Ender's Game and the Question of Child Soldiers

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macidius
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Ender's Game and the Question of Child Soldiers

Postby macidius » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:24 am

It's been a few years since I read Ender's Game, but I recently read it for a class. Something came to mind after reading the novel once more, that being, child soldiers. In the modern world, children are employed as soldiers all across African and the Middle East. Adults use child soldiers because they're easy to manipulate and inexperience of course. Ender, along with his fellow trainnees, is a child soldier. The blatant manuipulation by the adults is sickening to say the least, illegal in reality. My question to the others on this forum is this: Could you justify using children as pawns in a war? Does it change things if all of humanity would be wiped out if we failed to do so?

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Re: Ender's Game and the Question of Child Soldiers

Postby e90p » Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:26 pm

Children should not be use as pawns. I have seen so many stories where people have used children to commit crimes and murder. These children have no childhood. They are given guns and a wicked way of thinking. Creating monsters should not be the norm. Even in the USA they take them as young as 18 years of age. I hope they can allow these high school graduates to go to college before the go to war.

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Re: Ender's Game and the Question of Child Soldiers

Postby Tiny genius » Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:35 pm

This is a morally unsettling question. Save all humankind or steal a child's life for their childhood is gone and the lack of it affects them forever, as we saw with Ender.

But I think that even though I would too be sickened, I'd do it to save the human race. To steal a few children's lives is one thing, to let all humanity die because you chickened out of a hard decision is another.
"Other universes may exist, but ours seems to be based on war and games" - William S. Burroughs

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Re: Ender's Game and the Question of Child Soldiers

Postby TerresaWiggin » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:44 pm

I would agree with Tiny.

However I have one more question, if it is OK to use a child soldier to save the human race, how do you decide whether the human race needs saving? In Enders Game the formics pose a threat large enough that this is not a huge question however in the current world I could think of a dozen of things certain people believe they need to "save" the Earth from. So how do we define a threat that endangers the human race and would therefore justify the usage of child soldiers?
"when a school counselor called her in to tell her that the school administration was growing concerned about the fact that Petra seemed to be associating with the antisocial element in the school, she knew that she was truly at home in Maralik."

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Re: Ender's Game and the Question of Child Soldiers

Postby CarryChristSoup » Sat May 04, 2013 7:55 am

I suppose the answer is that only in the most extreme case is there a justifiable reason, and even then only barely. OSC illustrates this via Graff, who is aware of how terrible the battle school program is but is fully committed to it, because he understands the consequences. Since a wartime threat to humanity as a whole can almost never exist, it follows that in any lesser circumstance, child soldiers should never be employed.

Then again, ultimately, the war in Ender's game is unjustified; the formics were going to leave humanity alone when we decided to show up on their doorstep with the little doctor. And from that stems the wonderful, tragic irony of the situation: all the sacrifices humanity had made were actually unnecessary, just like the entire war.


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