Is torture somtimes justified?

Is torture somtimes justified?

  • Yes, somtimes sacrifices must be made to help the greater good

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes, but only in extream circumstances

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No, torture is never acceptable

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Not sure

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0
#1
In todays world where intelligence is vital in protecting and saving lives, do think it is somtimes nessessary to use torture to gain vital information where national security and lives are at risk. I dont mean vicious and brutal torture, I mean mild forms of psycological and somtimes physical torture. I mean, lets say hypothetically, that someone had a explosive device somewhere in London that could kill 100,000's of people, would it be justified to gain that information through torture? Think carefully
 
#2
I think it's important to distinguish betwen 'right' and 'necessary'.

Torture is never right. It has a huge impact on the victim, the torturer and the society that consents to it, but like many distasteful things, it is sometimes necessary. By never thinking of it as right or acceptable and always as a distastefully abhorent abuse of human rights, we can avoid the risk of getting caught in a trap of no limits on use, and no boundaries to its extent and the endless philosiphising that comes with it.

It's a simple fact that there are situations, extreme unthinkable situations, where torture will be the only method of obtaining information to save lives and it's up to us to ensure that then, and only then, is it used.

It doesn't make it right though, just necessary.
 
#3
Chalky said:
I think it's important to distinguish betwen 'right' and 'necessary'.

Torture is never right. It has a huge impact on the victim, the torturer and the society that consents to it, but like many distasteful things, it is sometimes necessary. By never thinking of it as right or acceptable and always as a distastefully abhorent abuse of human rights, we can avoid the risk of getting caught in a trap of no limits on use, and no boundaries to its extent and the endless philosiphising that comes with it.

It's a simple fact that there are situations, extreme unthinkable situations, where torture will be the only method of obtaining information to save lives and it's up to us to ensure that then, and only then, is it used.

It doesn't make it right though, just necessary.
Yes your right, I think though that although it has a huge impact on the victim, they can end it at anytime, by simplying giving away the information. Ofcourse by not doing that they are possibly causing the deaths of people which is also totally unacceptable and wrong, the probably is how is it carried out, somtimes the victim has nothing to give and the torturers somtimes do not want answers.
 
G

Goku

Guest
#6
A moral dilemma indeed.

I’d have to say “yes” with a “but”.

If we had captured one of the monsters involved in 9/11 or the 7/7 bombings before they had happened and had sufficient intel to know that those we had captured could of told us something to prevent those attacks happening – then yes I could justify torture or possibly even murder if it could have prevented those attacks.

But how can you ever truly be sure that those your torturing are not actually innocent, or so far down the food chain that they don’t know anything useful.
 
#7
It can't be justified. We have to avoid lowering ourselves to the level of those that behead innocent hostages.

Besides, I'd swear that my real name was Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and I used to fist my own mother whilst being spanked by a midget on a goat, if you started bringing a knife towards my testicles.
 
#8
This discussion is problematic as we haven't really decided what torture is.

Blasting someone with white noise, placing them in stress positions and drugging them up to the nines is markedly different from breaking someone's shins, bum-raping them and rubbing excrement in their faces.

Yet both are catergorically grouped as torture because something harmful is inflicted on someone without their consent.

Torture, like its use, is not in my mind an absolutism.
 
#9
torture and human rights don't go together . Those who use terrorist tactics don't deserve human rights and anything that will protect the law abiding should be acceptable.
 
#10
OldTimer said:
torture and human rights don't go together . Those who use terrorist tactics don't deserve human rights and anything that will protect the law abiding should be acceptable.
Yes, but what if the person you're torturing turns out not to be a terrorist after all, but was just in the wrong place at the wrong time? That means that torture used to protect the law abiding may accidentally be used against them.
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#11
The Geneva Convention said:
No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.

Prisoners of war who, owing to their physical or mental condition, are unable to state their identity, shall be handed over to the medical service. The identity of such prisoners shall be established by all possible means, subject to the provisions of the preceding paragraph.

The questioning of prisoners of war shall be carried out in a language which they understand.
Not awfully ambiguous is it?
 
#13
hp_sauce said:
Does torture actually work?
As far as I'm aware, the effectiveness of torture through pain or humiliation is somewhat limited as people often end up telling the torturer exactly what they want to hear, just so it will stop.

Torture by coercion, confusion or with the use of drugs has been shown to be somewhat more effective, although easier to resist by effective training techniques.
 
#16
Drugs, white noise, verbal abuse and maybe smacking them about a bit is, I think, somtimes justified. However surgical torture, hot pokers in the eyes, cutting genitals off with a blunt blade etc. is somthing else. However, you have to ask yourself is that individual suffering worth hundreds or thousands of innocent lives?
 
#17
The problem with that line of argument is simple: where does the individual's suffering cease to be worth it? 100 lives? 10? 1? if you accept torture in one case, it becomes increasingly hard to deny it in a slightly less important case. Better to say 'This is never acceptable.' and leave it there.

As to the use of drugs, consider: Would you trust the word of someone who was drunk? I doubt it - so why trust the word of someone doped on hallucinogens or similar?
 
#19
put the boot on the other foot and go back 15 years. SAS soldiers working behind the lines in iraq are captured by the iraqis. the iraqis argue that these prisoners hold intelligence which could save lots of iraqi lives.

so it's ok to torture them?

we all know what actually happened; my point is that you seem to be arguing that this is ok. or is it only ok when we are dishing it out?
 
#20
Quite a tricky one for me this. I read a book called "Why terrorism works?" by some guy called Dershowitz or something like that, and there is a chapter in there entitled "Should the ticking bomb terrorist be tortured?". It refers to an incident when the Italian Red Brigades kidnapped Aldo Moro in the 80's, the Italian Police had in custody a number of members of said group who were boasting around the prison that they knew where he would be being held. They (apparently) seriously considered the use of torture (non-lethal and non-permanent application of unbearable pain) in order to obtain said location. The Interior Ministry and several high-ranking judges refused, saying that although the information might indeed save Moro, the damage it would cause to the integrity of the Italian State and Judiciary in the eyes of the rest of the world would not be worth it.
Now, that was for one man, if someone had information about the location of a chemical device that would be detonated somewhere in central London over the next 48 hours, I would say that torture was not only acceptable, but also necessary as long as
a) As per the example above, the pain inflicted was both non-lethal and non-permanent and
b) There was absolutely no shred of doubt that the subject held the required information.
I think that in such circumstances, it would be necessary to inflict pain on an individual, bearing in mind that they have the power to end it, in order to save thousands of lives.
 

New Posts