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Breakdown In Civil Order

Jarhyn

Contributor
Whatever man. You picking the lesser punishment and my picking the greater doesn't make either pick any less lawful.

Awful or Lawful? It's Lawful right now to snitch on a neighbor getting an abortion in Texas, but it's also Awful.

It's also lawful to fly a kite indoors using a high-Velocity fan. I suggest you go do that because I have no idea what your point is here.

My point is that law doesn't really much enter into my worldview or calculus of whether to do something. Nor most people's I think, at least not most people I would consider "good".

My point is that you shouldn't do awful things if you have the self-control to decide otherwise.

Admittedly, there are things I lack the self control to always be on the right side of (I don't know if I would be able to not laugh at all funerals, for instance. I might in fact break out and dance a jig depending on whose funeral it was). So I don't expect everyone to be right all the time, and it would be unreasonable to ask as much.

Still, I see your pushing for a lawful thing to nonetheless be awful.
 

Gospel

Aethiopian
It's also lawful to fly a kite indoors using a high-Velocity fan. I suggest you go do that because I have no idea what your point is here.

My point is that law doesn't really much enter into my worldview or calculus of whether to do something. Nor most people's I think, at least not most people I would consider "good".

My point is that you shouldn't do awful things if you have the self-control to decide otherwise.

Admittedly, there are things I lack the self control to always be on the right side of (I don't know if I would be able to not laugh at all funerals, for instance. I might in fact break out and dance a jig depending on whose funeral it was). So I don't expect everyone to be right all the time, and it would be unreasonable to ask as much.

Still, I see your pushing for a lawful thing to nonetheless be awful.

The last civil war caused the death of around 700,000 people. It's not awful to enforce a law intended to discourage losses of that magnitude.
 

Jarhyn

Contributor
It's also lawful to fly a kite indoors using a high-Velocity fan. I suggest you go do that because I have no idea what your point is here.

My point is that law doesn't really much enter into my worldview or calculus of whether to do something. Nor most people's I think, at least not most people I would consider "good".

My point is that you shouldn't do awful things if you have the self-control to decide otherwise.

Admittedly, there are things I lack the self control to always be on the right side of (I don't know if I would be able to not laugh at all funerals, for instance. I might in fact break out and dance a jig depending on whose funeral it was). So I don't expect everyone to be right all the time, and it would be unreasonable to ask as much.

Still, I see your pushing for a lawful thing to nonetheless be awful.

The last civil war caused the death of around 700,000 people. It's not awful to enforce a law intended to discourage losses of that magnitude.

It's always awful that people die rather than change. You will not change me on this.

Edit: I fully accept that sometimes people will not or cannot be changed in the timeframe that change is necessary other than through the change that is death. But that, too, is awful, to be avoided through all means.
 

Gospel

Aethiopian
The last civil war caused the death of around 700,000 people. It's not awful to enforce a law intended to discourage losses of that magnitude.

It's always awful that people die rather than change. You will not change me on this.

I'm not interested in changing you. Knowing personally what an unchanging mind is like you of all people you should know that the death penalty for treason (and otherwise) is necessary sometimes. If anyone wants to take up arms and kill people for unlawful reasons, they shouldn't be surprised to find themselves getting killed lawfully. In my opinion, Treason perpetrated for a Civil War (which is what I'm talking about and you seem to be trying to tie in all sorts of shit) is not the same as the January 6th treason (regardless of them flying confederate flags). Those people are rightfully being given monetary and jail time punishment. Declaring war on America, taking up arms, and killing people because you didn't like the election results, or you don't like the immigration policy, or you just want to own the democrats should be discouraged by exercising the highest punishment available by Law. That's just me. It's not like they don't have other options.
 

Jarhyn

Contributor
The last civil war caused the death of around 700,000 people. It's not awful to enforce a law intended to discourage losses of that magnitude.

It's always awful that people die rather than change. You will not change me on this.

I'm not interested in changing you. Knowing personally what an unchanging mind is like you of all people you should know that the death penalty for treason (and otherwise) is necessary sometimes. If anyone wants to take up arms and kill people for unlawful reasons, they shouldn't be surprised to find themselves getting killed lawfully. In my opinion, Treason perpetrated for a Civil War (which is what I'm talking about and you seem to be trying to tie in all sorts of shit) is not the same as the January 6th treason (regardless of them flying confederate flags). Those people are rightfully being given monetary and jail time punishment. Declaring war on America, taking up arms, and killing people because you didn't like the election results, or you don't like the immigration policy, or you just want to own the democrats should be discouraged by exercising the highest punishment available by Law. That's just me. It's not like they don't have other options.

No. Death as a penalty after the fact, that is not justice. It is never justice. It robs us of perspective.

I will immediately act to protect someone, even if it is at the expense of the attacker's life. This is very different from killing the attacker after they are down. The only time for killing is when the situation presents the choice of change or death and a choice is made to not change.
 

TomC

Veteran Member
I'm not interested in changing you. Knowing personally what an unchanging mind is like you of all people you should know that the death penalty for treason (and otherwise) is necessary sometimes. If anyone wants to take up arms and kill people for unlawful reasons, they shouldn't be surprised to find themselves getting killed lawfully. In my opinion, Treason perpetrated for a Civil War (which is what I'm talking about and you seem to be trying to tie in all sorts of shit) is not the same as the January 6th treason (regardless of them flying confederate flags). Those people are rightfully being given monetary and jail time punishment. Declaring war on America, taking up arms, and killing people because you didn't like the election results, or you don't like the immigration policy, or you just want to own the democrats should be discouraged by exercising the highest punishment available by Law. That's just me. It's not like they don't have other options.

No. Death as a penalty after the fact, that is not justice. It is never justice. It robs us of perspective.

I will immediately act to protect someone, even if it is at the expense of the attacker's life. This is very different from killing the attacker after they are down. The only time for killing is when the situation presents the choice of change or death and a choice is made to not change.

I'm with Jarhyn on this.
There are some circumstances where a convicted perp can remain a threat to law abiding people even after they're in prison. Examples would be drug lords, terrorist leaders, and gang leaders. But they are the exceptions, not the norms.
Most of the time, capital punishment is just simple vengeance. At best. Sometimes, it's just shutting up the people who actually know what really happened, permanently.
Tom
 

Gospel

Aethiopian
I'm not interested in changing you. Knowing personally what an unchanging mind is like you of all people you should know that the death penalty for treason (and otherwise) is necessary sometimes. If anyone wants to take up arms and kill people for unlawful reasons, they shouldn't be surprised to find themselves getting killed lawfully. In my opinion, Treason perpetrated for a Civil War (which is what I'm talking about and you seem to be trying to tie in all sorts of shit) is not the same as the January 6th treason (regardless of them flying confederate flags). Those people are rightfully being given monetary and jail time punishment. Declaring war on America, taking up arms, and killing people because you didn't like the election results, or you don't like the immigration policy, or you just want to own the democrats should be discouraged by exercising the highest punishment available by Law. That's just me. It's not like they don't have other options.

No. Death as a penalty after the fact, that is not justice. It is never justice. It robs us of perspective.

I will immediately act to protect someone, even if it is at the expense of the attacker's life. This is very different from killing the attacker after they are down. The only time for killing is when the situation presents the choice of change or death and a choice is made to not change.

Killing an attacker after they are down? What exactly are you talking about? Your second statement seems to indicate that you get it. I'll be specific.

Everyone has the freedom of choice up until they do some stupid shit that allows the State's and/or Fed's to lawfully remove some freedom by throwing you behind bars. You get a trial (whether you want one or not) and if you get proven guilty your sentence is decided. If the death penalty is the sentence you still have the freedom to appeal. I'm not sure if the last part happens at every level of government courts (I doubt it), but the fact you were not killed on-site and actually made it to trial is way more forgiving than you've been to end up with the death penalty in the first place. I'm ok with that. I personally favor mercy, but I'm not delusional. There are some things that people have done deliberately & unrepentantly, which in my opinion deserves the harshes punishment allowable by law. To me, one of them is taking up arms and killing your fellow citizen to overthrow or go to war with the government.

Don't like America? There are options. The civil rights movement for example. African American's have freedom today (more given than after the Civil War) with the help of many white allies using America's system the legal way (without taking up arms). If anyone is an example of change done the right way it's us. Get off that dumbass Hitler and General Lee-loving shit already. They were horrible leaders that failed you big time.

The Death penalty does not and never will prevent the crimes for which it's put to use. That's not its main purpose although it does deter some people. Its main purpose however is to put to death those that deserve it. Now unless you believe no one has done anything or can do anything worthy enough to be sentenced to death for, we're done here.
 

Gospel

Aethiopian
I'm not interested in changing you. Knowing personally what an unchanging mind is like you of all people you should know that the death penalty for treason (and otherwise) is necessary sometimes. If anyone wants to take up arms and kill people for unlawful reasons, they shouldn't be surprised to find themselves getting killed lawfully. In my opinion, Treason perpetrated for a Civil War (which is what I'm talking about and you seem to be trying to tie in all sorts of shit) is not the same as the January 6th treason (regardless of them flying confederate flags). Those people are rightfully being given monetary and jail time punishment. Declaring war on America, taking up arms, and killing people because you didn't like the election results, or you don't like the immigration policy, or you just want to own the democrats should be discouraged by exercising the highest punishment available by Law. That's just me. It's not like they don't have other options.

No. Death as a penalty after the fact, that is not justice. It is never justice. It robs us of perspective.

I will immediately act to protect someone, even if it is at the expense of the attacker's life. This is very different from killing the attacker after they are down. The only time for killing is when the situation presents the choice of change or death and a choice is made to not change.

I'm with Jarhyn on this.
There are some circumstances where a convicted perp can remain a threat to law abiding people even after they're in prison. Examples would be drug lords, terrorist leaders, and gang leaders. But they are the exceptions, not the norms.
Most of the time, capital punishment is just simple vengeance. At best. Sometimes, it's just shutting up the people who actually know what really happened, permanently.
Tom

Oh so let me get this straight.

No Nuances like adding emotional content. Just look at the situation as written.


A) An officer arrives on the scene and sees a woman holding a gun to a man's head, the officer fires on the woman killing her. The man lives and the woman is dead. Was it ok for the officer to kill the women?
b) An officer arrives on the scene and sees a woman holding a gun to a man's head, the woman kills the man & immediately drops her gun & surrenders. The woman is arrested, put on trial, and is found guilty of murder. Is it ok for officers to kill the woman now?

I'm curious.

Edit: Wait maybe I should start my own thread.
 

TomC

Veteran Member
I'm with Jarhyn on this.
There are some circumstances where a convicted perp can remain a threat to law abiding people even after they're in prison. Examples would be drug lords, terrorist leaders, and gang leaders. But they are the exceptions, not the norms.
Most of the time, capital punishment is just simple vengeance. At best. Sometimes, it's just shutting up the people who actually know what really happened, permanently.
Tom

Oh so let me get this straight.

No Nuances like adding emotional content. Just look at the situation as written.

A) An officer arrives on the scene and sees a woman holding a gun to a man's head, the officer fires on the woman killing her. The man lives and the woman is dead. Was it ok for the officer to kill the women?
Not enough information.
Why was she doing it? In the sense of , "was she holding the gun to get attention?" Once she got it, was she still a big threat?
Was there another option for the cops?

Etc.

b) An officer arrives on the scene and sees a woman holding a gun to a man's head, the woman kills the man & immediately drops her gun & surrenders. The woman is arrested, put on trial, and is found guilty of murder. Is it ok for officers to kill the woman now?

I'm curious.
Not by my standards of morality.
If there's a credible reason to think that the perp remains a threat to others, that's one thing. If the reason for offing the perp is just because it makes people feel good to kill people they hate, then no. That's vengeance, which I consider morally on par with most murders.
Tom
 

Gospel

Aethiopian
Honestly, I shouldn't have asked this here. I'll start a thread in the near future. I really want to explore this one.
 

Emily Lake

Might be a replicant
Honestly, I shouldn't have asked this here. I'll start a thread in the near future. I really want to explore this one.

Please add a link when you do. The question of ethics and capital punishment are always an interesting discussion.
 

Gospel

Aethiopian
Honestly, I shouldn't have asked this here. I'll start a thread in the near future. I really want to explore this one.

Please add a link when you do. The question of ethics and capital punishment are always an interesting discussion.

You have my word. This may take a while as I'll have to revisit (after dusting off) some old books. But right now I'll say, my argument for the death penalty is linked to the same reason I'm ok with the act of lawfully killing someone to save another person's life.
 

Jayjay

Contributor
Whether there should be a death penalty at all is different from the question of whether there should be death penalty for treason specifically. I think that historically, treason is usually punishable by death because in a war, traitors are extremely harmful and are traditionally executed on the spot.

In stable, peaceful societies, I don't think there is a reason to treat treason as a special class of crime that warrants an extraordinarily harsh punishment.
 

Jarhyn

Contributor
Whether there should be a death penalty at all is different from the question of whether there should be death penalty for treason specifically. I think that historically, treason is usually punishable by death because in a war, traitors are extremely harmful and are traditionally executed on the spot.

In stable, peaceful societies, I don't think there is a reason to treat treason as a special class of crime that warrants an extraordinarily harsh punishment.

After wars there are many soldiers trained in effective violence and well exercised in said training.

There are only a few ways to handle soldiers after a war: find out if they fight on principle, for money, for psychopathy, or from coercion. There are too many to lock up, and if it's principle, they're not going to stop fighting. So inevitably you have to kill a bunch. If it is psychopathy, you try them for war crimes (there aren't many usually of those, thankfully). That leaves draftees and check chasers. The check chasers keep their heads down and the draftees do their level best to shoot at nothing and keep a clean conscience.

Really though it's just the fact that there's simply nothing else you can do about that many problematic people.

As I see it you don't do it because you want to or even because it's ethically right though killing generally never is. You do it for the same reason you shoot the person presently attacking your loved ones: the only change you can offer them of their unacceptable course in the moment is death.
 

Emily Lake

Might be a replicant
There are only a few ways to handle soldiers after a war: find out if they fight on principle, for money, for psychopathy, or from coercion. There are too many to lock up, and if it's principle, they're not going to stop fighting. So inevitably you have to kill a bunch. If it is psychopathy, you try them for war crimes (there aren't many usually of those, thankfully). That leaves draftees and check chasers. The check chasers keep their heads down and the draftees do their level best to shoot at nothing and keep a clean conscience.

This leads me to believe that your understanding of military personnel is based on fiction, not on any actual interactions with soldiers of any sort.
 

Jarhyn

Contributor
There are only a few ways to handle soldiers after a war: find out if they fight on principle, for money, for psychopathy, or from coercion. There are too many to lock up, and if it's principle, they're not going to stop fighting. So inevitably you have to kill a bunch. If it is psychopathy, you try them for war crimes (there aren't many usually of those, thankfully). That leaves draftees and check chasers. The check chasers keep their heads down and the draftees do their level best to shoot at nothing and keep a clean conscience.

This leads me to believe that your understanding of military personnel is based on fiction, not on any actual interactions with soldiers of any sort.

This assessment leads me to believe that I should invite Keith over to the thread and we can have fun deconstructing this statement of yours.
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
There are only a few ways to handle soldiers after a war: find out if they fight on principle, for money, for psychopathy, or from coercion. There are too many to lock up, and if it's principle, they're not going to stop fighting. So inevitably you have to kill a bunch. If it is psychopathy, you try them for war crimes (there aren't many usually of those, thankfully). That leaves draftees and check chasers. The check chasers keep their heads down and the draftees do their level best to shoot at nothing and keep a clean conscience.

This leads me to believe that your understanding of military personnel is based on fiction, not on any actual interactions with soldiers of any sort.

What do you think is incorrect about his claim?

What motivations, other than the four he listed, do you think a soldier could have for killing people?

Consider yourself as a newly trained soldier. You have been marched to an ambush location in a war zone, and are now concealed in a foxhole overlooking a road. Along that road comes a marching column of soldiers, who are total strangers to you, and whose only noticeable difference from you is that they're wearing different insignia on their uniforms.

You are ordered to fire on them. Why do you obey that order, and kill a bunch of strangers?

a) Because you like killing people
b) Because you're being paid to do it
c) Because you will be punished if you do not
d) Because you have an ideological objection to the system for which those people are fighting, and you want to kill people who support that system

Is there any other motivation you could have for killing those people?
 

Jarhyn

Contributor
There are only a few ways to handle soldiers after a war: find out if they fight on principle, for money, for psychopathy, or from coercion. There are too many to lock up, and if it's principle, they're not going to stop fighting. So inevitably you have to kill a bunch. If it is psychopathy, you try them for war crimes (there aren't many usually of those, thankfully). That leaves draftees and check chasers. The check chasers keep their heads down and the draftees do their level best to shoot at nothing and keep a clean conscience.

This leads me to believe that your understanding of military personnel is based on fiction, not on any actual interactions with soldiers of any sort.

What do you think is incorrect about his claim?

What motivations, other than the four he listed, do you think a soldier could have for killing people?

Consider yourself as a newly trained soldier. You have been marched to an ambush location in a war zone, and are now concealed in a foxhole overlooking a road. Along that road comes a marching column of soldiers, who are total strangers to you, and whose only noticeable difference from you is that they're wearing different insignia on their uniforms.

You are ordered to fire on them. Why do you obey that order, and kill a bunch of strangers?

a) Because you like killing people
b) Because you're being paid to do it
c) Because you will be punished if you do not
d) Because you have an ideological objection to the system for which those people are fighting, and you want to kill people who support that system

Is there any other motivation you could have for killing those people?

The most fucked up part about this is that's where I'm coming from, and every time I go back there I pay a cost in my own misery to relive it.

And then she has the gall to tell me I haven't lived my own goddamn life.

And I couldn't even be the first to answer the absurdities of her claim because it has to be obvious that it is not just me who can see it!

Though to be fair the "punishment" may be "they are shooting at you and that some are ideological and/or psychopathic.
 

Gospel

Aethiopian
gonna be a delay on that death penalty thread. Sorry team * mainly Emily. Some things offline. Has change stuff. Can't share details. If however the fuck things unfold allows I'll make that my next post.
 

laughing dog

Contributor
There are only a few ways to handle soldiers after a war: find out if they fight on principle, for money, for psychopathy, or from coercion. There are too many to lock up, and if it's principle, they're not going to stop fighting. So inevitably you have to kill a bunch. If it is psychopathy, you try them for war crimes (there aren't many usually of those, thankfully). That leaves draftees and check chasers. The check chasers keep their heads down and the draftees do their level best to shoot at nothing and keep a clean conscience.

This leads me to believe that your understanding of military personnel is based on fiction, not on any actual interactions with soldiers of any sort.

What do you think is incorrect about his claim?

What motivations, other than the four he listed, do you think a soldier could have for killing people?

Consider yourself as a newly trained soldier. You have been marched to an ambush location in a war zone, and are now concealed in a foxhole overlooking a road. Along that road comes a marching column of soldiers, who are total strangers to you, and whose only noticeable difference from you is that they're wearing different insignia on their uniforms.

You are ordered to fire on them. Why do you obey that order, and kill a bunch of strangers?

a) Because you like killing people
b) Because you're being paid to do it
c) Because you will be punished if you do not
d) Because you have an ideological objection to the system for which those people are fighting, and you want to kill people who support that system

Is there any other motivation you could have for killing those people?
According to a son who served in Afghanistan in the front lines, protecting your comrades is a possible motivation.
 

Keith&Co.

Contributor
According to a son who served in Afghanistan in the front lines, protecting your comrades is a possible motivation.
Wouldn't that be under (c)?
Not a formal courts martial, maybe, but eventually you'll be alone and reliving a comrade's death. You can remember it as 'despite my best efforts' or 'i didn't do enough to stop it.' Avoiding guilt would be avoiding punishment.
 

Politesse

Sapere aude
According to a son who served in Afghanistan in the front lines, much of the motivation in combat situations is protecting your comrades not any of the 4 reasons you listed.

A curious statement. As though he simply found himself on the front lines suddenly with no idea how or why he got there, but having to respond to that immediate situation in kind.

I am not endorsing bilby's categories, mind; I think the question of killing in battle is much more complicated than the simplified list he presented, and involves both social and psychological impulses that go well beyond "liking killing" or rationally considering the outcomes therof. The amygdala is a funny beast, and military training can be damned influential on how that neurological crisis gets resolved. I think the question Jarhyn has posed is a bit deceptive really, as the story of a war starts well before a soldier finds themselves walking down such a road. Thank you for your son's service; we (the American people) get into far more wars than most of us are actually willing to fight, and it would be hypocritical to deny him respect for putting his body in the way of the bullets we sent flying, in a war we started. But the moral truth of war, especially that war, is messy as hell and I don't think the conclusion is a pretty one.
 

laughing dog

Contributor
According to a son who served in Afghanistan in the front lines, much of the motivation in combat situations is protecting your comrades not any of the 4 reasons you listed.

A curious statement. As though he simply found himself on the front lines suddenly with no idea how or why he got there, but having to respond to that immediate situation in kind.

I am not endorsing bilby's categories, mind; I think the question of killing in battle is much more complicated than the simplified list he presented, and involves both social and psychological impulses that go well beyond "liking killing" or rationally considering the outcomes therof. The amygdala is a funny beast, and military training can be damned influential on how that neurological crisis gets resolved. I think the question Jarhyn has posed is a bit deceptive really, as the story of a war starts well before a soldier finds themselves walking down such a road. Thank you for your son's service; we (the American people) get into far more wars than most of us are actually willing to fight, and it would be hypocritical to deny him respect for putting his body in the way of the bullets we sent flying, in a war we started. But the moral truth of war, especially that war, is messy as hell and I don't think the conclusion is a pretty one.
How curious that you cannot see how your final sentence makes your opening remarks appear gratuituous
 

Keith&Co.

Contributor
a) Because you like killing people
b) Because you're being paid to do it
c) Because you will be punished if you do not
d) Because you have an ideological objection to the system for which those people are fighting, and you want to kill people who support that system
Kind of like reducing the entire bibliography to The Four Basic Plots, but probably pretty close.

George C. Scott's delivery of Patton's speech, "when you put your hand in the puddle of goo that used to be your friend," would be D, i think.
( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujQ-nMc0WGE )

The 'ideology' you object to is that they're willing to kill Fritz to achieve their goals. Or that killing Fritz is their goal.



My main motivation was probably A. Not that i liked to KILL, really. But as a technician, i like lights to be green. As a Fire Control Tech, when they set Battle Stations Missile, i liked to get all the MSL AWAY lights green. And i really liked to get all the missiles away in less time than the Fleet average. The better we were in trainer at beating the Fleet times and getting the lights green, the sooner we went home.
And maybe a little D. They really demonized the godless commie bastards who'd love to (insert plot of Red Dawn here, and at least one Rambo movie, two Magnum, PI episodes, The Fourth War, Dr. Strangelove, etc.) at us, and we would object to that.
 

laughing dog

Contributor
According to a son who served in Afghanistan in the front lines, protecting your comrades is a possible motivation.
Wouldn't that be under (c)?
Not a formal courts martial, maybe, but eventually you'll be alone and reliving a comrade's death. You can remember it as 'despite my best efforts' or 'i didn't do enough to stop it.' Avoiding guilt would be avoiding punishment.
That is possible interpretation.
I was stunned when that particular son joined the Army (seemed like a very poor fit), so we discussed his time there very often. He was motivated by the avoidance of harm to his comrades (even the one he didn't really care for) and the promotion of their survival. Regret did not seem to enter into for him.
 

Politesse

Sapere aude
According to a son who served in Afghanistan in the front lines, much of the motivation in combat situations is protecting your comrades not any of the 4 reasons you listed.

A curious statement. As though he simply found himself on the front lines suddenly with no idea how or why he got there, but having to respond to that immediate situation in kind.

I am not endorsing bilby's categories, mind; I think the question of killing in battle is much more complicated than the simplified list he presented, and involves both social and psychological impulses that go well beyond "liking killing" or rationally considering the outcomes therof. The amygdala is a funny beast, and military training can be damned influential on how that neurological crisis gets resolved. I think the question Jarhyn has posed is a bit deceptive really, as the story of a war starts well before a soldier finds themselves walking down such a road. Thank you for your son's service; we (the American people) get into far more wars than most of us are actually willing to fight, and it would be hypocritical to deny him respect for putting his body in the way of the bullets we sent flying, in a war we started. But the moral truth of war, especially that war, is messy as hell and I don't think the conclusion is a pretty one.
How curious that you cannot see how your final sentence makes your opening remarks appear gratuituous

How do you mean?
 

Politesse

Sapere aude
How curious that you cannot see how your final sentence makes your opening remarks appear gratuituous

How do you mean?
The moral truth of war is messy which makes the comment starting "As though he simply...." rather gratuituous since messy and simple appear contradictory.
I was questioning your own over-simplification because things are messy. Your son didn't just appear on a battlefield one day with a decision to make. He made a lot of choices that led him to that point, and many, many other people made choices that led to that field being there in the first place. He shouldn't be given carte blanche for all of his actions, and "defending your buddies" only explains an action taken once in that profession and position, not why one became a soldier in the first place. But, he also had very little to do with the national decision to go to war, and his choices once events were in motion were limited. I'm not going to put the whole mess of Afghanistan on his head, you know? I can honor that he was willing to take a risk on behalf of his country, even if I believe his services were abused by the state, and put to purposes that were morally dubious at best.
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
According to a son who served in Afghanistan in the front lines, much of the motivation in combat situations is protecting your comrades not any of the 4 reasons you listed.

A curious statement. As though he simply found himself on the front lines suddenly with no idea how or why he got there, but having to respond to that immediate situation in kind.

I am not endorsing bilby's categories, mind; I think the question of killing in battle is much more complicated than the simplified list he presented, and involves both social and psychological impulses that go well beyond "liking killing" or rationally considering the outcomes therof. The amygdala is a funny beast, and military training can be damned influential on how that neurological crisis gets resolved. I think the question Jarhyn has posed is a bit deceptive really, as the story of a war starts well before a soldier finds themselves walking down such a road. Thank you for your son's service; we (the American people) get into far more wars than most of us are actually willing to fight, and it would be hypocritical to deny him respect for putting his body in the way of the bullets we sent flying, in a war we started. But the moral truth of war, especially that war, is messy as hell and I don't think the conclusion is a pretty one.

They're not my categories; I just formalised the categories Jarhyn presented into a list (@Jarhyn, please correct me if I have misinterpreted you in so doing). But I believe that they are exclusive. Obviously they're very broad, and there's a lot of nuance that goes unsaid, but (as Keith&Co points out), more complex interpretations ultimately boil down to one of these four.
 

laughing dog

Contributor
The moral truth of war is messy which makes the comment starting "As though he simply...." rather gratuituous since messy and simple appear contradictory.
I was questioning your own over-simplification because things are messy. Your son didn't just appear on a battlefield one day with a decision to make. He made a lot of choices that led him to that point, and many, many other people made choices that led to that field being there in the first place. He shouldn't be given carte blanche for all of his actions, and "defending your buddies" only explains an action taken once in that profession and position, not why one became a soldier in the first place. But, he also had very little to do with the national decision to go to war, and his choices once events were in motion were limited. I'm not going to put the whole mess of Afghanistan on his head, you know? I can honor that he was willing to take a risk on behalf of his country, even if I believe his services were abused by the state, and put to purposes that were morally dubious at best.
I think there has been a grave misunderstanding. I was simply adding to the reasons for killing in bilby's example.

Why someone becomes a soldier is also a very messy explanation. A sample of rationales from my son's unit include avoidance of a criminal conviction or sentence, lack of job opportunities, desire to earn a trade, patriotic or nationalistic fervor and, frankly, wanting to kill someone(s). I doubt that is an exhaustive list. Most of his comrades were young (18 to 20). Some had very little self-control or maturity.

I recall watching a Navy recruiting video with my son when he was 17 (he wanted me to give permission for enlistment, which did not happen). Of course, it showed attractive men and women working and waxing patriotically and touting all the different skills and trades one could acquire. During the part about basic training, a voice on the video popped in with "And you get your own bed. too". I think that showed that the Navy understood who part of their demographic was.
 

Politesse

Sapere aude
The moral truth of war is messy which makes the comment starting "As though he simply...." rather gratuituous since messy and simple appear contradictory.
I was questioning your own over-simplification because things are messy. Your son didn't just appear on a battlefield one day with a decision to make. He made a lot of choices that led him to that point, and many, many other people made choices that led to that field being there in the first place. He shouldn't be given carte blanche for all of his actions, and "defending your buddies" only explains an action taken once in that profession and position, not why one became a soldier in the first place. But, he also had very little to do with the national decision to go to war, and his choices once events were in motion were limited. I'm not going to put the whole mess of Afghanistan on his head, you know? I can honor that he was willing to take a risk on behalf of his country, even if I believe his services were abused by the state, and put to purposes that were morally dubious at best.
I think there has been a grave misunderstanding. I was simply adding to the reasons for killing in bilby's example.

Why someone becomes a soldier is also a very messy explanation. A sample of rationales from my son's unit include avoidance of a criminal conviction or sentence, lack of job opportunities, desire to earn a trade, patriotic or nationalistic fervor and, frankly, wanting to kill someone(s). I doubt that is an exhaustive list. Most of his comrades were young (18 to 20). Some had very little self-control or maturity.

I recall watching a Navy recruiting video with my son when he was 17 (he wanted me to give permission for enlistment, which did not happen). Of course, it showed attractive men and women working and waxing patriotically and touting all the different skills and trades one could acquire. During the part about basic training, a voice on the video popped in with "And you get your own bed. too". I think that showed that the Navy understood who part of their demographic was.

Yes. I work with young people about that age for a living, and for me it's hard to think of their service in a military as anything other than a tragedy; they are responsible for their decisions, but the deck is often skewed, and they've been purposefully misinformed about the nature of things for the first eighteen years of their life. But the same is true, of course, of the young men they are being sent to kill.
 

Bomb#20

Contributor
There are only a few ways to handle soldiers after a war: find out if they fight on principle, for money, for psychopathy, or from coercion. There are too many to lock up, and if it's principle, they're not going to stop fighting. So inevitably you have to kill a bunch. If it is psychopathy, you try them for war crimes (there aren't many usually of those, thankfully). That leaves draftees and check chasers. The check chasers keep their heads down and the draftees do their level best to shoot at nothing and keep a clean conscience.

This leads me to believe that your understanding of military personnel is based on fiction, not on any actual interactions with soldiers of any sort.

What do you think is incorrect about his claim?
Well, for starts, the obvious: the notion that soldiers who fought for principle aren't going to stop fighting is beyond ludicrous. Millions of soldiers who fought for principle have stopped fighting after their wars were lost, not because their principles changed but because their principle was "Obey orders" and they no longer had orders, or because their principle was "Shoot back when shot at" and the winners had stopped shooting, or because their causes had become hopeless, or because they no longer had an answer to "You and what army?".

What motivations, other than the four he listed, do you think a soldier could have for killing people?
An eternally popular one is to earn the respect of your pro-military family and/or community.

My roommate related how when he told people in his flyover home state he was going to the world-famous top-tier coastal university he'd been admitted to, the usual reaction he got was "Is that a community college around here? With your grades I was sure you'd get into West Point."

Why do you obey that order, and kill a bunch of strangers?

a) Because you like killing people
b) Because you're being paid to do it
c) Because you will be punished if you do not
d) Because you have an ideological objection to the system for which those people are fighting, and you want to kill people who support that system

Is there any other motivation you could have for killing those people?
Um, e) what laughing dog said.

Or f) Because if you don't obey that order the enemy soldiers are more likely to kill you when your comrades open fire. Duh.

Or g) Because you have an ideological objection to the system for which those people are fighting, and you want to kill people who are trying to kill people who oppose that system. You appear to be glossing over the difference between killing enemy combatants and killing enemy civilians.
 

Emily Lake

Might be a replicant
There are only a few ways to handle soldiers after a war: find out if they fight on principle, for money, for psychopathy, or from coercion. There are too many to lock up, and if it's principle, they're not going to stop fighting. So inevitably you have to kill a bunch. If it is psychopathy, you try them for war crimes (there aren't many usually of those, thankfully). That leaves draftees and check chasers. The check chasers keep their heads down and the draftees do their level best to shoot at nothing and keep a clean conscience.

This leads me to believe that your understanding of military personnel is based on fiction, not on any actual interactions with soldiers of any sort.

What do you think is incorrect about his claim?

What motivations, other than the four he listed, do you think a soldier could have for killing people?

Consider yourself as a newly trained soldier. You have been marched to an ambush location in a war zone, and are now concealed in a foxhole overlooking a road. Along that road comes a marching column of soldiers, who are total strangers to you, and whose only noticeable difference from you is that they're wearing different insignia on their uniforms.

You are ordered to fire on them. Why do you obey that order, and kill a bunch of strangers?

a) Because you like killing people
b) Because you're being paid to do it
c) Because you will be punished if you do not
d) Because you have an ideological objection to the system for which those people are fighting, and you want to kill people who support that system

Is there any other motivation you could have for killing those people?

5) Because you wish to defend your fellow citizens and uphold the laws of your land. Defense not offense.

Furthermore, the idea that people who fight for ideological reasons (which would include duty to ones country and ones fellow citizens) won't stop fighting and would need to be put to death is offensive and gross.
 

Jarhyn

Contributor
What do you think is incorrect about his claim?

What motivations, other than the four he listed, do you think a soldier could have for killing people?

Consider yourself as a newly trained soldier. You have been marched to an ambush location in a war zone, and are now concealed in a foxhole overlooking a road. Along that road comes a marching column of soldiers, who are total strangers to you, and whose only noticeable difference from you is that they're wearing different insignia on their uniforms.

You are ordered to fire on them. Why do you obey that order, and kill a bunch of strangers?

a) Because you like killing people
b) Because you're being paid to do it
c) Because you will be punished if you do not
d) Because you have an ideological objection to the system for which those people are fighting, and you want to kill people who support that system

Is there any other motivation you could have for killing those people?

5) Because you wish to defend your fellow citizens and uphold the laws of your land. Defense not offense.

Furthermore, the idea that people who fight for ideological reasons (which would include duty to ones country and ones fellow citizens) won't stop fighting and would need to be put to death is offensive and gross.

So, "because you have an ideological objection to the system for which those people are fighting".

There is nothing gross or wrong to recognize that people who fight ideologically won't stop fighting just because they are "defeated". If you think whatever you fought against was so bad it was worth risking death and causing death for, then no, your danger to the opposing cause does not evaporate just because your army does.

There's something offensive and gross about the idea that someone could believe in fighting and dying in one moment for a cause, for the opposition of whatever it is duty bound you to oppose, and then just give such a decision up like it didn't matter in the next.

Either you accept that you were wrong, and the consequences of killing and such for a wrong reason... Or you don't accept you were wrong and your reason for killing is still a reason for killing.
 

Swammerdami

Squadron Leader
Staff member
I posted this a month ago ...
Yes. I remember on article in Forbes which opposed federal law enforcement pursuing tax fraud, saying the resources should be spent targeting crime! (Tax fraud is a trillion-dollar criminal "industry" in the U.S.) I didn't save the quote, but one Republican (Bush-43?) supported the wealthy even if their wealth was acquired by criminal activity like drug smuggling!

Just a few days ago at this very message-board, Bernie Madoff was put forth as an example that law enforcement DOES go after "white-collar crime." This despite that the linked news article by Matt Taibbi points out that Madoff's fraud had been identified 8 years earlier: The feds prosecuted only after the fraud became public. I queried the right-winger about this; his only answer was that Matt Taibbi wrote for a "music magazine."
:shrug:
... And STILL no response from the Board's alleged non-right-winger.

 

TSwizzle

Contributor
Shoplifters Calmly Fill Arms and Walk Out of Marshalls Store on Camera

The reporter is asking why Marshall's did not report the thefts? Probably because local prosecutors are refusing to prosecute these kinds of crimes.

It is becoming more frequent but shoplifting is a minor nuisance compared to the crime in places like trendy Melrose Avenue where brazen robbers are holding people up at gun point outside cafes.

The only solution is to vote these fauxgressive DAs out of office and also repeal Prop 47.

Better yet, trying to get George Gascón recalled.
 

Politesse

Sapere aude
I realize of course that Derec, Tswizzle, etc have no intention of starting actual dialogues about crime and punishment when they share the latest viral videos, but I have a reading recommendation for anyone else curious about what goes on once the cameras stop rolling. It isn't actually true that California or any other state simply tolerates serial shoplifters. It is more than possible to prosecute shoplifting cases that are indicative of a permanent cycle or that result in significant loss. The question is how to address shoplifting, not whether to. Stores themselves don't want daily bloody shootouts on their front porch a la Republican fantasy-land, not in "red states" nor in "blue states". The best practice is to document the crime carefully, and with a cool head, begin an investigation into what happened and who is responsible:

Here's what happened after that viral S.F. Walgreens shoplifting video ended

As for whether there is truly a shoplifting spree in California, there of course is not; shoplifting incidents have been steadily decreasing in frequency relative to state population since 1989. We just have more people, and more stores, than an economically depressed state like Mississippi might have, so you're more likely to see exciting incidents like the one in the video occur here.

The New York Times fabricates a nonexistent shoplifting wave in San Francisco, then wrongly blames it on criminal justice reforms and the city’s supposed soft-on-crime image
 

Politesse

Sapere aude
It is becoming more frequent but shoplifting is a minor nuisance compared to the crime in places like trendy Melrose Avenue where brazen robbers are holding people up at gun point outside cafes.
I would like to remark, for those non-Californians who may be reading the thread, that holding someone up at gunpoint is, in fact, illegal throughout the state.
 

TomC

Veteran Member
It is becoming more frequent but shoplifting is a minor nuisance compared to the crime in places like trendy Melrose Avenue where brazen robbers are holding people up at gun point outside cafes.
I would like to remark, for those non-Californians who may be reading the thread, that holding someone up at gunpoint is, in fact, illegal throughout the state.

Perhaps TSwizzle has never visited a big city in a redder state, like Dallas, New Orleans, or Memphis. Republicans in charge doesn't seem to much reduce street crime.
Tom
 

TSwizzle

Contributor
It is becoming more frequent but shoplifting is a minor nuisance compared to the crime in places like trendy Melrose Avenue where brazen robbers are holding people up at gun point outside cafes.
I would like to remark, for those non-Californians who may be reading the thread, that holding someone up at gunpoint is, in fact, illegal throughout the state.

I never said it was legal to hold someone up at gun point in California. You really are ridiculous.
 

Politesse

Sapere aude
It is becoming more frequent but shoplifting is a minor nuisance compared to the crime in places like trendy Melrose Avenue where brazen robbers are holding people up at gun point outside cafes.
I would like to remark, for those non-Californians who may be reading the thread, that holding someone up at gunpoint is, in fact, illegal throughout the state.

I never said it was legal to hold someone up at gun point in California. You really are ridiculous.

Then why would being "soft on crime" cause that crime to happen more often here than anywhere else? We aren't soft on that crime.

I do support stronger gun control laws; is that what you're advocating for? I can see where those would make gunpoint robbery less of a threat.
 

Elixir

Content Thief
It is becoming more frequent but shoplifting is a minor nuisance compared to the crime in places like trendy Melrose Avenue where brazen robbers are holding people up at gun point outside cafes.
I would like to remark, for those non-Californians who may be reading the thread, that holding someone up at gunpoint is, in fact, illegal throughout the state.

Perhaps TSwizzle has never visited a big city in a redder state, like Dallas, New Orleans, or Memphis. Republicans in charge doesn't seem to much reduce street crime.
Tom

Heh, probably right.
Only time something like that happened to me was ... Miami. Oh, and Nashville. Both times, the assailant scared themselves off when bystanders appeared.
Maybe LA robber/muggers are simply less cowardly than the red-state variety.
 

ZiprHead

Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member
I realize of course that Derec, Tswizzle, etc have no intention of starting actual dialogues about crime and punishment when they share the latest viral videos, but I have a reading recommendation for anyone else curious about what goes on once the cameras stop rolling. It isn't actually true that California or any other state simply tolerates serial shoplifters. It is more than possible to prosecute shoplifting cases that are indicative of a permanent cycle or that result in significant loss. The question is how to address shoplifting, not whether to. Stores themselves don't want daily bloody shootouts on their front porch a la Republican fantasy-land, not in "red states" nor in "blue states". The best practice is to document the crime carefully, and with a cool head, begin an investigation into what happened and who is responsible:

Here's what happened after that viral S.F. Walgreens shoplifting video ended

As for whether there is truly a shoplifting spree in California, there of course is not; shoplifting incidents have been steadily decreasing in frequency relative to state population since 1989. We just have more people, and more stores, than an economically depressed state like Mississippi might have, so you're more likely to see exciting incidents like the one in the video occur here.

The New York Times fabricates a nonexistent shoplifting wave in San Francisco, then wrongly blames it on criminal justice reforms and the city’s supposed soft-on-crime image

Could not read the first link even in incognito. Got a summary?
 

Angry Floof

Tricksy Leftits
Staff member
I realize of course that Derec, Tswizzle, etc have no intention of starting actual dialogues about crime and punishment when they share the latest viral videos, but I have a reading recommendation for anyone else curious about what goes on once the cameras stop rolling. It isn't actually true that California or any other state simply tolerates serial shoplifters. It is more than possible to prosecute shoplifting cases that are indicative of a permanent cycle or that result in significant loss. The question is how to address shoplifting, not whether to. Stores themselves don't want daily bloody shootouts on their front porch a la Republican fantasy-land, not in "red states" nor in "blue states". The best practice is to document the crime carefully, and with a cool head, begin an investigation into what happened and who is responsible:

Here's what happened after that viral S.F. Walgreens shoplifting video ended

As for whether there is truly a shoplifting spree in California, there of course is not; shoplifting incidents have been steadily decreasing in frequency relative to state population since 1989. We just have more people, and more stores, than an economically depressed state like Mississippi might have, so you're more likely to see exciting incidents like the one in the video occur here.

The New York Times fabricates a nonexistent shoplifting wave in San Francisco, then wrongly blames it on criminal justice reforms and the city’s supposed soft-on-crime image

Could not read the first link even in incognito. Got a summary?

A video went viral of a store security guard recording a shoplifter and people went ape shit with accusations of the guard just allowing it to happen and not doing his job.

The link is to an opinion piece by a retail loss prevention professional saying that we don't have the whole story, which is that the guard did exactly the right thing as he was trained to do. No amount of merchandise theft is worth someone's life. The guard used his training in trying to prevent the theft but when the thief brazenly did it anyway and didn't seem to care that the guard and store employees knew what they were doing, the guard's training dictated that he then observe and record if possible rather than confront someone who might be armed. That video was evidence included in his incident report, AND police were able to use it to identify the thief who was also responsible for more than a dozen other thefts in the area. That person is in jail without bail now because of that guard's video.

The whole incident had nothing to do with CA laws being lax. In fact, the progressive way of handling it, which is safer for guards and employees, is what actually helped to catch the thief and take them off the streets awaiting accountability.

So of course that video inspires right wing boners, but they are totally wrong in their assumptions about both the incident and whatever laws and policies might apply, as usual.
 
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