinations are still the responsibility of all American citizens, even if they shouldn't've done them; they did them, and that's it.
There’s a misunderstanding of politicians here, and the relationship between politicians and voters.

Career politicians—and it may be said that all politicians are careerists—make their livelihood by getting votes. In order to win elections, they sometimes lie a little.

For example, a candidate for office might not declare that he will support CIA assassins in conducting their black ops activities.

Yet when it comes time to approve a budget, it becomes obvious that he favors CIA dirty work.

In fact, main stream media may have asked a candidate what he intends for his relationship with the CIA to be.

Voters who are hoodwinked into voting for a candidate cannot be responsible for their ignorance of a candidate’s true intentions.

Only those voters who knowingly elect a black ops politician to office can be assigned a portion of the blame for supporting such activities, not every American citizen.
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Re: Do soldiers sin by killing in war?

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LuckyR wrote: March 10th, 2022, 2:13 pm We are in complete agreement. As to actual assassination, say by the CIA, is IMO not the responsibility of the populace at large, because although the CIA was also created/funded through tax dollars, I believe that there was not transparency that (secret) assassinations would be a part of the bargain. Thus political leaders bear that responsibility.
Pattern-chaser wrote: March 13th, 2022, 7:12 am In this last, I think we still disagree. 😉 The way democracy works, we elect representatives to govern on our behalf, and we all agree to abide by their decisions, and to own them. And politicians, being human (?), do wrong just often as they do right. We cannot expect to own their actions only if they perform as we hoped they might. We have to accept it all, even the bits where things go wrong. So CIA assassinations are still the responsibility of all American citizens, even if they shouldn't've done them; they did them, and that's it.
AverageBozo wrote: March 13th, 2022, 10:57 am There’s a misunderstanding of politicians here, and the relationship between politicians and voters.

Career politicians—and it may be said that all politicians are careerists—make their livelihood by getting votes. In order to win elections, they sometimes lie a little.

For example, a candidate for office might not declare that he will support CIA assassins in conducting their black ops activities.

Yet when it comes time to approve a budget, it becomes obvious that he favors CIA dirty work.

In fact, main stream media may have asked a candidate what he intends for his relationship with the CIA to be.

Voters who are hoodwinked into voting for a candidate cannot be responsible for their ignorance of a candidate’s true intentions.

Only those voters who knowingly elect a black ops politician to office can be assigned a portion of the blame for supporting such activities, not every American citizen.
This is a denial, and a betrayal, of what democracy is. I do not assert here the merit of democracy, but only accept that it is the system many of us have adopted.

You can't expect to elect a human representative, but only bear responsibility for their good decisions. Either you elect a representative, and then stand by it, or you don't have democracy.

Responsibility cannot be offloaded just because it offends you in some way. And all of this applies even if you didn't vote for the candidate in question. If they represent you, you must stand by them; if they don't represent you, if you reject their representation, you also reject the elective process that put them there.

Of course, any electorate has the freedom to reject their current elective system, and nominate another. But, while 'democracy' is our current choice, we must abide by it, and its consequences. Take it or leave it, but you can't cherry-pick just the bits you like. 😉
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Re: Do soldiers sin by killing in war?

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Moral responsibility is incurred when we make choices.

The obvious choices that people make in a democracy are whether and how to vote, and whether to pay taxes compliantly or seek to evade them...

Are you saying that someone who declines to vote and maximizes their opportunity to evade taxes thereby avoids moral responsibility for the actions of the nation's soldiers ?
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Re: Do soldiers sin by killing in war?

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Good_Egg wrote: March 14th, 2022, 5:50 am Moral responsibility is incurred when we make choices.

The obvious choices that people make in a democracy are whether and how to vote, and whether to pay taxes compliantly or seek to evade them...

Are you saying that someone who declines to vote and maximizes their opportunity to evade taxes thereby avoids moral responsibility for the actions of the nation's soldiers ?
To my mind that person should make the choice to emigrate to a country without an army (they are numerous), otherwise they are reaping the benefits of the presence of a military and thus bear the moral responsibility.
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Re: Do soldiers sin by killing in war?

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LuckyR wrote: March 14th, 2022, 1:59 pm [...] otherwise they are reaping the benefits of the presence of a military and thus bear the moral responsibility.
Do you think that having had born in a specific social/political system, gives you different moral responsibilities?

I feel a lot of friction with this idea. I somehow think that moral has a bigger individual component.

The contradiction of your own believe system confronted to the responsibilities imposed (imposed because you didn't decide them to be thought or assigned to you) by the social/political order in which you have been born is the reason why there are deserters, refugees, political prisoners, etc.

How would you answer the same question of this feed if we differentiate soldiers among these two categories?
1. Professional soldiers
2. Enforced civilians
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Re: Do soldiers sin by killing in war?

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Good_Egg wrote: March 14th, 2022, 5:50 am Are you saying that someone who declines to vote and maximizes their opportunity to evade taxes thereby avoids moral responsibility for the actions of the nation's soldiers ?
Definitely not. Any citizen has all the benefits and responsibilities of a citizen, even if they decline to exercise their vote. They are still represented by the collective choice they chose not to take part in. And if they evade paying tax, there are laws in place that bind all citizens...

The moral responsibility for the actions of an army are equally shared by each and every citizen of their country, no exceptions.
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Re: Do soldiers sin by killing in war?

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LuckyR wrote: March 14th, 2022, 1:59 pm [...] otherwise they are reaping the benefits of the presence of a military and thus bear the moral responsibility.
intentes_pupil wrote: March 15th, 2022, 3:46 am Do you think that having had born in a specific social/political system, gives you different moral responsibilities?
I think that being born into a different nation/society gives you different responsibilities, some of which are surely moral ones. Is that even avoidable?


intentes_pupil wrote: March 15th, 2022, 3:46 am How would you answer the same question of this feed if we differentiate soldiers among these two categories?
1. Professional soldiers
2. Enforced civilians
The answer remains the same, for both 'types' of soldier. Why would it not? 🤔
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Re: Do soldiers sin by killing in war?

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Pattern-chaser wrote: March 15th, 2022, 8:42 am [...] Is that even avoidable?
I am not sure about that. I see it clear that being born in a different society gives you a different framework, a different set of rules, behavioral norms, expectations or even (legal) responsibilities. But my concern is about the RESPONSABILITY.

Legal Responsibility is for me not the same as Moral Responsibility.

In that sense, you might be hold legally accountable for some actions/inactions during war, depending on the written rules of the country you live in. But morally speaking, nobody can make you (morally) responsible for anything. Moral is for me the set of rules you decide, feel and know for yourself to define what is right and wrong. Therefore, you are ultimately (morally) responsible for your acts (including killing).

Do you agree with this difference between moral and legal responsibility?

Pattern-chaser wrote: March 15th, 2022, 8:42 am The answer remains the same, for both 'types' of soldier. Why would it not? 🤔
[given the above answer]
- A professional soldier decides freely to join the army and I understand his/her choice to reflect certain values and moral system (again: personal set of rules that define for yourself what is right and wrong). Therefore, killing is not wrong from the perspective of a professional soldier.
- However, an enforced civilian might have a different set of rules (moral system). Therefore, he/she might have the legal but not necessarily the moral responsibility of defending the country (and kill).

Why do you think the responsibility for the actions of an army is equally shared with the citizens?
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Re: Do soldiers sin by killing in war?

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intentes_pupil wrote: March 15th, 2022, 3:46 am
How would you answer the same question of this feed if we differentiate soldiers among these two categories?
1. Professional soldiers
2. Enforced civilians
These categories make no difference, no matter whether the soldier sins or not and no matter who you say is responsible. The focus point of the OP is really the act more so than the actor.
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Re: Do soldiers sin by killing in war?

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intentes_pupil wrote: March 15th, 2022, 3:46 am
LuckyR wrote: March 14th, 2022, 1:59 pm [...] otherwise they are reaping the benefits of the presence of a military and thus bear the moral responsibility.
Do you think that having had born in a specific social/political system, gives you different moral responsibilities?

I feel a lot of friction with this idea. I somehow think that moral has a bigger individual component.

The contradiction of your own believe system confronted to the responsibilities imposed (imposed because you didn't decide them to be thought or assigned to you) by the social/political order in which you have been born is the reason why there are deserters, refugees, political prisoners, etc.

How would you answer the same question of this feed if we differentiate soldiers among these two categories?
1. Professional soldiers
2. Enforced civilians
Sure. I don't have a problem with assigning socially based moral responsibility (ethical standards) based on country of origin, regardless of individual moral codes. Or to put it differently, the only way to change one's group moral status (and thus responsibility) is to change the group's overall opinion (very difficult) or to change groups.

As to the difference between volunteer and drafted soldiers, since they are commanded by the same military/governmental infrastructure, I don't see a substantive difference between their responsibilities.
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Re: Do soldiers sin by killing in war?

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Pattern-chaser wrote: March 15th, 2022, 8:42 am [...] Is that even avoidable?
intentes_pupil wrote: March 15th, 2022, 10:28 am I am not sure about that. I see it clear that being born in a different society gives you a different framework, a different set of rules, behavioral norms, expectations or even (legal) responsibilities. But my concern is about the RESPONSABILITY.

Legal Responsibility is for me not the same as Moral Responsibility.

In that sense, you might be hold legally accountable for some actions/inactions during war, depending on the written rules of the country you live in. But morally speaking, nobody can make you (morally) responsible for anything. Moral is for me the set of rules you decide, feel and know for yourself to define what is right and wrong. Therefore, you are ultimately (morally) responsible for your acts (including killing).

Do you agree with this difference between moral and legal responsibility?
I agree that moral and legal 'rules' bind us in quite different ways. The law simply says 'You may not do this; if you do, and you are caught, you will be subject to this penalty'. Moral rules are personal; they are dictated by our own consciences (to use the familiar Christian vocabulary). The penalty for breaking them is personal too, and wholly internal. Moral rules bind emotionally.


intentes_pupil wrote: March 15th, 2022, 10:28 am Why do you think the responsibility for the actions of an army is equally shared with the citizens?
This responsibility is shared by all citizens because the army acts for and on behalf of all citizens, and their orders are given by politicians elected by the citizens to represent them. If soldiers fail to follow their orders, then those individual soldiers may be found to have neglected their duties. But, assuming they follow the orders given to them by their society/nation/etc, the responsibility for what they do lies with those who gave the orders, which is society/nation/etc, nothing less. How can it be otherwise?
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