General Question

tamydice's avatar

Am I doing something wrong by refusing to serve in a military where service is obligated?

Asked by tamydice (46points) 2 weeks ago

I live in Israel so I’m forced to go to the military for three years. I found a “tricky” way to get an exemption and I’m heavily considering it. My problem is that I know that if I don’t serve I will be shamed by many people in my society.

I came with the conclusion that as long as I’m able to justify refusing to serve in the military it would be alright, because that way whenever I get hate for that it wouldn’t bother me because I would genuinely feel like I did the right thing. But right now my motivation to get an exemption is purely of selfish reasons, I wanna keep working, I feel like there are a lot opportunities that I would miss if I were to go to the military, etc..

So I feel like I need to justify not serving in the military in other ways so for example by saying: the IDF is using too much force against Palestinians and I don’t want to support this kind of behavior, or I feel like I could help and contribute more to the situation in Israel in other ways like by raising awareness for the problems.

Are these mere excuses to justify my inner selfishness? is there an actual right or wrong answer to whether or not someone should refuse to serve in a military where there is an obligation of military service? do you feel like it’s more moral or immoral to do so?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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22 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Supposedly Donald Trump had heal spurs and dodged the Vietnam draft ,and he became president of the USA. He gets ribbed on a little bit but he is doing fine.

ragingloli's avatar

If you do not want to, refuse. Damned be the consequences.
Nothing wrong with it, at all.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
hmmmmmm's avatar

Nothing wrong at all with refusing to serve. In fact, morally, it’s the correct thing to do.

gondwanalon's avatar

You have to decide which is harder, evading military service and dealing with the shame or doing your duty to your country.

Military service lasts for 3 years. Your shame will last a lifetime.

canidmajor's avatar

What @gondwanalon said. You have to decide for yourself if the consequences of either action will be worth it.
In life, most of us are required to do some things that we don’t like. The trick is to learn what actions will be worth the long term consequences and which will not.

seawulf575's avatar

Really, it is your call. Things to consider, beyond taking crap from people, would be: Would failure to serve impact your ability to get a job later? Would failure to serve prevent you from getting financial assistance later? Are there other societal or financial doors that would close if you don’t serve? Are there benefits you could realize from serving?
My personal feeling is that everyone ought to serve a couple years in the military. It does a lot more than just teach you how to fight and kill. It teaches discipline as well. It helps many young people “grow up”. But that is my opinion and may not be yours.

zenvelo's avatar

My age group was the first in the US to not be conscripted, although we did not know that as we approached age 18, so the draft was hanging over our heads. If I had been drafted, I would have done whatever I could possibly do to avoid going to Vietnam.

Yet I always have thought that some compulsory service is a good idea. Two years military, two years working in a conservation corps, or two years working in a food kitchen for indigents. Required for everyone from age 18 to age 20. No outs except extreme cases – if you are disabled, we’ll find something for you to do, some way to help out.

So you, @tamydice get to decide what you can live with. If you have a moral objection, or really disagree with the way the army is used, I would wholeheartedly support you not going into the military. But if it’s just to work and make money while others serve and sacrifice, you get the consequences and should rightfully be shunned.

ragingloli's avatar

What a pile of poppycock.
You want to “serve”, become a firefighter, a paramedic, volunteer in a nursing home or a homeless shelter.
All of these are more useful, and are oodles more honourable than becoming a robotic, paid killer.

kritiper's avatar

You are showing all your countrymen that when the going gets tough, you won’t be found. People can’t respect that. Or you.

KNOWITALL's avatar

We all choose our paths, so ultimately its up to you. Without knowledge of all repercussions of your decision I cant offer an opinion.

Like @seawulf, I believe you learn a lot by experiencing service. Whether military, civil service, etc…you dont fully understand until you’re in it yourself.

Is there precedent? Talk to someone who made the choice already.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What are the chances you’ll see military action? Here people serve 20 years, most don’t see battle, and retire very young. It’s a hell of a good deal if you don’t get killed.

Yellowdog's avatar

Its your call, but I recommend the military. Especially if everyone else does it.

I am 54 years old, and deeply regret not serving in the military.
Upon graduation from High School I registered with selective service for the draft;
A few years passed and I remember a sigh of relief when I was too old to be drafted.

A very few more short years went by and I was a little uneasy when I was TOO OLD to be taken by the military. But that’s okay, I thought, because I never wanted a military career. Before I was even middle aged I saw friends from high school with their military careers retiring from the military with all sorts of benefits and pensions I’d never have, free to pursue better careers.

As @seawulf575 points out, everyone ought to serve a couple years in the military. It does a lot more than just teach you how to fight and kill. It teaches discipline as well. It helps many young people “grow up”.

And, as @Dutchess_III points out, most retire very young. It’s a hell of a good deal if you don’t get killed.

Israel needs you. But the choice is YOURS to make.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Since service is mandatory most men serve. Unlike a volunteer army (like the US) you will find fellow recruits with all levels of education and backgrounds.
Think of it as a life experience. You will be exposed to all sorts of technology that the general population will not see. You can learn technical skills that can be used later in life. I have a friend who was a dentist in the Air Force. He went on to start and very successful cosmetic dentistry business based on the skills he developed.
Finally, you will form bonds with your fellow recruits that will last a lifetime. They will run businesses or hold political offices and most will look kindly on someone they shared time with. You will have an “in” if you ever need a job, financing, recommendation, or a business partner.
You can do it!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wait….why don’t you want to serve?

janbb's avatar

@LuckyGuy “Most men (and women) serve.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

I only know of one person in my son’s generation who served, and no women….. But good catch @Janbb.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I think you asked this Q whe you first joined claiming it was due to medical issues.Now you say it is because you want to keep your career on path. Might hep IF we knew which reason you’re really dealing with!!! I think you know what it is you NEED to do & you’re afraid to actually do it. I wouldn’t want to serve in the military, so I’m NOT in a position to give you advice!!! Since most people your age will be serving their country, will you actually be that far behind work wise when you re-enter the workforce??? At that point there will be MORE young people taken out of the work force in order to fulfill their obligation. There is NO way to know what opportunities you’ll be passing up IF you choose not to join. With the stigma of not joining, you may lose whatever credibility that you perceive you will gain & your career could possibly implode around you!!!

As many have said already, ONLY YOU can decide what is best for YOU!!!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Thanks @LadyMarissa.
In that other question you said, by you not serving you think it would encourage others “to not serve in the military as well and so eventually the power of the Israel military will decrease and Israel would have to resort to a peace solution with the Arabs in Palestine…” or the Arabs will take over Isreal and your life as you know it will be over. The Arabs will have won the war.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@janbb Agreed. But there are many fewer females than males. Many more waivers are granted for females. Men serve 32–36 months. Women serve 24 months.

“Women constitute approximately a third of the conscripts and close to twenty percent of the standing professional army.”
“Overall, female soldiers now make up 7 percent of the fighting ranks in the Israeli military, where men and women are conscripted at the age of 18.” .
source

Caravanfan's avatar

If I were Israeli I would serve.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Israeli law allows you to do humanitarian law in lieu of military service. My nephew did this after his 18th birthday, and it counted for his military service, legally in Israel.

The problem isn’t that. If you serve in the IDF military, you generally make friends and associates that are with you for life. Some have gone on to start corporations (big ones) with friends from their unit. If you’re doing something else (for conscience or for work) then you are denying yourself – at age 18 – the benefits of those connections later in life. It seems shortsighted to me to have you get out of serving, because of the later consequences.

So to me, the issue isn’t whether you approved of the IDF attitude towards the Palestinians, or the color of the uniform. The fact is that military service is an accepted and historical part of Israeli culture, and by NOT serving, you are voluntarily taking yourself out of the culture. That seems silly.

Further, if you are female you serve only 24 months, much less than males.

Get over yourself and be part of the culture you live in.

One final point: You already have the yeshiva bochers that are cowardly praying their way out of military service. Surely you have more fortitude than they do.

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