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  1. #11
    ... Tyrinth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    The killing of civilians is a war crime.

    However in the 20th century we began the industrial killing of civilians. So by the end of the century we were killing more civilians than combatants.

    So perhaps we should start listening to our first christian humanist, Erasmus, who told us that all war is evil. And perhaps we should start disbanding our standing armies.
    Wouldn't it just be great if we could simply disband our armies and get along? However, humans have been killing each other since the beginning of their existence, and I don't see that changing any time soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    And drones are particularly hated by tribal people because they kill civilians from the comfort of armchairs in Virginia.
    Yeah, I guess I can see that point of view, however when you're standing on the ground with an AK it doesn't seem to me like there would be a major difference between a drone and a manned aircraft most of the time.
    ...

  2. #12

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    The long term effects of having something that attacks people considered enemies without sending humans or risking incurring direct casualties will be interesting. Would it cause a stalemate if both sides had it? Maybe more direct targeting of those higher up in the enemy, so they become the casualties of war rather than the soldiers? Might it only work when one side has it and the other doesn't, a bit like schoolyard bullying?

  3. #13
    ... Tyrinth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueScreen View Post
    The long term effects of having something that attacks people considered enemies without sending humans or risking incurring direct casualties will be interesting. Would it cause a stalemate if both sides had it? Maybe more direct targeting of those higher up in the enemy, so they become the casualties of war rather than the soldiers? Might it only work when one side has it and the other doesn't, a bit like schoolyard bullying?
    It seems to me that if the use of drones really takes off, wars (at least between countries with the drone technology) will shift even more towards the country with the most resources, and morale will play a lesser role than wars fought with emphasis on infantry. Just guessing of course.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    Unfortunately, war isn't humane.

    Killing people is never good, but the idea that the military or other government agencies should tell the general public everything they do is absolutely ridiculous. Arm chair generals that don't know anything about war, or the situation on the ground, or the higher intelligence that people aren't privy to shouldn't have the ability to micromanage with public opinion how a war is conducted. If they think that we need the more surgical actions of people on the ground instead of using unmanned drones, maybe they should sign up and go do it themselves. People can bitch about things not being pretty and honorable when they're safe and sound but what would they be saying if we passed up the chance to kill a terrorist every time there was a risk of collateral damage and those terrorists committed more acts of violence before they could be eliminated?
    Yeah, if people knew everything that happened in war, we might have less war. That would be terrible.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  5. #15
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    Surprisingly, the woman who championed the transparency was also championing the use of drones, rather than the critics.
    I can understand where she's going with that and why she has that opinion. It just seems to me that it forces high ranking military/agency people, that are already way too political, to spend time justifying all of their decisions to everyone in the country that doesn't know anything about the conflict. Even worse, it means that for every mistake, someone is going to have to get thrown under the bus to show that it isn't tolerated, even if nothing was intentionally done wrong. Who knows, though. There are obvious pros and cons. It's just a matter of weighing them. (I'm mostly talking about the idea of posting all of the videos of strikes on the internet, btw)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Yeah, if people knew everything that happened in war, we might have less war. That would be terrible.
    Maybe, but I think it's unlikely if "knowing" is watching videos on the internet. I'm all for less war, but once we're in it I would rather win than make poor decisions because I think it would please people watching news highlights on t.v. If people really want to save those noncombatant lives, they should vote accordingly.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  6. #16
    The Memes Justify the End EcK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrinth View Post
    I'm sorry if I missed this somewhere, but is the use of drones of any consequence to this issue? I mean, the possible/confirmed death of civilians has caused an uproar with just about every type of military strike. I don't see why this issue is any different with drones than it would be with bombing or any other method of taking out these targets. I mean, it is unfortunate that civilians are killed, but it's hardly a new issue, is it?
    Only humans are holy enough creatures to take another human's life in carpet bombings. Some interesting point actually is the effect the deployment of drones could have on the waging of war\military strikes for countries rich enough to afford these technologies. One could think that this would essentially make war more 'morally affordable' and easier to manage domestically as 'our boys' wouldn't be dying 'out there'.

    Then again the very fact that we use drones hint at the fact that the percieved value of human lives have dramatically risen throughout the 20th century and in the last decade. These are expensive technologies and its still more objectively cost effective to send people to deal with every aspect of conflict and warfare so the motivation has to come from a rise in the percieved value of human life. And for that reason people are weary of armed drones due to the fact that they don't feel they can trust 'pieces of fallible technology with 'highly valued' human lives.
    Now I wouldn't call this very rational due to the fact that well, people fuck up, and they fuck up much more often in high-pressure high stakes situations where ideology is generally involved to a degree. Conflicts make use of and strengthen in\out group dynamics, lessening our ability to empathize with 'the enemy', it's a natural component of the human psyche that allows for conflicts between human groups in the first place
    Expression of the post modern paradox : "For the love of god, religions are so full of shit"

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  7. #17
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    Maybe, but I think it's unlikely if "knowing" is watching videos on the internet. I'm all for less war, but once we're in it I would rather win than make poor decisions because I think it would please people watching news highlights on t.v. If people really want to save those noncombatant lives, they should vote accordingly.
    If the war was happening on our soil, this would be a non-issue. This only applies to foreign wars, like Iraq and Afghanistan (and soon to be Iran).
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  8. #18
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    "Here is another version, from a new report compiled by British and Pakistani journalists: The missiles hit a religious school, an adjoining restaurant and a house, killing 18 people — 12 militants, but also 6 civilians, known locally as Samad, Jamshed, Daraz, Iqbal, Noor Nawaz and Yousaf."

    In other words, they blew up Bob, Tom, Mike, Frank, LeRon James, and Joseph.

    Get real.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  9. #19
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    The real question is whether drones are more or less "targeted" (avoids civilians) than other methods, and whether their other advantages/disadvantages make up for that.

    The article seems to be about drones in isolation, but to me it seems more relevant to put it in context, comparing to other options.
    -end of thread-

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    And drones are particularly hated by tribal people because they kill civilians from the comfort of armchairs in Virginia.
    I've studied this a bit and written some papers on it, etc., mostly from the philosophical side. Some random notes:

    • Someone who spends a normal day from 8-5 controlling a drone is more removed from a situation than is an actual fighter pilot, and so empathy will not be as great a factor in his decisions.
    • There is something to be said about drones versus, say, mines or tripwires, however--that drones may actually have the power to discern between civilian and combatant, whereas mines do not discriminate. I'm still not sure where I fall on this issue--aside from the obvious downsides, if we discriminate, we incur even more responsibility for screwups.
    • Drones are used with higher and higher frequency. We are more effective at killing than we ever have before. Efficient and targeted? Not necessarily. As Lance Morrow says, 'can' often outruns 'should.'
    • As an aside, I'm hoping that, eventually, one of the specific models that I've been developing can help serve as a foundation for 'ethical brains' for automated drones. That will be years down the line, though.

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