PT Star Wars ethics

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Stalepie, May 10, 2013.

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  1. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    And there it is, you apparently believe that these issues you raise justify the use of slaves. Well, that's on you.
  2. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    Ridiculous. Is that it? Is that what you've got? Bye bye.
  3. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4

    That is a reference to your posts. You say something, and then don't stand by it. You've been dancing around the semantics of "orders" and "duty" all afternoon.
    Just following orders..........................................................................................
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  4. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    That's what you have been doing all afternoon, is it not? Is your position not that the Jedi were justified in using slaves?
  5. Kev Snowmane Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2013
    star 2
    There's plenty of blame to go around vis a vis the fighting of the War. The Separatists didn't exactly have clean hands, going all the way back to the invasion of Naboo (and yes, it WAS part of the war, as Dooku himself says in "Shadow Warrior").

    The "Separatist" leadership (the Trade Federation, Banking Clans, etc) were interested in galactic-scale theft from and enslavement of independent worlds like Naboo, Ryloth, et al. The Republic not only had the right, but the DUTY to protect it's citizens from their unjust aggression.

    Did the Republic go about it the right way? That's a valid question. Using the clones (still sentient beings despite their origins) as little more than biological battle-droids was not a good thing. However, that begs the question of just what the Republic was supposed to do, given the circumstances (an all out assault by the Separatist droid armies. Were they supposed to just roll over and surrender? It would have taken time to build a conventional force from volunteer (or even conscript) troops. The clones were the best option at that time.

    All of which begs the question of just what everyone thinks they should have done with the clone army...war was what they were bred for, and it was all they knew. I suppose the question could have been put to the clones directly, but we all know they would have nearly to a man "volunteered" in a heartbeat.
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  6. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    Which is a different name for the same excuse. In principal they are the same.

    But the usual stance (at least in the western world) is that there exists no excuse for crimes against humanity. Any rationalization, excuse or defense is automatically invalid because of the heinous nature of the crime. As soon as a regime starts employing strategies like these it proves it is unworthy of defense. Even total capitulation would be preferable to serving such a regime.
    Last edited by Darth_Pevra, May 16, 2013
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  7. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    If you want to go with that angle, they had 10 years to raise a conventional army after Naboo. Why use slaves?
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  8. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
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    I never understood that either.
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  9. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    Responsibility and duty are the same thing as following orders? You really believe that? But following one's duty and responsibility will often mean that you have to disobey orders. That, in fact, is the reasoning that leads to the idea that there exists no excuse for crimes against humanity.

    So what could they do that would ethically make a difference? Tell me, because I'm really interested in how the Jedi absolving themselves of responsibility leads to a good outcome (surely the basis of an ethical decision - which ought to have consequences, otherwise there is no ethical context).

    As for the idea that the Western world generally sees there being no excuse for crimes against humanity.......you might want to think that one through and think about how many lives have been taken, how many towns, villages, cities and countries have been left in a state of destruction by Western forces. It seems to be a rationalisation is required as to what constitutes a crime against humanity in order to come to that conclusion.
    Last edited by only one kenobi, May 16, 2013
  10. Kev Snowmane Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2013
    star 2
    @ Captain Tom and Pevra:

    The Republic didn't know it was at war at that point, nor did they even know about the army.

    The army would have been ordered about the same time as the events in TPM by the timeline. Syfo-Dias was presumably killed just after placing the order with the Kaiminoans, so as to keep him from telling the Jedi or the Republic what he had done.

    Meanwhile, the Seps were basically pulling the same routine that Hitler used to such great effect in the run-up to WW II: keep em talking. Keep em negotiating. Seem just reasonable enough that the Republic isn't prompted to attempt a mobilization. "I have here in my hands this document, signed by the Separatist leadership..." etc.

    Then the Geonosian Crisis hits. The Republic is caught flat-footed with proof positive that the Naboo Invasion was NOT a "one off" and that the Seps are massively building up for war. Even if the Republic sacrificed Padme, Anakin, and Obi-Wan, they have a fully armed enemy right in their face and ready to fight.

    The Jedi may not have wanted to take up the leadership, but really they had little choice, being the lead peacekeepers in the service of the Republic, which faced immanent attack. The only troops to hand were the recently discovered clones. The ethics of their creation notwithstanding, it would have been more wrong to let the Seps rampage across the galaxy, enslaving and raping free worlds as they wished.
    Last edited by Kev Snowmane, May 16, 2013
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  11. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4

    But again though, there were thousands of systems backing the Separatists towards secession. Why not simply allow that secession. It takes away any support Dooku would have for a war. Their whole plan hinges on that support.
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  12. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    @only one kenobi
    Duty means you follow an authority figure or some set goal (defending my village). In one case the orders of your superiors, in the other case the orders you yourself have given you. None of that excuses atrociously evil behavior in any way.

    There are many ways in which the Jedi could've acted. Like lobbying for a conscription army. Meeting people like Mothma and helping her form a political resistance against Palps. Leading negotiations with the separatists. Oh so many things they could do.
    Of course Obi-Wan would die, but he was a spy after all. Spies die all the time, it's part of their job and they take it knowingly it could lead to death. You don't start a war because a spy dies.

    I know that Western forces often wouldn't follow Geneva convention but that, again, doesn't excuse it. Humans in general are quick to excuse themselves or their friends for crimes they commit. It's part why I am interested in the Sith. I find it fascinating how they can commit atrocious acts and still somehow justify them for themselves.
    Last edited by Darth_Pevra, May 16, 2013
  13. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4

    Bingo
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  14. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
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    star 3
    Your use of the term 'duty' differs from mine. It also differs from its use in the Geneva Convention. One's duty is to humanity in those terms.

    Its interesting that you should say the Jedi should have lobbied for a conscription army. How is conscription any more ethical. Here's a group of soldiers, they are clones and trained from an early age to fight. They want to fight. Here is what we want; conscripted civilians, with no military training, who have no choice as to whether they fight and may or may not be particularly well suited to military life. Much better idea, let's throw some choiceless civilians at the Sep army. Much more ethical....
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  15. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    Are you seriously asking me the difference of a conscription army and a slave army?

    One had the choice to return his citizenship and live outside of the republic and the other was programmed for fighting his whole life.
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  16. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    Literally made in a test tube to be canon fodder.
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  17. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    Again, as with the term 'duty' you seem to have an odd understanding of the term 'conscription'; you seem to imply that conscription entails choice. It doesn't. To refuse conscription is a criminal action. People have gone to prison in Western countries for refusing conscription.

    I would suggest that choice (or the lack of) is what defines the difference between slave and free so, what is the difference?

    (What I'm trying to point out here, as with previous responses, is that its very easy to talk in strict black and white terms of what is ethically correct and what is not. Once you scratch the surface a little you'll see how many rationalisation you actually have to make to keep that perception up. So, as I see it, conscription is enslavement by the military mobilisation of the state)
    Last edited by only one kenobi, May 16, 2013
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  18. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
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    As a citizen you should (at least in principle) know what the country could require you to do (by law) and act accordingly. My own country has a conscription system, which is simply the price you pay for being a member of said country as that comes with many benefits. If you don't want to serve in the future you can leave and become citizen of another country without conscription system.

    While a conscription system can lead to some questionable ethical results it still leaves the countries citizens with more option than the clones have. The clones have NO options.
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  19. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
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    star 3

    Actually, in terms of them being canon fodder, their being owned by the Republic means they are probably more valuable, and less likely to be used as canon fodder than would conscripts. That might sound daft but....in socieites where slavery was a major aspect of the economy (Rome being an example) it was common practice to bring in paid workers to do the more dangerous jobs as slaves were seen as too expensive an investment to risk. I assume that the Republic was paying for the clone troops. Expensive business, you know. (Little to do with the ethics of the question, but I thought it an interesting aside)
  20. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    A conscript had up to the moment of conscription gotten to live in a free society with all the benefits of that freedom, and is fighting for that freedom. A clone was bred in a lab and trained spent their childhood in the pursuit of being canon fodder for the state, with no such freedom. Their genes have been altered to make them more pliable in the pursuit of that goal, they don't even have the freedom of their own biology.
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  21. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4

    The subject of cost came up on here a few weeks ago in the question of the nature of the change from clone troopers to stormtroopers. I agree, the cost issue is an interesting one. I'm with you on that one.

    The argument was made by some that it would be cheaper to simply raise a volunteer army from the vastness of the galaxy than to produce costly clones. (As a reason for the Stormtroopers not being clones)
    Last edited by Captain Tom Coughlin, May 16, 2013
  22. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    Nah...you're talking about National Service. That's a different proposition to conscription in a war setting. And...where do you think these Republic citizens have the 'choice' to become a citizen of?

    You are rationalising conscription as not being equivalent to slavery because you must. Just as you rationalised the Western world's ethical standards away because you must. Its all well and good having an ephemeral concept of ethics, but ethics is about what happens 'down and dirty' when the talking stops and the action starts. It is about what you do in the circumstances you are in and how your choices impact upon others. That is the truth of ethics, not some Utopian dreamscape.

    Questions of ethics are about the consequences of actions. So, as I have said before, what actions could the Jedi have realistically taken that would have impacted positively upon the lives of the clones and the citizens of the galaxy given the circumstances they found themselves in (rather than an ephemeral dreamscape of possibilities)?

    That, truly, is the way to question their ethics.
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  23. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    Rationalisation. Pure and simple.
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  24. Placeholder Force Ghost

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    And that question was answered several times, the Jedi could have stood in opposition to the war, to the raising of slave armies, to the expansion of emergency powers given to Palpatine, there is a whole host of actions that they could have taken that did not include going along with the use of a slave army.

    The first battle was not a Separatist attack. it was the Jedi using the army to rescue three prisoners.
    Last edited by Captain Tom Coughlin, May 16, 2013
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  25. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
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    That is not rationalization, you asked for the difference, and there is a vast one. Right down to the biology

    They have never tasted the freedom they are being tasked to defend, and given the manipulation to their genes will never truly be free. They were made to be compliant.
    Last edited by Captain Tom Coughlin, May 16, 2013
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