• SightsOfCold
    3
    I'm set to enlist in the military but I have the option of not serving if I want to (by acquiring an exemption) so I was debating whether it would be morally right to serve or not. I came to the conclusion that it would be morally wrong to serve because the military in question causes a lot of unjustified harm by using excessive force. But here's the problem, if I think it's immoral to serve if given the option not to, I would then have to say that anyone with the option to not serve shouldn't do it. But if everyone with the choice to not serve didn't serve then the military would collapse and a war would ensue causing more deaths than there would've been if people had served. Does that then make my claim that it is immoral to serve in the military wrong?

  • Pfhorrest
    159
    If all people chose not to serve in a military that did unjustified harm specifically, but would serve in a military doing only justifiable violence to prevent even worse harm, then that would incentivize the military to not do unjustified harm and to only do justifiable violence to prevent even worse harm.

    Or else (more realistically) to remove the choice not to serve entirely, in which case it's only an illusory choice to begin with. But if we're operating under the assumption that it is a genuine choice, then the moral choice is to choose not to serve unless your service is to a good end, not a bad one.

    Knowingly signing up to help an organization that you know is going to do unjustifiable harm makes you complicit in that harm.
  • SightsOfCold
    3
    That's a good point, but I've thought of two counter points to this argument.
    Firstly, how do you know that a military where people suddenly stop serving would equate that to the fact that people don't want unjustified harm to be caused?
    Secondly, what if the military genuinely believes that the harm they're causing is entirely justified and ethical so they don't cooperate? You could argue that it's their fault, but from a consequentialist perspective if everyone doesn't serve knowing that the military might not agree to their "terms" they would still be in the wrong because the outcome of doing that would be enormous harm due to the lack of military protection.
  • IsaacAccepted Answer
    1.3k
    from a consequentialist perspective if everyone doesn't serve knowing that the military might not agree to their "terms" they would still be in the wrong because the outcome of doing that would be enormous harm due to the lack of military protection.SightsOfCold

    You're mixing your ethical methodology and so it's yielding paradoxical results. You start from a consequentialist position (some negative event resulting from your actions), but then frame it deontological (what if everyone acted thus).

    From a purely consequentialist position, you do not need to worry about the consequences you describe resulting from your actions because that is extremely unlikely. You live in a sufficiently diverse society that there will always be enough people who think the military is fine that you won't run out.

    From a deontological point of view, the rule is all that matters not the consequences. If you're seeking some objective (a functioning army in this case) then it's not a moral issue.

    It's only when you conflate the two systems that the paradox arises.
  • SightsOfCold
    3
    I see, I guess the problem is within me, mainly that I have an issue with the fact that I'm doing something (in this case choosing to not serve in the military) but I don't want others to do it too (which would result in everyone not serving and thus - a really bad outcome for everyone) and that "seems" very morally wrong to me but since I identify as a rule-utilitarian I should just invalidate that argument because it has nothing to do with the consequences or my initial intention with not serving (preventing unjustified harm to the world caused by me serving).
  • boethius
    297
    but I don't want others to do it too (which would result in everyone not serving and thus - a really bad outcome for everyone) and that "seems" very morally wrongSightsOfCold

    The way you have framed things, there is no paradox just a direct contradiction in your premises.

    You say the army is doing unjustified harm, in which case it would be just, not unjust, for that army to lose the war. So, even if everyone did act as you do then an unjust army loses an unjust war, a completely acceptable moral outcome.

    Now, if you universalize further and ask "what if not only everyone in my country but everyone in every country did not contribute to unjust wars" then again, the result is completely fine.

    From what I understand, you're basically saying that "it's a morally unjust war ... but if we stop fighting we'll lose and that would be worse!". A morally unjust war should by definition be lost, that is what all moral agents, both within and without the team in question, should be, by definition, the result they are rooting for.

    If you are trying to get at some more general paradox of society not using violence ever and criminals and unjust armies running rampant, then this isn't really a problem in a framework that accepts there is a just and unjust uses of violence: people should do just violence and not unjust violence by definition. This sort of paradox arises only if you are considering all violence unjustified, now you must contend with the unjust armies roaming the earth with no just opposition to stop them (radical pacifists like Tolstoy resolve this paradox by arguing that the unjust will naturally realize their unjustness if they are not opposed; violence begets violence basically and it is up to the just to stop the cycle). This doesn't seem to be your case however; you can refuse to contribute to an unjust war and if society gets it's act together and stops unjust war and the next war arises that is just then you can join the military or contribute in another way; you're decision is not permanent as points out.

    Where there is a much harder moral problem, assuming your just/not-just evaluation is correct, is that by getting an exemption but still being a normal citizen you are still supporting an unjust war.You may not be a soldier but you will be enabling the soldier and, insofar as this is the case, your moral position has not actually changed. To be in a different moral position you would need to do more than simply not join the military but also make other choices which lead you to be satisfied that you are not enabling unjust violence. This is usually discussed in terms of "paying tax to an unjust regime"; there are lot's of ways to resolve this problem, but none of them support business as usual which is what most people who come to ask themselves this question, at least at first, want an answer to (there is genuine moral conflict of carrying on business as usual in an unjust system, whether to support war or any other injustice, but it is not a paradox it is just a contradiction in desires).
  • DingoJones
    1.2k


    I think its a bit simplistic to use a single metric to determine the morality of joining the army. Excessive force and harm are part of what the military is, and what it has to be. The question isnt whether or not that its morally acceptable, but rather if those things are worth the trade-off. You already noticed yourself the consequences of not having a military at all. Disaster.
    So the consideration you are making is really a practical one. Is it practical for YOU to join the military. Not everybody is built for it, some people serve humanity in other ways and some people serve as warriors. We need both types (all kinds of types) of people, and making the military consideration one of morality rather than practicality seems a bit naive to the realities we have to live with.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    But if everyone with the choice to not serve didn't serve then the military would collapse and a war would ensueSightsOfCold

    A war wouldn't ensue if everyone decided to not serve, of course. There would be no one to start a war. But it's not going to be the case that everyone decides to not organize into a military and take stuff and liberties via force.

    I'm pro-military. Many people in my family served and so did I. I think it's worth doing for many reasons, not the least of which is the personal discipline you'll gain. Plus their are other advantages, including that if you serve long enough, you'll earn lifelong benefits from it.
  • boethius
    297
    The question isnt whether or not that its morally acceptable, but rather if those things are worth the trade-off. You already noticed yourself the consequences of not having a military at all. Disaster.DingoJones

    This is not the issue. The premise is of the OP is that the army in question is involved in unjust wars, not the general issues involved in maintaining violent institutions. For instance, the OP's subject is not that some soldiers will do unjust things in the broader scope of a just war.

    The idea that the only alternative to opposing an unjust war is to have no government at all is a shallow false dichotomy. Obviously, only engaging in and supporting just violence is an available alternative to the prospect of supporting or engaging in unjust violence.
  • boethius
    297
    I'm pro-military. Many people in my family served and so did I. I think it's worth doing for many reasons, not the least of which is the personal discipline you'll gain.Terrapin Station

    You and seem to be confusing the support for the idea of a military with the subject of engagement in and support for specific military actions. That "we should have laws generally speaking" is not an argument that defends or excuses any specific law of a given justice system, likewise "that society should use violence when required, generally speaking" is not an argument that defends or excuses any particular act of violence by society.

    Plus their are other advantages, including that if you serve long enough, you'll earn lifelong benefits from it.Terrapin Station

    What will it profit a soldier if he gains mad skills, but loses his soul?

    More importantly for the debate here, if sacrificing on the battlefield becomes probable or necessary to advance the interests of society, let's assume here it's a just war, would this possibility still make military service worthwhile based on the argument of personal gain? If so, would the war in question being unjust change this economic calculus even slightly, or is it entirely irrelevant?
  • DingoJones
    1.2k


    I disagree. I think that the reality is you don’t get to pick and choose the wars you think are just or not when you are in the military. It doesnt and cannot work that way, and that has to be something you accept if you join the military.
    The unjust wars aspect IS part of a violent institution. The reality is that humans are in charge of military application. Mistakes, poor judgement and bad actors are all part of it. Thats why I find unjust wars to be particularly egregious moral violations on the part of politicians etc that decide on these wars. Taking advantage of this reality (described above) for profit or ideology or whatever that results in an unjust war is truly disgusting, immoral behaviour...but not on the part of those who serve as our warriors. Its on those who send them to war.
  • boethius
    297
    I disagree. I think that the reality is you don’t get to pick and choose the wars you think are just or not when you are in the military. It doesnt and cannot work that way, and that has to be something you accept if you join the military.DingoJones

    It can completely work that way.

    It doesn't work for the people wanting unjust wars for profit or ideological zeal, but it works completely fine for people who support just wars but not unjust wars.

    There is no paradox, no contradiction arises.

    Officers, of armies tending to have no explainable theory justifying violence, definitely find it convenient if their new recruits quickly abandon any reflection on their own moral agency within the context of violence. But that it is convenient from the point of view of the agents of the institution does not somehow remove the moral agency of the new or old recruits, it remains only a suggestion to "not think about it".

    The unjust wars aspect IS part of a violent institution.DingoJones

    This is incorrect. Unjust wars are a risk of participating in an institution, directly or indirectly, but it is not something that must be intrinsically tolerated, much less supported, to have any institution at all. That's just a false dichotomy as I mention above. People can support an institution they think is just, knowing there is a risk it may suddenly become unjust due to corruption or political changes, and then change their relation to that institution and undermine rather than support it.

    The reality is that humans are in charge of military application. Mistakes, poor judgement and bad actors are all part of it.DingoJones

    You are confusing an unjust war with unjust actions within a presumably just war. War crimes were committed by the allies, Russians, Nazi's, Chinese and Japanese Empire in WWII, that does not make the war each side was fighting unjust.

    Mistakes will always be made in a just war, I agree; society must try to avoid such mistakes and deal with it as best as it can. Simply concluding a war is just does not make navigating such a war morally simple.

    However, in an unjust war all actions by definition are unjust; the entire thing is, by definition, a mistake and there is simply no "a few bad apples" argument available.

    Moreover, continuing a unjust war weakens a society and military and makes it less prepared to fight the next just war (in many ways I am more than willing to enumerate); not participating, and actively opposing an unjust war, helps not only the society one's society is unjustly harming but also one's own society. Continuation of unjust war requires the re-engineering of and destabilization of what society believes in order to muster enough support to continue it; this exercise of propaganda by the government upon the people we should expect in theory, and we find in practice, will lead directly to a society that is no longer able to interpret reality and the eventual failure of that society. Such a process, once it has started, is only arrested and reversed by people concerned about participating in unjust violence and deciding to oppose it because it is unjust; otherwise, it is not the case that a society "wraps up the unjust war" and gets back to the business of just war; history teaches us unjust war simply continues until it is stopped by internal and/or external forces (usually concerned about stopping unjust wars).

    You can argue a war is just, but you cannot reasonably argue a unjust war should be participated in by anyone that has a choice in the matter; that it simply what unjust action means: things you shouldn't do given the choice. You can argue that there is no standard of justice and there is no just war and there is no unjust war and each soldier should just think like a mercenary, doing what will maximize benefit for themselves (plundering when victory is assured, gaining network and skills in non-combat rolls or peacetime, and deserting when defeat is likely), but this is not an argument that unjust wars should be participated in, it is simply denying that unjust wars exist; and this is not OP's question; OP has evaluated the war is unjust, not that there is no standard of justice.
  • DingoJones
    1.2k


    A lot of that wasnt focusing on the soldier. The soldier doesnt get to pick and choose, it cannot work that way. They do not get the luxury of moral reflections (except of course, those that are included in each militaries code of conduct). They need to obey orders and military rules or people will die. Perhaps very many people. A military just cant function if all the individuals stop for some moral philosophy while serving. Thats part of what makes choosing to serve worthy and noble, that they are making a big sacrifice for their individuality while serving. They are saying “ok, you point, I shoot”, knowing that they are entrusting the justification and morality to someone else.
    We appear to have a pretty deep disagreement here, to me it seems we are operating from different axioms about morality and war.
  • boethius
    297
    A lot of that wasnt focusing on the soldier.DingoJones

    I am completely focusing on the soldier or citizen considering becoming a soldier. What I say is simply the logical outcome of concluding a war in unjust.

    Of course, determining that is the difficult part, but the OP does not ask us what we think is just or unjust, but rather only whether it creates a paradox of wanting to avoid participating in (what one has concluded is) injustice but still wanting social institutions in a general sense.

    Just institutions do not become just because people tolerate injustice from them. It is precisely because enough members of society oppose injustice that institutions become, ever so slowly, more just.

    The soldier doesnt get to pick and choose, it cannot work that way.DingoJones

    Yes, the soldier does pick and chose what the soldier does. The soldier does not give up moral agency for a uniform.

    They need to obey orders and military rules or people will die.DingoJones

    Sure, but that only supports your conclusion if you're assuming the war is just; in which case I agree.

    If the war is unjust it is precisely because obeying orders and rule will result in people dying unjustly on the opposing side that participating is not justified. Now, if non-participation leads to the defeat of one's military and people on one's own side dying in the process, as mentioned above, this is an entirely morally acceptable outcome.

    A military just cant function if all the individuals stop for some moral philosophy while serving.DingoJones

    An unjust military cannot function this way, and, as already mentioned, it's totally fine if all the individuals in an unjust military stop for some moral philosophy reasons while serving.

    A just military easily can. Indeed, a just military relies on individuals exercising moral agency based on their own individual moral philosophy to have chance at credibly being just. For instance, if a just war is democratically decided, then presumably there are enough citizens that believe, for their own personal moral philosophy reasons, that the war is just. If it turns out that it was a mistake, even if many people thought it was just at the time, the best outcome for society is for enough people, both inside and outside the military, to apply the same moral philosophy process to conclude the war is in fact not-just and change their actions accordingly.

    Thats part of what makes choosing to serve worthy and noble, that they are making a big sacrifice for their individuality while serving.DingoJones

    A soldier remains an individual. A uniform doesn't change that. To believe otherwise is to have some surreptitious circle of reasoning where one abdicates moral responsibility ... as you describe in your next sentence:

    They are saying “ok, you point, I shoot”, knowing that they are entrusting the justification and morality to someone else.DingoJones

    No soldier needs to believe such a thing, and, furthermore, it doesn't make any sense. Your argument is basically "it is justifiable to no longer think of the justification once you have a uniform"; or in otherwords, unjustifiable action is actually justifiable. Now, there are many situations where a soldier does not know if an action is justified or not, and lacking that information is trusting the institution is more just than not; but this is not abdicating moral responsibility to evaluate what information one does have and act according to one's personal moral philosophy, which I can get into if you don't see the distinction.

    I agree that if one believes the military just and worthwhile when joining that one must trust the chain of command until there is new analysis or information, but that does not form an argument that one should avoid reflecting upon or encountering such analysis and information and changing one's actions accordingly.

    But this is far from " 'ok, you point, I shoot'.
  • DingoJones
    1.2k
    I am completely focusing on the soldier or citizen considering becoming a soldier. What I say is simply the logical outcome of concluding a war in unjust.boethius

    No you are not. You are making specific references to society and democracy, and I dont think you are really factoring in the social contract a soldier signs up for. Thats what im talking about.
  • tim wood
    3.2k
    but I have the option of not servingSightsOfCold

    It's a life choice and like most, not simple. A fork in the road; you go one way or the other. One simple strategy is to get a big piece of paper, divide it in half vertically, and put the pros on one side and the cons on the other. And as with most such exercises, it's the exercise itself that is helpful, not just what it produces.

    In the US, military service can be and often is beneficial in the long run. For example (I do not know how it is now), a young man could enlist at eighteen, serve twenty years, get an education in the process. And out at 38 with a military pension, benefits, and a whole new life to lead. "But that's too long," or, "That's too difficult." Admittedly it's a big decision, but unless you're planning on being dead in twenty years, you are going to be somewhere, somehow. How does that somewhere, somehow stack up against whatever your military can offer? As to the ethics, that's an old problem you're not going to solve. Indeed, soldiering is reckoned maybe the world's second oldest profession.

    On the other hand, if you have reason to suspect that the military is just plain not for you, then maybe better for everyone you don't join.
  • Pfhorrest
    159
    I think this scenario is a good example of why a synthesis of utilitarianism and deontology is necessary. The synthesis I generally propose is an analogy to falsificationism in epistemology, whereas consequentialism is analogous to confirmationism or more generally justificationism. I propose that ends do not justify means, but they can ‘falsify’ them so to speak. Means are themselves important as in deontology, but ends are also important as in utilitarianism. A good end doesn’t mean you used good means, any more than a true conclusion makes an argument valid; but bad ends mean either that you used bad means, or that there was something bad about the prior circumstances. Truly good means must not introduce new badness to the ends, they must be “good-preserving” the way a valid argument is truth-preserving. Bad ends from good prior circumstances indicate bad means. But good ends do not indicate good means.
  • boethius
    297
    No you are not. You are making specific references to society and democracy, and I dont think you are really factoring in the social contract a soldier signs up for. Thats what im talking about.DingoJones

    You do realize you are "making a specific reference to society" when you are "factoring in the social contract the soldier signs up for".

    I don't know what this criticism is supposed to even be, but you seem guilty of it within the same sentence you launch it from.

    There is nothing in any social contract theory I know of that would lend support for an unjust war. If the war is unjust, the organizers of the unjust war are broken with the social contract they signed up for, and anyone who knowingly participates or enables them are, by definition, also broken with the social contract.

    The difficult question is what is and is not a justifiable war, not that an unjust war lacks justification for carrying it out.

    It is not noble or courageous to pretend to transfer one's moral responsibility to others, it is factually incorrect (one is still making one's own decisions) and just lazy cowardice.
  • DingoJones
    1.2k


    You are not aware of all potential wars when you join up, at any time you could be sent to a war thats unjustified. You might suddenly find yourself in a war that you dont agree with. Thats what you are signing on for.
    Your concerns about ethical war, or soldiers disobeying immoral command decisions are covered by the rules of engagement etc (militaries have rules for that sort of thing.)
    So the ethical question you are asking yourself is “can I agree to follow orders, even if I dont agree with them?”.
    If you cant do that with a clear conscience, then military is not for you.
  • boethius
    297
    ↪Isaac I think this scenario is a good example of why a synthesis of utilitarianism and deontology is necessary.Pfhorrest

    Though how can a just war be managed justly runs straight into many differences between utilitarianism and deontology, in this case the OP has already concluded the war is unjust. Insofar as considering whether to join and fight the unjust war, utilitarianism and deontological arguments will conclude the same way. Whether the war is really unjust and what else the OP can do about an unjust war are knotty questions, but I know of no moral theory, consequentialist or deontological that, given the free choice, argue an unjust war should be fought anyway.
  • boethius
    297
    You are not aware of all potential wars when you join up, at any time you could be sent to a war thats unjustified.DingoJones

    Have you read my post? I already dealt with this:

    Now, there are many situations where a soldier does not know if an action is justified or not, and lacking that information is trusting the institution is more just than not; but this is not abdicating moral responsibility to evaluate what information one does have and act according to one's personal moral philosophy, which I can get into if you don't see the distinction.boethius

    Your concerns about ethical war, or soldiers disobeying immoral command decisions are covered by the rules of engagement etc (militaries have rules for that sort of thing.)DingoJones

    You are assuming the war is just and rules of engagement justified.

    If the war is unjust then all the commands and all the rules of engagement are unjustifiable. The entire enterprise is a crime and all knowing participants are morally responsible for the crime.

    So the ethical question you are asking yourself is “can I agree to follow orders, even if I dont agree with them?”.DingoJones

    This is not the question. If the war is just, then it is justifiable to follow orders that I don't agree with, for the sake of a greater organizational efficiency.

    However, if the war is unjust and I come to conclude based on the information I have that it is unjust, then the argument of "following orders to maintain organizational efficiency" is no longer valid; it is only valid insofar as it is efficient for winning a war presumed to be just.

    There is no way to separate the justification of individual actions in a war with the justification for the war as a whole. One may have partial information or lack in analytical capacity to both find and interpret information, and so erroneously assume an unjust war is a just war, or one can have serious doubts and trust the institution until those doubts are resolved, both these situation do not however actually justify engagement in a war that is unjust.

    If an army does not like their soldiers having these kinds of reflections, it is perhaps evidence that army does or intends to wage an unjustifiable war.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    You and ↪DingoJones
    seem to be confusing the support for the idea of a military with the subject of engagement in and support for specific military actions. That "we should have laws generally speaking" is not an argument that defends or excuses any specific law of a given justice system, likewise "that society should use violence when required, generally speaking" is not an argument that defends or excuses any particular act of violence by society.
    boethius

    ??

    Was the subject some particular military action?
  • Gnomon
    103
    I'm set to enlist in the military but I have the option of not serving if I want to (by acquiring an exemption) so I was debating whether it would be morally right to serve or not.SightsOfCold
    I was drafted during the Vietnam debacle, and faced a paradox of my own. My religious training involved the commandment "thou shalt not kill", but also included many examples where God specifically commanded his chosen people to kill, including genocide. My father & brother had served in the Navy, so I had a precedent to follow. The Vietnamese rebels were not attacking me or my country (directly), so I had no personal reason to fight with them. Eventually, I decided to go with the flow, and to not fight the system. I was philosophically naive at the time. And only later considered the role of war in its wider moral implications.

    I am no longer guided by conflicting religious principles. So my current attitude toward WAR is based on my personal BothAnd philosophy. Fighting and killing may be good for some and bad for others. But such conflicts seem to be inevitable, in the tooth & claw natural world, and even in supposedly rational human culture. We can dream of Utopias without the scourge of War, but the best we can hope for in reality is to find an Aristotelian Golden Mean. The Catholic Church wrestled for centuries with the absurdity & necessity of violent conflict. So they devised a compromise in their theory of a "just war". Essentially, self- and other - defense is justified, and un-provoked offense is unjust. Unfortunately, the powers-that-be can always find reasons to justify offensive wars. So, ultimately it's up to the individual to decide the lesser of two evils : to serve your country and kill the bad guys, or to serve morality, abstain from killing, and suffer the reproach of your fellow citizens.

    I actually enjoyed my four years in the Navy, where I never had to kill or be killed. But soldiers returning home to the Peace & Love hippie vibe, were dishonored as baby-killers. Many years later, in a more conservative environment, I am often thanked for my service. So. the lesson is that you must be true to your own values, and do what you think is best. Your decision may not be all-good or all-bad, but it will be yours, and you will have to live with it.

    The BothAnd Philosophy : http://bothandblog5.enformationism.info/page6.html

    Not though the soldier knew
    Someone had blundered.
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die.

    ___Tennyson
  • Mww
    1k
    But here's the problem, if I think it's immoral to serve if given the option not to, I would then have to say that anyone with the option to not serve shouldn't do it.SightsOfCold

    This is....almost....correct, from a very specific and quite narrow moral point of view, but merely highlights the care one should take in formulating his moral considerations.

    When you say that anyone with the option, ought not to serve, you’re implying the reality of a universal moral law (no moral agent shall serve in an organized military engaged in war) to which those same anyone’s subscribe, as the justification for them not serving. If such were the case, the principle of your moral action (wars do unjustified harm) validates your volition of choice (ought not to serve), because you are acting in conformity to a universal law.

    Problem is....the universality of such law is not given, and for all intents and purposes, couldn’t be given, which makes explicit you have no ground for saying anyone else, with the option to not serve, ought not to serve.

    The care one should take, is for the maxim that grounds his willed choice. One can will himself not to serve, however irrational I personally may consider that to be, but the maxim “wars cause unjustified harm” is not in itself sufficient principle for grounding it, insofar as one can still serve as a dedicated non-combatant; one can serve in a specialty non-military group that inflicts no “unjustified harm due to excessive force”.
  • boethius
    297
    Was the subject some particular military action?Terrapin Station

    Yes, the subject is an entire war, a collection of specific military actions in the real world.

    The OP has asked what follows from their conclusion this particular war is unjust, does it conflict with the general desire for a reasonable society.

    Now, perhaps the war the OP is considering is just, perhaps it's not just, perhaps there is no just war or perhaps there is no unjust war. But assuming a war is unjust, then it follows that participating in that war is not just. There is no serendipitous round-a-about way of reasoning to turn actions to support an unjust war into just actions supporting some hypothetical just war that could otherwise be happening.

    One may erroneously believe, due to lack of information or reasoning ability, that an unjust war is just, but this kind of argument, again, admits that the person is in fact in error, that the war is unjust and implies one's actions would change if one were to determine the war is unjust. That someone may have less information (even one's previous self) and take actions under erroneous pretenses (that the war is just) does not somehow justify someone with more information taking those same actions if the information contradicts the action in question (that the war is unjust and should not be fought).
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    The OP has asked what follows from their conclusion this particular war is unjust,boethius

    ??

    What particular war is mentioned?
  • boethius
    297
    What particular war is mentioned?Terrapin Station

    Read the OP does it contradict my description that:

    Yes, the subject is an entire war, a collection of specific military actions in the real world.

    The OP has asked what follows from their conclusion this particular war is unjust, does it conflict with the general desire for a reasonable society.
    boethius

    The OP is talking about a real war in the real world, a specific collection of military actions that the OP finds unjust. The OP is referencing a real war. We do not know which war, we just know, based on the OP, that the OP is talking about a specific war. The OP is not asking upon which basis should a just or unjust war be evaluated, but only asking, given the conclusion that a war is unjust, is there a paradox somewhere with other social duties.

    I am staying on this topic defending the position that an unjust war has no justifiable reason to support it (any excusable reason to participate would be based on either incomplete knowledge or coercion, neither of which the OP claims to be facing).

    Do you really want to go over again how your reading method stacks up to my reading method? Am happy to oblige.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k


    The only time SightsOfCold mentioned war was when he said:

    if everyone with the choice to not serve didn't serve then the military would collapse and a war would ensueSightsOfCold

    He's just suggesting a logical idea. He's not referencing any particular war.
  • boethius
    297
    I'm set to enlist in the military but I have the option of not serving if I want to (by acquiring an exemption) so I was debating whether it would be morally right to serve or not. I came to the conclusion that it would be morally wrong to serve because the military in question causes a lot of unjustified harm by using excessive force. But here's the problem, if I think it's immoral to serve if given the option not to,SightsOfCold

    He is proposing the premise here that the specific military actions in question are unjustified and hence immoral to serve. That's the OP's premise.

    If your plan is to quibble about something, go ahead.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    He is proposing the premise here that the specific military actions in question are unjustifiedboethius

    What specific military actions in question? Are you causing "using excessive force" a "specific military action"?
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Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.