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Old November 10th, 2012, 02:43 AM   #41

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Why is it morally wrong to compel people to perform military service? In my opinion the state has the right to do that..
I believe that a person must make his/her own choices when it comes to military service, it is not for the state to order someone to risk their life or take the lives of others. Of course it is morally correct to defend the nation in time of need but this must be an indviduals choice.

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Motivation is a problem yes, but my country has overcome this problem. Against to what you are saying, Finland doesn't take everyone in the army. Unmotivated people choose civil service, make up medical excuses or threaten to shoot everyone on their first day in (and thus get sent home right away).This way service can be motivational, rewarding and professional.
If you have conscription then this is the best way to do it. Have all those who really don't want to do military service do some other useful work.

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Todays military is not so complex that 6 or 12 months of training would not be enough. It's also a question about money. Smaller countries can in no way afford to pay soldiers to sit in the barracks just for that they could be called professional. In my country 70% of men are reservists. They become soldiers if called to service or refresher training. In war they fight for their families and the destiny of the nation. This is where they draw motivation from, instead from a monthly paycheck.
I disagree that 12 months service is enough to produce a well trained professional. You can cover the basics well enough in that time, but the training needed to operate and maintain complex equipment effectively, and to develop the ability to put the skill to effective use can take much longer. Even the most basic skills will deteriorate without constant revision and training. It is difficult for smaller countries to find enough money to maintain a professional defence force, but money spent on training a person only to lose those skills almost immediately - and a short period of training each year will only do so much to keep the skills current - is not cost effective.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 04:11 AM   #42

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Perhaps a nation is worth a lot but people quite simply just do not want to die or they value their life more than they do the government or nation.
I believe this is something that would best be related to the concept of patriotism.

As long as it's implemented properly, I myself don't see much wrong with conscription. Individuals make families, families make clans, clans make tribes, tribes make nations. Surely the individual must have something beholding him to his nation.

In times of war, I think the state should have the authority to raise an army from among its people to fight an invading enemy. But this is just a personal opinion, of course.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 05:03 AM   #43
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Conscription has nothing to do with patriotism - it is a cheap way of dealing with youth unemployment and disaffection. You get 'em cutting grass with scissors and painting coal white. Been there, got the sweatshirt.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 05:17 AM   #44

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I am reading Einstein, His Life and Universe, by Walter Isaacson, and came upon a quote by Einstein concerning conscription. Einstein was a pacifist, but his views on pacifism changes after the rise of Hitler and Nazism in Germany.

While in Belgium in 1933, he was asked to defend two conscientious objectors who were in a Belgium jail for refusing to serve. Einstein refused to defend them and stated:

"In the present threatening situation , created by the events in Germany, Belgium's armed forces can be regarded only as a means of defense, not an instrument of aggression. And, now, of all times, such defense forces are urgently needed."

Einstein then went on what should be done to these conscientious objectors:

"Men who, by their religious and moral convictions, are constrained to refuse military service should not be treated as criminals. They should be offered the alternative of accepting more onerous and hazardous work than military service. ". For example, "mine labor, stoking furnaces aboard ships, hospital service in infectious disease wars or in certain sections of mental institutions."

But Einstein did understand the exigencies of the situation, I.e. Nazi Germany, and saw a time when the situation would change:

" I must tell you candidly: Under today's conditions, if I were a Belgium, I would not refuse military service, but gladly take it upon me in the knowledge of serving European civilization. This does not mean that I am surrendering the principle for which I have stood heretofore, I have no greater hope than that the time may not be far off when refusal of military service will once again be an effective method of serving the cause of human progrss."
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Old November 10th, 2012, 05:22 AM   #45
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I am reading Einstein, His Life and Universe, by Walter Isaacson, and came upon a quote by Einstein concerning conscription. Einstein was a pacifist, but his views on pacifism changes after the rise of Hitler and Nazism in Germany.

While in Belgium in 1933, he was asked to defend two conscientious objectors who were in a Belgium jail for refusing to serve. Einstein refused to defend them and stated:

"In the present threatening situation , created by the events in Germany, Belgium's armed forces can be regarded only as a means of defense, not an instrument of aggression. And, now, of all times, such defense forces are urgently needed."

Einstein then went on what should be done to these conscientious objectors:

"Men who, by their religious and moral convictions, are constrained to refuse military service should not be treated as criminals. They should be offered the alternative of accepting more onerous and hazardous work than military service. ". For example, "mine labor, stoking furnaces aboard ships, hospital service in infectious disease wars or in certain sections of mental institutions."

But Einstein did understand the exigencies of the situation, I.e. Nazi Germany, and saw a time when the situation would change:

" I must tell you candidly: Under today's conditions, if I were a Belgium, I would not refuse military service, but gladly take it upon me in the knowledge of serving European civilization. This does not mean that I am surrendering the principle for which I have stood heretofore, I have no greater hope than that the time may not be far off when refusal of military service will once again be an effective method of serving the cause of human progrss."
Current conditions mean that conscription will come far too late for any conceivable crisis, surely?
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Old November 10th, 2012, 05:37 AM   #46

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Current conditions mean that conscription will come far too late for any conceivable crisis, surely?
I'm not sure what you mean. Personally, I can only support military conscription, if the threat is analogous to Nazi Geemany, I.e. either defend your country or watch you country and people vanish from the face of the earth. That is the oly circumstance I would support the draft.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 08:39 AM   #47
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I'm not sure what you mean. Personally, I can only support military conscription, if the threat is analogous to Nazi Geemany, I.e. either defend your country or watch you country and people vanish from the face of the earth. That is the oly circumstance I would support the draft.
The military threat will build up in under a week, and only the bosses know whether they want to kill us. You are living in the past.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 09:08 AM   #48

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One can decide to take up arms and stake one's life to defend one's nation. Or one can just shrug and say, 'My life is mine, it's up to me what I wanna do with it. Shucks with the nation.'

That might be all right - at least for some - if you're one of the millions of citizens. But what if you're the leader of the nation? You've got to take a stand.

And who's to say that the one who avoids conscription is going to live and the one who goes to fight is going to die? I know the anti-conscriptionists are focused on choice, but the avoider might still get hit by lightning while working on his farm, while the conscripted soldier might come back after the war is over to lead a normal life. So much for loving one's life.

Last edited by Dreamhunter; November 10th, 2012 at 09:16 AM.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 09:12 AM   #49
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One can decide to take up arms and stake one's life to defend one's nation. Or one can just shrug and say, 'My life is mine, it's up to me what I wanna do with it. Shucks with the nation.'

That might be all right - at least for some - if you're one of the millions of citizens. But what if you're the leader of the nation? You've got to take a stand.
By the time it happens it is far too late to bother talking about conscription, surely?
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Old November 10th, 2012, 07:55 PM   #50

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Even though I was disqualified for the conscription 8 years ago, I still see it as a complete and utter disgrace made by human beings.

Conscription is slavery, maybe not in its literal sense, but it is forced labor to such a degree that it should be placed in the same cathegory as slavery:

First and foremost, conscription demands a certain amount of labor done for the the government for a certain amount of time. If you refuse, you get punished. It has NOTHING in comparison to taxation, as many people say "we pay taxes too" - taxation is money, if you don't earn money, you don't pay taxes! Thats one thing, the other thing about taxation is that you don't have to do certain specific labor for the government or other people to pay your taxes. There are lots of ways of getting money, and as long as you don't get money in the illegal way (theft, fraud etc.) it is very easy for you to pay the tax duties.

Conscription on the other hand demands a certain amount of labor (military service or civil service in some countries if you refuse military service).

It makes no difference that there is a compulsory civil service for those who are deemed fit but refuse (conscientious objectors) as it is still forced labor.

I have never in my entire life, since my early childhood, understood the ethical concept of saying no to taxation but yes to compulsory, forced military or civil service.

I have come across the argument that without compulsory military service, the poor will pay the price by having to serve in the military. I say: No, you don't make a wrong a good thing by extending the wrong to include even more people!

In the western world, most people agree that compulsory military service is a part of "your duties to the country". That it is for the sake of the society.

Well, limiting child births the same way they do in China is for the sake of society too, but that's a "disgraceful intervention in human liberty" - but why on earth isn't compulsory military or civil service not a Disgraceful Intervention in Human Liberty too?!?!?

To me I'd rather have the state to impose the death penalty for a variety of crimes, even though I am against the death penalty, than for ONE moment allow the existence of forced labor.
I have a theory that an army of conscripts is better than an army of volunteers. I think a lot of people often join the military as a last resort, people with issues that prevent them from getting a "normal" job. And unfortunately this means we end up with a lot of knuckleheads in our armed forces. Not sure if it's true, just an idea I've had. So I don't mind conscription, especially during a time of war. I'd rather go to war with conscripts than volunteers.

Last edited by pnoozi; November 10th, 2012 at 08:03 PM.
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