Can a good soldier be a good man? 69 replies

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Crazy Wolf VIP Member

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#31 12 years ago

I see no reason why one cannot be a good soldier and a good man (unless one has a different gender, of course:p) , as the two are not mutually exclusive. Killing an innocent person accidentally does not change a good man into a monster. If the soldier kills an innocent intentionally and with full knowledge of the innocence of the murdered, then they are not a good man, but if they fire at a mass of enemies and a stray round strikes an innocent, I see no reason why that turns them into a monster.




Liquid fire

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#32 12 years ago

Ask yourself this could a good man ever become a good soldier? If so why couldnt a good soldier be a good man?




Relander

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#33 12 years ago
MrFancypantsIf 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.

Like already said, obedience is the decisive foundation for creating an effective soldier (that means ordering him to develop himself like you said) in addition to self-discipline but later on the emphasize in personal attributes change, and it's not like a single quality would make up a good soldier, it's a combination of many things. A total obedient but otherwise utterly incompetent soldier is almost as bad as a soldier who's just physically fit.

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).

You know this by your first-hand experience and human knowledge? It's not like Hitler didn't bombard the Germans heavily with all kind of propaganda and it was not just propaganda which got the nazis into power. I stay in my point, that's it. I trust on people's rationality, conscience and responsibility of lower military leadership in this case.




Huffardo

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#34 12 years ago
-DarthMaul-;3553873Actually it is the duty of a soldier to disobey all unlawful orders...[/QUOTE] Exactly, which is why a good soldier won't be deliberately killing innocents in the first place if he can avoid it, so I voted "Yes", although now I feel the first option might have suited my opinion better. [QUOTE=-DarthMaul-;3553873]so over all I think a [COLOR="Red"]good[/COLOR] soldier is always a good man/woman.

That's better, but I still don't think all good soldiers are good men, it sort of depends on what they are up to when not soldiers too...




Admiral_Icehawk

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#35 12 years ago

There is a difference between a good soldier and a mindless drone. Going to Iraqi doesn't immediatly make a soldier a Bush loving god fearing neo-conservative oil baron, (not that being pro-Bush immediatly makes you a bad man) look at Rommel he fought under Hitler and wasn't a Nazi, just a soldier doing his duty for his country.

I think a good soldier could easily be a good man/woman as long as they a considered good because of their good character and skills not because they are a mindless drone.




MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#36 12 years ago
Relander;3554149Like already said, obedience is the decisive foundation for creating an effective soldier (that means ordering him to develop himself like you said) in addition to self-discipline but later on the emphasize in personal attributes change, and it's not like a single quality would make up a good soldier, it's a combination of many things. A total obedient but otherwise utterly incompetent soldier is almost as bad as a soldier who's just physically fit.

I don't think that obedience is less important in later parts of a soldier's training, it's just a prerequisite that has already been established.

You know this by your first-hand experience and human knowledge? It's not like Hitler didn't bombard the Germans heavily with all kind of propaganda and it was not just propaganda which got the nazis into power. I stay in my point, that's it. I trust on people's rationality, conscience and responsibility of lower military leadership in this case.

Yes. Hitler used a lot of propaganda but the point is just that it isn't very difficult for some people to use large amounts of propaganda. The relation between effort and effect is rather low, it just depends on the environment how effective the propaganda will eventually be. For example, they tell you that you are defending the constitution/democracy/fatherland for whatever time it takes to finish basic training and suddenly the act of murder seems like a good idea.

You can insist on your point but that does't make it any better for me.

Trusting in conscience and responsibility of a young person (to whom several of the weaknesses apply which I mentioned earlier) in a situation with unlimited power and a small risk of control doesn't seem like a good idea to me. I'm not saying that all soldiers are like this, but usually one idiot is enough to create frustration.




Hawkeye18z

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#37 12 years ago

Every good soldier develops a kind of switch in their head. Switch on for war, switch off for peace. The men you see on a battlefield aren't the same men you will see in the pub; it's simply 2 different animals. In a battle, there isn't a clear good & bad because you are inside chaos & you just want to get your people out alive & that is all you really care about. When you're in a war, you don't give a damn about politics or any lofty ideals; you're to damn busy trying to stay alive. On a battlefield there are just 2 kinds of people; the killer's & the killed.




elevatormusic

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#38 12 years ago
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.

Yes, but the Constitution didn't start the Iraq War... the President's whim did. Oh, and don't they call your President the Commander in Chief because he IS?

But you are right, ultimately a soldier is a tool.

Christian soldier I find to be a hilarious oxymoron, too.




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#39 12 years ago

elevatormusic;3559089Yes, but the Constitution didn't start the Iraq War... the President's whim did. Oh, and don't they call your President the Commander in Chief because he IS?

But you are right, ultimately a soldier is a tool.

Christian soldier I find to be a hilarious oxymoron, too.

What I mean is if the President does something unconstituional a soldier has every right, and infact the duty not to follow his orders. As Commander in Cheif he can order the military around but if he orders them to do something that goes agains the constitution or the rules of war they have the duty not to follow those orders.




NiteStryker

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#40 12 years ago

Young_Pioneer;3553088A good soldier has to obey orders. If his commander orders him to attack a town he has to follow the order.

What if he knows that attacking this city means killing many innocent civilians?

Can he question the order? Or does he have to do what he is trained to do: kill those people? [/QUOTE]

"Vee vas just vallowing orr-das" is no longer a defense in a court martial.

If he follows the order: Is he a good soldier but a bad man?

In my opinion a good Soldier/Marine is someone who knows what orders are right to follow and what orders should be refused. Yes, in the military, we have to follow orders, but I have personally seen a few instances of what were believed to be wrong orders given from Senior Non-Coms to lower enlisted, and some refused the order. Now, it depends on why you are refusing the order.

[QUOTE=] If he refuses to follow the order: is he a bad soldier but a good man?

Again, depends on the order and why you believe its wrong. If your CO orders you to burn a town of woman and children and you do it, you can be tried and held accountable for not using common sense and good judgement for your obedience.

As a Marine (or anyone in the military), you have the obligation to follow orders of your superiors. But as a human being, you have an obligation not to use your given power in a wrong way. If you are ordered to do something immoral then you have an obligation to say "no" and refuse to comply with the unjust order.

You are held accountable for every action you follow thru with, and espicially in wartime. Chaos reigns supreme and confusion is par for the course. In the heat of the moment you might make a snap bad decision. Like when you see your comrade get killed and you tear apart a house in Ramadi to avenge your friend. Did you do the right thing in avenging your friend? Or the wrong thing in killing one or two civilians caught in the crossfire as you killed your friends' killers?