unnamednewbie13 wrote:So...it's killing someone over a screen vs killing someone over a screen? You're still killing someone. Being worried about which way is more moral seems to me like it's missing the entire point of morality.
why are you being so disingenuous? if you can't see how, sat in a cozy air-conditioned base in arizona, a 15 minute ride away from home, is not radically different on an existential level from being out, deployed, having to face combatants in the flesh... then you have clearly spent too many hours closeted behind the warm-glow of a PC screen, fapping to my little pony. being a soldier means a commitment to enter a theatre of war, to engage in armed combat, and to potentially risk your life. of course, minimizing that last part has always been the ideal goal... but using technology to wage wars and kill national 'threats' (very open term), with no consequence or in-your-gut feeling about it... is dehumanizing. it is literally a virtual war. there was plenty of philosophical eyebrow-raising and asking of tough questions during the time of the first gulf war, which was the first hyper-mediated war, i.e. a war comfortably and effortlessly beamed back to the homeland via cable networks and 24/7 news, with plenty of 'cool!' action-movie-esque footage to show the folks. this is a dangerous way to view war: it removes the severity and solemnity of it, and, as many telling quotidian testaments point to, makes it into a bit of a virtual-reality videogame. killing someone on a monitor from 1000's of miles away, safely embedded in the domestic scenes of your home-life, flattens the visceral experience of war into a mere simulacra of combat. to take another life is the gravest action one human being can enact upon another - it is the absolute endpoint of human agency, on a philosophical level. to make it so easy and casual is to transgress into a seriously dubious ethical swamp, indeed.
you are being so disingenuous. so an attack chopper or a fighter jet has a screen in it, thus 'mediating' the kill somehow. but the pilot is still THERE: the pilot is still existensially (pace sartre, != existential, i.e. derealized and depersonalized) and phenomenologically engaged in the total moment of killing, on a battlefield. in short, it has an immediately felt physical consequence. reducing another person - enemy or no - to a few pixels on a screen, whilst you are sat in a comfy armchair slurping on the large cola and wendy's burger that your runner just grabbed you... is not the same fucking thing. not by any measure. technology has always played a large part in warfare: true. but this marks a whole paradigm shift in how warfare is waged, and its relative ethics. it's a mutant leap akin to the leaps being made in biological/biotech research nowadays: there is simply no paradigm of ethics or normative values existing to guide this activity. without normative ethics, you are potentially going off a cliff into ruin. i think drones are far more significant (and severe) than you let on. no doubt this is in no large part because of the inherent nature of the weapon - they are 'out of sight, out of mind'. american soldiers aren't being deployed and aren't dying in the process of these 'hits', so you don't worry about it. it's why so many vociferous liberals have been so negligent in calling out obama for his drone fetish.
put it this way: if another superpower controlled the rules to the game (political or juridical), and the US was the underdog, using drones... they would likely be declared a war crime, or a crime against humanity. it's because they operate in a supra-legal capacity, with no accountability, closely allied with your covert networks/operations... that they get away with so much. drones are a travesty, imo. for both civil-homeland purposes (i.e. surveillance) and for foreign office/excursions. they entrust people making major and grave decisions with a tool that will offer those individuals a deliciously conscience- and consequence- free alternative. politicians love drones. but, remember, politicians basically have no humanity. especially current-day politicians, which are basically a legal-bureaucrat class with JD's and court experience. they ARE drones. drones who will, naturally inclined to their personal skillset, will look for any way possible to 'win' a war like they will 'win' a case - normally exploiting the grey areas in between the demarcated boundaries. drones are lawyer-shark politicians' best friend. they are an enemy of common decency, and all the 'dignity' that has ever had the temerity to be associated with war.
Last edited by Uzique The Lesser (2013-02-15 08:32:47)