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Should I exempt from the military if it means that a big part of my society would hate me?

 
 
deepit
 
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2019 10:13 am
I’m 18 years old and I live in Israel and soon I'm going to be evaluated on whether I'm fit for the military or not. I'm quite certain that with my mental health background I could choose to be exempted from it or, I could say that I feel great mentally and go to the military. I know for a fact that if I exempt from the military (no matter what the reason is) a big chunk of my society will despise me for it. I also know that if I choose to exempt from the military, it’s because I don’t want to spend 3 years of my life doing something that I hate and that would hardly benefit me in the rest of my life. So basically, my reasoning for exiting the military is purely selfish. But, if I come to the conclusion that the most probable outcomes of me leaving the military would be that the world either doesn’t change at all or that it becomes a better place, I would then be able to feel good about myself and my decision and on top of that, whenever I’ll receive any sort of message saying I’m a terrible person for exiting the military it wouldn’t hurt me because I’ll know that the truth is that I’ve either bettered the world or I didn’t hurt it in any way.
So the question then becomes, can I measure the most probable outcomes of me leaving the military? So now my thinking process is this, unless I become a super famous figure, my decision isn’t likely to influence other people to exempt from the military (for their various reasons). And in this case, my decision probably has very little impact at all on the world and in turn I am able to take the moral high-ground by saying that my decision hasn’t done any harm to the world and I can “deflect” any hate messages I get saying I’m an awful person for exempting from the military. But in the other scenario where I do become a successful influential figure (it might be important to mention that my intention is to get there at some point) now the most probable outcome is that I’ve also influenced other people to do what I did and exempt from the military.
And now the question becomes, assuming that I’ve influenced enough people to exit the military to make any sort of difference in the world, would that difference be good or bad? To specify the question: if the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) are weakened (since fewer people enroll) would that do good to the world? Perhaps it would save more Palestinian lives because the IDF can’t afford to use as much force as they could before against Palestinians. Or maybe because the IDF is now weaker, it would pressure Israel to come up with a peace solution quicker. Or on the flip side, maybe if the IDF is weaker Hamas would decide it’s time to start a war and a lot of lives from both sides would be lost.
Are these outcomes too “far out there”? Is it even possible to measure the probable outcome of the world by me exempting from the military? Or maybe the question is different, perhaps because my intended career paths (director/actor/internet personality) all include being an influential figure and therefore I go forward with my exemption knowing that if I succeed with my goals it would result in other people exempting the question is now isolated to the outcome of the IDF weakening. That’s important because now even if the probability that my exemption is actually going to weaken the IDF is very low it still doesn’t matter because I exempted with a goal (my career path) that basically guarantees that (in some degree). So if I find out that a weakened IDF would be bad for the world I would blame myself for it even if it didn’t actually happen in reality.
I thought about this a lot, and I don’t think I could even roughly predict the probable outcome of that. And if I can’t find any probable outcome in which the IDF weakening is either good for the world or bad for the world I can assume that it is neutral, right? If so, that would mean that my decision to exit the military is morally neutral too correct? If this is the conclusion I come to, then I could happily exempt from the military because now I won’t feel bad about myself and I won’t be affected by negative comments later on saying I’m a bad person for exiting the military because I would know that it’s not true since I haven’t caused any harm to the world.
Do you think this logic is correct? I would really appreciate it if you could point out any flaws in my thinking or answer any of my other questions if you think your answer would be able to lead me to a final conclusion on which I could base my decision upon. I would also like to point out that I often get in these thought loops where I overthink and analyze a problem so much until it grows way out of proportion and it stops making any sense. Which is why I legitimately don’t know if all these different aspects of my problem that I’ve detailed in this letter are just a complete irrational mess or not.
In any case though, thanks for your time and help.
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Type: Question • Score: 3 • Views: 1,802 • Replies: 15
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Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2019 01:47 pm
You have to follow your own actual beliefs.

If you believe serving is wrong, then go that path. It doesn't matter how others may view you or your action. Only you are guaranteed to be with you for the rest of your life.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2019 04:01 pm
Morality is a slippery fish and, like you've pointed out, there are three conflicting factors involved, e.g. the morality of one's duty to oneself vs. one's duty to their society vs. one's duty to the wider world. To reduce the possible conflicts choose two of the three that matter the most to you and continue from there. Don't fret about the future with this kind of decision. You don't know what it holds. "The best laid schemes of mice and men go often askew" and it's beyond our control.
0 Replies
 
vikorr
 
  2  
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2019 05:53 pm
@deepit,
Quote:
Perhaps it would save more Palestinian lives because the IDF can’t afford to use as much force as they could before against Palestinians. Or maybe because the IDF is now weaker, it would pressure Israel to come up with a peace solution quicker. Or on the flip side, maybe if the IDF is weaker Hamas would decide it’s time to start a war and a lot of lives from both sides would be lost.
Is this not at the heart of your question?

Quote:
And in this case, my decision probably has very little impact at all on the world and in turn I am able to take the moral high-ground by saying that my decision hasn’t done any harm to the world

Moral high ground? Which moral high ground is that?

If you believed that service was hurting A or B or even C without cause, and on that basis you refused, then you have moral high ground. But you are not arguing that - you are arguing ‘my singular absence = nothing / ###’. There is no moral high ground in that.

Quote:
I also know that if I choose to exempt from the military, it’s because I don’t want to spend 3 years of my life doing something that I hate and that would hardly benefit me in the rest of my life.


Would you learn:
- teamwork
- decision making under stress
- problem solving
- physical co-ordination
- other skills
- and possibly make friendships
that could benefit you / help you during the rest of your life?

But back to your original question - people here can't answer that for you. None of us:
- know your true / full reasons for not wanting service, even while understanding that you hate it
- know how you handle criticism, hate, rejection etc. Nor how severe that would be in your society, nor the affect it would have on you.

You need to look inside yourself and work out what is, on the whole, best for you - which includes what part you play in your society, and what part your society plays (and will play) for you.

The main point of my responses to what I quoted, is - find the heart of the matter for you, and just as importantly, be honest with yourself about your reasons.
0 Replies
 
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Jun, 2019 06:37 am
@deepit,
Society doesn't despise 'rank & file'.
We all understand you're pawns with deeply embedded cultural values.
I have Many friends in Many factions of Many militaries - They all serve their 'personal' values.
NEVER blame the soldier for following orders.
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 8 Jun, 2019 11:30 am
deepit wrote:
To specify the question: if the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) are weakened (since fewer people enroll) would that do good to the world?

No.

deepit wrote:
Perhaps it would save more Palestinian lives because the IDF can’t afford to use as much force as they could before against Palestinians.

Israel is merely defending themselves from aggressors who refuse to make peace with them.

deepit wrote:
Or maybe because the IDF is now weaker, it would pressure Israel to come up with a peace solution quicker.

There is no peace solution for Israel to come up with. Peace can only come when the Palestinians choose to stop trying to murder everyone, and Israel cannot control what the Palestinians choose to do.

If Israel were to come up with any solutions on their own, those solutions would have to be forced on the Palestinians, and using force against another population is pretty much the opposite of peace.

deepit wrote:
Or on the flip side, maybe if the IDF is weaker Hamas would decide it’s time to start a war and a lot of lives from both sides would be lost.

Most of the lost lives would be Palestinian. But it is unfortunately true that there are still some Israeli lives lost in these wars as well.


I can't speak to your fears of social backlash. I'm neither Jewish nor Israeli (I'm an American non-practicing Catholic). But I don't think it is factually accurate to regard the Israeli military as a negative force in the world. Israel does the best they can in a world where the Palestinians simply refuse to make peace no matter what is offered them.
longly
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 8 Jun, 2019 05:39 pm
@oralloy,
error
0 Replies
 
longly
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 8 Jun, 2019 05:43 pm
@oralloy,
I concur.
0 Replies
 
TenderTinder
 
  0  
Reply Sat 8 Jun, 2019 06:43 pm
@deepit,
Have you been afforded a lifestyle or received any benefits provided by your country? Unless you are truly mentally unstable and would put your country men in harms way, I believe we are obligated as citizens to defend our countrues if expected to. No experience in life is ever wasted and you will gain something from the experience.
0 Replies
 
vikorr
 
  2  
Reply Sun 9 Jun, 2019 04:47 am
@mark noble,
Quote:
NEVER blame the soldier for following orders.
Pretty sure that excuse ("I was following orders") was used by Nazi's in war crimes trials after WW2, and was found to be invalid.
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Sun 9 Jun, 2019 05:46 am
@deepit,
I think you should be honest. If you have mental health issues that could affect your performance you need to let the military know.

If they know the facts they may not think you're suitable because you could be a danger to yourselves or others.

That's not you exempting yourself.
0 Replies
 
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2019 09:34 am
@vikorr,
You're a civilian and can't be SHOT for disobedience - Your opinion is redundant.

Have a nice reality.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2019 09:40 am
@mark noble,
Does the IDF shoot its soldiers for not following orders?

As you're so cosy with reality you should be able to source examples.
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2019 10:21 am
@izzythepush,
Are you missing the point?

'Yellow, blue, red, (Black) card'?

Do you UNDERSTAND the what those 'CARDS' signify?

mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2019 10:22 am
@mark noble,
Don't bother responding - You're blocked.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2019 10:29 am
@mark noble,
I follow football. I know what cards mean. You specifically spoke about soldiers being shot for disobeying orders. In that case it would follow that the IDF, which is the military being discussed, has a history of shooting its own men.

That's the point. Adding a load of irrelevant bollocks about cards only demonstrates you have no idea what the point is.
0 Replies
 
 

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