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Friday, May 15, 2009

I think torture is wrong.

But beyond that, I don't really know what to think. Every time I watch one of these FBI/CIA movies, it strikes me how unaccountable these organizations are. I mean, they have to be, considering espionage and investigation are almost secretive by definition. But I wonder, what do they do? Who are they hurting? 

We're all bad people - why trust an angry bad person to use torture to extract information out of a scared bad person? Does that really make sense? How do we even know that it's about the information and not just about hurting people who hurt us? Does the information justify the means used to get it? No, I don't think so. 

What do you think?

4 comments:

Falling Wings of Glass said...

I think,first of all, that torture must be defined. After all, don't we torture for information all of the time by inflicting small emotional or curiosity-fueled pains by withholding our own information? I don't think that torture can ever necessarily be good. But then again, we all deserve it. So is it not good to get what we deserve? And yet, to have that deserved punishment inflicted by those who deserve it just as much as we do is unjust. Isn't it? I realize that I'm opening another Pandora's box here, but those are my thoughts.

Michael said...

Torture is Pragmatism at work.

“He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster." - Nietzsche. If you ask me, that is what torture is. I love that quote, it challenges me, and scares me.
"Vengeance is mine." -God, that rules out the "deserve torture" idea.
The idea of torture has always scared the crap out of me, it's revolting...it exploits a part of natural evil in the world (pain) for whatever purposes the torturer so desires.

"And yet, to have that deserved punishment inflicted by those who deserve it just as much as we do is unjust." No, I think not otherwise we ought not to have prisons, parking tickets, our parents spanking us etc. etc.

Hayley said...

"I think, first of all, that torture must be defined." True. In my hasty emotional post, I neglected to do that, and it matters. But at its most basic level, torture is hurting people. And at its most basic level, hurting people is wrong. Torture, like you said, is never necessarily beneficial. I'm convicted of that. I just wish I knew what that look like applied to interrogation and government and Guantanamo Bay, you know?

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster." - Nietzsche. Not a massive Nietzsche fan, but true. Who decided fighting hurt with hurt was a good idea, especially when it comes to something as volatile as obtaining information? To me, torture is so obviously wrong, it makes me sick to my stomach even to think of it, and yet it's /relatively/ widely supported. I know Christians, even, who support some torture. Why is that? Just ignorance and immaturity, or am I oversimplifying the matter?

Micah E. said...

Like Michael said, I think that torture is pragmatism in action.

I can understand why the world would use it. It's effective, it's utilitarian, one person gets hurt and the rest of the world is better off. It appears logical. And, I think that that is why even Christian's can accept it. Because maybe, when faced with the choice of loving a neighbor who wants to kill them, they think that not loving them is the best way to love their other neighbors. We simply decided that the human rights of one person are not worth the human rights of the security of the people near us.

Everybody wants to do what's right when it gives them good results. But far fewer are interested in doing what is right when it might compromise their safety.