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S Korea to investigate whether conscientious objectors played violent video games

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Do you enjoy playing violent video games? Then you can't avoid military service.

That appears to be the message South Korea is sending conscientious objectors. Prosecutors said they were investigating whether a number of men seeking exemption from military service played "online shooting games" in the past.
"We need to verify their genuine faith. So we need to examine their personal life," an official with the prosecutors office on the southern island of Jeju told CNN. "We check whether they had been attending (religious) service. Checking their history with shooting games is another method."
hat ruling came after a decades-long fight by conscientious objectors, many of them Jehova's Witnesses, to push back against the country's stringent military service law, under which all men between the ages of 18 and 35 are required to perform at least 21 months of service in the South Korean armed forces.
Since then, however, conservative politicians and prosecutors have attempted to get around the court's ruling, by, for example, requiring conscientious objectors to carry out more stringent -- and potentially more dangerous -- forms of non-military service.
Following an earlier ruling by a constitutional court ordering the government to provide alternate ways to serve for objectors, the right-wing Liberty Korea Party put forward a bill to force objectors to perform 44 months -- double the usual length -- of service, including mine sweeping and other dangerous activities.
"This is a form of retaliatory punishment against conscientious objectors that is anachronistic and in violation of human rights," South Korea's Hankyoreh newspaper said in an editorial at the time.
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/01/11/asia/conscientious-objector-south-korea-gaming-intl/index.html

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4 hours ago, Gregexplore said:

 

Thats why we have the CLM. Christian Living Ministry. Its better to obey Jehovah in everything. Or else, we can't avoid the consequences. For example, a brother who wants to avoid the military service but play shooting/violent games is  a halfhearted witness. Watchtower study on Sunday reminds us to obey Jah in all things. 

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Well, I understand on one hand how they're want to make sure conscientious objectors are practicing what they preach, but at the same time, this is a clear invasion of privacy and a violation of your right to play whatever sort of video game you want. Yes, a brother objecting to military service but playing shooting games can be seen as a hypocrite, but my biggest fear is the subjective precedent that can be set.

 

What subjective criteria will they now use to determine if an objector is lying? Owning a pocket knife with a blade longer than a certain length? What constitutes a violent video game?

 

I'm just saying that this opens the door for even more human rights violations when the ruling should have done the opposite.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Bob said:

this is a clear invasion of privacy and a violation of your right to play whatever sort of video game you want.

Perhaps constitutional laws overwrite personal rights in this instance ..I don't know Korean law , but it just shows that Satan is relentless in his attacks, and it's a protection for us when we lead a clean life as we are encouraged week by week.

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14 hours ago, Gregexplore said:

"We need to verify their genuine faith. So we need to examine their personal life," an official with the prosecutors office on the southern island of Jeju told CNN. "We check whether they had been attending (religious) service. Checking their history with shooting games is another method."

This reminds me of something a brother said many years ago, he asked 'if you were arrested as one of Jehovah's Witnesses, would there be enough evidence to convict you?'

 

We think the limits of our conscience is just between us and Jehovah, there may be times that we do something that our conscience allows us to do, however again we need to think of how others will view the things we do. In this case, whether or not a brother felt it was okay to play violent video games may make the difference whether or not he goes to jail. 

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Just now, Tortuga said:

This reminds me of something a brother said many years ago, he asked 'if you were arrested as one of Jehovah's Witnesses, would there be enough evidence to convict you?'

 

We think the limits of our conscience is just between us and Jehovah, there may be times that we do something that our conscience allows us to do, however again we need to think of how others will view the things we do. In this case, whether or not a brother felt it was okay to play violent video games may make the difference whether or not he goes to jail. 

We have become a theatrical spectacle to the world, and to angels and to men as ap.Paul rightly wrote...

 

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Along the same idea,  I'm a building contractor. In my secular life, MUCH is subjective.  A client can ask me how much I charge and my answer can be "How much you got?"  or,  "depends on the mood I'm in."

 

 I realized a long time ago that I need to be FREE of anxiety as I go door to door. I cannot worry about who could be behind the door. Whether it's a client or not.  So, I make it a point to be fair with all my clients. If one of them opens the door I can smile big and ask how's everything ?  Because I have NOTHING to be ashamed of.  I can't imagine living any other way.

 

It seems the South Korean prosecutor is a smart counselor.  The definition of Integrity is "doing the right thing even when no one is watching"

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11 hours ago, JennyM said:

Thats why we have the CLM. Christian Living Ministry. Its better to obey Jehovah in everything. Or else, we can't avoid the consequences. For example, a brother who wants to avoid the military service but play shooting/violent games is  a halfhearted witness. Watchtower study on Sunday reminds us to obey Jah in all things. 

Obedience over sacrifice yes ... even in the little things.

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Yes, but, like @Bob said, who determines what a "violent game" is. Since I do not know what all video games are out there (I don't play any) I cannot name any individual games. I will have to use an illustration:

 

What if they decided to look at the job you do. Is it "violent" ...

  • is being a security officer violent? they stop thieves and may have to subdue a person
  • is being a butcher a violent job? they cut up animals
  • is being a carpenter violent" they hit nails with a hammer and beat stuff into submission
  • is being a ditch digger violent? they break ground with a sharp object that could be used as a weapon
  • what about a farmer?

The list could get a bit ludicrous ... just like a list of games could

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This is by no means a suggestion for anyone else, but my bar is - once one of Jehovah's laws is broken then I back away from it.

 

So for me the key is knowing and understanding Jehovah's laws.

And the other factor : Is it being reported on (as in the news) or is it unnecessarily graphic.

Like the brother that got up from the movie in the theatre (2018 Courage Convention) - possibly the movie advertised was okay with his conscience initially, but once he watched it - maybe some content caught him by surprise. Or maybe his conscience DID bother him initially, and it took something more to give him the courage to get up and walk out.

 

There are so many variations, spiritual levels, experiences, and research - you can't say which goes with who - only yourself.

Edited by Stormswift

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12 hours ago, Bob said:

Well, I understand on one hand how they're want to make sure conscientious objectors are practicing what they preach, but at the same time, this is a clear invasion of privacy and a violation of your right to play whatever sort of video game you want. Yes, a brother objecting to military service but playing shooting games can be seen as a hypocrite, but my biggest fear is the subjective precedent that can be set.

 

What subjective criteria will they now use to determine if an objector is lying? Owning a pocket knife with a blade longer than a certain length? What constitutes a violent video game?

 

I'm just saying that this opens the door for even more human rights violations when the ruling should have done the opposite.

 

True, however this does seem to be the reality of the situation whether anyone thinks it is right or not. Which, as mentioned, means that we need to practice what we preach. I think it's a good reminder to self examine any gray areas that we may have allowed ourselves to venture into and ensure that no one will find any reason to doubt our actions.

 

With that said, I would like to believe that the SK Army is using this tactic to filter out the non-witness conscientious objectors that are falsely using this as an opportunity to avoid military service. May their hypocrisy be exposed..

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1 hour ago, Qapla said:

Yes, but, like @Bob said, who determines what a "violent game" is. Since I do not know what all video games are out there (I don't play any) I cannot name any individual games. I will have to use an illustration:

 

What if they decided to look at the job you do. Is it "violent" ...

  • is being a security officer violent? they stop thieves and may have to subdue a person
  • is being a butcher a violent job? they cut up animals
  • is being a carpenter violent" they hit nails with a hammer and beat stuff into submission
  • is being a ditch digger violent? they break ground with a sharp object that could be used as a weapon
  • what about a farmer?

The list could get a bit ludicrous ... just like a list of games could

I think they mean more like first shooter games, were "real' guns and weapons are used to kill opponent/enemies

Playing games like this would really bring the argument to the surface if a person has genuine feelings about warfare.

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This also points out that; violent games actually impact a person's thought even if it was just a game.

It seems that kids can be addicted and can be manipulated by violent games.

 

:huh:The goverment seems to be agreeing this as, "violent games are for violent people".

 

As we are Jehovah's people. We hate violence and it makes us different from the 'world'. :)

 

 

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18 hours ago, Gregexplore said:

We check whether they had been attending (religious) service. Checking their history with shooting games is another method."

I'm surprised other governments haven't used the same tactics. They are right in one way. 

If someone plays violent video games etc how can they be classed as conscientious objectors?

I feel the same in my mind   Ps 11:5 for example. Remember Gen 6:13 Jehovah brought the flood because of the violence. 

Mac 🤠

 

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43 minutes ago, Benjamine said:

This also points out that; violent games actually impact a person's thought even if it was just a game.

It seems that kids can be addicted and can be manipulated by violent games.

 

I got an example of this just a few hours ago.

We have a grandson over for the night. He will be 7 tomorrow.  He has been doing things with me most of the day and has been fine.

 

After dinner we let him play with his IPad. House rules are no violent games. Well, he had some rough ones on his tablet and I wasn't really paying attention so he was doing some slice and dice and shoot em up stuff, volume down low.

 

After awhile he told me he was feeling mad, and didn't know why. We talked for a couple of minutes and then I asked him what game he was playing. After I saw it I asked him if maybe that's why he was angry.

We reasoned it out pretty good for a few minutes and I told him that's why we don't do violent games,  I don't like them and God doesn't like them.  He understood fairly well. He says he wants to please God and he doesn't understand why other people don't want to. We did some reasoning on that too....

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7 hours ago, tekmantwo said:

We reasoned it out pretty good for a few minutes and I told him that's why we don't do violent games,  I don't like them and God doesn't like them.  He understood fairly well. He says he wants to please God and he doesn't understand why other people don't want to. We did some reasoning on that too....

You did the right thing and really made him understood why we hate violence and different from the world. (tu)

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22 hours ago, Bob said:

Well, I understand on one hand how they're want to make sure conscientious objectors are practicing what they preach, but at the same time, this is a clear invasion of privacy and a violation of your right to play whatever sort of video game you want

Where is the right to privacy guaranteed in the Korean constitution? 

 

The right to privacy is not even guaranteed in the US constitution.  

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10 hours ago, Tortuga said:

 

 

 

With that said, I would like to believe that the SK Army is using this tactic to filter out the non-witness conscientious objectors that are falsely using this as an opportunity to avoid military service. May their hypocrisy be exposed..

I agree. I don't think that the S Korean government is specifically targeting our brothers. I have read somewhere recently that many young men in S Korea were happy about the court ruling on conscientious objectors. They see it as an opportunity to dodge the draft by becoming JWs. The S Korean government knows this and just wants to make sure that only genuine conscientious objectors do the non-military service.

 

What is more, S Korea is technically still at war with N Korea. It has never signed a peace treaty with its neighbour after the war ended in the mid 1950s. Hostilities could start at any moment. That is why all S Korean men are still required to go through the military service regardless of status and wealth.  

 

 

Edited by Bek

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1 hour ago, Shawnster said:

Where is the right to privacy guaranteed in the Korean constitution? 

 

The right to privacy is not even guaranteed in the US constitution.  

Freedom of speech overrides it...think paparazzi..

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The desire to discredit religious views are very strong today.  Many want to label all believers as hypocrites.  And so many are being exposed that it only adds fuel to the fire.  Think about it from the world's standpoint.  'My son is fighting to protect our country and may die for our country, just so you can pretend to be a conscientious objector.'  Some time ago for our family worship, I put my three sons on trial and using material from trials of Jehovah's witnesses, I acted as the Prosecutor.  Specifically, I was trying to find out if they really lived their faith or just didn't want to go to war.  I was a little hard on them and told them that it would be harder in real life.  At the end all my boys were very disappointed.  I wonder, if are young people were questioned in this way would they survive.  At the time they could not think of a single scripture to support their claim.  as the prosecutor, I pointed out that there was a Watchtower two months previous that outlined spiritually why JW's don't go to war.  I asked if they read it.  No.  When it came to video games, they said I was being unfair.  As their father, I pointed out that if you are saying you will learn no more, how can you justify playing a certain game.  Well, they have improved so much since then.  The Israelites had so much trouble because of being (or wanting to be) like the nations around them.  I think this is our burden also.  If we were tried in a courtroom over our faith would we be convicted. Jehovah's knows we are dust, but the governments don't care if you are in their sights.

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Back in the 70's during the Vietnam war/conflict you couldn't go to a Theater in Oceanside, CA unless you wanted to see a war movie. Oceanside was very close to Camp Pentleton, Marine Base, navel station, hospital. It was an avenue of training/brain washing. Today video games are a means of training both on and off base for many fields of service. Personally I think it is a good idea to investigate one's gaming interest to keep the young brothers honest. 

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I don't think we should expect fair treatment in this time of the end. or ever.   Yes, some of the laws or constitutions or  rules of governing may benefit us but we are still different.  We can abide by all their laws but as Jesus said, because we are no part of the world, the world will hate us.

It's not surprising that politicians will look for loop holes or make true conscientious objectors lives difficult.  They have no warm fuzzy feelings for anyone.  I don't think the ruling in South Korea is as big a victory as we imagine it to be.  It may be a relief from being sent to prison but with Satan there is always a price to pay.

 

When I think of Moses and the Hebrews in Egypt under Pharaoh,  Moses asked  Pharaoh  to let Jehovah's  people go so they can worship freely. The response back was,

 

Exodus 5: 6-9 That same day, Pharʹaoh commanded the taskmasters and their foremen:7 “You must no longer give straw to the people to make bricks. Let them go and gather straw for themselves.8 But you must still impose on them the same quota of bricks as they made in the past. Do not reduce it for them, for they are relaxing. That is why they are crying out, ‘We want to go, we want to sacrifice to our God!’9 Make them work harder, and keep them busy so that they will not pay attention to lies.

 

 

 

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On 1/12/2019 at 1:07 AM, Mac_Tky said:

I'm surprised other governments haven't used the same tactics. They are right in one way. 

If someone plays violent video games etc how can they be classed as conscientious objectors?

I feel the same in my mind   Ps 11:5 for example. Remember Gen 6:13 Jehovah brought the flood because of the violence. 

Mac 🤠

 

The military in many Governments use first person shooter games to "teach" warfare and killing. 

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/10/playing-war-how-the-military-uses-video-games/280486/

 

Regarding Jehovah's people Isa 2:4 says :" He will render judgment among the nations And set matters straight respecting many peoples.They will beat their swords into plowshares And their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation,  Nor will they LEARN war anymore."

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