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The soldier who executes what his captain orders does no less than the captain himself who gives the order. Options
Daemon
Posted: Saturday, November 21, 2020 12:00:00 AM
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The soldier who executes what his captain orders does no less than the captain himself who gives the order.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)
taurine
Posted: Saturday, November 21, 2020 4:47:21 AM

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The perpetrator of an prohibited act does not commit an offence if guilt cannot be attributed to him at the time of the commission of the act.
Adyl Mouhei
Posted: Saturday, November 21, 2020 5:48:30 AM

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It is unfair to hold soldiers accountable for something that they don't plan to do.
thar
Posted: Saturday, November 21, 2020 6:33:22 AM

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But the defense of "I was just obeying orders" abdicates personal responsibility for your actions.

If refusing to execute a prisoner would mean court martial and your own death, you have a defense of sekf-defence - but 'obeying orders' is not an excuse for a war crime.


That is the ethical dilemma with autonomous automation in warfare - machines obey orders and have no moral compass to say "no, that is wrong". Building such ethical decision-making into AI is the challenge.


During the Cold War, the Soviets were on high alert for incoming missiles. A tracking post got a trace for incoming missiles. The standing order was to retaliate comprehensively - Mutually Assured Destruction. But the local commander, unable to receive orders to the contrary, decided to disobey these orders. Presumably at the risk of being executed for disobeying orders, as well as the risk of actually being bombed. The false alarm passed and the world was not nuked to destruction. That happened several times, on both sides, when the soldiers in their bunkers, however loyal,patriotic and paranoid, were smarter than their orders and decided to say "no, not today".
To all those soldiers, thankyou for being better humans than your "superiors".
Tatlock
Posted: Saturday, November 21, 2020 9:03:29 AM

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thar wrote:
.
To all those soldiers, thankyou for being better humans than your "superiors".


That's an amazing story. Could you share your source so I can read further about this topic?
Bully_rus
Posted: Saturday, November 21, 2020 10:23:47 AM
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Location: Minsk, Minskaya Voblasts', Belarus
Daemon wrote:
The soldier who executes what his captain orders does no less than the captain himself who gives the order.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)


Unfortunately, at the moment, it’s a classic situation and a very burning issue for my country. It remains to be seen what comes out of the whole shebang - and how many people will be hurt or killed...
Verbatim
Posted: Saturday, November 21, 2020 2:57:45 PM
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Joined: 10/3/2012
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For context, it is about knight-errantry: In fact I suspect that the meaning could well be that the soldier does more, because he is in harm's way and does the fighting. Eight years ago the quotation received the same reaction, although quite a bit more elaborate and wandering off, which only proves that Quixotic madness is hard to untangle.
Soldier and captain are figurative. A fellow traveler speaks to Don Quixote whom he thinks to be mad. Here goes:


"So he said to him, "It seems to me, Senor Knight-errant, that your worship has made choice of one of the most austere professions in the world, and I imagine even that of the Carthusian monks is not so austere."

"As austere it may perhaps be," replied our Don Quixote, "but so necessary for the world I am very much inclined to doubt. For, if the truth is to be told, the soldier who executes what his captain orders does no less than the captain himself who gives the order. My meaning, is, that churchmen in peace and quiet pray to Heaven for the welfare of the world, but we soldiers and knights carry into effect what they pray for, defending it with the might of our arms and the edge of our swords, not under shelter but in the open air, a target for the intolerable rays of the sun in summer and the piercing frosts of winter. Thus are we God's ministers on earth and the arms by which his justice is done therein. And as the business of war and all that relates and belongs to it cannot be conducted without exceeding great sweat, toil, and exertion, it follows that those who make it their profession have undoubtedly more labour than those who in tranquil peace and quiet are engaged in praying to God to help the weak. I do not mean to say, nor does it enter into my thoughts, that the knight-errant's calling is as good as that of the monk in his cell; I would merely infer from what I endure myself that it is beyond a doubt a more laborious and a more belaboured one, a hungrier and thirstier, a wretcheder, raggeder, and lousier; for there is no reason to doubt that the knights-errant of yore endured much hardship in the course of their lives. And if some of them by the might of their arms did rise to be emperors, in faith it cost them dear in the matter of blood and sweat; and if those who attained to that rank had not had magicians and sages to help them they would have been completely baulked in their ambition and disappointed in their hopes."



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