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Is torture acceptable to save lives? watch

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    Scenario: man leaves bomb in London and gets captured. He refuses to give information and is an ex -special forces. They bring in a torturer to try and get information and he threatens to kill the mans family if he doesn't give information.

    What's your opinion? I forgot the name but I watched a banned film with Samuel Jackson and with a similar scenario. An important fact was that morality got the better and the bomb went off killing millions of people. They weren't happy with the torture but decided it was "ok" to save lives, as soon as he brought in his family, morality got the better.

    It's a grey situation to me... If it meant saving lives then what is a few lives? But how can anyone condone the murder of an innocent child? And surely torture is very barbaric?
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    (Original post by Michaelj)
    Scenario: man leaves bomb in London and gets captured. He refuses to give information and is an ex -special forces. They bring in a torturer to try and get information and he threatens to kill the mans family if he doesn't give information.

    What's your opinion? I forgot the name but I watched a banned film with Samuel Jackson and with a similar scenario. An important fact was that morality got the better and the bomb went off killing millions of people. They weren't happy with the torture but decided it was "ok" to save lives, as soon as he brought in his family, morality got the better.

    It's a grey situation to me... If it meant saving lives then what is a few lives? But how can anyone condone the murder of an innocent child?
    Tricky.... if they're truly guilty, then yes.. the problem is that you don't know 100% if they ARE guilty (one of the arguments behind the death penalty) - nor whether they'll give you accurate information or not.

    I'd probably blanch at physical disfigurement though, non-scarring / damaging torture would be infinitely preferable if I was in the chair, so I'd do the same to them
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    Who said they are telling the truth? And if the bomb goes off what are you going to do then?
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    (Original post by Michaelj)
    Scenario: man leaves bomb in London and gets captured. He refuses to give information and is an ex -special forces. They bring in a torturer to try and get information and he threatens to kill the mans family if he doesn't give information.

    What's your opinion? I forgot the name but I watched a banned film with Samuel Jackson and with a similar scenario. An important fact was that morality got the better and the bomb went off killing millions of people. They weren't happy with the torture but decided it was "ok" to save lives, as soon as he brought in his family, morality got the better.

    It's a grey situation to me... If it meant saving lives then what is a few lives? But how can anyone condone the murder of an innocent child?
    It may be considered acceptable by someone who ascribes to utilitarianism. Whereby the ends can justify the means. But to say that harming, and causing suffering (physical and mental) a person, for information...I would say isn't really ok. You are infringing on a person's right to have no harm done to them. Which makes you better than them how? After all isn't that why you are going after him in the first place? Because he is going to cause harm to others?

    It seems to me to come down to 'two wrongs don't make a right'.
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    Ok... They have strong evidence to tie him to the bomb. Like any trial, there's always a possibility that person is actually innocent but this is there only lead. The evidence against the man is phenomanal. If the bomb goes off then it will of course explode and kill millions.

    PS: Is it possible to add a poll to a thread?
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    (Original post by Michaelj)
    Ok... They have strong evidence to tie him to the bomb. Like any trial, there's always a possibility that person is actually innocent but this is there only lead. The evidence against the man is phenomanal. If the bomb goes off then it will of course explode and kill millions.

    PS: Is it possible to add a poll to a thread?
    I don't really see any of that as really relevant. You could know he planted bombs. He could admit to that, but how does that make it acceptable to harm him? Again, isn't that why you after him in the first place? So if you torture him, what makes you better than that person? Why then should someone not come after you and be able to torture you for information on where he is, to prevent you from causing harm as well?
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    Torture is highly unethical, barbaric, inhuman and doesn't work all the time. Best option is to continue questioning and try to evacuate the city whilst using advanced search teams eg. sniffer dogs, specialised robots included.
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    (Original post by Michaelj)
    Scenario: man leaves bomb in London and gets captured. He refuses to give information and is an ex -special forces. They bring in a torturer to try and get information and he threatens to kill the mans family if he doesn't give information.

    What's your opinion? I forgot the name but I watched a banned film with Samuel Jackson and with a similar scenario. An important fact was that morality got the better and the bomb went off killing millions of people. They weren't happy with the torture but decided it was "ok" to save lives, as soon as he brought in his family, morality got the better.

    It's a grey situation to me... If it meant saving lives then what is a few lives? But how can anyone condone the murder of an innocent child?
    I know the film, what's the name!!

    Unthinkable???

    And I am.strongly against torture, the thought of it is terrible.

    One thing I'm very strong against is the family!! How he killed the wife and was goinf to hurt the children is unthinkable!!! :pierre:

    :reel:
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    (Original post by RandZul'Zorander)
    I don't really see any of that as really relevant. You could know he planted bombs. He could admit to that, but how does that make it acceptable to harm him? Again, isn't that why you after him in the first place? So if you torture him, what makes you better than that person? Why then should someone not come after you and be able to torture you for information on where he is, to prevent you from causing harm as well?
    That's why this is a very grey subject that many people will disgaree with. Yes, if you imagine the thought of some man being strapped to a chair and bit by bit he gets cut apart. Losing his genitals, fingers, an eye, an ear etc, it's truly repulsing. But you also have to remember whilst two wrongs don't make a right, this man is extremely evil and if you DON'T do what you can, the bomb will go off and kill a lot of people. The truth is, if you don't do what you can more people will die, children, adults, lots of people (lets forget about the damage costs, think of the loss of human life).

    It wouldn't neccasary make you a better person to torture the man but it would ease your thoughts on thinking the potential you could save doing so. If I did the same and they tortured me, I wouldn't like it, no but who would? It's the MENTAL torture that can be more worst than the physical. Watching your family potentially get gunned down is a horrible thought. So I suppose I opened up a new question, what's actually worst? Mental or physical torture? Mental is socially accceptable but is that any better (I don't mean the family part lol, I'm thinking sound tracks etc lol)? This is why this is a very grey subject and I respect everybodies opinion whether it be for or against.
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    There is a case that torture can be the only option when all else fails. Obviously, it would need to be the very last resort. I think that the lives of innocent people is worth saving for the sake of saving one person from inscrutiating pain. The tortured can live to see another day.
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    (Original post by RandZul'Zorander)
    I don't really see any of that as really relevant. You could know he planted bombs. He could admit to that, but how does that make it acceptable to harm him? Again, isn't that why you after him in the first place? So if you torture him, what makes you better than that person? Why then should someone not come after you and be able to torture you for information on where he is, to prevent you from causing harm as well?
    Do you eat meat?

    If you do then your argument is inconsistent. You are fine to breed animals as food and yet you object to the torture of another animal (just because that animal is human)?

    As soon as someone murders someone I believe they lose their right to be treated as human, after all they did something "inhumane" if you allow me that word play. Hence, if you treat someone like that inhumanely your act isn't inhumane because the guy was just another animal.

    An issue for me is knowledge. How do you know for certain someone is guilty? I personally have no problem if a child rapists gets raped himself in prison. But the point is, was he really guilty? That is one of two reasons (the other is that I would like to believe in some cases rehabilitation is possible, watch Levity for a good film on that) why I am against the death penalty.
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    It wouldn't be fair to torture or kill his family, so I wouldn't condone that. However if he has admitted to planting a bomb, or you know conclusively that he has, then you have to do whatever you can to extract that information. It is strangely ironic that people are willing to say that torturing him is unethical; I assume, therefore, that you think that leaving millions of innocent people to die is totally fine then? Or at least, that it's the lesser of two evils?

    Torture isn't a good thing, and on the whole should be avoided. But if it's your only chance to save millions of lives, an exception must be made. The question is simple: "Is it better to harm one to save millions, or let millions die to preserve the rights of the killer?". I know what my answer would be.
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    (Original post by Michaelj)
    That's why this is a very grey subject that many people will disgaree with. Yes, if you imagine the thought of some man being strapped to a chair and bit by bit he gets cut apart. Losing his genitals, fingers, an eye, an ear etc, it's truly repulsing. But you also have to remember whilst two wrongs don't make a right, this man is extremely evil and if you DON'T do what you can, the bomb will go off and kill a lot of people. The truth is, if you don't do what you can more people will die, children, adults, lots of people (lets forget about the damage costs, think of the loss of human life).
    Doing what you can does not mean that you should harm someone though. Doing what you can would be evacuating the areas that are at risk. And still trying to get information out of the person. But what makes the torture acceptable? Torturing doesn't necessarily gain the information. So how do you justify it without getting the information? Then you just wasted time harming someone that could have been spent saving more people.

    It wouldn't neccasary make you a better person to torture the man but it would ease your thoughts on thinking the potential you could save doing so. If I did the same and they tortured me, I wouldn't like it, no but who would? It's the MENTAL torture that can be more worst than the physical. Watching your family potentially get gunned down is a horrible thought. So I suppose I opened up a new question, what's actually worst? Mental or physical torture? Mental is socially accceptable but is that any better (I don't mean the family part lol, I'm thinking sound tracks etc lol)? This is why this is a very grey subject and I respect everybodies opinion whether it be for or against.
    I fail to see your point in this paragraph.
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    (Original post by danny111)
    Do you eat meat?

    If you do then your argument is inconsistent. You are fine to breed animals as food and yet you object to the torture of another animal (just because that animal is human)?
    Eating meat does not make my argument inconsistent. I can eat meat that comes from free range animals, that die of natural causes. So no, it does not make my views inconsistant.

    As soon as someone murders someone I believe they lose their right to be treated as human, after all they did something "inhumane" if you allow me that word play. Hence, if you treat someone like that inhumanely your act isn't inhumane because the guy was just another animal.
    So you think someone is only human is they act 'humanely'? :confused: there are many animals that treat people better than some persons do...should they be considered human? No. Because being human has nothing to do with how you behave, just as being a type of animal has nothing to do with the behavior exhibited. You may have acted inhumanely but that doesn't mean that you aren't human, and therefore if someone treats you just as badly they are still doing something 'inhumane'. How you treat others doesn't really separate you from other animals.

    An issue for me is knowledge. How do you know for certain someone is guilty? I personally have no problem if a child rapists gets raped himself in prison. But the point is, was he really guilty? That is one of two reasons (the other is that I would like to believe in some cases rehabilitation is possible, watch Levity for a good film on that) why I am against the death penalty.
    Your reasoning is inconsistant. If you are against the death penalty because you think rehabilitation is possible, why aren't you against prison rape for the same reason?
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    (Original post by Kiss)
    Torture is highly unethical, barbaric, inhuman and doesn't work all the time. Best option is to continue questioning and try to evacuate the city whilst using advanced search teams eg. sniffer dogs, specialised robots included.
    evacuate London ?search every transport system and key buildings in in London? this is highly illogical way of finding a bomb, if there is indisputable evidence that he is the terrorist then he should be tortured but not his family . when a innocent life is at risk why should they suffer for the crimes of one man

    I wonder if you would be still saying torture was unethical if your family was at risk
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    (Original post by RandZul'Zorander)
    Doing what you can does not mean that you should harm someone though. Doing what you can would be evacuating the areas that are at risk. And still trying to get information out of the person. But what makes the torture acceptable? Torturing doesn't necessarily gain the information. So how do you justify it without getting the information? Then you just wasted time harming someone that could have been spent saving more people.



    I fail to see your point in this paragraph.
    What if it wasn't possible to do what you can do? And this was the last resort? Time was cutting short and it was simply impossible to do it in a more humane way? Yes, that's another grey area. What if torture didn't lead to anything? Then you've potentially harmed a person for no reason. I suppose if you couldn't torture then you'd have to evacuate as many people as possible. But what would happen if the general public heard that there was a bomb and they were all going to die? Hell would break loose. People may do anything to save themselves.
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    (Original post by Michaelj)
    What if it wasn't possible to do what you can do? And this was the last resort? Time was cutting short and it was simply impossible to do it in a more humane way? Yes, that's another grey area. What if torture didn't lead to anything? Then you've potentially harmed a person for no reason.
    Well thats just it though. How do you justify torture if you don't get results? At least with evacuation even if you don't completely succeed you saved some lives. Torturing, if it didn't lead to anything, was not only harming someone but also saved not lives, and did nothing to further the situation. Even saving it as a last resort...I don't really see why that should have to be. If you have time to be going through other options, ie investigation, interrogation, etc. then shouldn't one also be evacuating areas simultaneously? And instead of torturing the person wouldn't it be better to put more effort into evacuation? I honestly can't imagine a situation where it is impossible to handle a situation in a more humane way.

    I suppose if you couldn't torture then you'd have to evacuate as many people as possible. But what would happen if the general public heard that there was a bomb and they were all going to die? Hell would break loose. People may do anything to save themselves.
    You can evacuate while controlling crowd reactions. and what people do 'to save themselves' is their own concern, and not the fault of those trying to evacuate the area. Measures can be taken to ensure a safe evacuation.
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    (Original post by RandZul'Zorander)
    Eating meat does not make my argument inconsistent. I can eat meat that comes from free range animals, that die of natural causes. So no, it does not make my views inconsistant.
    Okay, my bad that I don't know the specifics of meat production. I did mention though eating animals that were bred specially for slaughter. I don't see why you have to argue here. You could have just said you're vegetarian and the point is redundant... You understood my point, it was poorly phrased but still stands (the majority of meat we eat comes from animals bred to be eaten) for people who eat meat and don't question how it got on their plate.



    So you think someone is only human is they act 'humanely'? :confused: there are many animals that treat people better than some persons do...should they be considered human? No. Because being human has nothing to do with how you behave, just as being a type of animal has nothing to do with the behavior exhibited. You may have acted inhumanely but that doesn't mean that you aren't human, and therefore if someone treats you just as badly they are still doing something 'inhumane'. How you treat others doesn't really separate you from other animals.
    What's your point, I said he isn't worthy of being treated like a human. I did not say "he is not a human". I then said "he was just another animal", maybe I should have said "treat him like he was....". I do believe that someone who goes around killing people can be treated like an animal, if it serves a purpose i.e. what we are talking about. If someone killed people before and torturing can save further then yes I believe you can torture him.

    I mean after all isn't being free a human right? So we already take away someone's human right by imprisoning them. So my belief isn't really that much more extreme.



    Your reasoning is inconsistant. If you are against the death penalty because you think rehabilitation is possible, why aren't you against prison rape for the same reason?
    I said on a personal moral level, if a child rapists (note the implicit assumption that we know he is guilty) gets raped, I don't have a problem with it, I wouldn't encourage it, but I don't feel sorry either. The point about death penalty is, it's final. You hear cases of people being released from prison who were innocent. You can't release a dead man. That was my point and I don't believe it's inconsistent, maybe I should have made it clearer that I was assuming you do know certainly the guy is guilty. Second, prison rape isn't orchestrated by the government, death penalty is. Two totally different things...

    Second, I said there was another reason, I do want to believe rehabilitation is possible, so even if you only get the guilty I would be against it.
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    (Original post by danny111)
    Okay, my bad that I don't know the specifics of meat production. I did mention though eating animals that were bred specially for slaughter. I don't see why you have to argue here. You could have just said you're vegetarian and the point is redundant... You understood my point, it was poorly phrased but still stands (the majority of meat we eat comes from animals bred to be eaten) for people who eat meat and don't question how it got on their plate.
    Its important to note that an inconsistency of application doesn't mean that the argument is null. So I really don't see your point. You may show someone to be inconsistent with their application of an idea, but for all you know there may be justifications why they eat said meat. Really I just don't understand what your point is. Eating meat is not necessarily bound by the same rules as torturing another human being.


    Yea, I do. I do believe that someone who goes around killing people can be treated like an animal, if it serves a purpose i.e. what we are talking about. If someone killed people before and torturing can save further then yes I believe you can torture him. What I don't believe in is degrading him just to punish him. As I say below I don't feel sorry if a rapist is raped, but I would not encourage it.
    But then conversely why cannot an animal who doesn't treat humans badly not be treated as human? If all that separates or distinguishes an animal from human is how they treat humans, then surely there are beings that we refer to as animals that are actually human. It really just doesn't make sense to me. Being human is not determined by how you behave towards other humans. Being human is derived from many factors but mainly from your genetic makeup. Just as being an animal is not determined by your actions but by genetic and biological traits.

    I really just need an explanation for how you think a human is an animal dependent on their behavior.


    I said on a personal moral level, if a child rapists (note the implicit assumption that we know he is guilty) gets raped, I don't have a problem with it, I don't feel sorry. The point about death penalty is, it's final. You hear cases of people being released from prison who were innocent. You can't release a dead man. That was my point and I don't believe it's inconsistent, maybe I should have made it clearer that I was assuming you do know certainly the guy is guilty.
    Well again, what if you knew that the person to be killed was guilty of their crime? Would you have no problem with it then? It is possible to show that a person is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Logically it would seem that you shouldn't be against one and not the other.

    What's your point, I said he isn't worthy of being treated like a human. I did not say "he is not a human". I then said "he was just another animal", maybe I should have said "treat him like he was....".
    What makes him not worthy of being treated like a human if he is a human? :confused: you don't treat animals who behave like humans as humans, so why would you treat a human who behaves more like an animal like an animal. The idea is that just because someone acts inhumanely doesn't mean you can therefore act inhumanely too...then at what point does it stop? Its an infinite regression of acting inhumanely towards people.

    I mean after all isn't being free a human right? So we already take away someone's human right by imprisoning them. So my belief isn't really that much more extreme.
    Being free? In what sense? you have the right to not be enslaved. You do not have the right to act in any way. You do not have the right to not be incarcerated, or not follow laws. So...no you don't have a human right to not be imprisoned, as being imprisoned is not the same as being enslaved. It is not (or should not be) the restriction of rights, but rather liberty.
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    (Original post by RandZul'Zorander)
    Its important to note that an inconsistency of application doesn't mean that the argument is null. So I really don't see your point. You may show someone to be inconsistent with their application of an idea, but for all you know there may be justifications why they eat said meat. Really I just don't understand what your point is. Eating meat is not necessarily bound by the same rules as torturing another human being.




    But then conversely why cannot an animal who doesn't treat humans badly not be treated as human? If all that separates or distinguishes an animal from human is how they treat humans, then surely there are beings that we refer to as animals that are actually human. It really just doesn't make sense to me. Being human is not determined by how you behave towards other humans. Being human is derived from many factors but mainly from your genetic makeup. Just as being an animal is not determined by your actions but by genetic and biological traits.

    I really just need an explanation for how you think a human is an animal dependent on their behavior.




    Well again, what if you knew that the person to be killed was guilty of their crime? Would you have no problem with it then? It is possible to show that a person is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Logically it would seem that you shouldn't be against one and not the other.
    I edited my post, I think it addresses some of the points you raised. Other than that I don't want to argue further.
 
 
 
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