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Signing control of your life over to the state? Why do people join the armed forces? watch

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    I have had the following conversation with some friends, and I'd be very interested in general opinions on the following questions. These are actual questions my friends asked - they don't come from me, but are obviously very important to anyone in or considering the armed forces. Please don't use this as a base for political arguments, though of course negative replies are welcome. I'll keep my own opinions quiet for now.

    "Why would you voluntarily put yourself in a position where in the event of a war the government can and will force you into a potentially fatal situation?"

    "How do you know you aren't brainwashed?"

    "History suggests it would be naive to put absolute trust in the state. What would you do if you were ordered to do something you found morally reprehensible?"
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    (Original post by Octohedral)
    I have had the following conversation with some friends, and I'd be very interested in general opinions on the following questions. These are actual questions my friends asked - they don't come from me, but are obviously very important to anyone in or considering the armed forces. Please don't use this as a base for political arguments, though of course negative replies are welcome. I'll keep my own opinions quiet for now.

    "Why would you voluntarily put yourself in a position where in the event of a war the government can and will force you into a potentially fatal situation?"

    "How do you know you aren't brainwashed?"

    "History suggests it would be naive to put absolute trust in the state. What would you do if you were ordered to do something you found morally reprehensible?"
    Well you're always free to resign - though you'll lose various perks as a result of breaking your contract
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    (Original post by Octohedral)
    "Why would you voluntarily put yourself in a position where in the event of a war the government can and will force you into a potentially fatal situation?"

    I was in the armed forces. I had several reasons for joining. I had just lost a full scholarship and got kicked out of University. So there was an element of me having pissed away what I believed to be better opportunities at the time. Patriotism did play a part, but a small one. My main motivation was that I was gravitating towards a career that appealed to me. It seemed interesting and exciting. However, the most appealing aspect is that I was certain that I would be an excellent soldier. I had always demonstrated an ability to perform at my best in an emergency. It is just something about me. Situations when others were panicking and freezing, seemed to be the only times I wasn't screwing things up. Most people are drawn towards that in which they can excel.


    "How do you know you aren't brainwashed?"
    I consider myself to be a free thinker and a deep thinker. Here are some threads I have made on TSR on the subject of being a soldier. Do you think I'm brainwashed?

    here

    here


    "History suggests it would be naive to put absolute trust in the state. What would you do if you were ordered to do something you found morally reprehensible?"

    I would refuse. I consider my moral integrity to be more sound than most.

    I was right about being well suited for the military. I excelled there. They sent me to an Ivy league school to obtain my degree. During my service I gained valuable experience and developed crucial skills which have aided me greatly in my present success. I established relationships while serving that led to me getting a fantastic job. Also, I am one year away from completing my MBA, which the military is paying for. Not bad for a kid who had failed out of University and had nowhere else to go.
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    (Original post by Octohedral)
    I have had the following conversation with some friends, and I'd be very interested in general opinions on the following questions. These are actual questions my friends asked - they don't come from me, but are obviously very important to anyone in or considering the armed forces. Please don't use this as a base for political arguments, though of course negative replies are welcome. I'll keep my own opinions quiet for now.

    "Why would you voluntarily put yourself in a position where in the event of a war the government can and will force you into a potentially fatal situation?"

    "How do you know you aren't brainwashed?"

    "History suggests it would be naive to put absolute trust in the state. What would you do if you were ordered to do something you found morally reprehensible?"
    Voluntarily sacrificing oneself for the governments own selfishness ends is foolish. Sacrificing oneself so that other people can live in peace isn't.
    Hard to tell, but that's a profound philosophical question. We can never truly tell if we've been brainwashed to have one opinion or another, but there's enough conflicting opinions on the armed forces to make me suspect that there's no grand conspiracy from the state.
    There's the Geneva conventions to protect against that, and soldiers are allowed to disobey unlawful orders.


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    (Original post by Architecture-er)
    Well you're always free to resign - though you'll lose various perks as a result of breaking your contract
    As far as I'm aware you don't have the legal right to resign, though in peace time, if you aren't a new recruit, it's usually possible to buy out if you want to. But who would join the army thinking 'if anything dangerous happens I'll just resign"? Thank you for replying though.

    (Original post by ckingalt)
    ---
    Extremely interesting answer - I haven't read through those threads in full yet, but your other replies are very insightful, so thank you. It sounds like the military was perfect for you as an individual.

    To clarify, I don't think you're brainwashed (I'm actually having this argument with my parents, who aren't keen on me joining the Navy). I have various opinions, but it's very useful to see if my reasons are the same as other people's. Particularly those who have been in / are in the military.

    (Original post by AWJChadders)
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    Again, a very interesting answer. To the second point, my personal opinion is that being brainwashed is not about what you believe, but the extent to which you question it (hence ckingalt's threads), though it's clearly not that simple, as members of any cult almost always believe they have questioned things and come to the correct conclusion. I don't think the armed forces brainwash people - I think what they do is give people a strong feeling of support and community. I don't find that underhand, but some people do.
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    (Original post by Octohedral)
    As far as I'm aware you don't have the legal right to resign, though in peace time, if you aren't a new recruit, it's usually possible to buy out if you want to. But who would join the army thinking 'if anything dangerous happens I'll just resign"? Thank you for replying though.
    Pretty sure you do, you're not an indentured slave. Just everyone will think you're a **** and a coward, you'll lose any pension accumulated, no salary. I don't think you're allowed to leave whilst on deployment, but you're allowed to just hand your notice in at home.
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    (Original post by Octohedral)
    it was useful for me to research that anyway - it may well help my argument.
    Is this some kind of hippie research you're doing?
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    (Original post by Kiss)
    Is this some kind of hippie research you're doing?
    What? I want to join the Navy, and my parents don't like it.

    I'm not seriously considering joining then becoming a conscientious objector, I just need the facts.
 
 
 
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