The morality of superweapons and the way they are used...NJO Style!

Discussion in 'Literature' started by JediMasterAaron, Aug 22, 2001.

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  1. Casta Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2000
    star 4
    The present writer has not read all of the posts, so please be indulgent if the following comments may appear repetitious.

    <<I cannot see a superweapon other than for what it really is: to destroy massive amounts of life instantly.>>

    <<because in and of itself, a superweapon's ends is to destroy, annihilate and otherwise obliterate everything in a certain vicinity indiscriminately and without remorse>>

    To destroy is the function of a superweapon, not its end. What to destroy and what can be gained from the destruction are the end. It is also exclusive to note that superweapon destroys life. One point omitted here is the precision of execution in superweapon. The destructive nature of a superweapon differs from that of a natural disaster. Or in other words, one has a choice of what to destroy and how to destroy with a superweapon because this instrument, after all, can be controlled.

    Both Death Stars are powerful, but the power is concentrated ONLY on the target. When Tarkin wished to hit Alderaan, the beams would certainly not hit the Imperial Center. Discussions of the indiscriminate destruction of World Devastators and Sun Crusher here are irrelevant. The only difference is the scale of destruction and the mode of execution. That, too, shall be viewed in light of the intentions of the person in control and adapted to his needs. Yes, superweapons do destroy, but what they destroy depends on the choice of target.

    <<As for Centerpoint, I've said this before, and I'll say it again.. jedi should not be tools of firing superweapons. It is the NR's responsibility to decide and carry out [the firing of superweapons].>>--Vergere

    <<If a superweapon is going to be fired one way or another and having a Jedi fire it is the only way to save the most lives, than the Jedi should fire it. However, the decision to fire the weapon can not be his. >> --JediSolo

    According to Vergere, Jedi knights should not be tools of firing superweapons, that means they should not be slave to the technical execution of the part and furthermore, they should be able to make rational choices. There is a way to save life and a way not to save life. However, the quote from JediSolo points to the direction that if Jedi executes the firing, they should be excluded from making the very decision of firing. The primary nature of a tool is its ability to perform exclusively technical functions and be used for purposes that the tool itself can not decide. By JediSolo's statement, Jedi are actually unquestioning tools for performing such functions. The present writer is deeply perpelxed by these contradictory statements made by two posters who apparently had applauded each other's points.

    <<If the NR do build a superweapon I agree with KansasNavy that it should be something of military practicality rather than a mechanism designed as a means to instill terror.>>

    When facing the Vongs, however, superweapons must be in active service and not a mare scarecrow. The Vongs are not afraid to die; they do not give a whiff about the price of victory. They do not value life in the manner of the inhabitants of the Galaxy. Terror will not do any damage to the Vong morale, but physical losses would drain the combat strength.

    <<A normal weapon can never replicate such a performance. One person with 1 blaster could NEVER EVER replicate such a performance. There is a difference here...It's almost like saying there is no difference between 1 billion and 1.>>

    Non numerantur, sed ponderantur. A blaster and a Death Star are each employed for different purposes. The means must be considered in the context of the ends. Using a superweapon to demolish a flotilla of armed transport ship is comparable to the act of deracinating a plant with a steam shovel. Similarly, when one uses a blaster to counter a legion of Vongs, this folly is a ghostly reminder of Polish calvary charging into German Panzer divisions during WWII. Then there is the matter of range and penetration. Moreover, killing the Galactic Emperor with a portable weapon holds far more significa
  2. ValedaKor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2000
    star 5
    I've read all the posts, and "each side," as it were, presents compelling arguments for and against the use of a presumed superweapon.

    However, are we not in truth debating the use of a weapon -- of any type -- that in effect constitutes genocide?

    It is not a question of who wields the weapon, but rather how that weapon is intended to be used. In "Rebirth," our little Vong Shaper appears to be contemplating a more active role that will enable her and the other Vong to finally defeat the NR and all its people. The Vong want the galaxy for them. "Wipe them out -- all of them." This could be the Warmaster's cry as well. Therefore, to defeat them, it would appear that application of a weapon or an ideological argument that will ensure that the Vong understand that the imminent destruction of their entire race is entirely possible, is necessary.

    As an aside, III_VR_RPC: Admiral Spruance knew that the readiness of combat experience at the time dictated that a surface action, especially a nighttime action, should not be attempted. This was amply demonstrated, unfortunately, at the Battle of Savo Island, two months later. To tie this to the NJO universe, intelligence of the enemy's capabilities and contemplation of what he intends would certainly be of the first priority. This sounds like what is intended to happen in the next entry in the book series.

    "The only guide to man is his conscience. The only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions...with this shield, however the fates may play, we march along in the field of honour." John Colville, The Fringes of Power. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1985.
  3. Jarik Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 2000
    star 4
    Damnit. I can't believe I missed this whole thing. Anyway:

    I think that a superweapon if used correctly is fine, in fact it could be a great thing. For example the Vong are trying to destroy the galaxy as we know it and kill everybody in it. They have used several superweapons to acomplish this and I see noi problem in using superweapons against them such as Centerpoint. In fact using a superweapon could save the whole galaxy from destruction. However, the necessary precautions should be taken to insure that innocents aren't accidentally hit. For example Anakin could have fired Centerpoint without hitting the Hapans. He should have fired it.
  4. -Vergere- Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2001
    star 4
    III_Vir_RPC- "a self-absorbed egoist more concerned about his emotional well-being than his responsibility as a Jedi to act in defence of the defenceless."

    If that were true, Jacen would not have been fighting at Dubrillion to save the defenseless people of that planet in VP. Along with Jaina, Jacen would not have devised the daring plan to "drill" the ice planet of Helska IV in VP and subside the Praeorite Vong threat. Jacen would not have tried to save Danni when he heard her through the Force. If that were true, Jacen would not have been fighting at Dantooine recklessly slaughtering YV "slaves" along with Anakin and Luke to save lives. Jacen would not have been fighting at Ithor in defense of that defenseless planet. Jacen would not have fought off many YV without the Force just to get to his mother in BP and then use the Force to defeat many YV warriors and embarrass the Warmaster to ultimately save his mother's life. Jacen would not have searched out Booster Terrik and the Errant Venture with all of his often neglected and overlooked powers in the Force in Conquest. Jacen would not have been fighting in the x-wing alongside Jaina to save the remaining Academy children at the end of Conquest.

    Right. Jacen has no sense of responsibility as a jedi whatsoever. No, no... I absolutely agree.

    "Mr Solo enriches the storyline by proving most eloquently that, even in Star Wars, having distinguished lineage does not guarantee the inheritence of the best features of one's parents---or any at all."

    Haha. Or one's uncle and grandfather for that matter. More Jacen comments, to which, as important as Jacen may seem to us *grin*, I will restrain from answering since he is not the topic of this thread.

    "Overwhelming force refers to any application of force which ensures victory. It can be applied in many ways, among them, the use of a superweapon."

    Yes, but not only am I not against using force, I am not even against using superweapons altogether. Your comment here suggests there is always an alternative to using superweapons which may ensure victory. As evidenced, using Centerpoint has far from ensured victory - to the contrary, at that juncture, it may have hastened the YV's plans in taking Duro. Had Anakin fired Centerpoint, do you actually believe Centerpoint would have ended the war? Not so. Not by a long shot.

    "What evidence is there to suggest that the Yuuzhan Vong are capable of such a thing? In fact, evidence strongly suggests that the entire Yuuzhan Vong civilisation is en route to the galaxy---which means that if the Yuuzhan Vong are expelled, they will be unable to return in such a fashion."

    First of all, I don't believe the NR and jedi can completely and utterly expel the YV. When this war ends, the YV will inevitably reside in our galaxy in some fashion. Oh and I believe there IS evidence to suggest that the YV can be capable of biological superweaopons of their own. Nen Yim is now Master Heretic Shaper - Shimmra no doubt has plans to build something. Before Conquest, there was no evidence to suggest that YV were actually capable of shaping a jedi - that doesn't mean it won't or can't happen! Just because evidence may be lacking to suggest that the YV are capable of biological superweapons, doesn't necessarily mean that they can't or won't embark on such a shaping. I personally feel THIS is the whole reason Nen Yim was made into a Master Heretic Shaper.

    "The Yuuzhan Vong lack weapons of mass destruction on the scale to justify statements of mutual assured destruction."

    So you agree that the scale of a superweapon far exceeds that of a normal weapon, right? Don't forget that the small and powerful gravity well (the dovin basal) resulting in the destruction of Sernipidal caused the destruction of a complete planet and its population. The scale here may rival the NR's best superweapons. The annihilation of Ithor also resembles our notion of what a superweapon is capable of. Although our sense of superweapon may differ, the YV have technology that to annihilate us in a
  5. DarthGanner Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 1
  6. -Vergere- Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2001
    star 4
    Casta: "Yes, superweapons do destroy, but what they destroy depends on the choice of target."

    Yes, but the target cannot be as clear-cut as with a lightsaber or even a blaster for that matter. The vast magnitude in taking out life instantly by a superweapon significantly increases chances of taking out unforeseen and unexpected life. The choice of the target will always be something resident in the SW galaxy which makes the result of firing a superweapon even more unpredictable and undesired.

    Casta: "According to Vergere, Jedi knights should not be tools of firing superweapons, that means they should not be slave to the technical execution of the part and furthermore, they should be able to make rational choices. There is a way to save life and a way not to save life. However, the quote from JediSolo points to the direction that if Jedi executes the firing, they should be excluded from making the very decision of firing. The primary nature of a tool is its ability to perform exclusively technical functions and be used for purposes that the tool itself can not decide. By JediSolo's statement, Jedi are actually unquestioning tools for performing such functions. The present writer is deeply perpelxed by these contradictory statements made by two posters who apparently had applauded each other's points."

    If you re-read my 3rd post, you will find the question to which JediJSolo was directing that particular comment (<<If a superweapon is going to be fired one way or another and having a Jedi fire it is the only way to save the most lives, than the Jedi should fire it. However, the decision to fire the weapon can not be his. >> --JediSolo). I bring up an important rational question for a jedi in light of not being tools for massive life destruction.
  7. JediJSolo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2001
    star 4
    >>Just so there is no confession I am going to put ?>>? before all of my comments.
    >>There are many things that I disagree with III_Vir_RPC about. However, there are only two things that I will comment on, because Vergere seems to have dealt with all the other stuff adequately enough.

    ?The Shamed Ones perpetuate the Yuuzhan Vong war machine by their complicity in manufacturing the necessary war material. They are not civilians.?

    >>Were does the word civilian take effect? Is a civilian simply a person who is not in the military? Is a civilian someone who helps to build war machines during the day and then heads home after a hard day at work, having never seen the people that his or her country is fighting against? Is a civilian someone who helps to support the economy that is paying for these machines of war? Is a civilian a slave who has no choice but to obey his masters and aid in a war that he has no real interest in? Non-civilians, in my opinion, are people who are ether fighting or people who are giving orders to the people who are fighting. Every one else is a civilian, and should be shown some consideration.

    ?So Mr. Skywalker's termination of millions of lives in the Battle of Yavin IV. was about the sanctity of life? General Kenobi's literal disarmament of a drunken bar patron was about defence??

    >>Yes, Luke?s destruction of the Death Star was indeed about the sanctity of life. The Death Star was about to destroy a large moon that was filed with life. Luke killed millions of people to save a moon that, not only had an enormous amount of life on it, but a moon that became one of the most influential planetary bodies in the GFFA?s history.

    >>I do agree that Kenobi?s disarmament of a drunken pirate is more difficult to see as defensive. However, ?many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view? (Obi-Wan Kenobi). That ?drunken bar patron? was a man with extremely loose morals, and was going to kill Luke if Obi-Wan hadn?t stopped him (from my point of view). I agree that cutting off the man?s arm might have been an overreaction, but then again Obi-Wan seem to be well known for ?over doing it?.

    >>Let me reiterate that I believe that a Jedi can fire a superweapon if it is absolutely necessary. However, he can not make the decision to use such a weapon alone. He must have some form of conformation (or a second opinion if you prefer) that using this weapon of mass destruction (or mass force as III_Vir_RPC chooses to define it) is the right thing to do, weather that conformation comes from a superior of from the Force itself.
  8. mydred Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2001
    To quote someone's "Evil List"...

    "I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have a weapon that will wipe out my enemies, I will use it immediately."

    Has Jacen forgotten that the end justifies the means in cases like this? Has he forgotten that the greater good lies not in a protracted, honorable death, but rather in victory? Has he forgotten the lives that could have been saved throughliberal use of Centerpoint Station?

    More importantly, has he forgotten of his family's plight? His mother has been tortured brutally [again] and was about to lose her legs, his father lost his co-pilot and isn't the same anymore, his sister's serving with Rogue Squadron - attacking whatever Nen Yim's decided to throw at the New Republic, and his brother's on the front lines too.

    Use the superweapons and end the war now.

    Become overconcerned with morals and watch the Vong wax the floor of the galaxy with its former inhabitants.
  9. -Vergere- Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2001
    star 4
    mydred, I've dealt with all the points you make about jacen and centerpoint.

    Once again, ANAKIN decided he needed to ask his confused and self-righteous older brother's opinion. Once again, ANAKIN decided to listen to his self-righteous older brother's opinion (partly because part of him actually agreed with Jacen at the time.. that a jedi should not fire a superweapon... especially not Leia's son... especially not Luke's nephew). Once again THRACKEN fired Centerpoint. Once again, as egotistical and self-righteous as Jacen is, it is Anakin who lashes out at Jacen as the first words out of his mouth afterwards is, look, you've made Thracken into a hero! A tad-bit bitter don't you think and completely the wrong way to look at! Anakin's upset that he didn't receive the chance to fire Centerpoint. Now it's Anakin who is self-righteous and presumptuous to assume that had he fired, he would have only targeted the YV fleet. Even though the YV fleet were engaged in close combat with the Fondor shipyards. Even though though the YV fleet were engaged with the NR fleet. Are you kidding me? You're telling me Centerpoint fires like a billion separate individual beams which would not only avoid the Hapan fleet, but also avoid any NR fleet and Fondor shipyards in close combat with the YV fleet? Riiiiight.. maybe in Anakin's dreamworld ;P
  10. El_Cid_Campeador Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2001
    JediJSolo, your definition of "non-civilian" is overly-simplistic, and actually wrong. By that definition of a "non-civilian," then, a Naval chief engineer aboard a Star Destroyer, a military officer, is a civilian.

    In addition, the "certain point of view" argument was a weak attempt by Kenobi to justify his having lied to Luke Skywalker about his father. It is not really a steady springboard from which to launch an apology for Kenobi's actions in the cantina.
  11. JediJSolo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2001
    star 4
    El_Cid_Campeador, you are probably right about my definition of civilian. Hold on? Let me look it up?

    Civilian: one not in a military, police, or fire fighting force.

    Yep, you were right, my definition was too simplistic. However, that does not change the fact that I still consider Shamed Ones to be civilians. They are not allowed to be in the military. There isn?t any evidence that they are even allowed to help shuttle military information. They are basically slaves, who are forced to do what they are tolled against there will. Just because they help to build war machines for the Vong does not mean that they are not civilians.

    I also agree with you that the ?certain point of view? argument was indeed weak when it was used by Obi-Wan. However, that does not make the statement itself any less true. Weather Obi-Wan?s intentions were more aggressive than defensive in the cantina all depends on the perspective of the person judging the situation. From my perspective his intentions were more defensive than aggressive. Then again, I am probably one of the worst people to try to defend Obi-Wan?s actions, considering my personal opinion of that particular Jedi.
  12. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    I'm short on time.. so this will be short.

    First... JediSolo was speaking of Luke's intentions. He was focused on saving the Rebellion, not the planet. He only came after the Larses were killed, either for revenge, or because the Rebellion was the next best thing. He had no idea of Yavin's future, so that would not have mattered.

    Obi-Wan and the other Jedi all fought when they needed to. They wanted Luke to kill Vader, suggesting the line between light and dark is a lot thicker.

    If you are performing actions for a good purpose, and are not thinking of yourself at all, but the galaxy, that is what a Jedi is. If Mara does not go Dark serving Palpatine, that a Jedi with pure intentions will not.

    Kyp is not pure. He is looking for revenge, try to make the Vong pay. It is not the past that is being fought over but the future. If they fight for the future, for their children, it is inconceivable to me that they can turn to the Dark Side. I think that is the truest possible use of the Force. If that turns one to the Dark Side, then I should stop liking Star Wars at all.That is immaterial, though.

    The Jedi Order was grand. They served life. This new Jedi order does not. They serve morals which they do not follow. If live is sacred, than defend it! Do not a cowardly.

    I'll post something on superweapons tomorrow.
  13. JediJSolo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2001
    star 4
    ?First... JediSolo was speaking of Luke's intentions. He was focused on saving the Rebellion, not the planet. He only came after the Larses were killed, either for revenge, or because the Rebellion was the next best thing. He had no idea of Yavin's future, so that would not have mattered.?

    Actually, I was not referring to what Luke?s intentions were. I was referring to what he actually did. However, when I was speaking of intentions, I was referring to Obi-Wan. The reason why I make that distinction is because I think that Obi-Wan over reacted in that situation, but his intentions were good.

    As to weather Luke joined the rebellion for revenge or not, I honestly can?t be sure. However, I had the feeling that when Luke said ?there?s nothing left for me here now? that he meant that he no longer felt a responsibility to stay and help his uncle with the farm because his uncle is now dead. This mean that Luke was free to do what ever he wanted, and he wanted to help the galaxy. I don?t think that revenge was a major factor.

    Wow, I seem to have gotten way of topic some were. I?m sorry about that.

    I think that I have stated my opinions on superweapons well enough. I think that I have adequately stated why I think that Jedi should be more hesitant to fire a superweapon than the average person should. I think I am just going to let this thread be, and see were it goes.
  14. El_Cid_Campeador Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2001
    Ah, this peudo-Machiavellian view of the Force ("The end justifies the means") causes a new problem---the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Are Kyp Durron's actions in the Sun Crusher justified, as he had good intentions (to prevent the Empire from harming more people)?

    One should note that Machiavelli never said "The ends justify the means." Machiavelli's actual statement was "In the actions of men, and especially of princes, where there is no impartial arbiter, one must consider the final result."
  15. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    It seems whenever I get here, I have to log off...

    Stupid dialups...
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