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This room is for the discussion of current events,cultural issues and politics especially in relation to Catholic values.

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Are Drones Ethical?

12/09/2012 new

I read this article about two men who are political activists, building small wooden replicas of drones.

When I read this, I thought to myself, Drones are the new warfare. They are Americas response
to using 747's to blow up National Landmarks. They are the military's response to unconventional
weapons, since we are not fighting armies anymore, but individual terrorists.

Of course, there are always unintended consequences, like collateral damage. In conventional
warfare though, the damages are much greater.

There always are detractors. What do others think of drones?














www.lohud.com

12/09/2012 new
(Quote) Marianne-100218 said: I read this article about two men who are political activists, building small wooden replicas of drones....
(Quote) Marianne-100218 said:

I read this article about two men who are political activists, building small wooden replicas of drones.

When I read this, I thought to myself, Drones are the new warfare. They are Americas response
to using 747's to blow up National Landmarks. They are the military's response to unconventional
weapons, since we are not fighting armies anymore, but individual terrorists.

Of course, there are always unintended consequences, like collateral damage. In conventional
warfare though, the damages are much greater.

There always are detractors. What do others think of drones?














www.lohud.com

--hide--


More than a response to unconventional weapons, I think drones are the USG's response to homeland war fatigue. It's easier to carry on an unethical war indefinitely as long as American troops aren't coming home in body bags. Unfortunately, most Americans don't care much for the non-American innocent dead. Anyone who dies at the hands of the US is, by definition, an enemy in the eyes of the public at large.
12/09/2012 new

(Quote) Marianne-100218 said: I read this article about two men who are political activists, building small wooden replicas ...
(Quote) Marianne-100218 said:

I read this article about two men who are political activists, building small wooden replicas of drones.

When I read this, I thought to myself, Drones are the new warfare. They are Americas response
to using 747's to blow up National Landmarks. They are the military's response to unconventional
weapons, since we are not fighting armies anymore, but individual terrorists.

Of course, there are always unintended consequences, like collateral damage. In conventional
warfare though, the damages are much greater.

There always are detractors. What do others think of drones?














www.lohud.com

--hide--

This is a complicated question, but I think the short answer is, "No, they are not ethical."

Drones fighting drones would be OK in my book.
But, unmanned drones piloted by technicians safe from harm far away, and used to kill human beings, is an immoral use of force. The old idea of battle, man to man, hand to hand, which involved bravery, risk, sacrifice, was bad enough but had a sort of honor in it, brought on by necessity. God is described as the God of Hosts, and of course Host is a euphemism for Great Armies, so armies and war are certainly part of our religious tradition.

But, in the modern era, the warrior has been taken farther and farther back from the death and destruction he wreaks. First with the bow and arrow, then the gun, then cannon. Then with aircraft that fly high above the fray. Then we developed nuclear missiles that kill thousands from a continent away. Now we have drones that seek out and premeditatively kill whomever we want in foreign lands. Soon, they will be used at home to kill our own citizens.

Look at the tend. I do not believe it is ethical at all.

12/09/2012 new

(Quote) Gerald-283546 said: Now we have drones that seek out and premeditatively kill whomever we want in foreign lands....
(Quote) Gerald-283546 said:


Now we have drones that seek out and premeditatively kill whomever we want in foreign lands. Soon, they will be used at home to kill our own citizens.

Look at the tend. I do not believe it is ethical at all.

--hide--

Drones have already been used to locate and arrest people involved in what was essentially a property dispute over cattle crossing fences.

www.usnews.com

It won't be long before death rains from the skies unto someone in the country courtesy of a soldier pressing a button in, say, Springfield OH where one of the first squadrons of military drones are in place. Whether it is excused as a terrorist or a "militia member" the man, and likely his family, will still be very dead. There really is nothing to prevent it since, with tools such as the NDAA and doctrine declaring the U.S part of the battlefield, the Ruling Party is winning its war against the Constitution.

12/09/2012 new

Boy oh Boy, I thought they were an excellent trend in the battle against terrorism.

I had no idea so many thought they were unethical.

12/09/2012 new

(Quote) Marianne-100218 said: Boy oh Boy, I thought they were an excellent trend in the battle against terrorism.I h...
(Quote) Marianne-100218 said:

Boy oh Boy, I thought they were an excellent trend in the battle against terrorism.

I had no idea so many thought they were unethical.

--hide--
I would tend to agree with the majority here- video game warfare is unethical and arguably cowardly. If I recall, several US mass murderers were big into these killing-for-fun games. We need to be working diligently toward a world where wars are far and few between, not more efficient ways to kill people.

12/09/2012 new

To a large extent, weapons are weapons and dead is dead. The notion that is more "ethical" to kill somebody with a knife while looking them in the eye than it is to blow the same person up with a drone launched missile from a thousand miles away has no basis in reality. The person in question is a valid target or they aren't. End of story.

That being said, while ignoring Charles's predictable wail that everything the U.S. government does is unethical, he does actually touch on a valid point, even if I think he got there the same way a broken clock gets the right time twice a day.

The public only pays attention to what is on their TV screen, and the TV screen is selective about what it talks about. There is no shortage of people who were perfectly willing to allow Saddam to kill, torture, or rape unlimited numbers of victims without raising a finger in protest, but the second they had to watch TV coverage of the U.S. invasion, they suddenly became interested.

To the extent that drones poses any moral danger at all, it is that it becomes easier for the public to divorce themselves from the conflict. Drones aren't sexy/cool/flashy, so they don't end up on the TV screen. They don't come home in confins, and there are no grieving family members. One it does become easier for the war to become out of sight, out of mind.

This doesn't mean that the weapons themselves are immoral. It just means that we have an obligation to be aware of what is going on.

12/09/2012 new

(Quote) John-336509 said: To a large extent, weapons are weapons and dead is dead. The notion that is more "ethical&quo...
(Quote) John-336509 said:

To a large extent, weapons are weapons and dead is dead. The notion that is more "ethical" to kill somebody with a knife while looking them in the eye than it is to blow the same person up with a drone launched missile from a thousand miles away has no basis in reality. The person in question is a valid target or they aren't. End of story.

That being said, while ignoring Charles's predictable wail that everything the U.S. government does is unethical, he does actually touch on a valid point, even if I think he got there the same way a broken clock gets the right time twice a day.

The public only pays attention to what is on their TV screen, and the TV screen is selective about what it talks about. There is no shortage of people who were perfectly willing to allow Saddam to kill, torture, or rape unlimited numbers of victims without raising a finger in protest, but the second they had to watch TV coverage of the U.S. invasion, they suddenly became interested.

To the extent that drones poses any moral danger at all, it is that it becomes easier for the public to divorce themselves from the conflict. Drones aren't sexy/cool/flashy, so they don't end up on the TV screen. They don't come home in confins, and there are no grieving family members. One it does become easier for the war to become out of sight, out of mind.

This doesn't mean that the weapons themselves are immoral. It just means that we have an obligation to be aware of what is going on.

--hide--
You're right John, the weapons themselves are not unethical. The detachment of the dude sitting at his computer controlling a drone on the other side of the world just makes killing less personal, and therefore easier. No guts required. I am in no way opposed to the necessary use of force, but this technology makes abuse of that force easier, with little or no oversight. The question also arises- why the redundancy? Why does the CIA and the military both conduct drone strikes? The CIA needs to stick to intelligence, using drones strictly for reconnaissance and leave bombing to the Pentagon.

12/09/2012 new

(Quote) John-336509 said: To a large extent, weapons are weapons and dead is dead. The notion that is more "ethical&quo...
(Quote) John-336509 said:

To a large extent, weapons are weapons and dead is dead. The notion that is more "ethical" to kill somebody with a knife while looking them in the eye than it is to blow the same person up with a drone launched missile from a thousand miles away has no basis in reality. The person in question is a valid target or they aren't. End of story.

That being said, while ignoring Charles's predictable wail that everything the U.S. government does is unethical, he does actually touch on a valid point, even if I think he got there the same way a broken clock gets the right time twice a day.

The public only pays attention to what is on their TV screen, and the TV screen is selective about what it talks about. There is no shortage of people who were perfectly willing to allow Saddam to kill, torture, or rape unlimited numbers of victims without raising a finger in protest, but the second they had to watch TV coverage of the U.S. invasion, they suddenly became interested.

To the extent that drones poses any moral danger at all, it is that it becomes easier for the public to divorce themselves from the conflict. Drones aren't sexy/cool/flashy, so they don't end up on the TV screen. They don't come home in confins, and there are no grieving family members. One it does become easier for the war to become out of sight, out of mind.

This doesn't mean that the weapons themselves are immoral. It just means that we have an obligation to be aware of what is going on.

--hide--


John, terrorism is not conventional warfare. We do not need soldiers, and boots on the ground, and helicopters or
naval ships to find men who want to kill Americans. They are hidden among the locals.

There are plenty of Americans working with others trying to scope out the most lethal leaders. They are in plenty
of danger.

So, my point is, that there is a place for drones with the new type of enemy.

No one seems to address this.

Don't quit follow your point about people becoming interested in Saddam after they see TV covereage of US invasion.
I thought the invasion was supposed to be about 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' that might be in Iraq, not the fate of
the Iraq people.

Don't even get me started on this barbaric enemy we have encountered with the beheadings and women having
rocks thrown at their heads. Drones are the best thing. Lets keep away from those lunatics.

12/10/2012 new

(Quote) Peter-449116 said: You're right John, the weapons themselves are not unethical. The detachment of the dude sitti...
(Quote) Peter-449116 said:

You're right John, the weapons themselves are not unethical. The detachment of the dude sitting at his computer controlling a drone on the other side of the world just makes killing less personal, and therefore easier. No guts required. I am in no way opposed to the necessary use of force, but this technology makes abuse of that force easier, with little or no oversight. The question also arises- why the redundancy? Why does the CIA and the military both conduct drone strikes? The CIA needs to stick to intelligence, using drones strictly for reconnaissance and leave bombing to the Pentagon.

--hide--

It's unfortunate that you can't hear my tone of voice, because I don't mean the following to be arrogant, condescending, or snappy, but I would really suggest that you re-think a lot of that. I would suggest that detachment is very much a good, not bad thing here. Outside of deliberately pre-planned atrocities, I suspect that you will find that there are very few innocents deliberately killed by detached solders, but the very angry, scared, and non-detached ones are probably far more likely to cut somebody down "just because." Likewise, a guy sitting at a panel 1000 miles away might be feeling all kinds of pressures, but the pressure of needing to do something to save his own life will presumably not be among them, so I imagine there will be fewer deaths through accidental "collateral damage" caused by desperate or scared troops.

I would also heavily question your theory on making the abuse of force easier. That would depend entirely on what level you feel the abuse is happening. The drones might make it easier for some REMF to kill people he shouldn't, but it will make it a lot harder for the line to do so. If some infantry squad gets of the reservations and starts shooting up people, and they keep their mouth shut, there is a good chance they will get away with it. A drone squadron going rogue is going to not only require the pilots to keep quiet, but the ordinance guys, the commo guys, and they'd best hope that their sensor feed isn't being recorded somewhere or it's going to make things really, really easy for the prosecutors...

As to the mix between CIA and Pentagon, you're now talking about involving more people (read by security types as "more potential leaks or spies") in the intelligence distribution, which does't tend to make intel types happy.

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