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Why I don't 'support our troops' (and why no religious person should)

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by christallen, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. christallen

    christallen Cynical Optimist

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    I will put an exception right at the top of this post. If you're drafted, most of what I say here does not apply.

    Why support a volunteer soldier?

    I've been faced with this question quite a bit coming to age in the Bush years. The conclusion that I've finally landed on is, there is no reason.

    A volunteer soldier signs up to be an agent of the state's war machine. In doing so, he/she allows the state to demand him/her to kill another human being. Questioning said authority is a crime, and is understood to be so when the soldier signs on the dotted (or is it solid) line. I don't believe that an individual soldier is responsible for the greater evil of said war machine, but the willingness to do exactly what that entity demands nullifies their innocence. In the modern war era, the soldier is aware of what he/she is getting into. With the abundance of media the terrors of war can actually be seen with merely a click of the mouse. The days of soldiers not knowing exactly what they are getting into are over.

    Most major religions have a rule against murder as a top priority, but it seems that their followers take the 'patriotic' stance of 'murdering one person is a bad thing, but murder in mass for the sake of [national security/protecting national business interests/protecting culture] is required and in some cases God's will. This is contradictory to the very ethics of the religions of these 'patriots'.

    Being in the United States, I am surrounded by Christian war-culture, but I have yet to hear a solid argument for what I hear termed a 'just war'. It is simple:
    If killing is wrong in one case, it is wrong in all cases.
     
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  2. TheKnight

    TheKnight Guardian of Life

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    I wholeheartedly disagree. As a religious person who believes in Torah, I must say that I believe with all my heart in the coming of Moshiach, and anxiously wait for the day when our world will sit in perfect peace.

    However, I realize that there is violence in this world. I've seen that violence and I know that it is ruthless. It will not stopped unless forced to do so.

    That, in my opinion, is where law enforcement and the military step in. When people decide that they will ruthlessly pursue the harm of another human being, or adamantly stand against the standards which society has set for itself, then those people must be stopped by force if necessary.

    Some people (like myself) feel called to join that cause and to make that difference.
     
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  3. darkendless

    darkendless Guardian of Asgaard

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    Sometimes, economically people have no choice.

    Also, what religions preach and what goes on in practice are two completely different things.
     
  4. christallen

    christallen Cynical Optimist

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    When has war actually ended in peace? The end of every war is the beginning of the next. What is being stopped when war is an endless cycle?

    Does war not harm multitudes of people?

    How does this make right what they have done?

    The standards that society has set for itself (at least in the US) are pretty low considering our treatment of the current wars. There is no end in sight, and no real clear reason other than a shady/vague 'war on terror' against a group that isn't even a match for our military. We are stuck there because our very actions create more 'terrorists' as the cycle of war always goes.
     
  5. christallen

    christallen Cynical Optimist

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    Even with the economic issue, there are other choices. (It's an entirely different discussion if we go into how the government could divert funds from the military to civilian jobs if the war-cycle was broken)

    I am sadly aware of that fact. I grew up in the Pentecostal church and had direct experience with that hypocrisy.
     
  6. darkendless

    darkendless Guardian of Asgaard

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    Its not always about econmoics, but also avaliability. Some people need a steady pay-cheque, and they need it a.s.a.p. Sometimes its not quite so black and white.


    Yes well have you seen a thread on this forum about gun makers supplying US soldiers with biblical quotes on their gunsites? Its here somewhere.
     
  7. blackout

    blackout Violet.

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    People should do what they feel they want to with their lives.

    HOWEVER... they should not expect other people to "support" them,
    or their choices.
    If YOU want to do a thing, do it.
    But don't EXPECT everyone else to 'raise up' and laud your own chosen course of action.

    I warn my son at the age of 11 NEVER EVER to sign anything when he gets older.
    Never to sign any documents at school,
    never to listen to any armed forces recruiter's "promises",
    because he could wind up a govt. pawn on a battlefield,
    just for signing a paper.

    He's seen enough war movies to know
    it's nothing he wants any involvement in.

    I'll warn my daughters when they get a bit older as well.

    They already brought some "cute" dressed up dog in
    to talk positively about the armed forces at the elementary school.
    Yet they made my son change his shirt,
    which had two handguns on it.
    *DUH*

    I guess war is cute. not guns.

    I hate all the peer pressure patriotism pushed by the public schools.

    As I said do your own thing.
    But don't expect me to clap or salute or wave a flag. :shrug:
     
    #7 blackout, Apr 30, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2010
  8. christallen

    christallen Cynical Optimist

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    That may be true, but that still doesn't provide a reason for me to support that person for his/her decision to join the military as a means to an end. By that logic pirates, bandits, and 'terrorist' forces are to be understood as merely reacting to their socio-economic conditions and also deserve your support.

    I'll have to search for that. That sounds like it's about as ridiculous as war can get.
     
  9. christallen

    christallen Cynical Optimist

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    Hallelujah!

    We need more parents like you.

    This is absolutely sickening. I don't even have kids and this scares me.
     
  10. blackout

    blackout Violet.

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    Hail Set! :D

    If you knew more about me,
    you would most likely take that back. :flirt: ;)

    I hate to see coersion and indoctrination laid upon the young & the innocent.
    One major reason I would never seek to "make my kids" practice any religion.
    It goes against my LHP tendencies.

    Children should be taught to DISCERN & question.
    Not follow and believe.

    Young people also should not be pressured to make
    major ADULT decisions.
    This includes both the armed forces,
    and religious "committments"/attendence.
     
  11. blackout

    blackout Violet.

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    Christallen....

    How can you possibly be "All Religions"?
    Do you actually 'practice' and/or embrace all religions?

    Many of them contradict and cross and defy each other, you know? :shrug:

    (I could've sworn your religion said Christian just 5 minutes ago,
    but I could be wrong.)
     
  12. christallen

    christallen Cynical Optimist

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    I assure you it never said 'Christian', but I put 'All Religions' there because I feel like I've been influenced by them all, but I'm an absurdist at heart.
     
  13. blackout

    blackout Violet.

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    lol. it was probably the christ in christallen.

    I have a heart for Discordianism,
    so I can definately relate to absurdism. ;)

    I'm wondering though,
    why did you focus this thread on the religious only?
    So many religions hold differing philosophies.
    And many athiests are pacifists to one degree or another.
    I've been up MANY hours
    and may again be missing what's already there.

    anyways,
    welcome to RF.

    ~V~
     
  14. blackout

    blackout Violet.

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    ok, I see now.

    the thread title said "(and why no religious person should)"
    but then the post went on to focus on christianity.

    Not every religion of course has a "thou shalt not kill" clause.
    Oddly my own does not,
    as it is not a "morality" religion,
    yet I landed at your conclusion aparantely,
    for completely different reasons of my own.

    Back when I was a self professed christian
    I was more dead set against war actually.
    Now I'm kind of... "To each his own".
    ...and govt run wars are definately not "my own".

    I will fight my own personal battles & wars though.
     
    #14 blackout, Apr 30, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2010
  15. Mr Cheese

    Mr Cheese Well-Known Member

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    War, what is it good for?
    It's good for business....
     
  16. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    It's your choice whether or not to support "a volunteer soldier." (Could be your sister, your cousin, your mom or dad, or your child.) I support my two children who serve and my daughter's husband who serves as well.

    I support them because I agree with the necessity of a strong military, and I agree with their individual choices for joining and for remaining active duty.

    I also believe that a volunteer military is stronger than a drafted military. With a volunteer military, we know that those who are serving are doing so freely - rather than being forced into service that they may not believe in. I am opposed to the draft.

    That's your spin, based on your own biases. I am sure you would say that a soldier's spin would be that he/she is "defending our country." A case can be made for either perspective.

    This is the beauty of having a volunteer military. Those who oppose military service are not forced to serve. You should be very pleased with this. Not all countries give their citizens that much freedom of choice. Your right NOT to serve is protected by those who DO serve.

    Military service is not just about killing - and not all killing is murder either. A strong military DETERS much violence and aggression.

    This is too broad a generality. Soldiers are taught to respect a chain of command, and to obey their superiors, but they are also taught the laws of warfare, and the boundaries of the Geneva Convention. They have legal recourse if they believe that human rights are being abused.

    I agree with you here. Once again, this is a strong point of having an all volunteer military. And I have very little patience with those who sign up merely for the benefits and then whine about actually having to serve in a combat zone.

    Apparently you are a pacifist, and that's entirely your right. But most civilizations, legal systems, and people in general believe that not all killing is murder, and that unfortunately, sometimes the act of killing another person is not only necessary, but morally required.

    That being said, in war sometimes innocent people are injured or killed. This is one of the tragedies of war and a very compelling reason to avoid unnecessary military action.

    Wow - this simply makes no sense to me.



    .[/quote]
     
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  17. sandandfoam

    sandandfoam Veteran Member

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    Let's have a look at it. It makes a lot of sense to me :)

    First, I support troops in the sense that I want to see them getting out in the whole of their health.
    I consider the rights or wrongs of what they are sent to do to be an argument with their political masters, not the troops.

    Back to killing being wrong in all cases. Whether you agree with non-violence or not can you see how someone would think that in principle, violence is wrong?
     
  18. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    I agree that violence should be avoided if possible. But I don't believe that violence in and of itself is either morally right or morally wrong.

    What makes the difference is the motive of the person or entity. In my opinion, self defense or the defense of another person is not wrong, even if that defense includes violence.

    War by it's very nature is often ambiguous morally. In those cases, I believe that God knows our hearts and motivations - and He's the ultimate judge and jury.
     
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  19. sandandfoam

    sandandfoam Veteran Member

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    Sure, I understand your view on violence even though I don't agree with it.
    My question is can you understand a non-violent outlook - allowing that it is a view you don't agree with?
     
  20. *Anne*

    *Anne* Bliss Ninny

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    I have great trouble understanding a non-violent outlook when it doesn't allow for self defense or defense of the truly innocent.
     
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