View Poll Results: Are spy/assassinatin drones morally acceptable?

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  • Yes

    29 33.72%
  • No

    34 39.53%
  • Yes, with explanation

    20 23.26%
  • No or undecided with explanation

    3 3.49%
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Thread: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

  1. #101
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveFagan View Post
    "EXCLUSIVE: Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans"

    EXCLUSIVE: Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans - Open Channel

    I believe that is exactly what you just said.
    If we let then do what they want, they will do what they want.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

  2. #102
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    And that means we cannot comment? That means we cannot understand? We cannot infer?
    No, it means that you shouldn't make technical claims when you have no way of knowing whether or not you are correct. For example, the claim that drones simply "kill everything in the area" or that drones do not have the ability to mitigate strikes to reduce collateral damage, or the claim that Special Forces are some kind of Magical Don't Hurt Anyone But Bad Guys Button that can be pressed for any scenario. All of these are not only unrealistic ideas, they are in fact the opposite of reality. The reason I bring this up is that I have pointed this out several times in this thread and people keep saying this crap as though it were true because they read it on some blog by an equally uninformed person on Huffpo et. al..

    What's stupid is when people demand that personal experience be had in order to form coherent argument.
    No. What's stupid is making a claim about a weapons platform when you have no idea what the capabilities of that weapons platform are or are not.

    I may not know the intricate and specific details of each and every drone plane, but I am more than capable of viewing the outcome and commenting on the use and morality of use.
    If you want to talk about collateral damage, that's fine. I will point out that the Laws of Armed Conflict allow for the death of noncombatants when they are proportional to the military advantage gained, we can discuss Just War Theory, and all that. But when people come in here and tell me about mass-murdering drones and non-collateral-damage producing ground troops, I'm going to call them on their BS.

    Regardless this is still my government and my military.
    Exactly. And if I were to tell you that you did not have the right to comment on it, you would call me on that line of crap as quickly as I have called others on their lines of crap above.

  3. #103
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Quite the contrary - morally acceptable means that the gain is greater than the loss. For example, if terrorists hijack another set of planes and set them towards another set of towers, and we are looking at another potential 4,000 dead, then the proper response is to shoot those planes down and accept the loss of 400 lives over 4,000 lives. That's the morally acceptable thing to do. The morally unacceptable thing to do would be to turn to the families of those 4,000 and explain that their relatives died because life did not offer you the perfect solution you wanted.

    The Real World differs from your ivory tower and make-believe situations where terrorists realize that its' wrong to wear civilian clothes and use human shields and so they stop doing so. That's why Obama campaigned against, and then kept and expanded the Bush anti-terror infrastructure.

    As for accuracy, these systems are fully accurate, which is why you are avoiding that question by trying to turn it instead into a discussion on collateral damage. You made an ignorant comment, and now are backtracking. Which is fine - you can't be blamed for not knowing what you didn't know you didn't know.
    I don't accept your definition of morality to start with. The ends don't always justify the means, not to mention we're not likely ahead on this.

    And I live not in an Ivory Tower, but small town America. Conservatives used to speak of having values. I wish more still did.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

  4. #104
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    a drone shooting a hellfire is about as surgical as you get, boo. There is literally nothing less damaging in the US arsenal with the capability to reach those distances. It is an itty-bitty little bomb - I've talked to guys in-country watching in frustrated disbelief as the missile strikes the front end of the vehicle and the dude get's out of the back and takes off running. The idea that our drones are laying waste to city blocks or somehow creating mass casualty events is one that I am surprised to find is apparently popular, but remains devoid of connection to what we are actually doing.

    And yes, nothing absent laying nuclear waste to the entire planet will completely stop the enemy. That is neither an argument for doing nothing nor an argument for nuclear warfare.
    If it cannot hit the bad guy and not the civilian, it is not surgical enough. Do try to address what I'm actually saying.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

  5. #105
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    If it cannot hit the bad guy and not the civilian, it is not surgical enough. Do try to address what I'm actually saying.
    I'll give you a practical example - if a police officer is pursuing a bank robber and shoots at him, wounding or killing him but also wounding or killing a civilian in the process, that officer, in most jurisdictions, will be charged with careless use of a firearm and potentially manslaughter. Good done does not excuse harm created in the process.

  6. #106
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by TacticalEvilDan View Post
    I'm not objecting to the use of technology. I'm objecting to the use of technology replacing the human cost of war.
    There's still a human cost, it just so happens that it costs them more than it costs us.
    I love the NSA. It's like having a secret fan-base you will never see, but they're there, watching everything you write and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing that I may be some person's only form of unconstitutional entertainment one night.

  7. #107
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    I'll give you a practical example - if a police officer is pursuing a bank robber and shoots at him, wounding or killing him but also wounding or killing a civilian in the process, that officer, in most jurisdictions, will be charged with careless use of a firearm and potentially manslaughter. Good done does not excuse harm created in the process.
    I believe hat is what I'm saying.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

  8. #108
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    I don't accept your definition of morality to start with. The ends don't always justify the means, not to mention we're not likely ahead on this.
    You don't accept my definition of morality? I haven't even provided one.

    But tell us, boo. In the situation described - you can kill 400 noncombatants or watch 4,000 die; which option do you choose? Because that is the kind of decision that get's made in the real world, where the world does not present perfect options just because one bangs ones' sippy cup and demands them. So which do you do, Boo. Shoot down the airliners, or explain to the families of the 4,000 that you could have saved innocent lives, but chose to let them die because you thought that was the more moral option?

  9. #109
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    If it cannot hit the bad guy and not the civilian, it is not surgical enough
    It is difficult for me to express in words how idiotically unrealistic this standard is. Suffice to say, there are darn good reasons why the Laws of Armed Conflict explicitly reject this standard - not least because merely attempting it would simply cause the enemy to immediately use human shields in every scenario, allowing them to commit mass-murder at will. More innocents will suffer if anyone is ever dumb enough to commit to this kind of pie-in-the-sky, which the authors of the Geneva Accords wisely realized. This scenario would mean that US forces cannot engage the enemy ever since we are never able to ascertain with full certainty that no non-combatants would be harmed, given that collateral damage estimation is unable to take transients into account. Under the scenario you have drawn up the United States would no longer be able to employ any kinetic weapon system in its' arsenal. We would be reduced to fighting the enemy with leaflets and hugs.


    But I will await your response to how to choose between the deaths of a few innocents and the deaths of more innocents. And when you loftily claim that Oh-it's-not-really-like-that, I'm going to call BS, because I have been in those situations.
    Last edited by cpwill; 02-05-13 at 10:52 PM.

  10. #110
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    You don't accept my definition of morality? I haven't even provided one.

    But tell us, boo. In the situation described - you can kill 400 noncombatants or watch 4,000 die; which option do you choose? Because that is the kind of decision that get's made in the real world, where the world does not present perfect options just because one bangs ones' sippy cup and demands them. So which do you do, Boo. Shoot down the airliners, or explain to the families of the 4,000 that you could have saved innocent lives, but chose to let them die because you thought that was the more moral option?
    Your definition: morally acceptable means that the gain is greater than the loss.

    To be acceptable morally, it must first be moral, by definition.

    Also, the choice you present above is a false choice. It's part of makes discussion difficult. We are not, have not, and likely never will have to make choice. Not in the real situations we face. We could have stopped 9/11 not by killing 4,000 non combatants, by by merely letting the CIA and the FBI talk to each other. That was all that was required.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

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