How to Join Member's Area Private Library Search Today's Topics p Login
Main Forums Discussion Tech Talk Mature Content Archives
   Nav Win
 Discussion
 The Alley
 a moral requirement to go to war   [ Page: 1  2  3  ]
 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Follow us on Facebook

 Moderated by: Ron   (Admins )

 
User Options
Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Admin Print Send ECard
Passions in Poetry

a moral requirement to go to war

 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


0 posted 06-25-2005 02:36 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Assume for a moment that you have a country
that is governed by the worst dictatorship imaginable,
(in “The Washing of the Spears”, Donald Morris relates how
Shaka would walk through his world and with a flick
of his hand or nod of his head have someone at random
killed).  By remaining in such a country, is a person
consenting to his victimization and thereby absolves
anyone knowing of his or her situation on the outside from
taking any serious, (ie military), action to bring
an end to it.

Take the situation in 1941, and allow for a moment that
President Roosevelt and others within the administration
like him, knowing what Hitler was doing to Jews, Slavs,
and other “undesirables” and yet knowing none of it
posed any immediate or long term threat to the United
States never the less engineered events to provoke
a situation that would bring war with the Nazis of Germany.
Would he be, (some would ask “was he”), morally
right to do so.

When, if ever, is there a moral requirement to go to war
apart from in response to actual, or clearly imminent attack,
(as an aside, even then, according to John Toland and others,
it is a matter of historical fact that Roosevelt knew that
Japan was moving to war with the United States in
response to his administration’s actions but that he
wanted Japan to fire the first shot to assure political
and popular support; no one expected it to be at Pearl Harbor) ?

I have trouble personally with: “yes we know he is a monster
who did, (and/or does),  terrible things to his people and others but . . .” position
and what that then says about humanity.


Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


1 posted 06-25-2005 03:19 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

"Moral requirement" is an oxymoron.
Mistletoe Angel
Deputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 5 Tours
Member Empyrean
since 12-17-2000
Posts 34089
City of Roses


2 posted 06-25-2005 03:23 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

"'Moral requirement' is an oxymoron."

Absolutely agree.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Mistletoe Angel
Deputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 5 Tours
Member Empyrean
since 12-17-2000
Posts 34089
City of Roses


3 posted 06-25-2005 03:34 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Anyway, to add to that, the bottom line is, yes, there are cruel, harmful individuals in the world who sit in the positions of power and influence cultures, often for the very worse.

Your argument is flawed however. According to your argument, you say if someone as much as "thinks" that someone is bad or unjust that it should be an instant jurisdiction or only fair that person serves and goes to remove the individual's regime.

So, isn't it fair then, unless this current administration actually supports Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan and other brutal dictatorships across the world, that if they think they're bad too that they should sign up themselves and go fight their regimes?

Isn't it fair to argue that during the era of Vietnam, when many in our administration who themselves dodged the draft, including Cheney, Ashcroft, Wolfowitz, Rove, Gingrich and Perle, regardless of what they believed then, should serve themselves now if they strongly believe in the war in Iraq?

I see your argument, but you've got to consider the whole here.

Besides that, I happen to believe it is not unpatriotic not to serve your country through the military. I believe in "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", and I will proudly serve my country, America, the beautiful, as a son, brother, friend, poet, student, musician, newscaster, activist and patriot.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


4 posted 06-25-2005 03:52 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

Take the situation in 1941, and allow for a moment that
President Roosevelt and others within the administration
like him, knowing what Hitler was doing to Jews



It wasn't known.  What was going on inside the concentration camps was shockingly revealed at the end of the war.

The impetus to enter the war was to keep Germany, Japan, (and formerly) the Soviet Union from hegemony covering a continuous pan-Europe,Asian empire.  If Hitler hadn't turned on Stalin it might have happened.

What was moral about the way Roosevelt DID enter the war?  He campaigned for re-election assuring America's mothers and fathers that their sons weren't going to die on foreign soil in a foreign war -- something the conservatives were dead set against -- then.. after the election it was 'leaked' to the press that the adminstration was making secret plans all along to invade Germany with England.

Upon reading this -- HITLER declared war on the U.S. thus prompting the Republican Congress to finally give the go ahead to send the boys over.

The ends may justify the means -- and it's perfectly possible to frame a guilty man.
Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


5 posted 06-25-2005 06:12 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Morals make peace and life, not violence and death.
serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


6 posted 06-25-2005 10:39 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Ess? What if crackheads are climbing through your window?

Do you have a moral responsibility to allow that, or a moral responsibility to protect yourself and your children?

(and nod, I deliberately narrowed it down to a personal issue because it HAS become personal to many)

Alicat
Member Elite
since 05-23-99
Posts 4277
Coastal Texas


7 posted 06-25-2005 11:01 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Well, given that personal scenario, if you have to think about morals, it's already too late.  Act first, fret about morality after.
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


8 posted 06-26-2005 12:50 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Act first, fret about morality after.

In which case, Ali, there can be no morality.

An, no, Karen, there is no moral responsibility to protect yourself. That's a purely selfish decision, not a moral one, and it's a decision many in history have refused to make. Often on what they felt were moral grounds. There is arguably a responsibility to protect your children, but that's nonetheless an assumed responsibility, not a moral one.

Morality has to be a choice, else it is no longer morality. It's just one person trying to control another.
Alicat
Member Elite
since 05-23-99
Posts 4277
Coastal Texas


9 posted 06-26-2005 01:05 AM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Absolutely correct, Ron.  That remark of mine, in context, did pertain to Serenity's scenario.  If some crazed person is breaking into your home and you have to think about whether any active response is right or wrong, the damage could already be done.

I really don't think there's ever been true moral reasons for war.  Revenge and power have always been the most popular choices.  Some other ones have been honor and pride.  Take WWI and the Alliance system.  If an ally was attacked, other allies were obligated to attack the transgressor.  It was a matter of honor, since going back on those promises would have been dishonorable.  Same with WWII.  Promises were made to Britain and France while Neutrality was touted in the States.  While some may feel the current Iraqi war is the son finishing the daddy's business, that reason has about enough sense as the morality aspect.  I think it was more exasperation after 12 years of ignored resolutions and stonewalling, quite aside from the fact that the US has always been the UN's muscle.  If the UN was a Mafia family, the US would be the enforcers, the ones who do the dirty work at the Don's behest.
Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


10 posted 06-26-2005 01:11 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Let’s say Roosevelt did know with absolute certainty,
( I remember reading a Jewish historian treating with
derision the “we didn’t know” argument pointing
to published reports in major newspapers of the time;
of course, one can then answer that unless you are in the
camps and can see the killing with your own eyes there
is no “knowing” certainty which is true and also convenient).
Would he have had a moral requirement
to act as he did, bringing his country into a war that cost
it some 350,000 lives?

In the Kitty Genovese case, some, when asked, simply answered
that they didn’t respond to her cries for help because they
didn’t want to get involved.  Assume for a moment there were no
phones to call the police;  was there a moral requirement
which was failed?


In Karen’s scenario, say the children were not hers or
those of anyone she cared for, and that she could by
leaving them behind save herself from harm whereas
remaining would certainly subject her to danger.  Is there
a moral requirement that she stay and defend them?

I guess what I’m trying to determine is if there is a moral
requirement to act, on a national or personal level, with risk
in situations beyond self-preservation.


P.S.

Mistletoe Angel,

“Your argument is flawed however. According to your argument, you say if someone as much as "thinks" that someone is bad . . .”

Please offer a quote from what I wrote to support this.
serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


11 posted 06-26-2005 01:19 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

"An, no, Karen, there is no moral responsibility to protect yourself."

And I think there is.

The same morality that was once defined as being helpful to others, is now re-defined with a determination to be self-sustaining. I can't be of help to anyone if I'm in need of aid myself.

I've always lived on the edge, but now I get to live on the other side of that razor.

And while I understand temperance, (meaning I won't shoot and pull the thief through my window? If I so much as see one foot in? The cops will be looking for somebody with four toes.

Tired of being the victim, Ron.

(Saturday nights make me edgy here. I just had a neighbor advise me "to keep my dawgs hungry" too. Don't think I didn't think of that one awhile...is that what is happening to US?)
Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


12 posted 06-26-2005 04:41 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"Ess? What if crackheads are climbing through your window?

Do you have a moral responsibility to allow that, or a moral responsibility to protect yourself and your children?"


Serenity

All men deserve to be protected and helped, not just my family and me, your family and you, but every man and every family.  It doesn't matter how evil a man is when we are talking about life and protection.  No man himself, or his life, or his worth, is the evil itself.  But evil itself is evil and you may only work against that by doing good, despite that evil.  Doing what is good deed and right even to those those that do what is evil and wrong,  defending even those that offend you.  You simply can't do right for a wrong, by doing a wrong.  You do right by doing right, despite the wrong.  
serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


13 posted 06-26-2005 05:32 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

For once I don't want semantics.

I want someone to tell me, if someone is climbing through your window--

and that person knows the way from before--

do you allow it to happen twice?

Ess, I'd love to believe that if I offered the amenities of my home, there would be some change of heart. But no...

They came in, broke bread with my family, took note of where the valuables might be, and then broke our windows. Then they stole Christmas from my kids.

Are you suggesting for a second I try that again?

(and this personal metaphor DOES translate to the larger picture, just not the way some might think)
Juju
Member Elite
since 12-29-2003
Posts 3353
In your dreams


14 posted 06-26-2005 09:02 AM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

I thought I brought this subject up a few weeks ago in alley.  I love this topic.  Though I would change moral requirement to Moral obligation. I am not sure if requirement is the right word, but I am just an engineering student. perhaps.. over done(;

I'll return later for any kind of arguement.

Juju - 1.) a magic charm or fetish 2.)Magic 3.)A taboo connected woth the use of magic

The dictionary never lies.... I am magical (;

Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


15 posted 06-26-2005 10:40 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
The same morality that was once defined as being helpful to others ...

Defined by whom, Karen? That's certainly not the way I define morality.

Morality is about right and wrong. Is it right or wrong to tell someone a blatant lie? If you say, "It depends," you're now talking about ethics, not morality. Situational ethics is concerned with the outcome of specific circumstances, and many would indeed contend that telling a little white lie to a friend, perhaps to protect their feelings, is often the right thing to do. A moralist, on the other hand, would insist that lying is wrong.

quote:
(Saturday nights make me edgy here. I just had a neighbor advise me "to keep my dawgs hungry" too. Don't think I didn't think of that one awhile...is that what is happening to US?)

Sigh. At the risk of going off-topic, no, Karen, in my opinion that's not what is happening to us, but rather that's what we are doing. And, yea, there's a difference.

quote:
For once I don't want semantics.

But semantics can be important.

When morality becomes a requirement or an obligation, we give it a different name. We call it the law.
Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


16 posted 06-26-2005 12:18 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

We can make a sort of syllogism out of Karen's premise;

Failure to defend one's self is suicide
Suicide is immoral
Therefore failure to defend one's self is immoral

This is dependent upon proving the declarative statement that suicide is immoral.  If one states that under the Christian premise it is immoral then, God, and Christ; are immoral.  As the Son of God, or the human embodiment of God he could have defended himself.

The answer to the question, 'is suicide immoral' has to be -- it depends.  What are the circumstances?    Is it immoral to risk death to push a child out of the path of an oncoming truck?  It's also true to the question of self-defense;

Was it moral for America to defend itself against the Japanese during the attack on Pearl Harbor?

Was it moral for Bonnie and Clyde to defend themselves from lawmen that were attempting to arrest or kill them?

Was it moral for Saddam Hussein to defend himself against an invading coalition army?

This is equally the case for defending property -- how was the property obtained?

Would Al Capone have the moral authority to defend his property?

Who among us is without sin?

A conditional would serve better;

When, or if suicide is immoral, then a failure to defend one's self would be immoral.

I think it's perfectly fine in your scenario Karen to defend yourself and your family.
Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


17 posted 06-26-2005 12:42 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

Let’s say Roosevelt did know with absolute certainty



Which gets us what?  We knew with absolute certainty about Rwanda.  We know with absolute certainty about Darfour.  Historically we also know that Roosevelt was a cold fish who wasn't really all that concerned about human rights or, in particular, the plight of the Jews in Nazi Germany -- but rather nationalism and pragmatism guided him.  He did the right thing because he perceived it to be in the national interest.  Which is really only a step up from doing the wrong thing for the right reason if it is a step up at all.

This is the same guy who had no problem with Japanese American internment camps.


Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


18 posted 06-26-2005 01:25 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
This is dependent upon proving the declarative statement that suicide is immoral.

I think you're getting ahead of yourself, LR. Even before that, you would have to prove that "Failure to defend one's self is suicide."

One might just as easily contend that birth, as a precursor to inevitable death, is suicide. Or, more directly perhaps, one could say that even failure to prepare for an adequate defense, say with a black belt or really big gun, is suicide.

I have a real problem with a contention that what someone else does imposes an obligation on me. Even self-defense has to be a choice.

quote:
I think it's perfectly fine in your scenario Karen to defend yourself and your family.

I think so, too. I just don't believe it has anything to do with morality.

Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


19 posted 06-26-2005 02:14 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Moral “obligation” will do just as well as “requirement”
in my question(s).

“We knew with absolute certainty about Rwanda.”

Good example, (800,000 men, women, and children, many butchered,
killed in 100 days).  Was a moral obligation failed?
Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


20 posted 06-26-2005 02:41 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"Ess, I'd love to believe that if I offered the amenities of my home, there would be some change of heart. But no...

They came in, broke bread with my family, took note of where the valuables might be, and then broke our windows. Then they stole Christmas from my kids.

Are you suggesting for a second I try that again?"


Windows, and objects, money, and Christmas, have sentimental value, but they don't compare to the presence and life of a man himself, no matter what that man ever was/is, said/says, does/did.  The weight of an evil and guilty man's words and deeds, don't ever lessen  deserving life and humanworth in life, or lessen the truth that he deserves to be saved from evil too, equally as an innocent man.


Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


21 posted 06-26-2005 02:49 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

One might just as easily contend that birth, as a precursor to inevitable death, is suicide.



Or that having sex and conceiving is murder.

What DOES constitute responsibility Ron?  No man is an island.  Every choice that we make is influenced by the previous or potential actions of others.  We can choose to be moral.  We can choose to be immoral.  Merely because choice is involved doesn't abrogate responsibility if one exists.

quote:

Good example, (800,000 men, women, and children, many butchered,
killed in 100 days). Was a moral obligation failed?



Possibly -- but war is only one possible response to that obligation.  It certainly wasn't mandated.  The former top military man in the country made this statement;

"The only way to win the war on terror is to end poverty." -- Colin Powell

Juju
Member Elite
since 12-29-2003
Posts 3353
In your dreams


22 posted 06-26-2005 02:50 PM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

I think John did mean something you have no choice to do, but some thing you must do.  That is why I offerd the vocab change.  YOu see obligation may be overused, but better word. I think, evil is an infection from the inside.

How could I Leave children behind to face it alone?

The middle east has been like this since the beginnig of time.  A sin of the father passes to the son, for five generations. One can see how  this is true and how hard it is to get little old bad habbits to end when new ones can begin.  If no one stands up to evil, history will continue on over lapping and folding in to its self in to symetry.

  Unfortunetly there is that scary line which divides right and wrong.

Countries rise and fall, but as humans we will always be. You see it's the fear and gread that will drive us the wrong way, but it is far worse to let arrigance and placing ones self above others as a driving motive in a decision.\\\\


Just a thought,

Juju

Juju - 1.) a magic charm or fetish 2.)Magic 3.)A taboo connected woth the use of magic

The dictionary never lies.... I am magical (;
Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


23 posted 06-26-2005 11:20 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"One might just as easily contend that birth, as a precursor to inevitable death, is suicide. Or, more directly perhaps, one could say that even failure to prepare for an adequate defense, say with a black belt or really big gun, is suicide."


We as poets should recognize those are metaphors though (I believe).  Birth is not literally suicide.  Birth is birth.  And failing to defend oneself is failing to defend onself. I think one may, if crafty enough probably make anything metaphorically out as any other thing if he really would.   If you refer to these things literally though, the meanings are much more direct and sound.
Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


24 posted 06-28-2005 10:21 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Is there any reason to risk one’s life
in Slobia for Slobians, however terrible whatever
is being inflicted on them, if in the best end
all you will have saved or preserved
are Slobs to be Slobs?


Huan Yi will be notified of replies
 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
All times are ET (US) Top
  User Options
>> Discussion >> The Alley >> a moral requirement to go to war   [ Page: 1  2  3  ] Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Print Send ECard

 

pipTalk Home Page | Main Poetry Forums

How to Join | Member's Area / Help | Private Library | Search | Contact Us | Today's Topics | Login
Discussion | Tech Talk | Archives | Sanctuary



© Passions in Poetry and netpoets.com 1998-2013
All Poetry and Prose is copyrighted by the individual authors