Forum:Let's play "Have you ever considered"

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A lot of boring discussions have been going on lately, so I thought, let's add some interesting discussions too. The 'game' is simple, people make one or more controversial/interesting/thought-provoking/know-it-all/etc. statements and people post reactions regular-discussion-style. So let's get started.

Have you ever considered that...

  • ...punishing officers/leaders for the actions of their underlings violates freedom of speech? (talk) 03:30, 23 June 42016 AQD (UTC)
    Dubious at best. Leaders hold responsibility. Their choice of "underlings" as you call them is an exercise of that responsibility. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:29, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
    Saying 'X holds responsibility' is the same thing as saying 'X is gonna be blamed when something goes wrong', so that's pretty much begging the question. Regardless, though, I'm not saying they shouldn't be held accountable. Just that basically everything leaders/officers do comes down to speech, so logically punishing them for misusing their authority over others or failing to fulfill their duties involves penalizing speech. (talk) 00:14, 27 June 42016 AQD (UTC)
    That is the most tortured logic I've ever read. It makes no sense. People who have power can do real harm by misusing it. Nothing about speech. This is dumb. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 14:40, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
    I don't think I've said anything complicated, but let me make it simple and overt. Power operates through speech. Save for through physical coercion, those in power can only exert their will by making it known to their subordinates, who then in turn execute it. When Hitler orders his troops to kill a group of Jews, the act you condemn him for is the order he gives, which is an instance of speech, no? (talk) 05:39, 28 June 2016 (UTC)
    Godwin, drink! Anyways I don't know why you simplified "speech" to only mean spoken words with your example on Hitler; I think you hinder the greater point that Hitler only needed to set a tone through his actions in order to intimidate and encourage his underlings to commit such heinous acts. I think that could easily turn into a debate about incitement and how we may create a slippery slope.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 05:53, 28 June 2016 (UTC) 05:53, 28 June 2016 (UTC)
    I was just going for a simple, straightforward example to make my point (and military orders can be written words too btw). (talk) 06:49, 28 June 2016 (UTC)
  • ...the deadliest act of terrorism in US history was the bombing of Hiroshima? With the second-deadliest following a couple days later because Japan wasn't in enough of a hurry to surrender yet. (talk) 03:30, 23 June 42016 AQD (UTC)
    Wait, are you serious? Yes, we nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but that wasn't "terrorism" that was war, and one we didn't start. There is a distinct difference.
    Terrorism is using fear of (primarily) civilian death/injury to control a populace for a political agenda (ex. fear of another mass shooting or fear of another suicide bombing). Traditionally, terrorist acts may/may not be endorsed or planned by relatively large organizations, then enacted with almost complete autonomy by small groups or individuals, like the 9/11 attacks, San Bernardino, or Charlie Hebdo.
    War, on the other hand, involves hostility from both sides. Our bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were part of a long campaign wherein we moved from island to island, with massive casualties on both sides, all as a very direct result of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Iggles (talk) 14:54, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
    Of course it was an act of war, but how does that exclude it from being an act of terrorism? You think ISIS isn't at war with the rest of the world? Terrorism is a way of waging war, one that seeks to make massive casualties among the enemy, often specifically targetting civilians, to make fighting them extremely unpleasant and to terrorize the enemy into submission. It's a tactic mostly restricted to guerilla warfare, but when a major state actor uses it on a massive scale, e.g. by decimating cities and killing thousands of civilians in mere instants, it doesn't magically stop being terrorism. And Truman made no secret of his intent: "We shall continue to use it until we completely destroy Japan's power to make war. Only a Japanese surrender will stop us." "If they do not now accept our terms they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth." I'm not saying America's war against Japan wasn't justified or that there's no merit to the extent the war was shortened by the atomic bombings, but they probably could've used the bomb in a way where the Japanese were still forced to surrender but with a great deal fewer civilian casualties. (talk) 17:08, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
First, please excuse the formatting. I'm still learning wiki, and don't know how to make proper paragraphs. Also, this is a fun debate.
ISIS vs Earth isn't exactly a good comparison, since ISIS places exactly 0 value on any human life, has almost no real infrastructure beyond captured resources and what amounts to pillager's mandate, and views their war as a fundamental duty of all members of their religion. If ever a true "total war" scenario has existed, it is in the mind of the ISIS fighter.
Terrorism is a way of waging war in the same way that raping women and children until their husbands and fathers vote your way is an election strategy. It might eventually work, but everyone will hate you for it.
Yes, Truman said those things. That doesn't make it terrorism, either. His statements were essentially "we're gonna win. We are winning. If Japan doesn't agree that we've won, then we're gonna pummel them."
How would you suggest having used the bombs in a manner that would force Japanese surrender without massive civilian casualties? Ever since the introduction of ranged artillery to the battlefield, it's been a given that using said artillery (or plane-dropped bombs after the advent of flight) would entail civilian casualties, because military targets are almost always based around relatively large civilian populations to A) exploit the manpower available for manufacturing of tools and weapons in a timely and efficient manner, and B) to protect said civilian population from invasion. Quite literally the only manner in which we could have introduced the Japanese government to the devastating weapon that is the nuclear bomb without massive civilian casualty would have been to take Japanese government officials to a testing range, which they weren't exactly likely to do. Iggles (talk) 11:55, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
Well, it's simple, really. Just bring the testing range to them: Bomb a largely unpopulated area right next to their capital. To intimidate the enemy into surrendering you don't need to kill thousands of people, you only need to show the people in charge the weight and proximity of the threat. (talk) 20:13, 24 June 42016 AQD (UTC)
You do realise that the bomb was a political decisiin and not a military one. Most, if not all, military leaders at the time denounced it as unnecessary and cruel. It was used to intimate the Soviets after we gave them Eastern Europe. It didn't work because they were already in the process of making their own bomb using the intelligence they gathered from our research. It didn't even force the Japanese to surrender; the Soviet invasion of Manchuria scared them not the A-bomb. All the US had to do was let Japan keep some territories and agree to not prosecute the Emperor; we never ended up prosecuting the Emperor and the Soviets took some of Japan's territories which has resulted in land disputes that have lasted to today. Regardless, if you use violence to intimidate a peoples you have committed terrorism.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 21:16, 24 June 2016 (UTC) 21:16, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
I guess terrorism has to be defined: violence against civilians to achieve a political aim. Hiroshima falls under that category, but the Tokyo firebombing actually killed more people, so I'd say that is the biggest act of terrorism. That's in the past though. PBfreespace (talk) 00:57, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
An invasion of Japan would have been an utter disaster for the Japanese. The USA already had the examples of Okinawa and Guadacanal, where literally thousands of Japanese troops committed suicide rather than surrender; and on Okinawa, the Japanese military attemped to 'persuade' civilian populations to do likewise. Fighting this kind of war on the main islands would mean a US occupation much less charitable than the one they got. And of course the 800 pound gorilla in the room is the Soviet Union, which was gearing up to do its part to defeat the last standing Axis power. Japan may have ended up divided between Cold War statelets like Korea and Germany did. The bomb was the best option at the time. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 22:40, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
Well according to the United States Strategic Bombing Survey, a panel of 1,000 experts sent to Japan by Truman, “Nevertheless, it seems clear that, even without the atomic bombing attacks, air supremacy over Japan could have exerted sufficient pressure to bring about unconditional surrender and obviate the need for invasion. Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey’s opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945,…Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated." Many US military leaders were against the bomb: Eisenhower stated, “During his (Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson) recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives ,”; General MacArthur saw no strategic use for the bomb and wasn't even consulted on its use nor was he even given knowledge of the A-bombs existence; Admiral Nimitz declared in a public statement that, “The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military standpoint, in the defeat of Japan.” According to Prof. Ronal Takaki in his book Hiroshima: Why America Dropped the Atomic Bomb, William Leahy said this about an invasion of Japan, “I was unable to see any justification for an invasion of an already thoroughly defeated Japan. My conclusion, with which the naval representatives agreed, was that America’s least expensive course of action was to continue to intensify the air and sea blockade…I believe that a completely blockaded Japan would then fall by its own weight. Japan had also planned to send Prince Konoye as a special emissary to Moscow on special orders from the Emperor to secure peace at any price.
So then why did we use the bomb. Firstly, according to Yale Professor Gaddis Smith, "It has been demonstrated that the decision to bomb Japan was centrally connected to Truman's confrontational approach to the Soviet Union." Secondly, Truman was a racist calling the Japanese, “savages, ruthless, merciless, and fanatic.” Thirdly, the Manhattan Project cost the US an estimated $1,889,604,000 (in 1945 dollars) so to not use the bomb would have been a massive waste of taxpayer money. Lastly, the US had killed a total of 315,922 Japanese in its firebombing of 67 cities which was higher than the estimated amount of Japanese who would die in the A-bombings.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 06:41, 30 June 2016 (UTC) 06:41, 30 June 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps rationality is a vacuum. Absent of anything that doesn't matter, as it were. αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο (talk/stalk) 00:40, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
  • ...many, perhaps most, people prefer to live in communities of people who look like themselves and share their language and customs. This humble preference is judged as 'racism' and 'xenophobic' by an urban elite taught to prefer a 'vibrant, multicultural' community. To the extent the urbanites' preference is made official policy, or expressed in language of harsh moral judgment, it is perceived by folks of the opposite camp as an alien and elitist imposture: classism, in other words. Given the chance to voice their disdain in secret, the humble are likely to do it. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 05:06, 30 June 2016 (UTC)
I'm not a big opponent of populations self-selecting to live mostly within their own kind, but when it gets to the level of actual segregation wherein there is economic harm done, that's unacceptable. For instance, Chicago is an ethnically segregated city, with city blocks divided by race. That's bad, and results in insane crime, gang violence, and gross economic inequality. Because the races segregate, racism increases. I think the government should take strong action to essentially spread everyone out equally across the space. That sounds extreme, but what's really extreme is the racial segregation that we have right now. PBfreespace (talk) 21:38, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
Chicago falls on the 'urban' side of the urban/suburban/rural divide. And Chicago, like many other cities, fell victim to the 1960s/70s 'planning' bug, which wrecked working neighborhoods and forcibly separated residential from living space in the name of 'slum clearance'. The infamous Cabrini Green high-rise warren was in Chicago, IIRC. Wrecking the neighborhoods removed the 'eyes on the street' provided by small business owners and residents in the urban mix, and created conditions where gang violence and crime were harder to police. American culture just doesn't mix with International Style high-rise housing very well. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 15:12, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
We need new urbanism, and we need it now. Google it if you don't know what it is. PB (talk) 22:41, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

Have you ever considered... what a planet would look like if ...[edit]

it had a population of sentient creatures that were separable into fuzzy-edged groups based on clusters of genetic traits (which, for want of a better term, we could call "races") and that those groups exhibited real, measurable differences in averages of quantitative traits such as intelligence? What would the social and political dynamics look like on such a planet? Klortho (talk) 21:49, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

Make that question easier: What if Neanderthals were still around as an ostensibly different group? another Jewish conspiracy by (((Laurogeita Hamabost))) (talk) 21:53, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
Then judging individuals based on what group they belong to as opposed to what specific traits they individually exhibit would still be total BS, sorry. (talk) 07:55, 5 September 2016 (UTC)