Debate and Discussion

Does the End Justify the Means?
kyupol at 8:28AM, Feb. 9, 2011
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We have a group of scientists and military personnel who get together for a meeting. In that meeting it is discussed that the present state of the world is corrupt and rotten to the core and therefore a new order must rise and replace the current existing order.

It was agreed that in order to construct this new utopian society, their work must be hidden.

To carry out their plans, they decided to build an army of super soldiers that will carry out various missions that include assassination, terrorist attacks, sabotage, etc. The targets would include military, political, religious figures… as well as organized criminal mafias.

Because this world needs to be cleansed of the scum of the earth. Because judgement needs to be passed on these corrupt bastards. Because there is no such thing as God (as these super intelligent scientists and military commanders concluded)… therefore it is up to them to carry out judgement on the wicked.

As to HOW they will find recruits for the super soldier program?

Well thats easy. Go abduct runaways and orphans and homeless children.

And then subject these children to a brutal training regimen that is so brutal that even if you are an experienced battle hardened soldier, you can DIE during the training.

Training regimen includes trauma based mind control combined with techniques of hypnosis, NLP, and psychiatric drugs.

The children's minds will be split into multiple sub-personalities as they are abused and subjected to those above mentioned mind-control methods (trauma, hypnosis, NLP, drugs, etc.).

The resulting super soldier as a result of such a project has superior strength, speed, endurance, natural chemical and bioweapon resistance, has psychic powers (remote viewing, astral projection, built-in night vision, etc.), can stay underwater for hours… point is, highly superior to the average human soldier and one of them can take on a platoon of regular human troops any day. Point is, the soldier is the transhumanist dream come true.

___________

The above scenario may be fictional. But the question is…

IS IT MORALLY JUSTIFIABLE TO ABUSE CHILDREN TO TURN THEM INTO SUPER SOLDIERS SO THAT THEY CAN BE USED TO ELIMINATE CERTAIN TARGETS DEEMED TO BE “SCUM OF THE EARTH”?

Does the end justify the means?

Discuss.
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:27PM
imshard at 9:55AM, Feb. 9, 2011
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Kyupol, obvious fiction to reality objections aside I'll tackle this on hypothectical grounds.

To start, you very clearly defined the means in order to make it seem unpalatable but not the targets. “Scum” is such an ambiguous term. I have to assume you simply meant adversaries of the cabal. This could only be people who stand in the way of the plan's successful completion. These adversaries may or may not be “corrupt”.

The goal is also not clearly defined or necessarily desirable. The “utopian” society is defined by whatever criteria the planners set. Will it simply consist of a “cleansed” version of the current system? Would they attempt to dismantle the current governments in favor of their own social structure? While it may start with noble intent that would quickly dissolve into an military dictatorship like so many other attempts at forced paradise. Therefore this is a scenario whose end result is simply worldwide coups in favor of a new order.

So in short my answer to your question is: No.
As neither the end nor the means are acceptable.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:59PM
Hawk at 11:00AM, Feb. 9, 2011
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That whole premise sounds like your average pretentious anime, and that's even before we get to the kidnapped orphans. Because kidnapped people would obviously be so much better than finding recruits who believed in the cause. Who's going to carry out the kidnapping? Sephiroth?

There's just no part of that premise that makes any sense. And the ends sound terrible! So who even cares about the means?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:47PM
kyupol at 5:52PM, Feb. 9, 2011
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That whole premise sounds like your average pretentious anime, and that's even before we get to the kidnapped orphans. Because kidnapped people would obviously be so much better than finding recruits who believed in the cause. Who's going to carry out the kidnapping? Sephiroth?


Children's minds are more malleable.

Aside from them believing everything you tell them, their minds are easier to split and program. Ask any psychologist. Children are more hypnotizable than adults.

Multiple personality disorder is easier to create in a child than in an adult.

The reason they need to be a multiple is because:

1)In the event of capture, they will not know anything at all when interrogated. So from the interrogator's perspective, it doesnt matter how much torture or soft persuasion you use. You wont be getting any information because the one you captured (or the front personality) knows nothing.
A recruit who believes in the cause is more likely to break during interrogation and when he breaks, there goes all your secrets. What about “know only what you need to know?” Even if he wont know specific names and places, he will definitely know things like where he was trained, how he was trained, as well as his own life story in where the interrogators can gather clues.

So… a multiple's mind has the following “program” installed more or less…
If (captured) {switch to subpersonality that doesnt know anything}


2) While the programmed super soldier is out in society performing his/her cover job which could be anything from mcdonalds worker to automechanic to policeman to doctor… they completely dont know that they are a programmed super soldier until a trigger is activated. Trigger could be a secret phrase, or picture, or smell, or just about anything. Trigger can also be done through remote control electronic means.

Because if they are a fully aware recruit, something might happen along the line in where they will be convinced that what they are doing is immoral therefore they will turn on their masters.

NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:27PM
ozoneocean at 9:19PM, Feb. 9, 2011
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kyupol
Does the end justify the means?
In your scenario: no.
Purely for technical reasons, since the means could not result in the desired ends- you wouldn't be making super soldiers, you'd just be ending up with pathetically damaged people who're useless for anything.

If the ends are such an amazing focus for them that they don't really care about the the realistic mechanics of making their means work, only that they're making an extreme gesture towards achieving it… well then the ends DO justify the means, mainly because that's the only reason those means are occurring in the first place :)

——————
Do “ends” justify the “means” generally? The old adage tells us “no” pretty conclusively, but logic tells us that it really depends on the situation and exactly what sorts of “ends” and “means” you're talking about.
For your scenario it depends on perspective: For believers it's a yes, for logic the observer and the poor pawns in the game; no.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
BffSatan at 9:13PM, Feb. 14, 2011
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I have to disagree; I am very much in favor of kidnapping orphans and turning them into bioweapons.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:21AM
patrickdevine at 12:24AM, Feb. 15, 2011
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ozoneocean
In your scenario: no.
Purely for technical reasons, since the means could not result in the desired ends- you wouldn't be making super soldiers, you'd just be ending up with pathetically damaged people who're useless for anything.
Yes and no, from what I can tell that imaginary training regimen seems to result in making really violent mentally unstable people. They'd make good cage fighters I guess, lousy soldiers though. Even if they are stronger or faster than conventional soldiers the fact that they're mentally broken makes it unsure that they can keep a cool head under duress or think tactically.
That aside there's some technical problems with supersoldiers as a general idea, like what to do with them during peacetime or after they've endured so much muscular/skeletal damage they can't fight anymore. One option is to reintroduce them into civilian life, potentially problematic or even dangerous. Another viable option is to euthanize them once they're no longer useful, also problematic if for no other reason than people usually hate killing someone who helped them and might even be a hero.
In short, supersoldiers create more problems than they solve.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:41PM
El Cid at 5:05AM, Feb. 15, 2011
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That euthanasia thing probably wouldn't help much with morale either, I'm guessing.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
Genejoke at 5:23AM, Feb. 15, 2011
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That's why robots are the future soldiers of choice. they follow orders and no one moans when they are decommissioned and sold for scrap.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:34PM
ramlama at 7:34AM, Feb. 15, 2011
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Genejoke
That's why robots are the future soldiers of choice. they follow orders and no one moans when they are decommissioned and sold for scrap.
That just gave me a terrible mental image of a soylent green-esque future with wars for desperately needed population control (and the meat is salvaged from the battlefield so the kids back at home can eat). Gives whole new meaning to calling a battlefield a slaughterhouse.
——–
I'm mostly with Ozone on this one. IME, the biggest problem with people using the phrase “the ends justify the means” is how very, very often the chosen means couldn't possibly lead to the desired ends.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:00PM
kyupol at 7:30PM, Feb. 15, 2011
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Yes and no, from what I can tell that imaginary training regimen seems to result in making really violent mentally unstable people.

I agree. If you can kill someone as easily as changing your clothes you have mental problems.

They'd make good cage fighters I guess, lousy soldiers though. Even if they are stronger or faster than conventional soldiers the fact that they're mentally broken makes it unsure that they can keep a cool head under duress or think tactically.

This is where hypnosis, NLP (neuro-linguistic-programming), psychiatric drugs, and transhumanist enhancements can come in handy.

hypnosis and NLP - to create new sub-personalities and post-hypnotic suggestions that are tied in via anchoring… done Pavlov's dogs style. Certain triggers (like words, phrases, images, etc.) would activate “programs” that were “installed” in their heads.

psychiatric drugs - to help with the hypnosis and NLP.

transhumanist enhancements - you can inject them with chemicals that will enhance their IQ (to keep a cool head under duress or think tactically). With an enhanced IQ combined with very carefully crafted NLP and hypnosis, you can heavily alter their sense of morality as you throw in alot of logical arguments that would make your cause seem very good.

A math teacher of mine who is also well-versed in philosophy demonstrated the possibility of using a math equation that is logical but in the end, 2 = 1. Therefore what is wrong can be made right (as far as the mind of the brainwashed is concerned) using logical arguments interspersed with hypnosis and NLP.

There's brainwashing for all types of people. Its not just dumbed down masses who are susceptible to brainwashing. Train them they are special. They are the elite. And they are here to usher in a Brave New World where everything is all fine and wonderful.

If you notice… its the intelligent ones who are difficult to convince. There are intelligent people in every belief system. Christian, atheist, muslim, etc. To convince them to abandon their present belief structure, you need to convince them using logical arguments instead of solely targetting their emotions.

Also, the intelligent Christian or Atheist would rather wear a nice suit and do an intellectual debate while using big words… in a calm, focused manner. Meanwhile its the morons in both camps who would resort to slogans and name-calling and would get emotional and scream at each other.


That aside there's some technical problems with supersoldiers as a general idea, like what to do with them during peacetime or after they've endured so much muscular/skeletal damage they can't fight anymore. One option is to reintroduce them into civilian life, potentially problematic or even dangerous.

This is where MPD (multiple personality disorder) comes in handy.

They can be put into society in where they can function normally and not even know they are a super soldier.

Another viable option is to euthanize them once they're no longer useful, also problematic if for no other reason than people usually hate killing someone who helped them and might even be a hero.
In short, supersoldiers create more problems than they solve.

Suicide programming that will make em suddenly shoot themselves in the head or jump off a building… or putting a time-delayed virus in them is easier than euthanizing them.

NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:27PM
patrickdevine at 7:43PM, Feb. 15, 2011
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kyupol
This is where hypnosis, NLP (neuro-linguistic-programming), psychiatric drugs, and transhumanist enhancements can come in handy.

hypnosis and NLP - to create new sub-personalities and post-hypnotic suggestions that are tied in via anchoring… done Pavlov's dogs style. Certain triggers (like words, phrases, images, etc.) would activate “programs” that were “installed” in their heads.


I recall you mentioning that, it seems a lot is left to chance. Like hoping that said supersoldier never encounters the trigger before they're meant to be “activated” or whatever.

This is where MPD (multiple personality disorder) comes in handy.

They can be put into society in where they can function normally and not even know they are a super soldier.

…I must have a different understanding of multiple personality than you.

Suicide programming that will make em suddenly shoot themselves in the head or jump off a building… or putting a time-delayed virus in them is easier than euthanizing them.

That's not really easier, it's a lot more technically demanding actually. All those methods can do is absolve whoever's in charge of the guilt of killing someone.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:41PM
BffSatan at 8:41PM, Feb. 15, 2011
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Look, I think you're all just looking at this wrong. Sometimes a man has got to do what a man has got to do; and sometimes that thing he has to do is brainwash orphans until they can kill grown men with their bare hands.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:21AM
ozoneocean at 9:17PM, Feb. 15, 2011
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patrickdevine
Yes and no, from what I can tell that imaginary training regimen seems to result in making really violent mentally unstable people. They'd make good cage fighters I guess, lousy soldiers though. Even if they are stronger or faster than conventional soldiers the fact that they're mentally broken makes it unsure that they can keep a cool head under duress or think tactically.
I doubt they'd even get to that stage.
-We have plenty of child soldiers in Africa to look on and see how this works. Granted, the “training regimen” isn't very sophisticated, but they are cut off from their families and normal society from a very young age and war and fighting is ALL they know growing up. They don't end up any better at soldiering than anyone else, just simple canon-fodder.
You really have to know normal society in order to know war, because war is an abnormal state.

-As for children trained extremely hard in physical fitness for things like gymnastics- they don't grow up into super strong, extremely able people. All it means is that they're going to get severe joint problems and skeletal injuries a lot earlier in life than other people. -Those are growing bodies so they're subject to too much change, muscle mass won't stay around, bones are moving and stretching, puberty is changing things…
A result like Jackie Chan is a rarity.

-Mental training won't have great results either, even if it was more predictable than it is now.
Increasing a person's IQ can't really be done with drugs (as kyu suggests), all that can do is theoretically increase capacity to learn. To increase IQ means to help someone learn more, which makes them a lot less susceptible to control.
If you keep them stupid and train them like apes or dogs, then that's the level of use you'll get out of them.

Genejoke
That's why robots are the future soldiers of choice. they follow orders and no one moans when they are decommissioned and sold for scrap.
Like the ABC robots in Judge Dread?

BffSatan
Look, I think you're all just looking at this wrong. Sometimes a man has got to do what a man has got to do; and sometimes that thing he has to do is brainwash orphans until they can kill grown men with their bare hands.
No, I at least acknowledged that from the point of view of the crazy people who support the plan- ANY means are justified by the end they want :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
mlai at 9:11PM, Feb. 22, 2011
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Kyupol seems much more interested in discussing the means, than whether or not the end justify the means.

I think Kyupol should have modified his opening question and post. Obviously he just wants to have a discussion on videogame super assassins.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
Genejoke at 1:11AM, Feb. 23, 2011
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More like he wants to discuss brain washing.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:34PM
bravo1102 at 10:37PM, Feb. 23, 2011
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Exactly. And it's been proven that outside of videogames, action thriller novels and movies brain washing isn't really all that effective.

Remember the motto of the profesional interrogator: Everyone breaks after three days, but they always recover and you have to do it all over again.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:34AM
patrickdevine at 4:33PM, Feb. 25, 2011
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Well, the opening question pretty much answers itself.
Given what's been said it's apparently so likely that a loyal recruit will end up questioning his orders and defecting that having a mentally unstable, drugged-up supersoldier go Gomer Pyle on your ass is an acceptable risk.
bravo1102
Exactly. And it's been proven that outside of videogames, action thriller novels and movies brain washing isn't really all that effective.
I know! I tried washing my brain once and it just got dirty again the next day. What a waste of time!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:41PM
Blackhoodcomics at 3:48PM, Feb. 26, 2011
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Leaving aside the scenario that the author of this thread put forward, the question of whether or not the ends justify the means depends on the importance of the latter ( and I know that value is relative ). An example of the ends not justifying the means is a thief killing everyone in the store to swipe a pack of bubble gum. A highly controversial example of ends justifying the means is the incineration of hundreds of thousands of civilians by the United States to end Japanese aggression during World War II. In most questions this complex, there is no one right answer.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM
ayesinback at 6:45PM, Feb. 26, 2011
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incarceration. I hope incineration would instigate an immediate revolution.



If we're only talking about the question of ends justifying means, and not the particular scenario involved, I'd say almost always no. The ends don't justify because there are just too many times the “ends” are never realized, and all we're left with is the means.
under new management
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
sama at 1:07AM, Feb. 28, 2011
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kyupol
IS IT MORALLY JUSTIFIABLE TO ABUSE CHILDREN TO TURN THEM INTO SUPER SOLDIERS SO THAT THEY CAN BE USED TO ELIMINATE CERTAIN TARGETS DEEMED TO BE “SCUM OF THE EARTH”?

Does the end justify the means?

I kinda think we're already doing that to EVERY child, with all the first person shooter games out now. Korean LAN cafes, are full of super soldiers.

But seriously, we're abusing children already in a bunch of countries by taking away basic rights, or giving them too many rights in other places and numbing them to happiness or real personal growth. In this world you can be either a real African child soldier, or a kid in a LAN cafe who has no goal or meaning in life other than to get a frag.

There isn't enough debate or discussion about the moral justification of THAT let alone scenarios involving super soldiers.

Live life as the new Death
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:19PM
blindsk at 11:56AM, Feb. 28, 2011
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sama
I kinda think we're already doing that to EVERY child, with all the first person shooter games out now. Korean LAN cafes, are full of super soldiers.

I like the sarcasm.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:25AM
sama at 4:12AM, March 1, 2011
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blindsk
sama
I kinda think we're already doing that to EVERY child, with all the first person shooter games out now. Korean LAN cafes, are full of super soldiers.

I like the sarcasm.

Oh you'll think it's sarcasm until it's too late ;)

Live life as the new Death
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:19PM
mlai at 9:30PM, March 4, 2011
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I'm currently watching the Youtube series “Wake Up Call: The New World Order.” I'm sure Kyupol knows everything these videos are talking about. It all sounds very plausible, actually, rather than fantastical paranoia.

And I can only say…

BRING IT ON, MAN! Yeah, one world government! Global socialism! Big Brother! Population culling! AWESOMENESS! Bilderberg Group, run for president, I wanna cast my vote FOR YOU!!

Seriously, I'm sick of the stupidity and ignorance of mob rule, i.e. democracy. As for despots, there will always be despots, just on smaller scales. And politicians and fat cat CEOs will always be thieves and liars blinded by short-term greed. At least with the NWO, we can have evil overlords WITH VISION! I applaud you!

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
patrickdevine at 11:16AM, March 5, 2011
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Yes mlai, but what about the trains? I refuse to live in a totalitarian world order where the damn trains don't run on time!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:41PM

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