Is The Draft For War Ethical?

Is The Draft For War Ethical?

A philosophical look into how the draft and wartime conflict deprive individuals of their happiness and purpose.


War has been a topic of interest during the twenty-first century as both political and social environments across the globe have become heated. To make this idea of national conflict more intense, modern day technologies have advanced to such a degree that weapons of mass destruction, such as nuclear bombs, are able to demolish entire cities and wipe out whole populations of people. The United States, in particular, has had many overseas conflicts over the last century, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians. One aspect of war that has been relatively ignored since the conflict in Vietnam is the draft. All male American citizens of the age of 18 and 25 are required to enter the Selective Service System, should any wartime conflict arise and a draft needs to be resumed. The debate at hand is whether or not it is ethical to draft these young men to serve in the war effort, regardless of their feelings towards the political and militaristic conflict.

Advocates for the draft suggest that it is ethical on the grounds that it promotes happiness for citizens of both countries involved by fighting on the grounds of political, social, and human rights. For example, the Second World War fought in the early twentieth century resulted in many casualties, but prevented the tyrannical regimes of the Axis powers from ruling strongholds across the globes and denying humans their inherent rights; the war efforts at this time also ended mass genocides, such as the Holocaust, and brought temporary peace and stability to many parts of the world. With this perspective, the end result of war would produce more happiness for people after the conflict than during it; the sacrifices made during war, such as the death of millions, are outweighed ethically by promoting that the rights and happiness of the people are protected. These war efforts would not be accomplished, however, without the draft. The draft ensures that there will be citizens ready to fight and sacrifice their own lives for their countries with the hopes of promoting the foundational ideas of the nation and the well-being of its citizens.

While the argument above supporting wartime draft seems reasonable, it ignores an important aspect of the draft: it takes away a person's ability to choose. To tie this elimination of personal freedom and choice into ethics, let's turn to philosophical thinker Immanuel Kant's Deontology, which focuses on moral rules and reasons. The Principle of Humanity, also known as the Respect for Persons Principle, states that all people should be respected as a source of value and not used for their "mere humanity". This means that people should not set ends for others when they are able to ensure their own ends for themselves. When talking about the draft, young men are randomly selected by the American government to go and serve in the war effort, regardless of whether or not they support the conflict. By requiring all males ages 18 to 25 to enter into the draft, officials in the American government are merely using their humanity to support a battle that does not directly involve the individual and in essence, decides their ends for them. Therefore, it is not ethical to require men to enter a draft unless it is by their own accord. Many nations require a draft during times of war out of concern that not enough people would register to serve; without knowing whether or not enough people would sign up to fight, it is not fair to assume that there would be a shortage in soldiers willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country and its ideas. Aside from Kant's ideas, utilitarian perspectives support the argument that the draft is unethical as well, especially when analyzing the Greatest Happiness Principle. The Greatest Happiness Principle states that people ought to act in a way that promotes the greatest amount of happiness possible for the greatest number of people. While war and draft advocates may use this principle to support their violent, militaristic efforts, they forget to account for the fact that the result of war is not always a win. If a country loses a conflict, the number of lives sacrificed would not outweigh the potential happiness that could have resulted from a military victory. It's not worth the risk of drafting innocent men to serve and potentially die in war if a positive end to the conflict, and therefore, the happiness of the greatest number of people, is not ensured. Therefore, the draft does not increase happiness for all people, as men are forced to leave their families and loved ones and run the risk of having physical and psychological wounds, and even death. Happiness is not guaranteed by victory as well, because wartime veterans and their families struggle and endure great pain even after a wartime conflict has subsided.

Even though the draft is not in place now, the Selective Service System that all men are required to sign up for at age 18 is unethical. People should be given the freedom of choice when it comes to serving in war and the government should not use its citizens to further their own means for political supremacy in the world. Rather than force men to become soldiers and go to war, I believe that the United States should avoid wartime conflict and engage in more peaceful ways of resolving national issues, such as through treaties, peace talks, and even donating monetary or resource support for groups aligning with American values in war-torn countries. Only when conflicts become dire and threaten national security should the United States send troops to fight, but only if there is no draft and the soldiers had a choice in fighting for their country. War itself can be justified with ethics, but a forced draft is not an ethical act.

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Growing Up Catholic And How It Shaped Me

"I like being able to believe there is more to life than our time on Earth."


Ever since I can remember, I have attended church every Sunday morning. Not always at the same church, but always at the same time with all the same people. I've never known anything different.

Both of my parents are Catholic and so are their parents and so on and so forth. I attended religious education classes my whole childhood and when I was 15, I chose to get confirmed which basically says you are choosing to continue your faith.

As a kid, I didn't really understand why we went to church every Sunday and there were some Sundays where I just didn't want to get out of bed to go. When I'm on the verge of not going to mass I tell myself that it is just 1 hour of my time, 1 hour each week and that is all I have to give. Everyone has 1 hour to spare.

Now that I am older, I'm grateful my parents have introduced me to the Catholic Church. I like having something to believe in and being able to have faith. I'm a huge optimist in my daily life and a big part of that is because I trust God's plan for me, whatever happens is with his best intentions for me. I like being able to believe there is more to life than our time on Earth.

It seems that the word "Catholic" has a negative connotation nowadays and that makes me extremely sad. No one should be judged or profiled based on their religion.

Being Catholic to me means always striving to better myself and bring myself closer to God. Being Catholic might mean something else to another person and that's what is great about religion and faith, they affect everyone differently and it is up to you to decide what to do with these 2 things.

At the end of the day, I am grateful for being brought up in the Catholic family I was because it gave me my morals and made me the person I am today, whom I am proud of.

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Bulldogs Get Their Shot At Professional Baseball

Four Georgia Baseball players were selected through the first two days of the MLB draft. The Bulldogs garnered national attention in the 2019 season after an impressive 46-17 record.


Georgia baseball has been steadily improving ever since a string of sub-.500 finishes over the past decade. Consecutive appearances in the NCAA Regional Tournament shows the nation that Athens is once again a powerhouse. Even Major League Baseball is starting to take notice.

1. Aaron Schunk - 62nd pick, Colorado Rockies

Schunk was considered a two-way prospect going into the draft. He split his time between third base and closing pitcher. A winner of the Triple Crown award, Schunk had 15 home runs and 58 RBIs with a batting average of .339 as the Bulldog third baseman. As the closer, he had 12 saves with a 2.49 ERA. The position assigned to him by the Rockies was third base but he is likely to still get an opportunity to pitch in the minor league system.

2. Tony Locey - 96th pick, St. Louis Cardinals

A semifinalist for the 2019 pitcher of the year, Locey had a season ERA of 2.53 accompanied by an 11-2 record. His season was somewhat of a surprise after having a 3.92 career ERA at the collegiate level. MLB teams typically look at a number under 3.00 as being impressive. The Cardinals expect Locey to continue his upward trajectory.

3. Tim Elliott - 126th pick, Seattle Mariners

Another Bulldog pitcher comes off the board on the draft's second day. Elliott posted impressive numbers during his junior campaign with a 2.38 ERA and a 7-3 record. One of those seven wins came by way of the complete game which is becoming ever more rare in today's game. Originally coming to Georgia as a reliever, Elliott transitioned to a starter while posting a 3.10 career ERA across 41 appearances.

4. LJ Talley - 207th pick, Toronto Blue Jays

The best fielder on the team has shown yearly improvement with the bat which was the most crucial area needed for him to be on the MLB's radar. His fielding is solid with an appearance on the 2019 SEC All-Defensive team. Talley finished his senior season with a batting average of .332 accompanied by 8 home runs and 41 RBIs.

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