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 stayement strongly about racism, too. But racism is not wrong because it offends my sensibilities. It is wrong because it violates torure 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 tprture a coincidence that torture has forture so popular in this country amidst such an impoverished public discourse? Supermax incarceration and prison rape Thesks be construed as institutionalized forms of torture. For the purpose of this essay, however, TThesis narrow down the definition to the forced exchange of information for the relief of unbearable pain. Much like slavery, torture is coerced trade. To dtatement, its abhorrence requires no empirical evidence: So much so, in fact, that Thrsis asking why seems immoral, as if merely speaking of a ghost might oh 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. Beware of the sentence that ends with the words, "therefore torture is evil. Do we recoil from torture because it treats a person only as a means to an end?
It is a principled view that might account for our rational rejection of torture, but Kant's Categorical Imperative is too much at variance with Anglo-American norms to explain the instinctive revulsion the practice commonly elicits. As the death penalty illustrates, note that popularity does not contradict abhorrence. In his paeans to torture, Dershowitz is merely echoing Bentham and, beyond it, the reigning utilitarianism of our time, which, from conditional welfare to advertising, routinely flouts Kantian ethics. And yet, is there a doubt that the wrongness of torture finds its source, not in a holy book or in the final link of a chain of observations, but deep in humanity's moral intuition?
On this we all agree. Few would argue that waterboarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was worse than shooting him in the head. Yet killing does not make us wince the way torture does. Could it be the excruciating pain?
Baby Tortture lost both legs during Shock-and-Awe and, over a hour period, bled to death stuck in the debris of his home, a horror entirely foreseen in its outline, if not gorture particulars, by the architects of the war. The tortyre pain vastly exceeded that of his namesake. Yet if Rumsfeld must one day cross Europe off his travel plans, it will be because of Khalid Mohammed, not baby Mohammed—despite the former SecDef's direct responsibility in the latter's agony. Pain and death do not explain why torture feels so evil. Perhaps the deadly mix of fear, humiliation, abandonment, and open-ended sadism that the practice connotes. The torturer never says, "I go home at 5.
Pain, like relativity, distorts time. A root-canal patient can tell you all about eternity. Past a certain point, the victim's fear is no longer that he will die but that he won't.
Is Torture Ever Acceptable
Torture is a window into hell, Thfsis a satanic god cast as a human sadist. I believe one cannot grasp the role of torture in the imagination without integrating its metaphysical resonance. Torture rehearses eternal damnation. And atatement not a good thing, because hell scares the hell out of everyone, even those who don't believe in it. To add insult to injury, the torturer reflects back to us a magnified image of that repressed speck of sadism buried in all of us. This did not always bother us. God gave Moses not one but two commandments against lust, and not a single one against cruelty; likewise, Augustine deemed cupidity a more serious offense.
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It was not until Montaigne and Montesquieu that cruelty acquired a special status in moral philosophy. Torture offends us through its frontal assault on human tkrture. Beyond subverting free will into "anti-will"—your being tortured does not simply violate you: It dehumanizes not only the victim and the torturer, but society as a whole. Or so our modern liberal sensibilities tell us. Stxtement answer Theesis an unequivocal no. The ban must be unconditional. Because grotesquely evil behavior must be criminalized?
Pleasing though it may be, this simple answer won't do. We must first examine whether there might not be a utilitarian reason to make legal exceptions. Even the most committed deontologist will recognize the need to test laws against their consequences. I will show that there is no room for exceptions by revisiting the three arguments central to the issue: TBS, self-defense, and torture creep. I'll also discuss the criminal prosecution of torturers. The ticking bomb scenario TBS would appear to beg for an exception—see  for a definition. I'll assume the usual conditions of imminence, gravity, proportionality, and certainty, without which TBS is not worthy of consideration.
The first issue to address is consistency. TBS advocates often lack the courtesy to grant the same rights to their enemies. They remain oddly silent on whether, say, the Taliban would be entitled to torture captured American soldiers thought to know about imminent drone attacks. There might appear to be a normative basis for the double standard. After all, we're the good guys and they're not, so why should we grant them the same moral latitude? Our own code of warfare, such as it is, dictates that it apply equally to both sides—as do the Geneva Conventions. Whether it should be so or not is an interesting philosophical question, but in practice this point is already settled. The legal issue hangs on the "rarity principle.
But do we need a law for a bad act that happens at one millionth the rate of murder?
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Legality should offer only a blurry reflection of morality, not its mirror image. Whereas morals delineate complex fractal lines, laws should follow smooth contours free of singularities. Thesis statement on torture the saying goes, "Hard cases make bad laws. TBS theorists will agree but say: No one's yet suggested a new speed limit sign: Tucking exceptions into law is courting the same trouble as overfitting a machine learning classifier, ie, loss of generalizing power and diminished appeal to universality. Self-defense was invoked in the infamous Bybee "torture memos. A torture victim is not a threat. A captive terrorist such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is a culpable bystander, not a culpable aggressor.
Therefore, first, the argument would need to appeal to self-preservation and not self-defense; second, this in turn would crash against the accepted legal doctrine that bystanders, even guilty ones, may not be hurt intentionally. But, by that logic, a gunman who shoots you might be forced to give you his organs to save your life: Trouble is, this constitutes a brand of justice far too alien to our own to be acceptable. To that normative consideration, I would also guard against the slippery notion of "collective self. This might then justify the torture of war prisoners when one's country is under attack, thus losing the classical distinction between jus ad bellum why one may go to war and jus in bello how one may fight a war.
Even if all other options have been tried, the torture of terrorists cannot be called self-defense. The case of individual, non-state sponsored TBS is not as clear-cut.
Torture and Human Rights
You're entitled to stab a man on self-defense grounds if you see him break into your house and try to strangle your daughter. No one will dispute that your "self" may extend to her. So why can't you do the same if he refuses to divulge her location after he's kidnapped her and buried her alive with 20 minutes left to live? But isn't his silence every bit as much a weapon as his hands? After all, he can wield either one at will to decide her fate. One can draw two distinctions, neither of which resists scrutiny. The first one is epistemic: This can be postulated away—certainty is an accepted part of any serious TBS narrative. No need to assume here that what you believe is true: The other distinction, silence vs strangling, ie, omission vs commission, concerns neither causality nor intentionality—in both cases the man acts willfully to kill.
It rests solely on timing, a consideration of no discernable normative relevance. One can, likewise, torture by omission. If the captive were diabetic, it would be torture to withhold his insulin until he talks, since this would fit our characterization of torture as a form of coerced trade. In sum, tying a stand on torture to a distinction between omission and commission is dicey. And even a plausible self-defense plea which, it is fair to say, would never happen in practice must give precedence to the rarity principle: Torture creep is yet another reason to make the legal ban watertight.
The historical record indicates that the slightest legal opening to torture will metastasize into widespread institutional abuse. This "cancerous" spread affects intention, which leads to intimidation, submission, and extraction of false confessions. Even a state that allows torture only in rare cases will soon insist on competent torturers; hence torture schools, torture experts, torture research, and, given the gravity of the matter, an administrative state structure to oversee it all. Some of them lie when they are tortured and some of them just say nothing.
Many experts think that torture is effective, but the other side of this issue is still unclear, as even an innocent person can get tortured by a mistake and then, probably, killed. In this case torture is unacceptable. Torture has been known since the ancient times as a means of punishment, deterrence, and to obtain confessions.
In particular, a tkrture of torture is widely used in ancient Egypt, Assyria, Ancient Greece, Ancient Toture and other ancient nations. Torture — is statwment infliction of deliberate torture both physical and mental in order to obtain information or to punishment. In a broad sense, torture is considered as any procedure causing human suffering and pain, regardless of the Thesiz and objectives, regardless of whether the sentence ends with this procedure or followed by homicide. This would therefore stattement apply to what we consider enemy combatants, primarily terrorists who do not fight under a flag or in a uniform and Thesi not fight for any particular state.
Among people, their personal tolerance and the lack of information do not allow them to fully imagine the situations when torture is used, the cruelty that was prevented with the help of torture methods. There is a lot that the society does not know, and, for example, for the terrorists torture can be a unique way of getting information. At the same time, there are exceptions. If the evidence can be quickly checked repeatedly for example, if you want to know the lock code or the location of the safe money in the apartmentit tries to be able to learn the correct information.
If the authorities are able to identify even a small number of underground workers, it is more important than a large number of innocent victims, from the standpoint of the authorities of torture in this case can also be effective. There was a special resonance to news reports on torture of Iraqi prisoners by Americans at Abu Ghraib prison. To avoid the use of such methods in in the United States has passed a special law on the treatment of detainees- The Detainee Treatment Act. The majority of people find torture unnecessary and claim that it is not effective any more.