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To Act or Not

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Do you order an invasion of a neighboring country to prevent the continued genocide of your people?

Yes; I will try to appeal to the international community or my leaders, but if that fails I will immediately order my troops to march and stop the madness.
14
31%
Yes; Not only will I invade and end this depravity, but I'll make sure my so-called "leaders" are punished for their inaction.
21
47%
No; I've been given a direct order not to intervene and I'll obey that order, but I'll still try to get my leaders to reconsider or appeal to a sympathetic foreign power.
4
9%
No; It's none of my business and I won't risk my rank for this.
3
7%
Other (Explain)
1
2%
I don't need to. Hasselhoff will save the day, as always.
2
4%
 
Total votes : 45

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Trollzyn the Infinite
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To Act or Not

Postby Trollzyn the Infinite » Thu Oct 29, 2020 2:59 pm

You are a general in your nation's Armed Forces. A smaller, weaker neighboring nation is currently ruled by a tyrannical dictator who despises your people. He has rounded up all of your people that reside in his nation and has begun to exterminating them. Despite the brutality of this violence, the international community does nothing. Their attentions are focused elsewhere and don't particularly care that millions of your people are being exterminated in a neighboring country. Even your own government seems disinterested in doing anything--it's corrupt politicians offering vague condemnations while being more interested in robbing your country blind instead of stopping the destruction of their own people.

The soldiers under your command disagree vehemently. They are up in arms and are pressuring you to order an intervention without official sanction. Your troops have vowed to follow you all the way through if you do. The forces under your command are more than enough to smash your neighbor's entire army. Your troops are better equipped, better trained, and have cutting-edge tech compared to your neighbors who are using antiquated equipment and are largely filled with poorly-trained conscripts. Several of your fellow generals have requested permission to intervene and stop the massacre, but all have been denied. Your government seems content to sit on it's hands as your people are butchered.

You have the power to stop this, but it requires disobeying direct orders not to do so. You risk court-martial at best and starting a coup/civil at worst. But doing nothing means your people over the border could be exterminated. No one else wishes to stop the bloodshed. Do you? What will you do? Will you risk your job--the stability or your country--in order to save the lives of your people? Or will you, too, turn a blind eye to the plight of millions of innocents?
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Mzeusia
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Founded: Oct 30, 2017
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Mzeusia » Thu Oct 29, 2020 3:03 pm

I'd save the people. If anyone has any sense, they'll celebrate the intervention as the heroic action it would be. Besides, one person, me, potentially out of a job is more than acceptable if millions live as a result of my action.
Last edited by Mzeusia on Thu Oct 29, 2020 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nanatsu no Tsuki
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Postby Nanatsu no Tsuki » Thu Oct 29, 2020 3:05 pm

I think I’d violate my superiors’ orders and invade un-sanctioned.
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Nihon no Tengoku
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Founded: Sep 10, 2019
Authoritarian Democracy

Postby Nihon no Tengoku » Thu Oct 29, 2020 3:09 pm

With all due respect, you've essentially written a scenario in which no reasonable person would say "no, I won't stop the genocide of millions of people."

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Plzen
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Plzen » Thu Oct 29, 2020 3:10 pm

Both sides of the argument are compelling to me, and I don’t think I can make a conclusive decision. This is one of those situations where I don’t think I can decide what to do until I’m actually in that situation and I have to make a decision.
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The New California Republic
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Founded: Jun 06, 2011
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby The New California Republic » Thu Oct 29, 2020 3:12 pm

It depends what sort of government was in my own nation. If it was a dictatorship etc then a military coup could fix this, and then there could be an invasion of the genocidal nation with official sanction since I'd be the leader.
Last edited by Sigmund Freud on Sat Sep 23, 1939 2:23 am, edited 999 times in total.

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The Two Jerseys
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Postby The Two Jerseys » Thu Oct 29, 2020 3:21 pm

Sounds like a good time to pull a Franco.
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Trollzyn the Infinite
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Postby Trollzyn the Infinite » Thu Oct 29, 2020 3:22 pm

Nihon no Tengoku wrote:With all due respect, you've essentially written a scenario in which no reasonable person would say "no, I won't stop the genocide of millions of people."


The scenarios I write are typically designed as social experiments.

In this case, the question is will you intervene to save lives unlawfully even knowing full well that you can be punished for it? It's not a hard decision for someone like myself to make, but the ultimate point of the question and the scenario isn't whether or not you'll do the right thing or not, but rather how selfish are you to avoid doing the right thing when it's at a personal cost to you?

No "reasonable" person, it can be argued, would throw millions of lives--of their own people, no less--away just to avoid possible jail time. But you'd be surprised how unreasonable some people can be.
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Thermodolia
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Thermodolia » Thu Oct 29, 2020 3:23 pm

I’d start a coup and then invade said nation.
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Thermodolia
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Postby Thermodolia » Thu Oct 29, 2020 3:25 pm

The New California Republic wrote:It depends what sort of government was in my own nation. If it was a dictatorship etc then a military coup could fix this, and then there could be an invasion of the genocidal nation with official sanction since I'd be the leader.

Even if it was a democratic nation I’d still fire a coup as like you said I’d be the leader
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Nihon no Tengoku
Secretary
 
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Founded: Sep 10, 2019
Authoritarian Democracy

Postby Nihon no Tengoku » Thu Oct 29, 2020 3:41 pm

Trollzyn the Infinite wrote:
Nihon no Tengoku wrote:With all due respect, you've essentially written a scenario in which no reasonable person would say "no, I won't stop the genocide of millions of people."


The scenarios I write are typically designed as social experiments.

In this case, the question is will you intervene to save lives unlawfully even knowing full well that you can be punished for it? It's not a hard decision for someone like myself to make, but the ultimate point of the question and the scenario isn't whether or not you'll do the right thing or not, but rather how selfish are you to avoid doing the right thing when it's at a personal cost to you?

No "reasonable" person, it can be argued, would throw millions of lives--of their own people, no less--away just to avoid possible jail time. But you'd be surprised how unreasonable some people can be.

You're missing my point. If you wanted to make it more interesting, you should make the situation less clear cut. Right now, the only people who would go against the grain would be outliers, as you can see from the polling. This scenario is hardly the stuff of intense philosophical debate.

This is the equivalent if in the trolley problem, there was nobody on the other track. Obviously somebody would still refrain from pulling the lever, but that's hardly an interesting dilemma.

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Trollzyn the Infinite
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Postby Trollzyn the Infinite » Thu Oct 29, 2020 3:50 pm

Nihon no Tengoku wrote:
Trollzyn the Infinite wrote:
The scenarios I write are typically designed as social experiments.

In this case, the question is will you intervene to save lives unlawfully even knowing full well that you can be punished for it? It's not a hard decision for someone like myself to make, but the ultimate point of the question and the scenario isn't whether or not you'll do the right thing or not, but rather how selfish are you to avoid doing the right thing when it's at a personal cost to you?

No "reasonable" person, it can be argued, would throw millions of lives--of their own people, no less--away just to avoid possible jail time. But you'd be surprised how unreasonable some people can be.

You're missing my point. If you wanted to make it more interesting, you should make the situation less clear cut. Right now, the only people who would go against the grain would be outliers, as you can see from the polling. This scenario is hardly the stuff of intense philosophical debate.

This is the equivalent if in the trolley problem, there was nobody on the other track. Obviously somebody would still refrain from pulling the lever, but that's hardly an interesting dilemma.


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Purpelia
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Posts: 34249
Founded: Oct 19, 2010
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Postby Purpelia » Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:26 pm

What foreign governments do to their own citizens within their own borders is none of my concern. And ethnic belonging is utterly meaningless to anyone with half a brain. This being said it would appear that my troops do not have half a brain. And this does present me with a potential opportunity to pull off a coup and set my self up as a dictator in the name of forcing an intervention to stop the "evil". After all, if the current government is too weak and spineless to act than surely a more moral leader must arise to correct that. So depending on just how much of the military is behind me and what the overall international situation is I might just go for that.

But either way my motives are selfish. I couldn't care less about a mountain of corpses piling up on the wrong side of the border irregardless of whom they belong to.

Trollzyn the Infinite wrote:No "reasonable" person, it can be argued, would throw millions of lives--of their own people, no less--away just to avoid possible jail time. But you'd be surprised how unreasonable some people can be.

There is nothing reasonable about sacrificing ones own self interest for the benefit of others. Indeed this is the opposite of reason. It is a purely emotional response based on empathy rather than sense.
Last edited by Purpelia on Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Labbos
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Founded: Oct 15, 2019
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Labbos » Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:46 pm

Nihon no Tengoku wrote:With all due respect, you've essentially written a scenario in which no reasonable person would say "no, I won't stop the genocide of millions of people."


How many tens of millions of lives would be lost during the civil war that rips your country apart once you do this? How many lives during the war on the other nation? Would the genocide be stopped in time? Would your army even win? What if another nation takes advantage to invade your country and genocide the people there? Would other nations be brought into the conflict, starting a wider and bloodier war? And what if someone disagreed with your decision but not the "might makes right" mentality, and chose to kill you and assume power? Assuming your country was a democracy before, what is the cost through the years of turning it into a military junta? After all, you have no mandate, so why should anybody obey any laws or rules in future?

And finally, why are the politicians taking no action? What do they know that you don't? What's going on behind the scenes of diplomacy?

This is not a scenario in which it's clear that one course of action is right. And if it's a democracy, general's are not the ones who should be making decisions on whether to invade sovereign nations.

Given the above, I would press through the proper channels, rather than giving up on the rule of law. I would also question why more isn't being done by the politicians.

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Echellia
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Founded: Oct 22, 2020
Ex-Nation

Postby Echellia » Thu Oct 29, 2020 5:46 pm

I would act and save my people! After that, I will overthrow my corrupt government in a coup d'etat and make sure that justice prevails!
Proud borderline sucker!

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Nihon no Tengoku
Secretary
 
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Founded: Sep 10, 2019
Authoritarian Democracy

Postby Nihon no Tengoku » Thu Oct 29, 2020 5:51 pm

Labbos wrote:
Nihon no Tengoku wrote:With all due respect, you've essentially written a scenario in which no reasonable person would say "no, I won't stop the genocide of millions of people."


How many tens of millions of lives would be lost during the civil war that rips your country apart once you do this? How many lives during the war on the other nation? Would the genocide be stopped in time? Would your army even win? What if another nation takes advantage to invade your country and genocide the people there? Would other nations be brought into the conflict, starting a wider and bloodier war? And what if someone disagreed with your decision but not the "might makes right" mentality, and chose to kill you and assume power? Assuming your country was a democracy before, what is the cost through the years of turning it into a military junta? After all, you have no mandate, so why should anybody obey any laws or rules in future?

And finally, why are the politicians taking no action? What do they know that you don't? What's going on behind the scenes of diplomacy?

This is not a scenario in which it's clear that one course of action is right. And if it's a democracy, general's are not the ones who should be making decisions on whether to invade sovereign nations.

Given the above, I would press through the proper channels, rather than giving up on the rule of law. I would also question why more isn't being done by the politicians.

Except those are not explicitly stated as parts of the premise (aside from the possibility of 'civil' whatever that means. Every other variable you mentioned is entirely based on conjecture that are not at all included in the premise of the question and - in the case of the country I live in - literally not relevant or applicable.

Sure, you can say "aha gotcha" by introducing variables that weren't even implied, and those WOULD make the question more interesting.

And, as the poll shows, the majority of NSers seem to advocate going in

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Ethel mermania
Post Kaiser
 
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Ethel mermania » Thu Oct 29, 2020 5:59 pm

If i have that kind of support in the military, first a coup to keep my rear safe, and then we march

OBEY THE KITTY

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Albrenia
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Albrenia » Thu Oct 29, 2020 6:01 pm

I generally hate war, but I hate genocide even more.

I'd accept whatever punishment came my way afterwards, since I'd undoubtedly be breaking oaths of loyalty by acting thusly, but better to hang for saving millions than live on their corpses.

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Picairn
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Picairn » Thu Oct 29, 2020 6:14 pm

I will put an end to genocide, even if I may be court-martialed and stripped of my ranks and honours.

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Hardscrab
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Founded: Oct 04, 2020
Father Knows Best State

Postby Hardscrab » Thu Oct 29, 2020 6:15 pm

“Gather you weapons men, today we make history! The enemy is within us, among us and in front of us! We will defeat the terrorists across the border and save our brothers and sisters who suffer oppression. Then we march as one against those who have oppressed our people from within our own homeland!”

Then thousands of my soldiers shout war cries and words of enthusiasm as they brandish their rifles. At daybreak we storm across the border in a glorious charge of tanks and helicopters that completely overwhelms the enemy. Then I return to my home country with the entire armed forces and the vast majority of the people in adulation of my military prowess. I depose of the entire previous government and begin ruling my newly formed nation and the territory I invaded with a firm but fair hand. And then, when I die in a glorious gunfight with five assassins a new military-dictator takes over and becomes a ruthless despot that causes three genocides.

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Hardscrab
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Founded: Oct 04, 2020
Father Knows Best State

Postby Hardscrab » Thu Oct 29, 2020 6:16 pm

Ethel mermania wrote:If i have that kind of support in the military, first a coup to keep my rear safe, and then we march

OBEY THE KITTY

(Image)


I’d support the grand dictatorship

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Hardscrab
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Founded: Oct 04, 2020
Father Knows Best State

Postby Hardscrab » Thu Oct 29, 2020 6:20 pm

The New California Republic wrote:It depends what sort of government was in my own nation. If it was a dictatorship etc then a military coup could fix this, and then there could be an invasion of the genocidal nation with official sanction since I'd be the leader.


Of course if it’s a democracy that’s still not stopping you from becoming the supreme leader after you take control of the nations military forces and a bunch of very thankful neighbors

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Ethel mermania
Post Kaiser
 
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Ethel mermania » Thu Oct 29, 2020 6:26 pm

Hardscrab wrote:
Ethel mermania wrote:If i have that kind of support in the military, first a coup to keep my rear safe, and then we march

OBEY THE KITTY

(Image)


I’d support the grand dictatorship

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The Two Jerseys
Post Marshal
 
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Founded: Jun 07, 2012
Father Knows Best State

Postby The Two Jerseys » Thu Oct 29, 2020 6:33 pm

Picairn wrote:I will put an end to genocide, even if I may be court-martialed and stripped of my ranks and honours.

History will vindicate me! To arms! To arms!

Not when you overthrow your corrupt superiors as well...
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Plzen
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Plzen » Thu Oct 29, 2020 11:59 pm

Purpelia wrote:-snip-

I have to ask, since you are the radical individualist of these forums, what do you think about superrational behaviour? Not whether or not that is how humans behave - I’m well aware that it is not - but whether you consider it to be a desirable way for humans to behave and why/why not.
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