PT Star Wars ethics

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

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  1. Son of a Bith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2013
    star 4
    This is what is muddling the argument, I think. We know what's going on - that both sides of the war are being controlled by one being. But that's our POV, not the Jedi's.

    And if they knew that the war was going to be waged whether the Jedi oppose it or not, doesn't that make sending the clones to fight and die even more of a waste of life?
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  2. Son of a Bith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2013
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    This I can agree with. What I don't believe is that the sentiment that the use of clones (who appeared to have no choice in the matter) is somehow ethical because it's necessary.
    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

    I don't think there is a nice, neat way of calculating or balancing these things. That is what makes ethics such a tough call - and why its ridiculous to base concepts of ethical standards upon some ethereal standard without taking into account the situation.

    I also don't think that the argument is that there are fewer clones so therefore the clones can be, in some way, disregarded; I think (though I'm sure they can answer for themselves) that was a more general statement of how ethical decisions have to be 'measured' in extreme circumstances.

    As to the more focussed point of the Jedi's ethics in this case, I would argue that their fighting alongside the clones probably saved more clones from suffering and death than if they hadn't - I don't think that there really could be much argument against that. In which case their refusal to command and fight alongside the clone army would have been less ethical (which is kind of the point I've been trying to make) or, to use @Kev Snowmane 's line, more unethical.
  4. Kev Snowmane Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2013
    star 2
    In some cases, yes it is that simple. Same logic we used when we dropped two atomic bombs on a Japan that was prepared to fight to the last man against us. Several hundred thousand people dead and/or badly injured (both immediately and from long-term radiation exposure). However, our best estimates indicated that the death toll of a conventional invasion would have been in the order of 4-6 million (at a minimum) between soldiers lost and civilian casualties (given that the "civilian" population was being prepared by the Imperial leadership to literally throw themselves at Allied forces with swords and field rakes if needs be).

    What alternative metric would you suggest be employed?
  5. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    No, as I have said from the beginning, we can only talk about what is known by the characters. Obi-Wan has discovered a droid factory, producing great numbers of droids, on a planet where there are a large number of Trade Federation ships amassed (wonder what they might be for?) - he has also heard the conversation between Dooku and the Separatist leadership as to the true nature of the Separatist plans. This is an army of invasion..... I know you don't need the dots joining up for you. Neither do the Jedi or the Republic.
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  6. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    I personally think it's unethical.
    I believe it would be very difficult to argue that the use of the clone army would be ethical except perhaps under utilitarian ethics:

    Utilitarianism is a theory in normative ethics holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes utility, specifically defined as maximizing happiness and reducing suffering.

    In general, though, I don't find that utilitarianism addresses whether an action is moral or immoral very well.
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  7. Son of a Bith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2013
    star 4
    Well put.

    I do maintain that that it's morally problematic to justify the suffering of the few in order to satisfy the needs of the many.

    But as @PiettsHat said, there's really no "good" or "easy" answers here.

    Exactly!!
    Last edited by Son of a Bith, May 16, 2013
  8. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    And later the cold war almost killed the entire earth, a direct result from the invention and prep of nuklear warheads for military purposes. Entire earth was at the brink of total destruction, something which young generations do not realize nowadays.

    One day we will have WWIII and then we can be really thankful for all the military science work that went into nukes. /sarcasm
    Last edited by Darth_Pevra, May 16, 2013
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  9. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    It's funny how even in Star Wars the use of a slave army lead to the downfall of the Republic and the Jedi. I think there's a lesson hidden somewhere.
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  10. Kev Snowmane Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2013
    star 2
    No, I'm saying that is what WOULD be happening if the Republic (which as we know, was at that point all but Senatorially gridlocked and all-but incapapble of acting at all) had stopped to debate "freeing" the clones in the face of the immanent attack by the droid armies.

    Those droids weren't being built for "show". They were being built to be used in the war that never was not going to come, one way or the other.

    So trillions must die or suffer subjugation to protect your abstract moral principle? Who the frak are the likes of YOU to make that call?

    Me thinks Bith should be looking YOUR way for Sith-ish attitudes.

    No.

    The goals of the actual leadership (Dooku, Trade Federation, etc) are exactly that: subjugation. Naboo. Ryloth. Countless other worlds. All proof that "Separation" was a sham. The events of the totality of the Clone Wars make this clear.

    Nowhere near an equivalent sitution...not just a Godwin, but a pathetically failed attempt at Godwin.
  11. Son of a Bith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2013
    star 4
    I gotta run, but thanks to all (those who agree and disagree, all) for the thought-provoking conversation.

    I leave you with something to make you chuckle.

    [IMG]
  12. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    One could just as easily argue, though, that the reason that we didn't have WWIII already and the Cold War between the USA and USSR remained just that -- a cold war -- rather than a "hot war" is due to nukes. Mutually assured destruction (MAD) might certainly have contributed to curtailing any direct confrontation between the superpowers. We can't know this, though, of course, but one can make the argument. *shrug*

    I agree. I don't think it's a coincidence that the clones were the ones to kill the Jedi. I think, though, that they should not be villianized when they did the best they could with what they had. The greatest failure, I would say, lies with the Senate for abandoning diplomatic means and allowing the Separtists to reach the point they did. It was the Senate, after all, that authorized the use of the clones.
    Last edited by PiettsHat, May 16, 2013
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  13. Kev Snowmane Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2013
    star 2
    I know that quite well...I'm 44. I remember what it was like thank you very much.

    I will point out that:

    1) it didn't happen

    2) the Allies were only responsible for the situation they had to hand. Their job was to focus on THAT war, and bringing it to a successful conclusion with the least casualties possible.

    3) Better a "cold war" than a whole bunch of "hot wars". MAD worked. It kept the Soviets in check until their society fell apart.

    1) assuming they're used

    2) wars are inevitable. Saying we may "someday" have a war is like saying that "someday" the sun will come up in the morning. Unfortunate, but there it is. As I said above, we managed to put paid to the Soviets w/o a massively destructive "hot war" thanks to nukes.
  14. Kev Snowmane Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2013
    star 2
    Ironic maybe that that was the particular means, but you read too much into it (and not enough into the other factors at play).
  15. Kev Snowmane Jedi Master

    Member Since:
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    star 2
    The greatest failure of the Senate lies in it allowing itself to become so corrupt that it failed it's duty to protect the people from exploitative scum like the Trade Federation. Just like the real world US right now: we're a corporate fascist state with the veneer of democracy.
  16. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    You are blindly speculating. Politics are much more complicated than that. If the Separatists were to betray their supposed ideals it might happen that they would lose support of their base.

    Droids might also be built for threat purposes. Building a weapon or army doesn't always mean you want to go to war, often it just means showing some muscles.

    In any case the situation was still in a stage in which diplomatic means could yield success. But instead the Jedi and the Republic opted for violence.

    But of course the Jedi and Republic knew perfectly what was going on. *sigh* Yes, perfectly.

    What the hell are you talking about? Palpatine and his gang, those who lead the Republic, weren't worth the dirt under my boot. I am certain there is a law against slavery. They should been put on court like any criminal.

    Well, firstly, the Jedi couldn't know how the war would progress. Secondly the whole Clone Wars is not in any way realistically portrayed. Thirdly what you cite here is not from the movies.

    All I am saying is that because something is sanctioned by government doesn't mean that everyone is absolved of all accountability.
    Last edited by Darth_Pevra, May 16, 2013
  17. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    For me, it always comes back to the Senate. As somewhat cheesy as Padmé's and the Queen's lines in AOTC were, I think they hold true:

    QUEEN JAMILLIA: We must keep our faith in the Republic. The
    day we stop believing democracy can work is the day we lose
    it.
    PADMÉ: Let's pray that day never comes.
    Last edited by PiettsHat, May 16, 2013
  18. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    No, you are missing the point that the Separatists have been building, in secret, a huge droid army; they have a huge number of Trade Federation ships ready to move those droids into position and we (as well as Obi-Wan) have heard the Separatist leadership talk of their plans to force the Republic to do things their way.

    The use of the rather quaint term 'secession' is not viable. Secession was not the agenda, it was a cover.

    But..you bring the Nazis up and ignore the question raised earlier about whether the Poles would be at fault for WW2 had they discovered the German plans to invade Poland and acted upon it? The Nazis also used a cover, that they were merely re-uniting German lands from Czechoslovakia - and all the time they were planning something very different. History sees Chamberlain as a fool for seeking 'peace in our time', but here - despite the clear evidence of an army of invasion, you want to offer the Separatists the right to 'secession'?
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  19. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    No, it didn't really. Kuba crisis made clear that basically humanity was just lucky.

    It's hard to sympathize with heroes who act worse than some of their enemies. I'm also not sure if slave holder heroes should be part of kids movies.

    The Senate was hugely responsible of course but since the Jedi participated they have to carry part of the guilt as well.
  20. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    There is a huge droid army, built in secrecy. There is an amassing of Trade Federation ships on the planet where the froids are being built..... Do you need the dots joining up for you?

    And, if you are in any doubt, the discussion between the Separatist leadership ought to settle your doubts on the issue. Its not wild speculation - it is what we are shown, very clearly, in the movies.
  21. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    So because a country is preparing for war it is not possible to react diplomatically to that? Republic could've bought some time and use that to raise a volunteer or conscription army, something they really should've done ten years ago. How these people could remain in office is a miracle anyway. Lucas must hate democracy.

    Still matters in politics. Any faction who would attack and produce dead and crying children would have a massive PR problem.

    Not going to argue history with you.
  22. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    Errr...no. Cuba was resolved through negotiation and concessions on both sides. Of course, it was an immensely strained standoff, but there's no guarantee that the absence of nuclear weapons would have made it better.

    In fact:

    It [the Cuban missile crisis] is also the first documented instance of the threat of mutual assured destruction (MAD) being discussed as a determining factor in a major international arms agreement.[3][4]

    So I don't really see your point, I'm sorry to say. In fact, it's often cited as a case where MAD worked, which runs counter to your argument.

    Granted, that's not to say that the existence of nuclear weapons is a good thing. But I don't think your example passes muster, unfortunately.

    The Jedi never invaded a planet unprovoked, rounded up its people in camps, and then starved them to death as the Separatists did to the people of Naboo in TPM. I can understand why fear of this happening to the rest of the citizens of the Republic drove them to make the unethical decisions they did -- such as using clones. It's easy to do the right thing when you don't have a gun pointed at someone you love.
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  23. darth fluffy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 2012
    star 2
    But if they outright invaded the republic, they'd lose support of their base. Can you see Nute Gunray participating in a military coup?

    And keep in mind the Republic didn't know anything about the Separatists' true goals. From the Jedi's perspective, they just wanted to secede. Meaning the Jedi utilized a clone army to fight a war to keep a group of systems in the Republic, a group of systems that, from their point of view, could have seceded peacefully if given the chance. They don't look so good now, do they?
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  24. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    You guys assume the war is unavoidable, but Dooku alone can't create a war out of thin air, neither can Palpatine for all his cunning. If you grant secession, the stated reason for going to war evaporates, and so will support for that war. That secession is not Dooku's real objective makes little difference. It takes many people to wage a war. The movie tells us, thousands of Star Systems are following Dooku because they believe he is a political idealist, you take away his stated goal, you take away his selling point to those systems.

    The war wasn't unavoidable, it happened because the Jedi are fools that played the role Palpatine would have them play. And it's the Jedi who strike first.......................
    Last edited by Captain Tom Coughlin, May 16, 2013
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  25. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    Yeah..it would take some convincing to persuade those droids to take part in an unjust war wouldn't it?

    Listen to the plans being made by the Separatist leadership. There is the true nature of the Separatist movement. In the same way that the Empire can later dissolve the facade of the Senate once the Death Star is complete, with the huge army of droids at their disposal the Separatists are safe to impose their will upon those systems that already follow Dooku mistakenly, and invade the Republic. The leadership of the Separatists - where the real powers lies - give not a jot for moral support because they now have an army which can impose their will.
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