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#26 Alias

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 07:28

 CJ, on 10 Nov 2010, 18:18, said:

 Alias, on 10 Nov 2010, 6:26, said:

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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.
I said 'terrorist stronghold village', in which I meant a town of people who are generally more sympathetic to terrorist groups rather than westerners. Other than that, they're innocent people.

I never said it was justified, by the way. I'm just saying it's just as unjustifiable in the OP as it is in my example.
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#27 Sgt. Rho

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 08:34

 Jok3r, on 10 Nov 2010, 5:31, said:

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.


World War II was about as justified as the Crusades or any other armed conflict for that matter, neither were the allies' attacks nor was Germany going 'MINE! ALL MINE!' on middle Europe.

Edited by Sgt. Rho, 10 November 2010 - 09:05.


#28 Jok3r

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 13:05

 Sgt. Rho, on 10 Nov 2010, 3:34, said:

 Jok3r, on 10 Nov 2010, 5:31, said:

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.


World War II was about as justified as the Crusades or any other armed conflict for that matter, neither were the allies' attacks nor was Germany going 'MINE! ALL MINE!' on middle Europe.


I'm sorry, what?

You are saying that the allies would've been better off sitting on their laurels and allowing Germany to steamroll Europe and persecute minorities throughout?
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#29 SquigPie

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 13:50

 Jok3r, on 10 Nov 2010, 14:05, said:

 Sgt. Rho, on 10 Nov 2010, 3:34, said:

 Jok3r, on 10 Nov 2010, 5:31, said:

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.


World War II was about as justified as the Crusades or any other armed conflict for that matter, neither were the allies' attacks nor was Germany going 'MINE! ALL MINE!' on middle Europe.


I'm sorry, what?

You are saying that the allies would've been better off sitting on their laurels and allowing Germany to steamroll Europe and persecute minorities throughout?


Maybe he's against some of the less...honorable things they did.

Like the bombing of schools and subjecting hundreds of Indian volunteers to mustard gas (note, the volunteers where never told what they would be subjected too).

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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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#30 Sgt. Rho

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 14:57

I'm not saying they'd be better off, I'm saying it's not justified. Neither are Germany's actions back then.

#31 SquigPie

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 15:01

When talking about their actions not being justified, which actions are you talking about?
Them retaliating in general?

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As long as the dark foundation of our nature, grim in its all-encompassing egoism, mad in its drive to make that egoism into reality, to devour everything and to define everything by itself, as long as that foundation is visible, as long as this truly original sin exists within us, we have no business here and there is no logical answer to our existence.
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.
And since you don't believe you are sick, there can be no cure.
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#32 Sgt. Rho

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 15:14

Any violence what so ever to be honest. Both them retaliating and the actions that led to them retaliating.

#33 SquigPie

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 15:17

What else where they supposed to do?

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As long as the dark foundation of our nature, grim in its all-encompassing egoism, mad in its drive to make that egoism into reality, to devour everything and to define everything by itself, as long as that foundation is visible, as long as this truly original sin exists within us, we have no business here and there is no logical answer to our existence.
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.
And since you don't believe you are sick, there can be no cure.
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#34 Libains

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 15:20

 Sgt. Rho, on 10 Nov 2010, 14:57, said:

I'm not saying they'd be better off, I'm saying it's not justified. Neither are Germany's actions back then.

OK.... what? This is a little off-topic, but you can't genuinely condone the retaliation of the Allies during WW2. What the Allies did during the Second World War was free millions of people from the hostile German army, prevent the genocide of Jews the world over, and helped re-shape the world. Violence isn't a good thing, but what on earth would you have bloody well done in a situation such as this? Sat back and just said: "Reckon we can talk about this while you massacre millions of people and perform the hostile takeover of dozens of countries" Hell NO.
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#35 SquigPie

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 15:29

I don't think violence ever can be a good thing to do, but it can be the RIGHT thing to do.

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As long as the dark foundation of our nature, grim in its all-encompassing egoism, mad in its drive to make that egoism into reality, to devour everything and to define everything by itself, as long as that foundation is visible, as long as this truly original sin exists within us, we have no business here and there is no logical answer to our existence.
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.
And since you don't believe you are sick, there can be no cure.
- Vladimir Solovyov

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#36 Sgt. Rho

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 15:31

Crap, I forgot the 'not'... I ment to say 'I'm not saying they'd not be better off, I'm saying it's not justified'. Violence can't be justified in my opinion, no matter what said violence might change for the better.

#37 SquigPie

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 15:39

Well, that explains it, :P

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As long as the dark foundation of our nature, grim in its all-encompassing egoism, mad in its drive to make that egoism into reality, to devour everything and to define everything by itself, as long as that foundation is visible, as long as this truly original sin exists within us, we have no business here and there is no logical answer to our existence.
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.
And since you don't believe you are sick, there can be no cure.
- Vladimir Solovyov

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#38 Golan

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 09:31

 AJ, on 10 Nov 2010, 15:20, said:

 Sgt. Rho, on 10 Nov 2010, 14:57, said:

I'm not saying they'd be better off, I'm saying it's not justified. Neither are Germany's actions back then.

OK.... what? This is a little off-topic, but you can't genuinely condone the retaliation of the Allies during WW2. What the Allies did during the Second World War was free millions of people from the hostile German army, prevent the genocide of Jews the world over, and helped re-shape the world. Violence isn't a good thing, but what on earth would you have bloody well done in a situation such as this? Sat back and just said: "Reckon we can talk about this while you massacre millions of people and perform the hostile takeover of dozens of countries" Hell NO.

This (extermination of Jews and Germany's plans for "expansion") wasn't actually known to the Allies at that time, mind you...

There are perfectly viable reasons for the Allies to retaliate and defend, mind you. Like, defending themselves. This one is only in retrospect, though.

Edited by Golan, 11 November 2010 - 09:32.

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#39 Areze

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 06:05

 CodeCat, on 9 Nov 2010, 14:38, said:

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.



I'd go with this. While some of the terrorists really only understand violence and would never stop until somebody stops them, there are some that are simply brainwashed. While there might be some justification to stop something like 9/11, the London bombings, etc., other times, it could have the opposite effect.They'd give a confession/faulty info simply to make it stop, and for all we'd know the person would be innocent and we'd be sent on a wild goose chase that probably would only reveal itself as such when a school bus blows up. There's also that authorizing torture would make martyrs out of the victims to many people and scare others into supporting the terrorists. So torture could very well be counterproductive as well as morally wrong.

Honestly, I have a hard time supporting something that violent and ethically reprehensible for only a 50% chance of actually working.
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#40 Alias

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 14:19

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Tuol Sleng is a name, like Auschwitz or the Gulag, which should strike horror into the heart.

Tuol Sleng was the prison where the Khmer Rouge took Cambodians unfortunate enough to have fallen afoul of the regime, perhaps because they had a medical qualification, or in some cases merely because they could read.

Tens of thousands went into Tuol Sleng - otherwise known as S-21. Very few came out.

But before they died, they were tortured.

I remember going into Tuol Sleng in 1991, filming for Four Corners during the UN transition period that brought Cambodia back into the family of nations.

The cells were tiny and dark, and it was not hard to imagine the suffering of the people who were incarcerated there for reasons which they were never given and which were in any case absurd.

One of the tortures they were subjected to was called waterboarding.

A prisoner turned painter, Vann Nath, depicted waterboarding in a series of paintings on the walls of Tuol Sleng, which is now a genocide museum.

Back then - nearly 20 years ago - the civilised world was horrified and revolted by the revelations of what the Khmer Rouge had done, including waterboarding.

But this week, George W Bush has asserted that waterboarding is not torture.

"Let's talk about waterboarding," he says to NBC's Matt Lauer, who asks: "Why is waterboarding legal?"

Bush's answer? "Because the lawyer said it's legal."

So, Lauer continues, "Would it be OK for a foreign country to waterboard an American?"

To which Bush only replies that people should "read the book".

I haven't had a chance to follow the former president's advice and read Decision Points, but from what I've read it doesn't contain any more sophisticated defence of waterboarding than "the lawyer said it's legal".

From what's emerged in the last year or so, it's clear, though, that Bush himself was not the driving force in allowing waterboarding.

That was his vice-president Dick Cheney, who said in February of this year: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding."

The rationale was that waterboarding - defined as torture around the world - was not only legal but necessary to prevent another 9/11.

We know now that the 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was waterboarded 183 times in one month.

Bush writes that this was necessary, and that the torture provided useful information.

The interrogations ... "Helped break up plots to attack American diplomatic facilities abroad, Heathrow Airport, and Canary Wharf in London, and multiple targets in the United States."

But now Mr Bush's erstwhile allies in Britain are denying that, as the Guardian reports:

"British officials said today there was no evidence to support claims by George Bush, the former US president, that information extracted by "waterboarding" saved British lives by foiling attacks on Heathrow Airport and Canary Wharf."

Many studies have confirmed what common sense should suggest: that torture is an extremely inefficient way of getting information.

Under enough torture (and 183 waterboardings in a month is a good deal more than enough), the target will confess to anything. And if you intend eventually to try the prisoner in a court, the torture itself is likely to invalidate the case.

This remains a danger in the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Few doubt that he is guilty of plotting the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, but there's real fear that a guilty verdict will be hopelessly polluted by the torture factor.

And torture infects the forces that wield it.

It may have begun as a desperation measure, used by officers who genuinely felt that they were in the position of Jack Bauer in the fictional series 24, with no alternative if they were to prevent an atrocity.

But, once begun, it grew and grew.

What we know now, from declassified documents, is that the CIA's waterboarding became systematic and programmed, planned and recorded in gruesome detail.

The CIA used a "specially designed" gurney for waterboarding. After immobilising a prisoner by strapping him down, interrogators then tilted the gurney to a 10-15 degree downward angle, with the detainee's head at the lower end. They put a black cloth over his face and poured water, or saline, from a height of six to 18 inches, documents show. The slant of the gurney helped drive the water more directly into the prisoner's nose and mouth. But the gurney could also be tilted upright quickly, in the event the prisoner stopped breathing.

Interrogators were instructed to pour the water when a detainee had just exhaled so that he would inhale during the pour. An interrogator was also allowed to force the water down a detainee's mouth and nose using his hands. "The interrogator may cup his hands around the detainee's nose and mouth to dam the runoff," the Bradbury memo notes. "In which case it would not be possible for the detainee to breathe during the application of the water."

If this wasn't enough, the Bush administration's lawyers said the CIA could combine it with other forms of torture - depriving the prisoner of sleep for more than seven days straight, physically slamming him into a wall, cramming him into a small box, placing him in "stress positions" to increase discomfort and dousing him with cold water, among other things.

It's unlikely anyone will be brought to justice because of all this, though.

That's partly because the CIA was allowed to destroy much of the evidence, in the form of videotapes, of the torture it committed.

And even the people who destroyed the evidence won't be punished. Just as ex-president Bush was plugging his book, the justice department announced that no charges would be brought against the CIA officers who got rid of the tapes.

The consequences of all this are many, and they don't just affect America.

Those who went to war with the US in Iraq and Afghanistan risk the problem of guilt by association, as Britain's David Cameron has been finding out in China this week.

China, under attack of its jailing of a Nobel Peace Prize winner, feels free to attack its accusers for hypocrisy.

Winston Churchill, at the darkest hour of the 20th century, with his entire nation at risk, refused to countenance the torture of Nazi prisoners.

He believed that above all, it was important not to become that which we were fighting against.

It's a precept Western democracies should remember, and return to immediately.
http://www.abc.net.a.../11/3063054.htm

I think the last three sentences sum it up pretty damn well.
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#41 BeefJeRKy

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 19:57

Personally, I believe neither violence nor war is justified. They detract from our race's chances for advancement.

That said, I believe they are a very real part of the world we live in, and that sometimes we must respond to violence with more of it. Is it justified? Of course not, but then again, to not take action could also be the wrong call. When someone commits a violent act, they should bear the responsibility that comes with the action. If you defended yourself from a violent act with another, your actions' weight will forever be with you. And you should be able to use this experience in the future to avoid conflict.
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#42 SquigPie

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 20:35

I really want to say something to that article, but I can't come up with anything, I completely agree with all the things it said.

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As long as the dark foundation of our nature, grim in its all-encompassing egoism, mad in its drive to make that egoism into reality, to devour everything and to define everything by itself, as long as that foundation is visible, as long as this truly original sin exists within us, we have no business here and there is no logical answer to our existence.
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.
And since you don't believe you are sick, there can be no cure.
- Vladimir Solovyov

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