View Poll Results: Does defense justify torture?

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Thread: Does defense justify torture?

  1. #11
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    Re: Does defense justify torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by SE102 View Post
    Good guys don't torture. And good guys wouldn't have to in the first place.
    Good guys protect the innocent at all costs. Good guys wound't put lives at risk because they don't feel like doing something uncomfortable. I would say the bad guys care more about formalities and protecting the rights of murderous criminals than they do about thwarting terrorism and saving innocent lives.
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    Re: Does defense justify torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by SE102 View Post
    Good guys don't torture. And good guys wouldn't have to in the first place.
    and the bad guys always wear black....
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    Re: Does defense justify torture?

    Sure torture them, but then hang those that ordered the torture and committed the torture.


    Then you will be sure only those that need to be tortured will be tortured, rather then being tortured for fun by a bunch of sadists
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  4. #14
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    Re: Does defense justify torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    I quite honestly do not know. I do not like torture, but in concrete examples where it has helped defend a people from an attack, it is hard to argue with the results except if it has changed us as a people.
    One of my biggest obstacles is that I have trouble finding a universal standard. We prosecuted the Japanese for waterboarding in WW2 for example and if (big if, but lets go with it for the sake of argument) we had lost in Iraq or Afghanistan, would they have the right to prosecute us?

  5. #15
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    Re: Does defense justify torture?

    This all takes for granted the assumption that torture is a useful means of acquiring information.
    This assumption should be considered first before the question of its use.

    for thought
    http://www.fas.org/irp/dni/educing.pdf
    https://www.cia.gov/library/center-f...formation.html
    https://www.cia.gov/library/center-f...nformation.pdf
    Last edited by Simon W. Moon; 11-11-10 at 02:47 PM. Reason: trying to find the right link
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    Re: Does defense justify torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    One of my biggest obstacles is that I have trouble finding a universal standard. We prosecuted the Japanese for waterboarding in WW2 for example and if (big if, but lets go with it for the sake of argument) we had lost in Iraq or Afghanistan, would they have the right to prosecute us?
    The best thing I have come to a conclusion is that there is likely an impossibility of developing universal doctrines for most of the human experience. That being said, I would agree that the pursuit of standards, or at the very least, denial of the virtues of nihilism is what is needed. It gives us no incredibly tangible way of dealing with the world, but it gives us a good perspective.

    That being said, yes, much of the discussion has revolved around the assumption that it is useful for gathering information, when in fact, it can do quite the opposite, as has been seen throughout history.
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    Re: Does defense justify torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    The best thing I have come to a conclusion is that there is likely an impossibility of developing universal doctrines for most of the human experience. That being said, I would agree that the pursuit of standards, or at the very least, denial of the virtues of nihilism is what is needed. It gives us no incredibly tangible way of dealing with the world, but it gives us a good perspective.

    That being said, yes, much of the discussion has revolved around the assumption that it is useful for gathering information, when in fact, it can do quite the opposite, as has been seen throughout history.
    A standard is a good starting point, than one should look at the circumstance as that is equally important. Ultimately though, I cannot see moral justification in any action if one is applying a different basic standard on different groups. The desire to defend one's country is admirable, however a person in Iraq has just as much right as I do to try and defend what they hold dear. To say that one standard applies to Americans while another applies to another is to say that people are not created equal, which does against our traditional principals.

    Another view on this is the harm/help perspective. It does more harm to let a catastrophe happen than it does to torture an individual, but is this sufficient justification? If so, than does that give a Canadian the right to torture an American who wants to poison a city's water supply? (as a hypothetical)
    Last edited by tacomancer; 11-11-10 at 02:38 PM.

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    Re: Does defense justify torture?

    If torture were proven to be an effective means of getting information, maybe, but since in most instances, the individual being tortured will tell you anything to make you stop, whether it's true or not, torture really isn't that useful to begin with. Besides, I'd rather not be associated with a government that resorts to base torture to get what it wants. Two wrongs do not make a right.
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    Re: Does defense justify torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    A standard is a good starting point, than one should look at the circumstance as that is equally important. Ultimately though, I cannot see moral justification in any action if one is applying a different basic standard on different groups. The desire to defend one's country is admirable, however a person in Iraq has just as much right as I do to try and defend what they hold dear. To say that one standard applies to Americans while another applies to another is to say that people are not created equal, which does against our traditional principals.

    Another view on this is the harm/help perspective. It does more harm to let a catastrophe happen than it does to torture an individual, but is this sufficient justification? If so, than does that give a Canadian the right to torture an American who wants to poison a city's water supply? (as a hypothetical)
    But then again, we have to accept the political reality that dictates that one group must do his best to improve his current standing and diminish that of his enemies or competition. Whoever wins the rhetorical, political, or military competition gets to dictate terms.

    All of this is messy. I think what I have myself reverted to is, of course, a deeply flawed resolution (though, which way is not incredibly flawed?) from first response onward.
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    Last edited by Fiddytree; 11-11-10 at 02:43 PM.
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    Re: Does defense justify torture?

    Not necessarily. Otherwise, we could have all agreed that the Soviet Union's treatment of various demographics was completely justified. But deep down, there is something in us to revert to us vs. them. Our reliance upon our rhetoric of human rights and our democratic principles perhaps helps prevents the likelihood of extreme measures. The problem is identifying when we have gone to the extreme.

    My problem with this is that it does violate the principal that all men are created equal, meaning that we are essentially going against out traditions and our culture in the effort to preserve those things.
    But that is the issue. You are right..in a way it can be considered contrary to our principles. On the other hand, were we always to act in accordance with our principles, we would have lost out on some excellent opportunities which likewise also benefited us greatly to the point of national and international celebration.
    Last edited by Fiddytree; 11-11-10 at 02:50 PM.
    Michael J Petrilli-"Is School Choice Enough?"-A response to the recent timidity of American conservatives toward education reform. https://nationalaffairs.com/publicat...-choice-enough

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