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Date Created: 11/15/15
ANT101 Wk5 1. Ethics in Anthropology Be sure to watch and read the “Miscellaneous Topics” at the end of Chapter 9 of Cultural Anthropology. Then, address the following topic: As noted, anthropology’s work with the military over the years has been wrought with controversy. Where do you stand on the issue regarding the use of anthropologists in intelligence gathering for the military? Can you come up with a compelling argument based on examples given in the text, your understanding of the ethical requirements of anthropologist, and from your own experiences /understanding of past and present military actions to take a stance on this issue? Please use concepts and terminology from the text. Your initial response should be at least 150 words in length. Please support your claims with examples from the text, recommended material, and/or scholarly articles. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7. My Posting: This is a topic that requires some serious and indepth thought. I believe one major concern is of how much power should our government have for the purpose of gathering intelligence? It is true that the number one priority should be in defense of our country, but how far into that is reasonable? Some people feel that government already has too much freedom in this issue. Although I believe our system is the best on this planet, it seems sometimes like in order to achieve another level of safety and security, some of the basic rights they we have acquired are subject to jeopardy in order to accomplish new rights and protection. It is also true that in today’s technological world and the rapid development in advancements create an ongoing scenario of new threats. To not accept this concept would be foolhardy to say the least. When one thinks of government at any level, the fear of more control in its hands has a tendency to be pretty scary. One of first thoughts that come to mind is the fear of war. Whether it be of biological or nuclear possibilities, in the end it would be devastating at least. What level of moral or ethical values would fulfill the requirements to take such actions? Does one view this as “for the greater good” or what. I believe that this is an issue that will be of controversy for many more years to come, as it already has been so for the last 30 years or so. The pro’s and cons of this are endless as the consequences of our actions will be reviewed for centuries to come. James Responses Hello Amanda, Thank you for your reply. I know my position on this issue is a stigma of my own creation, but I have spent a number of years following the actions of our government and feel that I have the facts needed to present my position. I could not say what incident or a precise date of incident, but still feel justified in my reasons. I wonder if there will ever be a day when a true sense of ‘trust’ between government and its people will ever return. I suppose it is a matter of “waiting to see” ever occurs. Hello Engrid, I see that there is some fellow classmates that follow the same sentiments as myself when it comes to our military. Let me say that first and foremost I do have gratitude for what our military stands for and protects. It is because of this that I believe we live in the greatest country of all. Nowhere else can one find another country such as ours. My position of trust is one I stand up for and the fact that I can express such openly is evidence in itself of just how greater our freedoms really are. As long as there is a human factor in play, it is unknown if “true trust” in our military and some of its tactics will return. James 2. Anthropology and Your Future Watch Winners and Losers, available in the Films On Demand database, in the Ashford Online Library. Which issues are most urgent in our world today? Are they the same in the US as in the developing world? Where will the application of an anthropological perspective be most effective? My Posting: After reviewing the Winners and Losers video along with the other recommended subjects, it is easy to say that the current anthropologic approaches are all worthwhile and necessary areas of concern, except for the issue of anthropologists in the military. With all the past known history of secret operations that involve our military, how can we be sure that it would not led to purposes other than what was originally disclosed. As stated in the article “Should Anthropologists go to War?” (Shay, 2009); some anthropologists feel that it could lead to some unethical results. After all, just how far does trust go when the military is involved? Being almost totally protected from any kind of outside questioning regarding tactics or intent, where is the checks and balances that are needed? I understand the need for secrecy but who can be in trusted to make the decision of just how far secrecy should go. Of course it is of importance to know all you can about your combative foe when engaging in war and it has been said that that is not the real purpose of this kind of tactic, but then again is there really anyone that has would have the last word on this? Putting too much power in the hands of one entity like the military is all to risky. After all, what was really accomplished in Vietnam? The “evil ones” still forced an withdrawal of our troops and civilian personal for what? The people of South Vietnam still lost their country to the people we were to defeat. James References Shay, C. (December 13, 2009). Should anthropologist go to war? Retrieved from http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,85599,1947095,00.html Responses Hello Again Amanda, This is an issue that really has no right or wrong response. All of the topics up for review are of worthwhile causes, except once again, the issue of anthropologists going to war. Who is the one to have final sayso how this practice is to be kept within guidelines, when no true guidelines have been established. Only proposed words defining the objective is given. Already there is controversy in how this practiced is truly being monitored. In all fairness, maybe a little more time needs to pass so that maybe some true data is available to form a solid position on this. Good posting! James Hello Dennis, I agree and I don’t mean to continue to harp on a single thing, so let’s point to something else. What about the “infamous Black Hawk Down” incident? What our troops were subjected to is unforgiving! Maybe if anthropologists were involved in that, the end results would be different, who knows? There are so many perspectives that can be presented here that it could be an issue of openness that needs to be left at just that. I know that those that may read this is asking themselves “What does that mean?” That is the beauty of these discussion boards; to further the discussion of the topic. James
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