A Psychological Study of Human Response to Restraint It is rather difficult to determine whether torture is ever acceptable. From different points of view, it can be said that each person has his own opinion considering the issue, and this issue is rather contradictive. It is known that are thousands of various situations of torture and consequently, in some of them torture is being used, for example to prevent terrorist attacks or to get the important information.
An old American tradition of state-sponsored torture even has its own lexicon: It is quite popular, too. No one who doubts that this is the case should be in a position of responsibility.
I intend here to lay the foundation for a strong, cogent anti-torture position. It rests upon three principles: Torture is always wrong; Torture must be banned by law unconditionally; Not all torture decisions should be morally codified. Unfortunately, they do not imply that one should never torture.
This central dilemma arises in principle—we can all imagine ourselves in an extreme situation about which we cannot say with certainty that we would not torture—but does it arise in practice? Many say, with some justification, that it does not. Whatever the case may be, there is a hefty price to pay for dismissing the central dilemma on implausibility grounds, as many liberals are wont to do.
Once the improbable is deemed morally irrelevant, torture can no longer claim the status of absolute wrong, for there is no such thing as an "absolute-wrong-in-practice. Hence my third principle. It stipulates that no ethical code ie, universal decision procedure should tell a would-be torturer what to do in all situations.
This is to avoid rationalization and, beyond it, the dilution of moral responsibility in the hypothetical case where not to torture is no less an immoral option than to do so the central dilemma.
The third principle is a point of meta-ethics. It is not a moral rule per se, but a statement about the inapplicability of moral rules.
It is designed to overcome the justificatory purposes embedded in any ethical code. One may object that the central dilemma arises with any moral wrong, so why single it out? Because it lies at the core of the "torture issue" itself, which, with the wide support it enjoys, is indeed an issue.
How to aggregate universal moral principles into decision procedures, a central problem in ethics, is in my view the only interesting aspect of the torture question; the rest is straightforward. Like many, I feel strongly enough about torture to find the very notion of a "torture debate" distasteful.
But sentiment alone means nothing. I feel strongly about racism, too. But racism is not wrong because it offends my sensibilities. It is wrong because it violates reason and human dignity. Likewise, if we cannot offer a reasoned account of the absolute wrongness of torture especially given the wide public support for it then our impassioned opposition, indispensable though it may be, will still be, strictly speaking, meaningless.
It also matters because one cannot fight effectively for a cause one does not understand.
Is it a coincidence that torture has remained so popular in this country amidst such an impoverished public discourse? Supermax incarceration and prison rape can be construed as institutionalized forms of torture.
For the purpose of this essay, however, I narrow down the definition to the forced exchange of information for the relief of unbearable pain. Much like slavery, torture is coerced trade. To many, its abhorrence requires no empirical evidence: So much so, in fact, that even asking why seems immoral, as if merely speaking of a ghost might make it appear.
But, if torture is so evil, why is it so hard to explain why?
Some say a society that allows torture loses its soul and brings shame on its members. This is true, but it explains nothing—at least no more than calling murder wrong because it makes you a bad person. A line often heard is that torture does not work. Never mind the fragility of a proposition that is both unprovable and falsifiable.
Even if true, this claim is a gift to the torturers: Consequentialism is thin gruel against torture.Trouble in Nigeria's North - Trouble in Nigeria’s North “‘I saw the soldiers asking the people to lie on the ground.
There was a small argument between the soldiers and the civilian JTF. Mass crimes against humanity prior to For about years, during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance periods, the Roman Catholic and Protestant faith groups were directly or indirectly responsible for the arrest, torture and execution of persons believed to worship Satan or express heretical religious ideas.
How to Argue Against Torture by Bernard Chazelle. A signatory to the UN Convention Against Torture, the United States “does not torture.” This is the only subtle point of this essay, so I.
ESSAYS OR COUNSELS. CIVIL AND MORAL OF TRUTH. HAT is truth?
said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer. Certainly there be, that delight in giddiness, and count it a bondage to fix a belief; affecting free-will in thinking, as well as in acting. I can hardly remember what I spoke about at our first conference 20 years ago, but I do recall repeating my mother’s spaghetti recipe, which for those of you who weren’t there, was the most appreciated piece of information I presented.
THE DIALOGUES OF LUCIUS ANNAEUS SENECA BOOK I TO LUCILIUS ON PROVIDENCE+. Why, though there is a Providence, some Misfortunes befall Good Men.