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#1 Wizard

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 13:37

George Bush admits authorising torture following 9/11 and believes it saved lives. Do you consider torture to be a legitimate means of extracting communication from terrorist suspects and do you condone the actions of the security services and police forces that utilise it?

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 13:43

No,
Torture can never be right, it isn't even a viable information technique. As it will enevitably lead to the victim telling the torturer what he WANT to know, rather than the truth.

Edited by SquigPie, 09 November 2010 - 13:44.

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Imagine a group of people who are all blind, deaf and slightly demented and suddenly someone in the crowd asks, "What are we to do?"... The only possible answer is, "Look for a cure". Until you are cured, there is nothing you can do.
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#3 Wizard

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 13:43

 SquigPie, on 9 Nov 2010, 13:43, said:

No,
Torture can never be right, it isn't even a viable information technique, as it will enevitably lead to the victim telling the torturer what he WANT to know rather than the truth.

The quoted sauce sort of proves you wrong on that point, no?

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 13:52

No man has the right to cause suffering on another, regardless of circumstances.
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#5 CJ

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 14:08

I'm openly in favor of death penalty and torture as long as the guilt of the suspect is 100% established. A criminal deserves no mercy for me, and if torturing him can save innocent lives or discourage others from doing what he did, it's more than enough to justify it.

View PostChyros, on 11 November 2013 - 18:21, said:

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#6 Wizard

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 14:34

 CJ, on 9 Nov 2010, 14:08, said:

I'm openly in favor of death penalty and torture as long as the guilt of the suspect is 100% established. A criminal deserves no mercy for me, and if torturing him can save innocent lives or discourage others from doing what he did, it's more than enough to justify it.

The issue here is that torture and the death penalty are either side of the condition of guilt. You don't torture a guilty, convicted man for information, especially in terrorist matters. You torture suspects, then convict them later, or their information is out of date and worthless.

In some respects I lean towards the side that it can save lives, but I have no idea on what basis and intelligence (security intelligence, not mental intelligence) is utilised to place suspects under torture. There is part of me that thinks such matters, if they are felt to be required, should be scrutinsed and approved by a judicial body. If you need a court order to approve a wire tap, you should need one to conduct torture.

It's morally reprehensible, but so is blowing up a bus full of school children. The war on terror isn't good vs. evil and it's naive to think that it should treated as such.

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 14:43

Torture, as a whole, is something that I readily condone. It's inhuman, it's unethical, and I believe torture is something that only humans subject each other to - no other natural being does so.

That said, the causing of suffering upon hundreds or thousands of people is also morally reprehensible. If, by means of torturing a few terrorists, we could have stopped 9/11 or 7/7, then it should have been done. There are means of torture that are no longer physically damaging (waterboarding leaves no permanent physical damage, just an immediate fear of death), and these means should be used to have suspects give up information that they otherwise would not do so. I do, however, again agree with Wizard - much like you need warrants to tap phones lines/search houses/etc, I would suggest that a warrant would be needed for torture. Like other warrants, there must be a reason for this suspicion, and the need for urgency etc. We should never allow torture to be used as an everyday policing measure. But I think we should allow it should there be no other choice.
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#8 CJ

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 14:49

 Wizard, on 9 Nov 2010, 15:34, said:

 CJ, on 9 Nov 2010, 14:08, said:

I'm openly in favor of death penalty and torture as long as the guilt of the suspect is 100% established. A criminal deserves no mercy for me, and if torturing him can save innocent lives or discourage others from doing what he did, it's more than enough to justify it.

The issue here is that torture and the death penalty are either side of the condition of guilt. You don't torture a guilty, convicted man for information, especially in terrorist matters. You torture suspects, then convict them later, or their information is out of date and worthless.

In some respects I lean towards the side that it can save lives, but I have no idea on what basis and intelligence (security intelligence, not mental intelligence) is utilised to place suspects under torture. There is part of me that thinks such matters, if they are felt to be required, should be scrutinsed and approved by a judicial body. If you need a court order to approve a wire tap, you should need one to conduct torture.

It's morally reprehensible, but so is blowing up a bus full of school children. The war on terror isn't good vs. evil and it's naive to think that it should treated as such.

When talking about guilt, I was more thinking of terrorists captured on the battlefield such as the Talibans in Afghanistan than of people who already committed their deeds. I do realize it's pretty hard to establish the guilt of someone if they didn't act yet, especially with the fact that the juridic system of most countries is terribly flawed.
Also when I think of torture I see it more like a way to make an example than a way to get information. You might call me sadistic or deranged, but I live in the same country as some of these lunatics and I know for a fact that only violence can be used against them.

View PostChyros, on 11 November 2013 - 18:21, said:

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#9 Crazykenny

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 16:12

 Alias, on 9 Nov 2010, 14:52, said:

No man has the right to cause suffering on another, regardless of circumstances.


That. Short and simple.
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#10 SquigPie

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 16:15

 Crazykenny, on 9 Nov 2010, 17:12, said:

 Alias, on 9 Nov 2010, 14:52, said:

No man has the right to cause suffering on another, regardless of circumstances.


That. Short and simple.


Thirded. Violence is never right, I'm still not sure if it can be necessary in some situations...

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Imagine a group of people who are all blind, deaf and slightly demented and suddenly someone in the crowd asks, "What are we to do?"... The only possible answer is, "Look for a cure". Until you are cured, there is nothing you can do.
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#11 Umbrella Secrets

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 16:26

I feel like torture is wrong in one way, but in another it is the right thing to do. The reason I say this is because, the Taliban torture, kill, cut off heads, and stone women to death if they uncover their face. I feel as if they should be tortured in order to get information, it's not like they already did it to their own. On the other side I also feel that it is wrong to torture some man that might be innocent to a crime and then have him be tortured.
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#12 Wizard

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 18:17

 Crazykenny, on 9 Nov 2010, 16:12, said:

 Alias, on 9 Nov 2010, 14:52, said:

No man has the right to cause suffering on another, regardless of circumstances.


That. Short and simple.

I am not attempting to change people's minds with this topic, but answering that it is fundamentally wrong, period, does not take into account many factors. For example, can you honestly tell me that if (God forbid this ever happens) you were to lose a family member to a terrorist attack and that attack could have been prevented by the use of water-boarding, that you would still agree that such a method is reprehensible??

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 20:38

The problem with torture is mainly the fact that being tortured does not make one guilty. It strongly favours confession of guilt, so a truly innocent party will have to endure it until they give up, or until they get the confession they want. Therefore, not only does it encourage people to give false confessions to make it stop, but it is a form of punishment without trial in which the innocent are no better off than the uncooperative.
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#14 Alias

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 22:40

 Wizard, on 10 Nov 2010, 5:17, said:

 Crazykenny, on 9 Nov 2010, 16:12, said:

 Alias, on 9 Nov 2010, 14:52, said:

No man has the right to cause suffering on another, regardless of circumstances.


That. Short and simple.

I am not attempting to change people's minds with this topic, but answering that it is fundamentally wrong, period, does not take into account many factors. For example, can you honestly tell me that if (God forbid this ever happens) you were to lose a family member to a terrorist attack and that attack could have been prevented by the use of water-boarding, that you would still agree that such a method is reprehensible??
Of course. The problem with approving 'torture-lite' such as waterboarding (which is far worse than any of you think) is it eventually leads to the more disturbing methods further down the chain. Just like at the moment where all torture is banned, many hold the view of 'a little waterboarding is fine'. How long will it take from when waterboarding is approved until you get to the stage of 'a little amputation is fine'. Even by approving the most basic torture methods you are sending the world back into the middle ages.
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#15 CJ

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 22:56

 Alias, on 9 Nov 2010, 23:40, said:

 Wizard, on 10 Nov 2010, 5:17, said:

 Crazykenny, on 9 Nov 2010, 16:12, said:

 Alias, on 9 Nov 2010, 14:52, said:

No man has the right to cause suffering on another, regardless of circumstances.


That. Short and simple.

I am not attempting to change people's minds with this topic, but answering that it is fundamentally wrong, period, does not take into account many factors. For example, can you honestly tell me that if (God forbid this ever happens) you were to lose a family member to a terrorist attack and that attack could have been prevented by the use of water-boarding, that you would still agree that such a method is reprehensible??
Of course. The problem with approving 'torture-lite' such as waterboarding (which is far worse than any of you think) is it eventually leads to the more disturbing methods further down the chain. Just like at the moment where all torture is banned, many hold the view of 'a little waterboarding is fine'. How long will it take from when waterboarding is approved until you get to the stage of 'a little amputation is fine'. Even by approving the most basic torture methods you are sending the world back into the middle ages.

Middle age? You mean the era in which people used to stone women and commit similar atrocities? I guess it's still middle age somewhere in the world then :P

View PostChyros, on 11 November 2013 - 18:21, said:

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#16 Wizard

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 23:37

 Alias, on 9 Nov 2010, 22:40, said:

 Wizard, on 10 Nov 2010, 5:17, said:

 Crazykenny, on 9 Nov 2010, 16:12, said:

 Alias, on 9 Nov 2010, 14:52, said:

No man has the right to cause suffering on another, regardless of circumstances.


That. Short and simple.

I am not attempting to change people's minds with this topic, but answering that it is fundamentally wrong, period, does not take into account many factors. For example, can you honestly tell me that if (God forbid this ever happens) you were to lose a family member to a terrorist attack and that attack could have been prevented by the use of water-boarding, that you would still agree that such a method is reprehensible??
Of course. The problem with approving 'torture-lite' such as waterboarding (which is far worse than any of you think) is it eventually leads to the more disturbing methods further down the chain. Just like at the moment where all torture is banned, many hold the view of 'a little waterboarding is fine'. How long will it take from when waterboarding is approved until you get to the stage of 'a little amputation is fine'. Even by approving the most basic torture methods you are sending the world back into the middle ages.

At no point did I mention water-boarding as insignificant, no act of torture would be. My point wasn't water-boarding, it was the loss of a loved one that could have been saved by a method such as water-boarding. Saying something is morally reprehensible is all well and good if you are not in the firing line. What you are saying is, that were it within your power to prevent the mass-murder of several thousand people, by use of the means of torture, you would not act?? You would let thousands of people die, knowing that the terrorist, renditioned before you, has the information you need to prevent their deaths?

Referring to my original question

Quote

Do you consider torture to be a legitimate means of extracting communication from terrorist suspects

We aren't talking about uncertainties here, I am asking if you would condone torture, of whatever kind it took, to force a terrorist to divulge information that would save more than one other life.

#17 Alias

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 23:55

 Wizard, on 10 Nov 2010, 10:37, said:

 Alias, on 9 Nov 2010, 22:40, said:

 Wizard, on 10 Nov 2010, 5:17, said:

 Crazykenny, on 9 Nov 2010, 16:12, said:

 Alias, on 9 Nov 2010, 14:52, said:

No man has the right to cause suffering on another, regardless of circumstances.


That. Short and simple.

I am not attempting to change people's minds with this topic, but answering that it is fundamentally wrong, period, does not take into account many factors. For example, can you honestly tell me that if (God forbid this ever happens) you were to lose a family member to a terrorist attack and that attack could have been prevented by the use of water-boarding, that you would still agree that such a method is reprehensible??
Of course. The problem with approving 'torture-lite' such as waterboarding (which is far worse than any of you think) is it eventually leads to the more disturbing methods further down the chain. Just like at the moment where all torture is banned, many hold the view of 'a little waterboarding is fine'. How long will it take from when waterboarding is approved until you get to the stage of 'a little amputation is fine'. Even by approving the most basic torture methods you are sending the world back into the middle ages.

At no point did I mention water-boarding as insignificant, no act of torture would be. My point wasn't water-boarding, it was the loss of a loved one that could have been saved by a method such as water-boarding. Saying something is morally reprehensible is all well and good if you are not in the firing line. What you are saying is, that were it within your power to prevent the mass-murder of several thousand people, by use of the means of torture, you would not act?? You would let thousands of people die, knowing that the terrorist, renditioned before you, has the information you need to prevent their deaths?

Referring to my original question

Quote

Do you consider torture to be a legitimate means of extracting communication from terrorist suspects

We aren't talking about uncertainties here, I am asking if you would condone torture, of whatever kind it took, to force a terrorist to divulge information that would save more than one other life.
How would you know whether he has the information or not? You can never be sure about that. How would you feel, as the torturer, if you just realised you tortured an innocent man?
It is impossible to justify torture by any means.

Lets put it this way: if you were captured by terrorists, and you knew critical information about a military operation which involves bombing a terrorist stronghold village. Would you consent to the terrorists torturing you in order to get the information out of you that would save thousands of people?
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#18 Wizard

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 01:04

 Alias, on 9 Nov 2010, 23:55, said:

Lets put it this way: if you were captured by terrorists, and you knew critical information about a military operation which involves bombing a terrorist stronghold village. Would you consent to the terrorists torturing you in order to get the information out of you that would save thousands of people?

Do you think that:

1/I'd have a choice?
2/They'd even think twice about it?

Edited by Wizard, 10 November 2010 - 01:04.


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Posted 10 November 2010 - 01:37

Wall of Text and Quotes inbound. Apologies, I didn't realize how long it was until I'd posted it.

 AJ, on 9 Nov 2010, 9:43, said:

Torture, as a whole, is something that I readily condone. It's inhuman, it's unethical, and I believe torture is something that only humans subject each other to - no other natural being does so.

That said, the causing of suffering upon hundreds or thousands of people is also morally reprehensible. If, by means of torturing a few terrorists, we could have stopped 9/11 or 7/7, then it should have been done. There are means of torture that are no longer physically damaging (waterboarding leaves no permanent physical damage, just an immediate fear of death), and these means should be used to have suspects give up information that they otherwise would not do so. I do, however, again agree with Wizard - much like you need warrants to tap phones lines/search houses/etc, I would suggest that a warrant would be needed for torture. Like other warrants, there must be a reason for this suspicion, and the need for urgency etc. We should never allow torture to be used as an everyday policing measure. But I think we should allow it should there be no other choice.

AJ has effectively taken the words out of my mouth here. Torture is not a good thing. Neither is war. For the last several thousand years, man has used both. It's not pretty, and by and large it's morally reprehensible. But there are situations where it's justified.

 SquigPie, on 9 Nov 2010, 11:15, said:

 Crazykenny, on 9 Nov 2010, 17:12, said:

 Alias, on 9 Nov 2010, 14:52, said:

No man has the right to cause suffering on another, regardless of circumstances.


That. Short and simple.


Thirded. Violence is never right, I'm still not sure if it can be necessary in some situations...


I have to disagree. And while my thoughts on the manner would take a fair amount of time to put to (digital) paper here, I have to say, Robert Heinlein covers them quite adequately:

Quote

Those who cling to the untrue doctrine that violence never settles anything would be advised to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Nations and peoples who forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.

No, violence is not good- but it is part of human nature and will most likely remain a part of human nature for all the time we exist as the dominant lifeform of this planet, a position we hold only because of this part of our nature. We are not the toughest nor the strongest nor the fastest of the animals on this planet, yet we remain top dog so to speak, due, frankly, to our ability to exert unrelenting and unparalleled amounts of violence against our fellow man and every other living thing on this planet. Do you think, do you really think, that we should cease to do such all together?

 From 9 Nov 2010, 18:55:

 Wizard, on 10 Nov 2010, 10:37, said:

 Alias, on 9 Nov 2010, 22:40, said:

 Wizard, on 10 Nov 2010, 5:17, said:

 Crazykenny, on 9 Nov 2010, 16:12, said:

 Alias, on 9 Nov 2010, 14:52, said:

No man has the right to cause suffering on another, regardless of circumstances.


That. Short and simple.

I am not attempting to change people's minds with this topic, but answering that it is fundamentally wrong, period, does not take into account many factors. For example, can you honestly tell me that if (God forbid this ever happens) you were to lose a family member to a terrorist attack and that attack could have been prevented by the use of water-boarding, that you would still agree that such a method is reprehensible??
Of course. The problem with approving 'torture-lite' such as waterboarding (which is far worse than any of you think) is it eventually leads to the more disturbing methods further down the chain. Just like at the moment where all torture is banned, many hold the view of 'a little waterboarding is fine'. How long will it take from when waterboarding is approved until you get to the stage of 'a little amputation is fine'. Even by approving the most basic torture methods you are sending the world back into the middle ages.

At no point did I mention water-boarding as insignificant, no act of torture would be. My point wasn't water-boarding, it was the loss of a loved one that could have been saved by a method such as water-boarding. Saying something is morally reprehensible is all well and good if you are not in the firing line. What you are saying is, that were it within your power to prevent the mass-murder of several thousand people, by use of the means of torture, you would not act?? You would let thousands of people die, knowing that the terrorist, renditioned before you, has the information you need to prevent their deaths?

Referring to my original question

Quote

Do you consider torture to be a legitimate means of extracting communication from terrorist suspects

We aren't talking about uncertainties here, I am asking if you would condone torture, of whatever kind it took, to force a terrorist to divulge information that would save more than one other life.
How would you know whether he has the information or not? You can never be sure about that. How would you feel, as the torturer, if you just realised you tortured an innocent man?
It is impossible to justify torture by any means.

Lets put it this way: if you were captured by terrorists, and you knew critical information about a military operation which involves bombing a terrorist stronghold village. Would you consent to the terrorists torturing you in order to get the information out of you that would save thousands of people?

Avoiding the question isn't really an argument. Wizard proposed a hypothetical here, and avoiding it by saying it could "never happen" is really rather weak, mate. And I have no doubt, that, in the situation you've described, the terrorists wouldn't hesitate a second to use such means.

Edited by Jok3r, 10 November 2010 - 01:38.

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#20 deltaepsilon

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 02:12

In this case, most of the victims of torture, namely the ones at Guantanamo, are being held there on a less than legitimate basis, which is my main gripe. However, I can't completely find myself condemning torture, and it's not just because I've watched too much 24. You have to consider that while its easy to intellectualise a situation that may call for torture, it's pretty different when you're actually in the situation and you're weighing up whether the means justify the ends.

Just my $0.02
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#21 Alias

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 03:12

 Jok3r, on 10 Nov 2010, 12:37, said:

AJ has effectively taken the words out of my mouth here. Torture is not a good thing. Neither is war. For the last several thousand years, man has used both. It's not pretty, and by and large it's morally reprehensible. But there are situations where it's justified.
Name a situation where either of them are justified. You cannot justify violence against another, and therefore you cannot justify war. Violence just leads to it reciprocating back into more violence.

 Jok3r, on 10 Nov 2010, 12:37, said:

I have to disagree. And while my thoughts on the manner would take a fair amount of time to put to (digital) paper here, I have to say, Robert Heinlein covers them quite adequately:

Quote

Those who cling to the untrue doctrine that violence never settles anything would be advised to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Nations and peoples who forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.

No, violence is not good- but it is part of human nature and will most likely remain a part of human nature for all the time we exist as the dominant lifeform of this planet, a position we hold only because of this part of our nature. We are not the toughest nor the strongest nor the fastest of the animals on this planet, yet we remain top dog so to speak, due, frankly, to our ability to exert unrelenting and unparalleled amounts of violence against our fellow man and every other living thing on this planet. Do you think, do you really think, that we should cease to do such all together?
You are correct, we are not the toughest nor the strongest nor the fastest of the animals on this planet. We are, however, the most intelligent. This intelligence is what leads to our domination, not our capability for violence acts.

As for the quote, here's one from Asimov:

Quote

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.


 Jok3r, on 10 Nov 2010, 12:37, said:

Avoiding the question isn't really an argument. Wizard proposed a hypothetical here, and avoiding it by saying it could "never happen" is really rather weak, mate. And I have no doubt, that, in the situation you've described, the terrorists wouldn't hesitate a second to use such means.
I didn't avoid the question. I already answered it in the previous post.

My question was rhetorical. Whether or not the terrorists decide to torture you or not is irrelevant, the relevant part is whether you, in your mind, would be able to understand their motivations. Their motivation is exactly the same as yours: saving lives. Their action would be exactly the same as yours: extracting information via torture. If you personally think that torture should be used in cases where it could save lives, then you should not have any objections to the terrorists torturing you, as it is the exact same situation.
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#22 Golan

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 03:51

Torture as a means of information gathering is a flawed concept in itself. It takes the premise that the victim lies and tries to remedy this by causing physical and psychological pain until the torturer thinks the answer is right - and then there is still no way of telling whether or not the victim is lying, only that you've just given him another reason not to cooperate.

Also, Wizard, your question is a prime example why one should refrain from torture on principal. Basically, you are assuming beforehand that the victim actually has relevant information - which you can't know because the entire point is that you torture him as you don't have his informations.
Of course you might be lucky with every Xth victim of yours - likewise, killing off random people is guaranteed to save humanity from a future mass murderer sooner or later. Yet, by torturing all those non-Xth innocent people, you create masses of people that have a very good reason to come to your literal or metaphorical doorstep and clean house. Let's just hope you're home and not the *quote*loved one*unquote* you heroically saved.

Edited by Golan, 10 November 2010 - 03:54.

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#23 Jok3r

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 04:31

 Alias, on 9 Nov 2010, 22:12, said:

 Jok3r, on 10 Nov 2010, 12:37, said:

AJ has effectively taken the words out of my mouth here. Torture is not a good thing. Neither is war. For the last several thousand years, man has used both. It's not pretty, and by and large it's morally reprehensible. But there are situations where it's justified.
Name a situation where either of them are justified. You cannot justify violence against another, and therefore you cannot justify war. Violence just leads to it reciprocating back into more violence.

I hate to be reduced to this, but... really? You argue that, essentially, even World War II wasn't justified? That swift, violent response by the Allies cannot be justified by the good it did? If what you're saying here is what you truly believe, I don't think we're ever really going to see eye to eye on this issue.

 Alias, on 9 Nov 2010, 22:12, said:

 Jok3r, on 10 Nov 2010, 12:37, said:

I have to disagree. And while my thoughts on the manner would take a fair amount of time to put to (digital) paper here, I have to say, Robert Heinlein covers them quite adequately:

Quote

Those who cling to the untrue doctrine that violence never settles anything would be advised to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Nations and peoples who forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.

No, violence is not good- but it is part of human nature and will most likely remain a part of human nature for all the time we exist as the dominant lifeform of this planet, a position we hold only because of this part of our nature. We are not the toughest nor the strongest nor the fastest of the animals on this planet, yet we remain top dog so to speak, due, frankly, to our ability to exert unrelenting and unparalleled amounts of violence against our fellow man and every other living thing on this planet. Do you think, do you really think, that we should cease to do such all together?
You are correct, we are not the toughest nor the strongest nor the fastest of the animals on this planet. We are, however, the most intelligent. This intelligence is what leads to our domination, not our capability for violence acts.

As for the quote, here's one from Asimov:

Quote

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.



Bravo, Asimov is always a good choice for these kinds of things, as oft-misquoted as he has been. As far as I know, this is not, however, the case here. But I answer all you've said here with one question- how, aside from violence, has our intelligence allowed us this position on earth? We haven't negotiated with the angry bear for peace. We haven't outwitted the rabid dog. We have used that intelligence, sadly, to develop lethally efficient ways to spread humanity and suppress anything that got in our way. Was it right? That's a rather grand question, and not entirely relevant. The fact of the matter is that yes- our intelligence has put as at the top, as has our development of opposable thumbs (Dolphins, too, have quite the capacity for both intellectualism and violence), but that is because of what we've developed using it, sadly.

 Alias, on 9 Nov 2010, 22:12, said:

 Jok3r, on 10 Nov 2010, 12:37, said:

Avoiding the question isn't really an argument. Wizard proposed a hypothetical here, and avoiding it by saying it could "never happen" is really rather weak, mate. And I have no doubt, that, in the situation you've described, the terrorists wouldn't hesitate a second to use such means.
I didn't avoid the question. I already answered it in the previous post.

My question was rhetorical. Whether or not the terrorists decide to torture you or not is irrelevant, the relevant part is whether you, in your mind, would be able to understand their motivations. Their motivation is exactly the same as yours: saving lives. Their action would be exactly the same as yours: extracting information via torture. If you personally think that torture should be used in cases where it could save lives, then you should not have any objections to the terrorists torturing you, as it is the exact same situation.

The issue I take with this, really, is only that you are attempting to attach human sentiment to a philosophical debate. It's obvious that no one wants to be tortured. However, I don't want to be shot, either. If I walk into a mall and start gunning down the masses, I'd expect to be shot. Essentially, your argument is clear- but it's flawed. In that situation, yes, I would be tortured. Would it be right? Not any more or any less than if we torture anyone. Could it be justified? That's situational.

That, really, is what I see as the ultimate issue here. It's not possible to make an absolute statement about an issue like this, because the justifications for something like this, ultimately, are situational. That's why I think AJ is largely right. Is anyone advocating the use of violence against innocents en masse? No. What's been suggested is that, under warrant and with evidence (and this is something that can be sued against if it turns out wrong) it's not unreasonable to go to extreme ends to avert extreme disasters.

Edited by Jok3r, 10 November 2010 - 04:36.

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#24 Alias

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 05:26

 Jok3r, on 10 Nov 2010, 15:31, said:

 Alias, on 9 Nov 2010, 22:12, said:

 Jok3r, on 10 Nov 2010, 12:37, said:

Avoiding the question isn't really an argument. Wizard proposed a hypothetical here, and avoiding it by saying it could "never happen" is really rather weak, mate. And I have no doubt, that, in the situation you've described, the terrorists wouldn't hesitate a second to use such means.
I didn't avoid the question. I already answered it in the previous post.

My question was rhetorical. Whether or not the terrorists decide to torture you or not is irrelevant, the relevant part is whether you, in your mind, would be able to understand their motivations. Their motivation is exactly the same as yours: saving lives. Their action would be exactly the same as yours: extracting information via torture. If you personally think that torture should be used in cases where it could save lives, then you should not have any objections to the terrorists torturing you, as it is the exact same situation.

The issue I take with this, really, is only that you are attempting to attach human sentiment to a philosophical debate. It's obvious that no one wants to be tortured. However, I don't want to be shot, either. If I walk into a mall and start gunning down the masses, I'd expect to be shot. Essentially, your argument is clear- but it's flawed. In that situation, yes, I would be tortured. Would it be right? Not any more or any less than if we torture anyone. Could it be justified? That's situational.

That, really, is what I see as the ultimate issue here. It's not possible to make an absolute statement about an issue like this, because the justifications for something like this, ultimately, are situational. That's why I think AJ is largely right. Is anyone advocating the use of violence against innocents en masse? No. What's been suggested is that, under warrant and with evidence (and this is something that can be sued against if it turns out wrong) it's not unreasonable to go to extreme ends to avert extreme disasters.
How did I attach any human sentiment? Thinking back on it, I probably should have stated it as a "Coalition Soldier" getting captured, however I didn't. The one who originally added sentiment to the debate was Wizard with his "what about your loved ones!" situation. Mine was merely a rhetorical question testing how hypocritical your thinking was.

Here, I'll reword the 'sentimental' question for you:

Quote

Lets put it this way: if a coalition soldier was captured by terrorists, who knew critical information about a military operation which involves bombing a terrorist stronghold village. Would you object to the terrorists torturing the soldier in order to get the information out of him that would save thousands of people?

If it is a 'situational' thing, and that 'situation' involves saving thousands of people, how is the terrorist torture anything different than what you think is justified?

Edited by Alias, 10 November 2010 - 05:37.

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#25 CJ

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 07:18

 Alias, on 10 Nov 2010, 6:26, said:

Quote

Lets put it this way: if a coalition soldier was captured by terrorists, who knew critical information about a military operation which involves bombing a terrorist stronghold village. Would you object to the terrorists torturing the soldier in order to get the information out of him that would save thousands of people?

If it is a 'situational' thing, and that 'situation' involves saving thousands of people, how is the terrorist torture anything different than what you think is justified?

Your situation involves saving a terrorist stronghold, not innocent people, therefore you can't say it's justified.

View PostChyros, on 11 November 2013 - 18:21, said:

I bet I could program an internet






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