View Poll Results: Would You Utilize Torture to Save a Family Member?

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  • Yes

    61 80.26%
  • No

    15 19.74%
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Thread: Would You Utilize Torture to Save a Life?

  1. #431
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    Re: Would You Utilize Torture to Save a Life?

    Quote Originally Posted by ADK_Forever View Post
    It was not directed at you. I quoted SS and replied to him. It just happened to come after one of your posts.
    gotcha. I was mistaken then. My apologies.




    I understand that but, I won't play it. It's a game to try to do just what you described. If we admit there is even 1 chance in 1 million that we would use torture then the right will use that to say we agree torture should be used. That would not be true.

    Too many of our country's leaders took stands against torture. If those stands and morals got us this far, through much harder times, I'm confident they will get us thru these times.

    America chooses to NOT torture. Period.
    Fair enough. I don't disagree with this.

  2. #432
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    Re: Would You Utilize Torture to Save a Life?

    Yes, consistent with my utilitarian ethical perspective. The application of [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felicific_calculus"]felicific calculus[/ame] would yield the obvious estimate of the suffering caused by murder being an imposition of greater intensity and duration than the suffering caused by torture, and torture would thus produce a utility maximization.

  3. #433
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    Re: Would You Utilize Torture to Save a Life?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnapostate View Post
    Yes, consistent with my utilitarian ethical perspective. The application of felicific calculus would yield the obvious estimate of the suffering caused by murder being an imposition of greater intensity and duration than the suffering caused by torture, and torture would thus produce a utility maximization.
    Unless torture doesn't work or is unreliable.

  4. #434
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    Re: Would You Utilize Torture to Save a Life?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    I think you aren't grasping my points in any way shape or form. I'm not for the government torturing people because I think it is a power that the government should not be granted.

    I think that people who utilize torture deserve to be punished because I don't believe that it is a power that people should be granted.
    If it is not morally offensive, why not? Because it can be abused? So the abuse of using torture is morally offensive? What is this abuse, using it for a purpose other than extracting information? Like for vengence?

    If my family were in danger, I would utilize a power I should not have and willingly accept the consequences of that legal violation because I utilized a power I should not have.
    This statement says - I believe torture works - so your objection to people using it is that it can be abused. So again you are saying it's not morally offensive.

    Being willing to break the law to save my family is irrational? Perhaps. I admit that the decision would be based on emotion as much as anything else.
    No, irrational in that it is unreliable and yet you're willing to use it anyway.

    Ohhh Kayyy. How does this relate to my statements?
    You fear for the safety of your family and are therefore willing to do things you agree don't work.
    I could have changed the quote but I thought you'd understand without the change...
    ""Fear is the foundation of tyranny; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it unless they too are fearful."
    My fear makes me do stupid things.

    It's not contradictory if you understand what I mean. Even if it were 100% effective, I wouldn't agree with legalization of torture for the reasons I've described: I believe it is a power that nobody should legally wield over another. In part because it would almost definitely be abused.
    What abuse, that it will be used for vengence? I think you could easily make such an argument against many laws or government institutions.

    I would expect to be punished for utilizing a power that I should not have. I am of the belief that the punishment would be worth it in order to save my family.
    OK, so let's remove the morality from the discussion and come back to it.

    What you seem to be saying is - you need to get to work or you'll be fired but your car won't run. You have it towed to a shop for repair. The repair man says that he can probably fix it but it will take 2 days. You say you must have it fixed in the next hour or you will lose your job. The mechanic says that he can smack the hell out of your alternator for 1/2 hour and it might run but it probably won't keep running long enough to get to work. You say ok, do it.

    Now, does that seem like a very reasonable thing to do?

    Because of it's vast potential for misuse. Because I don't believe that the government should be granted that kind of power. Because I don't view efficacy as the barometer for legality.
    Why not? is there a moral component? If it's effective then why is it immoral?
    Last edited by Slippery Slope; 05-16-09 at 12:22 PM.

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    Re: Would You Utilize Torture to Save a Life?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slippery Slope View Post
    Unless torture doesn't work or is unreliable.
    Of course, but that's a technical objection, not an ideological one. And even with that obstacle in place, it's still likely to yield a utility maximization in certain cases.

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    Re: Would You Utilize Torture to Save a Life?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnapostate View Post
    Of course, but that's a technical objection, not an ideological one. And even with that obstacle in place, it's still likely to yield a utility maximization in certain cases.
    It cannot yield a "utility maximization" (not that I can figure out why you feel it's necessary to be so pedantic, but that's for you and your therapist to figure out) because of it's well known unreliability and when it's proven to yield accurate/actionable intel. it takes far too long or far too many instances. The three touted as the example all expose the large number of instances PROVING that it does not in any way work in a time sensitive crisis.

  7. #437
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    Re: Would You Utilize Torture to Save a Life?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slippery Slope View Post
    If it is not morally offensive, why not? Because it can be abused? So the abuse of using torture is morally offensive? What is this abuse, using it for a purpose other than extracting information? Like for vengence?
    The order you should take in approaching one of my posts is :
    Step 1: Read
    Step 2: Comprehend
    Step 3: Reply.

    If you are having problems with 2, don't skip it. Ask for clarification as to what I mean. Whatever you do, don't skip 2. It'll waste too much time for both of us.

    The fact that you "rebut" with more morality nonsense means you have failed to comprehend my post.



    Plus, you want to make this about your mistaken belief that "torture never works". That's a silly comment because "torture is unreliable" =/= "doesn't work". it means "doesn't always work". Sometimes it DOES work. It's what's that word... Oh... UNRELIABLE. Look it up. I guarantee you that unreliable doe NOT mean "never works". Unreliable is caused by INCONSISTENT working.

    Btu even more to the point, my arguments have nothing to do with the consistency of efficacy, nothing to do with morality, nothing to do with any of your "rebuttal" points.

    If you want to rebut a straw man, go ahead, but have the courtesy to build it yourself instead of mutating my posts to make it your straw man.

  8. #438
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    Re: Would You Utilize Torture to Save a Life?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    The order you should take in approaching one of my posts is :
    Step 1: Read
    Step 2: Comprehend
    Step 3: Reply.

    If you are having problems with 2, don't skip it. Ask for clarification as to what I mean. Whatever you do, don't skip 2. It'll waste too much time for both of us.

    If you want to rebut a straw man, go ahead, but have the courtesy to build it yourself instead of mutating my posts to make it your straw man.
    You should have learned by now that making silly comments are not going to advance your argument with me. If I've made a mistake in interpreting or understanding your post(s) then I am more than willing to admit it and have done so numerous times. So let's have a look shall we?

    The fact that you "rebut" with more morality nonsense means you have failed to comprehend my post.
    This is in bold so I can connect your morality comments to your denial of making morality comments.

    Plus, you want to make this about your mistaken belief that "torture never works". That's a silly comment because "torture is unreliable" =/= "doesn't work". it means "doesn't always work". Sometimes it DOES work. It's what's that word... Oh... UNRELIABLE. Look it up. I guarantee you that unreliable doe NOT mean "never works". Unreliable is caused by INCONSISTENT working.
    Where did I say torture never works? I believe I said "I think it's been pretty well established that torture rarely yields viable intelligence, never in a timely fashion, and is morally reprehensible not to mention against the law and values of the civilized world in general."
    So, what was it you said to me... "If you want to rebut a straw man, go ahead, but have the courtesy to build it yourself instead of mutating my posts to make it your straw man."

    Btu even more to the point, my arguments have nothing to do with the consistency of efficacy, nothing to do with morality, nothing to do with any of your "rebuttal" points.
    That's an odd statement to make.
    I've argued the morality
    I've argued the consistency
    I've argued the law
    You're saying that I've made up those rebuts and that you've not made them part of your argument or rebutals...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Two points:
    1. How have I damaged any arguments that I have made in this thread? Cops have to allow a detainee Miranda rights. They can't torture the info out of them because they are confined by the laws and it must be assumed that they won't be willing to break them in order to save my family.
    2. I believe that a proscription on police and all government officials form engaging in torture is correct. I support the laws that prevent police officers from using torture. The point I'm making is that in the given hypothetical I would utilize torture. Personally. As in a free citizen, not associated with the government, breaking the laws of the nation in order to achieve a goal.
    I ask why is it against the law and you say because it could be abused. I ask how it could be abused? You fail to answer.

    I on the other hand, would risk everything to save my family. I'd willfully break any law in order to do so.
    OK, so why would you use torture when you know it is ineffective in producing timely and reliable information.

    My position is that the individual may be able to legitimately conclude that torture is moral under certain circumstances, but that the powers of the government should still be limited such so that it is banned from using torture in any circumstance.
    Sounds like a moral argument to me.

    So let me ask these questions again.
    1) LAW: So the government shouldn't use torture because it can be abused (kinda funny, abusing abuse, which is what torture is, abuse). How could it be abused? Please give an example of this abuse.
    2) CONSISTENCY: Is it fact that torture results in unreliable information at best and that it is ineffective in gaining timely information?

    3) MORALITY: Is abuse of other human beings morally unacceptable.

  9. #439
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    Re: Would You Utilize Torture to Save a Life?

    There's too much theory in the mix.

    Please visit a death camp, like the killing fields in Cambodia, see real photos of people being tortured (and not nice little sanitized drawings), see the places they were tortured in and the instruments used. Read up on medieval times... the heinous ways people were tormented with unbelievable suffering to coerce information. Read up the implements used, and what they did. Watch testimony of people who were tortured... and I'm not talking waterboarding which has been controversialized by the U.S. media, but real, bloody awful torture sessions.

    Seriously... if you have the chance to walk through a torture facilitiy in person, it is ****ED.

    Secondary to that... I find this to be a bait topic that pushes the moral envelope. 99.9% of people who live in cozy Europe or North America would never, ever, in a million years, have to torture someone to save their family, and just because some of us, in this ridiculously hypothetical situation, would say YES, does not make torture any less heinous, barbaric, or primitive.

    Forget torture. There are people who would KILL for their family and skip the torture part entirely. When phrased like that, torture isn't even a question.

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