Can a good soldier be a good man? 69 replies

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Rich19

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14th August 2004

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#21 12 years ago

They can be good. Soldiers you hear of who risk their lives under heavy fire to rescue a patrol and suchlike are, in my opinion, good people and worthy or respect. Example: my great uncle was a strecher bearer in WW1, and was shot and killed while running into no-man's land to try to reach a wounded soldier. I believe he was a good man, although I never met him.




Liquid fire

I pretend I'm cooler than AzH

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10th June 2006

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#22 12 years ago

Wars do not end with war, they end with victories. Just because a soldier kills in a war it does not mean that later in life he cant give life to a child or become a school teacher .

The only good men in life are the ones that can be forgiven .




Relander

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8th April 2005

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#23 12 years ago
Anlushac11;3553423If a soldier is ordered to carry out a order that goes against his morals or he feels violates the Geneva Convention that soldier is legally in his right to refuse to carry out that order.

That's my view about the issue. A good soldier can also be a good man, obedience is just one part of soldier's total character.




MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#24 12 years ago

Roaming East;3553438I do so love to hear a man whose comforts are provided by better mens suffering and toil dismiss their service and trade so completely. A soldier is a tool of policy and a weapon of government. It is nothing more than a physical extension of the very laws and concepts YOU vote into power and support through your continued allegiance and funding through tax.

Your pithy existence and continued life devoid of any greater meaning than your own comfort is only earned through the blood and sweat of men willing to do the more unpleasant aspects of social welfare. Or do you live in a different world than I? One where your nations right to exist isnt from greater care and goodwill of its neighbors but through subtle force of arms or the will to enact such?[/QUOTE] That argument doesn't convince me. I didn't ask anyone to fight for my rights, so you have no right expecting me to honor you if you fight for something. That's your choice, not mine. Also, we may have rights because men willing to kill protect us, but those rights are only endangered by the very same people (only from a different country), so the reasoning doesn't make much sense to me in the first place.

As long as people use violence to solve problems as readily as they still do today it is necessary to have soldiers, but that doesn't meant that the concept of a national military is a good idea in general (it's different with multi-national forces).

[QUOTE=Relander;3553469]That's my view about the issue. A good soldier can also be a good man, obedience is just one part of soldier's total character.

It is, however, the primary part. Soldiers aren't exactly encouraged to disobey their orders all the time and it only takes a little bit of propaganda to turn a good soldier into a bad soldier without them even noticing it.




do_NOt_ENTRY

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31st January 2006

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#25 12 years ago
PsychoGerman;3553100Well in that situation, if he follows the order he is a good soldier but a bad man, and vice versa. Simply because you are trained to follow orders does not mean you are forced to follow them no matter what. Your reposiblity to be a good human being comes before your responsibility, as a soldier, to follow orders. Personally i would rather have the humiliation of a court martial and a dishonorable discharge than live the rest of my life with the knowledge that i killed innocent people.

This is the answer right here.




Relander

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#26 12 years ago
MrFancypantsIt is, however, the primary part. Soldiers aren't exactly encouraged to disobey their orders all the time and it only takes a little bit of propaganda to turn a good soldier into a bad soldier without them even noticing it.

There's not much use for an obedient soldier if he's not physically fit, can't shoot & use equipment, can't take iniative & think by his own, give his life to save others and so on. Sure, obedience is the decisive foundation for creating an effective soldier though it also takes self-discipline but after the soldier has been trained, the importance of obedience decreases. Different armed forces emphasize different qualities of soldiers: where as the Germans emphasized obedience in WW II, the Finns emphasized personal iniative.

"Little bit of propaganda" is an overstatement, generally it takes a lot of constant & versatile propaganda to turn a good person to a bad person.




MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#27 12 years ago
Relander;3553547There's not much use for an obedient soldier if he's not physically fit, can't shoot & use equipment, can't take iniative & think by his own, give his life to save others and so on. Sure, obedience is the decisive foundation for creating an effective soldier though it also takes self-discipline but after the soldier has been trained, the importance of obedience decreases. Different armed forces emphasize different qualities of soldiers: where as the Germans emphasized obedience in WW II, the Finns emphasized personal iniative.

If he is obedient he can be ordered to be physically fit, shoot etc. Besides, what good is an athletic sharpshooter who runs away as soon as the first shot is fired? He will just outrun you when you're trying to get him back into position.

The point is just that obedience plays, from the view of those who train soldiers, for any soldier more of a roll than the option of being able to question orders. One is the rule, the other an exception.

"Little bit of propaganda" is an overstatement, generally it takes a lot of constant & versatile propaganda to turn a good person to a bad person.

In that case it would be an understatement ;) And it really doesn't take that much propaganda if the person/populace you are trying to manipulate already has some kind of weakness (lack of education, cultural tendency to dislike Jews, strong patriotic feelings and/or strong military tradition).




GOD111

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#28 12 years ago

Soldiers are nothing but the rich man's tool. Everybody who's been to service know this (or atleast should know it).

However, there are difference between soldiers and soldiers in my eyes. There are the soldiers who fight for their country as aggressor. I don't find them particular good men. Even though many of them knows the war they're fighting in is wrong, they still stand there as the no-brainers they are and taking orders instead of standing up for them selfs and say no, example; the Iraqi war. Then there are soldiers who goes to a country to preserve peace. They are doing the people of that country a favour, example; Balkan.

Even though I belong to the second group of soldiers, I still would of thought the same even if hadn't done service. And just becasue I've been in a peace keeping mission, doesn't mean I'm per say a better man then "John Smith" in Iraq, however, all I'm saying is that I somewhat think that "John Smith" in Iraq is stupid. Not lesser man, but just more stupid. Refusal IS an option. In these day of an age, you won't have to stand in front a firing squad for saying no, atleast not in the western world.




Guest

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#29 12 years ago
*SW3D3*;3553631 Even though I belong to the second group of soldiers, I still would of thought the same even if hadn't done service. And just becasue I've been in a peace keeping mission, doesn't mean I'm per say a better man then "John Smith" in Iraq, however, all I'm saying is that I somewhat think that "John Smith" in Iraq is stupid. Not lesser man, but just more stupid. Refusal IS an option. In these day of an age, you won't have to stand in front a firing squad for saying no, atleast not in the western world.

You call John Smith stupider because he is fighting in a war YOU disagree with. That doesn't automatically make it an unjust war. But yes I agree with your last line. Almost all western countries state quite explicitly that their soldiers do not have to follow an order if they find that order to go against the rules of war.

In the U.S., contrary to popular belief, a soldier pledges himself to uphold the constituition, not the President's whim. So a soldier in the U.S. is ultimately, if he knows his history, a tool of the Constitution and a tool of democracy.




-DarthMaul-

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#30 12 years ago

Actually it is the duty of a soldier to disobey all unlawful orders...so over all I think a soldier is always a good man/woman.