Should torture ever be allowed?
#11
I am among those who argue that in the ticking timebomb scenario it is permissible to inflict severe pain on a known terrorist to coerce him to reveal the whereabouts of the bomb, details of the plot, etc.  If you define this situation as "torture," then torture is not inherently wrong.  If you define "torture" as inherently wrong, or as something that always entails sadism, then I say that the infliction of pain I described does not meet this definition of "torture."  Personally, I'm fine with calling it torture and saying it's permissible.  I would also say that it is morally permissible to use severe pain as a form of corporal punishment for a crime. 

I note that several people here do not think the feds should be trusted to decide who is a terrorist or not, hence "torture" (I assume they mean in the ticking timebomb scenario) should not be permitted.  I do not buy this argument.  Following this line of argumentation, one might say, "I don't trust cops (=pigs), ergo they shouldn't be able to carry guns."  The worthiness of current magistrates is not the issue.  The issue is what a government has a natural right -- and duty -- to do.  Even a Communist government is right to arrest rapists and burglars.  If a neocon CIA agent (for the sake of argument) has a terrorist in custody and the terrorist knows where a ticking timebomb is planted, he has the right and the duty to do precisely the same things to get the information that a perfectly just Catholic CIA agent (for the sake of argument) would have.  One's distrust of current magistrates does not redefine what is or is not within the moral parameters of a government to do.  From the sounds of it, the Bush administration waterboarded three people who almost certainly would qualify for such treatment under any objective standard of evaluation -- all three were senior officials in Al-Queda.  *IF* waterboarding is moral and effective (if it is immoral, its effectiveness is irrelevvant; if it is ineffective, it is not moral), it would be moral to subject these three to it. It would be different if the Bush administration were waterboarding war protesters from the Catholic Worker Movement. 
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Messages In This Thread
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by Walty - 04-29-2009, 10:29 AM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by Bonifacius - 04-29-2009, 01:01 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by DrBombay - 04-29-2009, 03:05 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by SCG - 04-29-2009, 03:09 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by SCG - 04-29-2009, 03:12 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by Texican - 04-29-2009, 03:14 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by SCG - 04-29-2009, 03:19 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by DrBombay - 04-29-2009, 03:23 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by Texican - 04-29-2009, 04:31 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by Texican - 04-29-2009, 05:00 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by Texican - 04-29-2009, 05:03 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by Melita - 04-29-2009, 05:23 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by Texican - 04-29-2009, 05:32 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by Walty - 04-29-2009, 06:57 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by SCG - 04-29-2009, 07:33 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by Texican - 04-29-2009, 07:45 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by SCG - 04-29-2009, 08:20 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by SCG - 04-29-2009, 08:26 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by SCG - 04-29-2009, 08:45 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by SCG - 04-29-2009, 09:07 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by Marc - 04-29-2009, 09:40 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by INPEFESS - 04-30-2009, 08:14 AM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by INPEFESS - 04-30-2009, 09:45 AM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by INPEFESS - 04-30-2009, 10:27 AM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by INPEFESS - 04-30-2009, 11:01 AM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by INPEFESS - 09-02-2009, 11:19 AM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by glgas - 09-02-2009, 01:50 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by INPEFESS - 09-02-2009, 03:16 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by INPEFESS - 09-02-2009, 09:05 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by INPEFESS - 09-03-2009, 01:16 AM



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