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  1. #91
    Senior Member Ruthie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Well, then let's stop making it so, just to get by since we've outsourced all the well-paying jobs, they have to go off to some sandbox half a world away to get blown to pieces by an IED for some douchebag CEO's benefit.
    I'm all for bringing jobs back to this country, improving the lives and options of the working classes (who deserve a LOT more respect than they get), and to stop doing the bidding of those douchebag CEOs you mention. That said, it's selling the soldiers short to assume they are only serving because they don't have other options. Most of them are legitimately patriotic and want to serve their country. If only the rich kids shared an ounce of their patriotism...

    Maybe we should bring back the draft. Let the burden fall equally on all classes, and let members of Congress think twice before possibly committing their own kids to wars.

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Nice compartmentalized thinking. They're both memeplexes with the particular intention of social control. One involves spirituality, the other an appeal to universal principles. They're not different. You're missing the forest for the trees, as usual.
    Sorry but by rehashing the old "opium of the masses" meme; it's you who misses the forest for the trees - since religion often involves more than just mere social control. In fact in regards to Judaism and Christianity, there's often a religious rebuking of political(and even religious) institutions and power - starting with the prophets who were not afraid to rebuke the wrong doings of the Israelite kings and the Temple. Walter Brueggemann explains much of this in The Prophetic Imagination, along with Abraham Joshua Heschel in his classic The Prophets.

    Linda C. Raeder has this to say concerning the views of St. Augustine of Hippo on political authority.
    "Augustine was the first major philosopher to reject the deeply normative politics of classical thought and its conception of the state as the highest achievement of social existence. For Aristotle, the polis was the “perfect community”—the fulfillment of human association and the precondition for the cultivation of intellectual and ethical excellence. Cicero too defined the state in normative terms; a “republic,” he maintained, was an “assemblage [of men] associated by a common acknowledgement of right and by a community of interests.”3 To the classical mind, human flourishing was inextricably entwined with the flourishing of the state; personal and political fulfillments were symbiotic and inseparable.4

    Augustine, the mystical Christian sage, was not impressed with such views. For he held a higher allegiance—to his God—along side which the human state and its strictly secular concerns paled to insignificance. Moreover, he held no illusions regarding the essence of political authority—coerciveness. Coercive rule was, for him, a necessary aspect of human existence but certainly not one worthy of reverence..."

    "Augustine and the Case for Limited Government"
    Even in the 19th century I could point to the example of Kierkegaard's polemics against "Christendom"(the state church of Denmark) in name of authentic Christianity to add to my case. I could literally go on for days about this.

    Too bad those lessons didn't stick with you.
    Such remarks would have more sting if you actually had an actual argument to back them up with.


    And yet, the "reward in heaven" from a pilgrimage wasn't a desire for resources in some way? You're also generalizing far too much about "discarded among scholars", but then again, you do only consider the scholars you like to count, right?
    Well I'm citing from memory the Cambridge history of the Crusades.

  3. #93
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruthie View Post
    You're right. I heard that many firefighters steal from the houses they are called to save, so clearly they aren't heroes either. And Lincoln was a member of the American Colonization Society, so ixnay on the erohsay there as well. Martin Luther King was too scared to join the Freedom Riders on the buses, the coward. Hey, it's fun and easy to poke holes in heroes!

    Then again, setting aside the exceptions, the dissonance, and the wrong causes, I'll continue to think of soldiers as heroes. At least they aren't so self-righteous as to believe that they alone can determine what is a just mission, and what is an unjust mission.
    Well, the question was are soldiers necessarily heroes. I think they can be, but they aren't necessarily.

    It's a silly generalization to make. Any generalization that broad is a silly generalization to make. One where a profession necessarily involves violence and often conquest no less so. I would venture to say that wrong causes are not exceptions and that war crimes are not as rare as we might like to believe.

    Soldiers may not bear the full more responsibility for unjust wars -- they are usually just poor men's sons being spent by rich men like so many pennies -- but heroes one and all? Sounds like CMT Koolaide or a Ford commercial or something.

    Ethnic cleansing, genocide, torture, raping, pillaging, looting, etc are, IMO, not very heroic behaviors and historically, soldiers have not infrequently engaged in such activities. Some may consider such convictions self-righteous. I consider them essential to the freedoms our soldiers fight for and I believe war crime tribunals tend not to excuse soldiers for those kinds of behaviors even when the soldiers themselves do not believe they alone can determine what is a just or unjust mission, or IOW, they were just following orders.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  4. #94
    Sniffles
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    I very much like General Charles de Gaulle's take on the issue:


    "War stirs in men's hearts the mud of their worst instincts. It puts a premium on violence, nourishes hatred, and gives free rein to cupidity. It crushes the weak, exalts the unworthy, bolsters tyranny...Time and time again it has destroyed all ordered living, devastated hope, and put the prophets to death. But, though Lucifer has used it for his purposes, so sometimes, has the Archangel. With what virtues has it not enriched the moral capabilities of mankind! Because of it, courage, devotion, and nobility have scaled the peaks. It has conferred greatness of spirit on the poor, brought pardon to the guilty, revealed the possibilities of self-sacrifice to the commonplace, restored honour to the rogue, and given dignity to the slave...It has blazed a trail of religion and spread across the world influences which have brought renewal to mankind, consoled it, and made it better. Had not innumerable soldiers shed their blood there would have been no Hellenism, no Roman civilization, no Christianity, no Rights of Man, and no modern developments."

  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I often notice among WWII veterans the common sentiment expressed "people often call us heroes, but we're not. We just did our job, that's all."

    On many levels, yes, soldiers who fight for their country should be honoured as heroes.
    Aren't heroes people who do something GOOD?

    If they are involved the Perpetuation of Pure Evil, lead by The Obamanation, how can they be considered heroes?

  6. #96
    Senior Member incubustribute's Avatar
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    Okay Okay

    Si: wow....so much information...*drools*

    Fe: AWWW!! YoU GAIZ R SOOO coOL 4 givINg me TEN 10 pAGEZ of RESPONSEZ! I feelz SO LOVED!

    Ti: erm...let's stay on subject please?

    Ne: must...find...a good...analogy....to illustrate.....my point...
    Oh bother.

  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fecal McAngry View Post
    Aren't heroes people who do something GOOD?

    If they are involved the Perpetuation of Pure Evil, lead by The Obamanation, how can they be considered heroes?
    Of course soldiers are often involved in unjust causes. Whether it's about German soldiers who fought for the Nazi regime, or those Russians who fought for the Bolsheviks. War is a continuation of politics, so you can't completely seperate the two as some try to do in such cases. That doesn't mean one should indiscriminately piss on those who fought for causes they happen to disagree with. A common element in military ethics is respect for your enemy.

  8. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamine View Post
    The great thing is, if you are lucky enough to live in a democracy, you are responsible for guiding your government in which conflicts it participates in, and how it chooses to act in those situations. The even greater thing is, the men and women who joined your country's military willingly are going to continue to protect you regardless of whether you love them as much as they love you and your freedoms.

    Posters in this thread, please remember that it is not the decision of the soldier of which conflicts they will act in, only that they make a promise to protect the people of their country. It is an act of love and compassion, not hatred. Militaries are controlled by their governments. Are they trained to kill people? I certainly hope so. How else are you going to defend people who have no way of defending themselves?

    As to the OP, my opinion is fairly obvious. Is a soldier that fights to clear a village so children can safely attend school a hero? What about a soldier that is part of a reconstruction team that builds a well so that people have safe drinking water?

    Soldiers don't decide where they are going and if/who they are fighting. They decided that there is something greater than their own comfort and convenience and dedicate themselves to protecting those freedoms for others.
    What pablum.
    There are soldiers, in the US military, who refused to fight in Iraq & Afghanistan because they know these to be profoundly evil, unjustifiable wars of aggression. These people are heroes. One of them:

    US soldier refuses to serve in 'illegal Iraq war'

    I certainly have sympathy for the Warbots you describe, but "just following orders" is no excuse.

  9. #99
    Senior Member incubustribute's Avatar
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    I believe you all have valid points, and thank you for your posts thus far.

    I'm a little disappointed that no one seems to have realized the possibility that wars have the potential to actually harm the nation fighting them in the future by antagonizing a group of people into an enemy mentality. Read: Bush's Axis of Evil.

    Place a Good vs. Evil bumper sticker on every political vehicle and watch as each one is plowed to death in its blindness by the 18-wheeler of harsh reality

    every.

    time.

    What most of you seem to forget is that by unjust aggression and pre-empty war "strategery," we are destroying our status as a just nation and instigating further conflict in the future. Conflict that potentially compromises our national security.

    Are all wars morally wrong? Absolutely not. And please don't dogmatically deny a human being's right to defend himself in the face of death - or a nation's right to defend itself in the face of invasion.

    Are most wars morally wrong? I think so. And please begin to look into the real reasons for the wars we are currently fighting before making broad generalizations regarding "supporting the troops" or calling people anti-American.

    What I'm asking with this soldier question goes more along the lines of "When is war acceptable?" and more importantly, "When is killing acceptable?"

    Some food for thought. Thus far I'm taking the side of opposition, but I am willing to hear valid, sound, strong, and cogent arguments in support of our wars for the sake of a new perspective. This stuff resonates with me as a citizen in a democracy. I have the responsibility to be informed and make the right decision in my support for a strong, just government.

  10. #100
    Senior Member incubustribute's Avatar
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    also simulated: you made such a good point in your response to me on facebook...I was hoping perhaps for your input on here as well? I'm pretty sure I read all ten pages, but perhaps I missed one of your long Ne posts...

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