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June 9, 2010 at 9:54 am #139805Anonymous
Can a soldier be a Jedi, buy this I mean if you are a soldier you work for a Government and some times Governments start wars for self interest not self defence , so you may end up killing people for a very unjust reason, this happened to my Father and a few other people I have met over the years, this is why I could never be a soldier, although I have practiced the warrior way since I was 14, and even learned ways to harm people, but only in self defence and defence of others, this does not mean I am passing judgments on any wars started by any of your countries and I am not condemning any one who is a solider, I do not wish to start any arguments, only to start a debate, so what do you lot think?June 9, 2010 at 10:44 am #154938JaxKeymaster
Oh, you mean a soldier. There are many military and former military that are Jedi. Whether or not a war is just doesn’t mean a death is or isn’t just. In war you are shooting the enemy, people trying to kill you. Ideally civilians are not being harmed, though certainly not on purpose. Considering how many people Jedi killed or maimed in the fictional world there is no conflict between the Jedi path and that of the military. It’s primarily a different focus and intent behind what you do.
Personally, I never deployed as I served in peace time. But I did learn to kill, I practiced to kill. Hell, that’s one of the Marine Corps motto’s, “One shot, one kill”. One of the reasons for this is that you are only hitting what you intend to hit – not civilians. And in one sense it is more humane – going for the fast death rather than the slow death. And increasingly the military teaches you to think about what you’re doing rather than indiscriminate targeting. You’re also taught to disobey a wrongful order, such as killing innocents. It takes a lot of courage, but a Jedi should refuse an unjust order, just as any other military person should. So again, no conflict.
Everyone’s experience will be different but I can think of at least four Jedi who have recently served in Iraq or Afghanistan, and another few that served before these wars. They’re all good people and good Jedi. Serving made gave me a foundation of strength and determination to survive the difficulties life handed me after. It’s made me a better Jedi and I don’t regret the decision to serve in the least. In fact it was 12 years ago yesterday that I began my journey to become a Marine and I remember so much of it like yesterday.
All good questions.June 9, 2010 at 3:28 pm #154943MemnoichParticipant
I myself served in the Army during peace time, except for the week when I was in S. Korea and N. Korea brought weapons into the DMZ. I agree with Jax, The military gave me a strong foundations of inner strength, discipline, and self reliance that I don’t think I would have gotten elsewhere. Had that situation gotten bad, I may have had to act, at that point it would have been about defending myself, the soldiers around me, and the innocents nearby. It wouldn’t have been about what ever reason for the war, it would have been about defense and minimizing casualties.
Now you could argue that we have been in wars for the wrong reasons, but that is on the government’s shoulder’s, and those that elected that government, but not on the individual soldier, they are there to protect the soldier next to them, and the innocents around them, to minimize casualties, and to help however they can. Even if you think were went to Iraq, Kuwait, or Afghanistan for the wrong reasons, that’s on the government, the soldiers that went, made a difference, and helped. That is what’s important. Look at the movies, do you think all of the Genosians were evil or bad, or is it simply that they were part of a world whose leaders choose to separate, they were doing their duty, and while they may have been innocent, once they fired on the Jedi in believed self defense, they forced the Jedi to defend themselves as well.June 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm #154947Kol DrakeModerator
Forgive me up front if I ramble a bit…
I sweated through the ‘last bingo pull’ of the Viet Nam era draft my senior year of high school. My number was ‘high enough’ that I was not called. I told many I would ‘never go in the military’. Lesson: never say never.
About four years later I voluntarily joined the US Army; trained as a linguist and electronic countermeasures and served overseas in West Germany and Turkey. I shot pop up targets and never a person but, first and primarily, one is a soldier… expected to ‘shoot to kill’ and ‘hold the line’ (and for most, keep yourself and your buddy alive). In my opinion, doing what I did was better then having to shoot since what I ‘heard’ and reported had the potential to stop ‘the bad guys’ from getting ammo and supplies or disrupting their communications so they could not organize and orchestrate attacks or maneuvers against ‘us’.
Yes, the government ‘declares war’ and those in the military go where ordered and must, at times, shoot to kill. Typically, it is kids shooting at other kids… which is lunacy in the extreme. Oft times, I wonder how long wars would last if the old farts yelling for war had to heft the weapons, lie in the cold and mud, and take aim down the barrel while the ‘other old farts’ tried to do the same in their direction. But, that is my form of madness… thinking ‘man’ can be rational enough to NOT get into such situations.
As with the ‘best battle plans’, which are obsolete once the first shot is fired — most times, it is not ‘kill the
but more a case of keeping your butt and your buddy next to yours safe. In my case, if war broke out, my team would be sitting on top of the highest mountains in Germany… the targeting point for artillery for the ‘good guys and bad’. Our life expectancy was 3-4 hours once shells started flying since we were ‘out front’ of everyone else. Supposedly, once our position got hit we were to ‘fall back’ as best as possible and grab a rifle at camp (miles away) and then be ‘shooters’. Luckily, we never had to see what the actual ‘life expectancy’ would be.
Being a soldier does not make one less a person nor less a spiritual person nor less a Jedi Realist. One does what one feels is ‘right’ for their path… be it in the military, working at a factory which makes ‘parts’ or selling produce or making clothes etc. One can embody the ideals of a Jedi and still ‘be’ whatever they are striviing to be… it will shine through in the living of the ideals.
June 9, 2010 at 4:59 pm #154950Anonymous
Does this not contradict the core values of being a Jedi Realist e.g 7. Respects and defends life in all its forms.
8. Is a guardian of peace and justice. So if some one is fighting in what they believe is an unjust war, they would be working against peace and justice. I nearly became a soldier once, but I changed my mind after studying the history of some military actions that were done for purely political or financial reasons and the politicians told a lot of lies, the Suez crises comes to mind where 3 countries invaded Egypt, it seems to stand out to me because my Father was involved he had to do national service or go to jail, and he refused the medal they offered him because it was nothing to be proud of.June 9, 2010 at 5:19 pm #154953Beral KhanParticipant
i too served as an Infantryman in the Army. This was prior to my Jedi Realist days by 20 years.
and it can be difficult to consider oneself ‘Jedi like’ when fighting in a war you do not believe in.
however, if you sign up, you are taking an oath to do what you are told within the legality of your country. if you feel it is unjust, you have the right to say so.
but nothing is ever black and white enough to really know in most cases. And if the force puts you in a position like that, it will give you a way out. to learn to be a warrior, one must know war, in my opinion. how one learns that is not up to me to say.June 9, 2010 at 5:20 pm #154954JaxKeymaster
No contradiction. In fact, many of the people who developed those core values were in the military at some point in time. It’s not the soldier’s job to decide whether a war is just or unjust. We are not able to know that from our perspective anyway. We trust that our leaders make good decisions. But as we’ve all said, it doesn’t matter because on the ground you are only concerned with protecting your buddy and the innocents around you. You aren’t killing anyone and everyone but looking to neutralize the situation.
How do we defend innocent people who are being killed, beaten, raped and tortured by a military or militia? You can’t just talk them out of it. These situations require another military to come in and remove the militia from power. Individuals can’t do this, it requires a military. I don’t agree with war, I believe we have to evolve beyond war. But until we do we have to continue to intervene, in as humane a way as possible, to protect people. Do governments have other motives? Of course, otherwise we’d be at war in Africa or any other country where genocide is taking place. But there is no conflict between one’s morals and one’s military obligation unless one doesn’t stay true to their higher self.
Yes, there are bad situations like what your father dealt with. And in that situation we all have to decide what is the right response individually. But this is true with all situations in our lives. We all have to try to make the best decision we can and live with the results. That’s where the Jedi path is particularly helpful because we gain the tools to face our dark times and overcome them.June 9, 2010 at 5:21 pm #154955Beral KhanParticipant
may I point out, from the movies we see the Jedi fighting in a war. in the end it is shown to be wrong, but they chose to do so. they were soldiers.June 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm #154956JaxKeymaster
And to say explicitly, you always have the choice to disobey orders. If you believe something is truly wrong, you refuse. You may be court martialed, but if it is the right path to take then that’s what it takes. Thankfully I’ve never been in a situation personally. Though I did make the difficult decision to stop compromising my integrity and refuse to live under don’t ask don’t tell, which gave me a speedy discharge. So I’d like to think I just might be able to disobey an unlawful order. Not always, but it’s possible.June 9, 2010 at 5:37 pm #154957Anonymous
my old martial arts master used to say `a warrior decides who to fight , a soldier fights, who he is told`. his English was very bad, but I understood what he meant.
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