Originally posted by hellzdoms
If people are not allowed to kill other people. How comes soldiers have the right to?
Your first phrase assumes something is doing the preventing. I'm going to assume your local culture is admonishing you not to kill other people. Your
local culture may have deified this so that the "message" comes "from God," but still, the underlying admonishment is cultural. Morality is
defined by a culture.
Why would a local culture do that? Because if you are going to build a stable culture, killing off contributing members does not help do that. In some
cultures, you are allowed or even encouraged to kill off some members: old people who have outlived their usefulness and no longer contribute are an
example. Girl babies because the culture wants boys is another. "Honor" killings because you are embarrassed is a third.
So your first phrase is suspect from the start. It is not universally true. Cultures living in harsh environments are likely to have more exceptions
to that rule than cultures living a relatively easy life. Even a culture that professes "Thou shall not kill" has many exceptions, usually allowing
for self-defense, for example.
Now, what about soldiers? Soldiers are the personification of cultural power. They exist to defend the culture against outside enemies AND to project
power, i.e.: to allow a given culture access to more resources. Who is the "enemy"? Anyone who is not part of your culture, who attacks your
culture, or who prevents your culture from obtaining more resources. The enemy is an "OTHER," someone who is not from your culture. Historically
"OTHERS" are branded as inferior to your culture because they do not share it. Barbarians were people who could not speak your language. Cultures
always allow the killing of "OTHERS" because "OTHERS" are not entitled to the same protections as a fellow member of your culture. Yiou are human;
they are primitive. They are animals. You are allowed to kill animals.
Now we are in a very unique time of history. Our brains evolved on the plains of Africa and the forests of Europe. Our world was as far as we could
walk in a day or so. Nothing else mattered. Our tribal group was our culture, which was pretty much the same as the next tribal group down the road,
to which we were related BECAUSE that kept the fighting down to a minimum. If your sister was married to a guy in the next tribe and lived with them,
it was not in your best interests to attack them for no good reason.
But today every Bushman has a cell phone. If something happens in China, we know about it here within minutes. It takes a few hours, minutes even, to
get to another culture.
So the answer to your question is easy, but your intent is laudable because you are expressing the idea that we ought to include "OTHERS" as part of
our world culture so that we stop fighting.
It's a noble goal. Our culture says it is.