Should torture ever be allowed?
#64
(04-29-2009, 11:46 AM)QuisUtDeus Wrote:
(04-29-2009, 10:29 AM)Walty Wrote: I was listening to a Catholic radio station yesterday and they had a moral theologian on to talk about just this specific issue.  I'll have to find his resources to back this up, but he talked extensively on how torture cannot be permissible under any circumstances.  This is not, again, one of these 'lesser of two evils' issues.  He was specifically asked whether torturing a man who knew where a bomb was that would kill millions of people was morally permissible and he said that it isn't.  There are no exceptions with torture.  It is a gravely sinful act and must never be allowed.

I'd like to hear the reasoning behind this.  It sounds to me like he may be working from the same rationale that says the death penalty should never be used.  Even if you can't find the resources, if you remember the names of them, I'd be interested in trying to find them myself.

Things need to be used in such a way as they go to the greater good.  Winning a court case isn't good enough, but saving millions from a bomb might be.  Further, you can't force someone to do the right thing - in other words, if you torture bomb information out of him, there is no merit in him telling or your actions because good works have to come of free will.  Things that are inherently evil, such as murder, can never be used to the greater good.  Fortunately, just executions don't fall under murder according to the traditional teachings of the Church, and, AFAIK, neither does torture.

The main problem with torture is that it usually doesn't work.  Someone who can't be convinced by reasoning isn't going to be convinced by the threat of torture.  The torture has to be such that it will actually break his will, but at that point, most people will say anything just to get the pain to stop.  If you can't proceed with a reasonable belief that the torture will make a difference towards the common and greater good, then certainly you should not use it.   On the other hand, torture sometimes does work, and if the good to come from the information greatly outweighs temporary pain, then I think it could be justified.  Of course, then you have to consider how much and what kind is reasonable.  It shouldn't be any more than is necessary to get the information in the time period needed.

I'll go to the website to try and find some more information, but I think the logic was that murder is sometimes justified due to a grave crime, but that torture is inherrently evil in that it is issued only to bring pain and suffering and not usually as a means of justification.  I'm not even sure if that was his logic, but it seems somewhat logical to me.  I am certainly not of the camp that says that the death penalty cannot ever be permitted.  It can be permitted, but it seems to me that that is based just as much on an idea of justice as on an idea of using it as a means to keep the community safer.  I could be wrong, but it seems using torture for justice isn't permissible.
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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 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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