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Torture watch

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    (Original post by Adam83)
    This thread goes to show just how many little hitlers there are still wandering around. I wish you would die out.
    Care to be more specific?
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    (Original post by cheesecakebobby)
    Utilitarians like J.S. Mill adapted their view so as to preserve 'liberties' - the greatest good should be aimed for except where doing so would sacrifice an individual's rights. I'm not convinced they can successfully unite the two ideas though.
    Well yes, clearly our system has its issues. But all systems do. And anyway, these 'issues' generally only arise as hypothetical extreme circumstances such as in this thread.

    In reality, I really don't think a terrorist could hold the whole of mankind to ransom and I don't think a load of rail workers would fail to notice a dirty great train coming at them.

    With that conjoined twin example, by the way, you've got one twin that will definitely die, whether they're separated or not but on that might survive if separated, right?
    In that case, 'killing' the doomed one in the operation could even not be considered harm... could be considered euthansia since both of the moral options will result in its death. Surely the right thing to do is to save the other twin, since you can.
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    (Original post by Zoecb)
    Well yes, clearly our system has its issues. But all systems do. And anyway, these 'issues' generally only arise as hypothetical extreme circumstances such as in this thread.

    In reality, I really don't think a terrorist could hold the whole of mankind to ransom and I don't think a load of rail workers would fail to notice a dirty great train coming at them.

    With that conjoined twin example, by the way, you've got one twin that will definitely die, whether they're separated or not but on that might survive if separated, right?
    In that case, 'killing' the doomed one in the operation could even not be considered harm... could be considered euthansia since both of the moral options will result in its death. Surely the right thing to do is to save the other twin, since you can.
    Precisely, which is why Lawz is wrong and the Kings college lecturer is right.
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    (Original post by cottonmouth)
    Kilgore, you if you think that someone needs to be tortured for taking a skeleton out of the ground, you have issues. And only a slight humans rights issue?Bejeezus!
    Okay, I was hoping nobody would bring this up. I meant 'slight' in a sort of tongue-in-cheek way, I was really just seeing if I could provoke an interesting debate. I'm sort of a pacifist.

    Personally, I can't say whether it can be judged on moral grounds, but I do think that tortue (if at all) should only ever be used if there's an immediate danger of the death of innocent people, and that either the person being tortured has confessed or there's a 100% probability that they know something.
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    (Original post by Lawz-)
    Care to be more specific?
    the people advocating torture

    didnt mean you, soz.
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    (Original post by cottonmouth)
    Precisely, which is why Lawz is wrong and the Kings college lecturer is right.
    What? Doesnt your example involve choosing between them all dying and between one dying?
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    (Original post by Lawz-)
    Ok... lets try this:

    You arrest John.

    You suspect John has planted a nuclear bomb so large, that it will cause nuclear holocaust around the glob, and kill ALL living organisms on the planet, leaving it a desolate wasteland and thus ending billions of years of evolution.

    John tells you openly that he DID plant the bomb. However he refuses to tell you where.

    John however has a very low threshold for pain.

    You have two choices:

    A: Jail john and await the destruction of all mankind
    B: Cause John physial pain in order to extract the necessary information, and in true 007 style, save the planet.


    You would choose A?

    Sorry to bring this back up after 5 pages of posts.

    John says that he knows where the bomb is. But are you completely sure that he is telling the truth? People lie, don't you know, how can you be sure that he does actually know where the bomb is? You could end up putting someone through immense pain when they actually know nothing.

    Lets suppose that some how he does actually know, don't know how we can be sure but let's pretend. What makes you think that he's going to tell you? OK so he has a low threshold for pain (not sure once again how this would be known) but he may also have strong resilience. Let's say that you need to have a hell of a lot of dedication and commitment to planting a nuclear bomb that would wipe of all living beings. Well surely you would be able to withstand the pain, I would have thought that you'd be required to go pretty far in order to extract that precious information. Bringing to it to the current context, if John was an Islamic extremist with an immense faith in Allah he'd be even more resistant.

    Let's go with that ticking bomb situation that the Bush Administration love so much. This nuclear bomb is going to go off within the month. How could we not rule out the fact that John might send the authorities on a wild goose chase all over the world? He's in pain, he tells them it's in a warehouse in Swansea, they trek over to Swansea with a specialist team and carry out an extensive search whilst John's back in prison not being tortured. They realise that John is lying, go back and torture him so more and he discloses another location. What do you do send out a search team and continue to torture him just in case he's lying again?? Besides if it was a ticking bomb situation, John would presumably know how when it's set to explode. If he gets arrested three weeks before the time, surely he'd just be able to hold out for that time. Especially with the kind of bomb proposed here as he's going to die anyway.

    So the ticking bomb situation doesn't look to favourable now. But it's better than if they picked up John in advance because then surely they'd be able to use the immense intelligence available to track John's movements and come up with likely situations or interrogate other suspects.


    I object to torture not just because it is immoral to inflict pain on another person (and also shouldn't we consider the effects it has on the torturer?) but also because it can quite easily not provide the reliable information that you're after.
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    It wouldn't work society has moved on! People now use torture in sexual practices.
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    (Original post by Kilgore Trout)
    My dad said something interesting last night.

    We were watching the news, and the story about the animal rights protestors came on, saying that a few people had given themselves in and admitted to digging up and removing that family's grandmother. But they wouldn't reveal the whereabouts of the body.

    Then my dad said that they should be tortured until they revealed that information. Which I considered for a bit, and then agreed with. Because in these situations, all the arguments against torture don't really apply. There's the slight human rights issue involved, but apart from that, is there any good reason why not to torture these people? After all, they've admitted to taking the body, so it's not like the police would be coercing them into saying that they did something that they didn't.

    Discuss.
    You're quite right. In these situations and ONLY these situations - when a person simply refuses to give important information for petty reasons such as this. However, I would say they should held in prison and given gruel everyday untill they started talking. But not beyond that, for there is always a thick line.
    If they had denied do anything at all, then torture is absolutely wrong. Being tortured in admitting to crimes that one has not commited can end in guilt for the non-existent crime.
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    (Original post by Kapster)
    John says that he knows where the bomb is. But are you completely sure that he is telling the truth? People lie, don't you know, how can you be sure that he does actually know where the bomb is? You could end up putting someone through immense pain when they actually know nothing.
    However, there is the very real possibility that he might disclose the vital information. Let us say that torture would only be used in cases where it was almost a certainty that the victim had the knowledge which was sought after. Moreover, even if the chances of extracting a confession were slim, would it not be better that there be some chance of success rather than none at all?
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    (Original post by Zoecb)
    They did something a bit nasty. Hardly a life-threatening crime. What a disgusting suggestion.

    Personally, I am completely against torture of ANYONE in ANY SITUATION ever.
    So you wouldnt torture someone if there was a small chance that they would give you details that may save the lives of your family?
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    (Original post by Vienna)
    So you wouldnt torture someone if there was a small chance that they would give you details that may save the lives of your family?
    Would you torture someone if there was significant risk you could be torturing a person who genuinely had no info?
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    (Original post by Zoecb)
    Yep, exactly - I might condone it then. I'd be wrong to, but I would.
    Everyone ignores their morals sometimes, when their emotions take over.
    So you no longer stand by this statement, "I am completely against torture of ANYONE in ANY SITUATION ever?
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    (Original post by poltroon)
    However, there is the very real possibility that he might disclose the vital information.
    YEs, vital false information which the torturee gives out desperately wanting to appease the torturer.
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    (Original post by naivesincerity)
    Would you torture someone if there was significant risk you could be torturing a person who genuinely had no info?
    If it was a matter of national security, better safe than sorry.
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    (Original post by The Ace is Back)
    If it was a matter of national security, better safe than sorry.
    And how would you compensate the person in the instance that you discovered you were torturing them under false premises?
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    (Original post by Vienna)
    So you no longer stand by this statement, "I am completely against torture of ANYONE in ANY SITUATION ever?
    Yes, I would be completely morally against my own actions in this rather daft situation which will never arise anyway.
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    (Original post by cottonmouth)
    Yeah, i do know what a straw man argument is. It is taking the weaker points of someone elses arguments and attacking those specifically, ignoring the stronger ones, so that you look right, when you really aren't. And by constantly trying to show Zoe to be a hypocrite because of her wording, you have made straw man arguments.
    No, a straw man is an argument that did not exist, but that has been attributed to another in order for you to demolish it and thus benefit from the perceived credibility. Men made of straw arent weak men, they just arent men at all.
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    (Original post by Zoecb)
    Yes, I would be completely morally against my own actions in this rather daft situation which will never arise anyway.
    Thats not what the original statement says. Your actions would dictate that you were wilfully in favour of using torture, which voids your claim that you're "completely against torture of ANYONE in ANY SITUATION ever"
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    (Original post by naivesincerity)
    And how would you compensate the person in the instance that you discovered you were torturing them under false premises?
    Give them a ****load of money and a formal apology. That's all you can do really. Thing is though, I wouldn't torture the guy in the first place unless I had some kind of reason. If you knew there was going to be a terrorist act happening that day which would cost the lives of millions, and this was your only lead, surely you would do the same?
 
 
 
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