PT Star Wars ethics

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

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  1. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    I am not saying conscription is perfect but it is definitely more acceptable to using brainwashed human clones. I am not the one arguing in black and white terms here.

    But yes, if, say, the borders were closed and the Senate would from one day to the other decide to start drafting, then yes, it would be slavery. Because then the Senate would've changed the social contract without giving the populace any option to accept or decline.

    You are also saying "when the action starts". Funny that you would do that as the action was clearly started by the Republic. The Jedi were not required to get into the "action", they willingly chose to participate.
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  2. Son of a Bith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2013
    star 4
    Perhaps giving them their freedom, which they have a right to as thinking, feeling beings?

    I'm not saying that's a practical option in the face of galactic war. Just sayin. ;) If the rest of the citizens of the Republic didn't want to join the army, why should these clones be forced to? And if they should be forced to, shouldn't everyone (a la draft)?
    Last edited by Son of a Bith, May 16, 2013
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  3. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    Do you remember the discussion we overheard between Dooku and the other Separatist leaders? Why do you think Geonosis had so many Trade Federation ships on its surface?
  4. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3

    I'm not saying that any of what you say isn't right. That's not the point. None of those are choices that the Jedi can make. What I find odd is that the Jedi are found guilty of a crime which seems to have no real basis. They lead the clone army and that, it seems, is enough - and the circumstances around that are seemingly irrelevant; in other words, the Jedi are found guilty on the basis of an ephemeral, unworldly concept of ethics (without any recourse to the consequences of their choices) which no other character or group is subject to.
  5. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    It's like when you drive the car in a bank robbery. You yourself did not draw your weapon and threaten anyone, but because you helped others commit a crime you are guilty all the same.

    Plus Captain Coughlin and me we already pointed out a lot of alternatives to leading a slave army to battle. That you chose to ignore them or call them impractical is really not our problem. I am sure many mass murderers of past history also claimed that they "had no other choice". Den Haag wouldn't give a **** about these type of excuses in a war crime process. Either you are guilty or you're not.
  6. Son of a Bith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2013
    star 4
    I totally hear what you're saying (well put, by the way). I guess it's just odd that the Jedi, supposedly noble defenders of peace and justice, really pose no objection to the use of the clones.

    They don't seem particularly happy about it either, of course. It's just odd. Though the Jedi we see at that point in history are in a weakened state and are pretty misguided.
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  7. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    The point I keep making is that the alternatives you offer make no practical difference to the outcome. If I'm wrong then tell me how. If you are to question their ethics then you must be able to offer alternative scenarios that practically offer a better outcome. They need to take into account what the Jedi knew (and didn't know). Just suggesting that they could refuse to fight offers no alternative/better outcome.

    Surely alternative action has to be practically different. Ethical questions arise from the consequence of actions. So, what could the Jedi have done that would have altered the outcome to be of benefit?
  8. darth fluffy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 2012
    star 2
    So you admit they're technically slaves.

    Let the Separatists secede, as is their right, which would also conveniently ruin Count Dooku's plan.
    Last edited by darth fluffy, May 16, 2013
  9. Kev Snowmane Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2013
    star 3
    If it had stopped at that, if the Seps had simply said "We're leaving" and gone their own way, you might have a point.

    However, you aren't taking into account that Separation was not the real motivation for the war. The Separatist leadership (the real leaders: Dooku, Trade Federation, et al) were not motivated by genuine desire to form a Separatist government. Dooku, of course, is furthering Sidious' plans against the Republic (and ultimately the Separatists as well). The Federation, Banking Clans, et al are motivated by the desire to conquer and exploit defenceless planets for profit (Naboo, Ryloth, etc).

    "Separatism" is the cause celebre masking the actual casus belli of conquest and exploitation. Once the start of hostilities has been engineered, it is a simple matter to "wave the bloody shirt" and keep the fires of public opinion on the CIS "street" firmly in favor of continuing the war. And if people (esp those in leadership roles) start saying otherwise...well, that's what "accidents" are for or suddenly they get attacked by "Republic assassins" (which we actually see in at least one ep of the Clone Wars).
  10. Kev Snowmane Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2013
    star 3

    Then what would you have suggested the Republic DO with the clones? you can say that the vote should have been put to them as to what they want, but, being bred and trained for war, what other answer would you expect them to give.

    And you're right back to square one. In the meantime, while you're debating the finer points of the ethics of clone armies, the Seps are burning/pillaging/and enslaving without opposition.

    What about the Republic's duty to do something about THAT.
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  11. Kev Snowmane Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2013
    star 3
    I ask (again) Captain...what do you do with them then? It would be unethical to simply "dispose" of them, wouldn't it? If you put it to a clone vote, given that war is all they know and have been trained for, they'll simply volunteer.

    Meanwhile 10s of millions of battledroids are burning/pillaging/enslaving countless star systems unopposed. 100s of BILLIONS of Republic citizens are at risk of losing life and/or liberty.

    So, Captain, what in this case is the most ethical thing to do? Or should I say the least unethical thing?
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  12. Kev Snowmane Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2013
    star 3
    Which would have done what to fulfill their duty to defend the citizens of the Republic?


    Been dealt with.


    They said many times they had grave reservations about the Emergency Powers. So did many Senators. But the vote was to go forward with it. That's democracy in action. As an Order sworn to protect the democratic process, it would have been hypocritical for the Jedi to try to stop what the Senate explicitly authorized.


    Who had discovered a secret battledroid factory and staging area where troops were being massed to attack the Republic (why else would they have been there in secret)? If three Polish scouts had stumbled across the Wehrmacht staging areas near the border in 39 and got caught. Would you have attributed the blame for WW II to the Poles for sending troops to get them out?
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  13. Son of a Bith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2013
    star 4
    I don't understand why freeing them from indentured servitude/slavery/forced military service (or whatever you want to call it) isn't an ethical option.

    I think freeing the clones and creating a volunteer army is an ethical decision. If nobody wants to enlist and they can't engage in the war, so be it.

    But with all the races in the SW galaxy I'd be shocked if the Republic couldn't hire or enlist the services of a warrior race or two that would be willing to fight the war.
    Last edited by Son of a Bith, May 16, 2013
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  14. Kev Snowmane Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2013
    star 3
    No, he either would have found another cause celebre or simply invaded outright. An attack was never not going to happen.
  15. Kev Snowmane Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2013
    star 3
    The action was started 10 years earlier at Naboo. Conquest was always the agenda of the real CIS leadership.
  16. Kev Snowmane Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2013
    star 3
    In the abstract it is. In reality, while you're busy "freeing" clones, your worlds are burning. Your citizens are being enslaved.

    War is an ethically messy business. There is no avoiding that. Many times the "most ethical" option in practical terms is the "least unethical" option.

    So allowing the the democratically elected government to fall (the ultimate goal of the War), bringing mass subjugation, misery and exploitation to 100s of billions (if not trillions) of sentients is a more ethical outcome that using a clone army that (if given the choice) would be perfectly willing to fight for you.
  17. Son of a Bith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2013
    star 4
    So the crux of your argument is that the end justifies the means, essentially?

    Maybe so. But this is tricky business, and very unJedi-like methinks. Sounds quite Sith-ish.
    Last edited by Son of a Bith, May 16, 2013
  18. SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2003
    star 6
    If the Republic had no ethical reservations or laws against using clone soldiers and obviously didn't consider them to be slaves...

    why then, are the Jedi being held in contempt for doing the best they could with the legal-hand that they were dealt? The blame belongs to those who made it legal to accept the clones into service, not those who led them into battle. I know Yoda went to inspect them, but did he also commission the soldiers? Was he the one who pressed the Senate into allowing them to serve?

    Its a big galaxy, I think we're the ones who make it small.
    Last edited by SithStarSlayer, May 16, 2013
  19. Son of a Bith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2013
    star 4
    Very true. I can't speak for others, but all I'm saying is that it's a little funny that the Jedi don't appear to be too grossed out by the idea.
  20. Kev Snowmane Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2013
    star 3
    No, that you have to balance ends and means. And it is the job of governments to balance the "needs of the many" vs "the needs of the few" taking ethics into account in the process. And sometimes ethical compromise is simply unavoidable.

    1) A Sith would not care either about the ethics OR about anyone's opinion of his.

    2) A Sith would say that your claim was self-evidently and absolutely correct in all circumstances.

    So no, I'm not being Sith-ish at all. I'm advocating for the option that does the most good for the most people in this given situation.
  21. Son of a Bith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2013
    star 4
    Right... so the end justifies the means. Using clones - thinking, feeling entities - that have been bred to fight and die in battle is justified by the greater good. And again, maybe it is - in this case and others - but I'm not so sure.

    How exactly do you accurately balance end and means? How do you quantify the suffering of the clones and weigh it against the suffering of the galaxy at large? I just don't think it's as simple as "there are less clones."
    Last edited by Son of a Bith, May 16, 2013
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  22. Kev Snowmane Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2013
    star 3
    Many Jedi do in fact appear to harbour reservations (and rightly so). I cannot, however, fault them for making the reasoned decision that those reservations must yield in the face of the overwhelming galactic crisis that they faced.

    Note that most Jedi treated their clone troopers like soldiers, not slaves, with the dignity and respect that they deserved. That rat Krell was the exception, not the rule.
    Valairy Scot likes this.
  23. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    That last line, especially. The least unethical thing is, in the situation they are presented with (war. Unstoppable, unavoidable war) becomes the most ethical. ie, their choices will have consequences; so what is the best choice that they can make in their situation, knowing only what they know?
    At the risk of repeating the points that @Kev Snowmane has made very well here; Allowing secession misses the point entirely of what the Separatists are actually up to - as we viewers well know. The war is going to happen, whether the Jedi oppose it or not. None of the alternatives offers a better outcome for anybody and in fact may be seen as a betrayal of the citizens of the galaxy. How many more clones would have become canon fodder, how many more citizens would have suffered had the Jedi not used their martial prowess in fighting alongside (and this is worth highlighting) and commanding the clone army?
  24. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    I think the thought comes down to this for a lot of people (and perhaps the Jedi, in this case): Sometimes there are only bad choices and worse choices.

    Let's say, for example, that the Republic had refused the army. What would happen to the clones then? Would they take them into the Republic and feed them and clothe them? When they have a war looming and no army ready? Where would they get the resources? Would they leave them with the Kaminoans? Do you really think the Kaminoans would continue to take care of them out of charity? What if they killed the clones -- as they are no longer economically viable? Or what if they sold them to the Separtists (which would compound the Republic's problems while likely putting the clones in a worse situation)?

    I think you can see that it's a very difficult situation -- because there isn't really a "good" choice. No matter what, some people are going to suffer immensely and the choice needs to be made quickly as they are on the verge of being attacked.

    In all likelihood, I imagine the Jedi saw having the clones fight as the best solution -- where they could eventually be made citizens of the Republic once the war was over and where the risk of the army falling into Separtists hands would be mitigated. It's certainly not ethical, but I think it was the best they could come up with at the time.

    The Separtists were poised to attack, they had no time to conscript (let alone train) a new army. Not to mention outfitting all the different species and trying to integrate the various cultures into a cohesive fighting force.

    The use of clones was unethical, but given the circumstances, I'm not too willing to pass judgement too harshly. Especially in light of the fact that the Jedi commanded the clones from the front lines. They didn't send them to die in safety from Coruscant but fought alongside them to the bitter end.
  25. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    In reality no world was burning. The separatists wanted to execute a couple spies. You are making things up.

    The elected government isn't worth the dirt under my boots because it is the one sanctioning the use of a slave army. Mass subjugation was also not one of the political goals of the separatists, segregation was.

    I am loathe to bring Hitler into this, but gassing the Jews was also sanctioned by the government in Nazi Germany. Didn't make it right.
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