9
   

Torture No More

 
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Sep, 2011 01:31 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

Assume for a minute that it could be 100% reliable. Would that make it worthwhile to employ?


That's a ridiculous supposition, you should live in the real world. You might just as well assume torture gets you air miles.

Regardless of the fact that it is not effective, it harms the torturer as much as the victim, all moral high ground goes straight out the window.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 27 Sep, 2011 02:39 am
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:
You might just as well assume torture gets you air miles.


I know this is a serious subject, and Finn usually posts idiotic bullshit . . . but that seriously cracked me up. That sums up his attitude toward so many things so well.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 27 Sep, 2011 02:42 am
@Rockhead,
Rockhead wrote:
you can just imagine my shock when I found out you are an advocate of torture, finn.


As his subsequent response indicates, Finn doesn't get ironic humor.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Sep, 2011 04:32 am
@Setanta,
Thank you.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Tue 27 Sep, 2011 11:39 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

You are clutching at straws.

No, I'm cracking wise. His statement that he could see that his captors were of four specific nationalities seemed ridiculous to me. This wasn't offered as proof he was lying, although the proof of torture offered in some of these cases is often as flimsy.

Let's get back to the subject of torture in a more general sense: Do you believe that the US agents of torture, or any other such agents, from any other countries, are justified in their actions, if they are signatories to the UN convention against torture?

That's what you are avoiding answering.

I didn't realize I has been asked the question. I've no reason to avoid answering it though.

I don't see that whether or not a nation is signatory to any convention is final arbiter of the question: Can torture ever be justified?

I may be wrong but I suspect the convention of which you refer doesn't go into great detail laying out all of the possible scenarios for consideration and stamping some "Justified" and others "Not-Justified."

I suppose there is a loosely related moral issue concerning the degree to which a country complies with treaties and international agreements, but based on the historical performance of all the world's nations that one seems to rest more squarely with pragmatism and political expediency than national morality.

I suppose as well, that if a nation violates a term of agreement because they believe the violation is justified by either humanitarian or national interests it should have the fortitude to go before the world and admit it did and explain why. Not much chance of this happening though.

If the ticking nuke bomber is caught with enough time to reveal the whereabouts of the bomb, but refuses to do so, and whomever is in charge decides that it is worth torturing the guy to try and get the information out of him so that hundreds of thousands of lives can be saved, I don't think he must then say "Wait! We can't do that, we signed a convention that said we wouldn't use torture."

If the decision was justified, the existence of a signed agreement doesn't nullify the justification.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Tue 27 Sep, 2011 12:37 pm
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

Finn dAbuzz wrote:

Assume for a minute that it could be 100% reliable. Would that make it worthwhile to employ?


That's a ridiculous supposition, you should live in the real world. You might just as well assume torture gets you air miles.

Regardless of the fact that it is not effective, it harms the torturer as much as the victim, all moral high ground goes straight out the window.


Obviously we disagree.

If the efficacy of torture was beside the point or not a key element of the argument made in opposition to it, I wish you folks would just get on with it then and stop trumpeting it as your perceived silver bullet.

Every time this topic comes up someone can be relied upon to post something like

Quote:
If you torture someone, they won't tell you the truth, they'll tell you what you want to know


The arguments of efficacy and morality are on two separate tracks but you always feel compelled to boost your absolute morality argument with unsubstantiated contentions that torture doesn't work. Is that because you're not really comfortable with an absolutist moral stance on any topic?

When you argue that torture is not effective enough in obtaining the truth to ever justify it, a logical question is then: "How effective does it have to be before it might be considered justified?"

51%? 99%? 100%?

If the answer, which I can't seem to get any of you to say is: It can never be justified. Even if we were 100% certain that torture would give us the information we need to save those lives, it would be wrong to use it.

When you argue that torture is not effective enough, the implication is that it could be. If there is any window in which its rate of efficacy could lead to justification, then the absolutist argument becomes a relative one: How many lives have to be at stake before we are willing to torture someone to save them? Is it reasonable to believe the guy when he tells us that he know where the bomb is? How certain do we have to be that a bomb even exists?

For people like me who don't agree with your absolutist stance you seem to have two fallback positions:

1) Impugning our moral sense
2) Insisting we're idiots who don't even know the damn thing doesn't work

I don't really have a problem with #1. If you take an absolute moral stance there really isn't room for understanding or accepting something less and I enjoy watching moral relativists riding the absolute bronco.

#2 is just shoddy debating even without the ad hominem. First and foremost there is absolutely no proof that it doesn't work. There is plenty of proof that it doesn't work all of the time, but those two things are quite separate and you're are including torture that was never intended to obtain the truth, but to obtain what the torturer wants to hear: "I confess," or "He did it," for example.

Izzy, you've just now thrown in a less common but an even more specious element of the argument: "It harms the torturer as much as the victim!"

You might have a hard time getting many actual victims of torture to agree with that one.

"You may be blasting this young woman's internal organs, bones and teeth Mr. Torturer, but you're blasting your eternal soul as well!"

"As much as you may be happy now Mr. President that you saved half the city of Chicago by ordering the torture of that terrorist with a nuke, mark my words, that decision will come back to haunt you and your people!"

Endymion in the OP actually acknowledges, if not the validity then the intellectual honesty of the argument that the person who will not will not approve torture for the "greater good," is too much a coward to accept for themselves the moral stain and sacrifice involved, or that someone might consciously make the decision to damn their own soul for the lives of others. I'm not sure how far down that path I want to go, but the argument that regardless of any other consideration, torture harms the torturer as much or more than the tortured may sound lofty, but is silly.
izzythepush
 
  3  
Reply Tue 27 Sep, 2011 12:49 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
I don't see much point in absolute moral debates when they're moved outside of reality. This whole thread is about whether or not we should allow torture, and the answer is no.

If you want to change the argument to some imaginary world where torture is guaranteed to produce the truth then that's up to you. You seem spend a lot of your time there already.

As for my statement about torture harming the torturer as much, I wasn't talking about the individual, who may be some real sick **** who gets off on it, but the broader society that torturer represents. After 9/11 America had the moral high ground, they lost it after Guantanamo and extraordinary renditions. How many angry young men decided to embrace Al Qaida and start blowing people up because of Guantanamo and the like? A not insubstantial figure I would imagine.

And as far as saying the words you want me to say, that's never going to happen.
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Tue 27 Sep, 2011 01:09 pm
There was an interesting interview on the CBC today with an FBI agent of Lebanese descent who conducted many of the interrogations before and just after Septembe 11th. He categorically denies that any of the waterboarding incidents yielded useful information, and points to the timeline for the acquisition of the intelligence and the beginning of the waterboarding by private contracts as contradicting the claims.

He, of course, pointed out what people have known for centuries. Torture only induces the victims to tell the torturer what it is the victim believes the torturer wants to hear. Furthermore, he pointed out that Al Qaeda operatives laughed at waterboarding, as they could have expected much worse torture had they been in the hands of police forces in the middle east.
0 Replies
 
Endymion
 
  2  
Reply Tue 27 Sep, 2011 02:47 pm
Thank you all for your posts. If I don't address them directly, (only just read the last few) thank you still.

Well, the first thing is to pick up on is what Finn said in his initial post about morality. The thing is, I never mentioned morality.

Finn- you miss-read my (rather badly written, I admit) paragraph on the personal situation where I said I didn't know what I would do.

It's true I can't say for sure what I would do because we're talking about a hypothetical (and unimaginable) situation.

In an intense situation (as I'm sure you know), ideas come with surprising speed. I think that we often find we know instinctively what the right thing to do is, but we can only know that in the instant, when we have all the information, clues and signs in front of us, including an assessment of the individual we're dealing with.

I am only human and if I was desperate, if it was personal, I admit that there is an undeniable possibility that in the heat of the moment I might loose it and break the bastard's nose or something, but I would want that to be an act of stepping outside the law. Do you understand? It's the law that counts. None of us are perfect and I thought very hard about what I would do in such a situation, but how can I know for sure? All I am positive of is that I wasn't talking about cold blooded torture at all. That wasn't a part of the dilemma.

And I don't agree with you that those at the top have to deal with such a dilemma, either. I don't think they give a fig about morality.

Quote:
Fil Albuquerque: ...but all in all torture is just a stupid way of sorting things out...

Finn dAbuzz: Yes indeed, and if it is used as anything but an exceptional measure for exceptional circumstances it's hideously damaging as well.



There are no exceptional circumstances Finn. Not if you uphold the law.

Quote:
No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture."

--United Nations Convention Against Torture



That's why people are uprising in the Arab world. They are demanding the rule of law and justice.

One of their main grievances is state torture.

The more I read and learn, the more convinced I am that Torture is only good for one thing, and that is for spreading terror by publicising its use as a brutal punishment/revenge – If you're going to do that you might as well join the Joker and become his right hand man.

Igm wrote:
In Buddhism we take the long view. It’s about what will torturing others do to your mind?


Igm – A good point, which I should have addressed. Thanks.


Fido - That's a very, very dark picture you've painted there – and very apt. We (I mean humanity) are in a dark place.

We live in a world like you've described (in a sense) and you are right, there will always be people who are more than willing (for what ever reason) to torture. And I agree that the moral argument is redundant, to a certain extent.

Thing is, many people only become torturers because laws (like the Geneva Conventions) are dismantled to enable them. There for, the real issue in this (to my way of thinking) must be a) The Law - to protect and b) The Psychological - how we find the mental strength and courage to climb up out of the hellish pit you've described and see those laws put (legally) into place. The morality part can be addressed later. First, there must be respect for the law. (From the top, down).


Anyway, this is a sad business for sure.

It's easy to give up hope, I think. I know. But I do take comfort in the fact that nearly half of those surveyed said No to torture. The fight is not over yet.


Thanks

endy
0 Replies
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Sep, 2011 03:23 pm
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

After 9/11 America had the moral high ground, they lost it after Guantanamo and extraordinary renditions. How many angry young men decided to embrace Al Qaida and start blowing people up because of Guantanamo and the like? A not insubstantial figure I would imagine.

This is a point worth making... thanks for making it. I agree entirely. There are also many other American foreign policy decisions adding to the total number of recruits year on year.

It was a rare event ... i.e. when the world felt sorry for the USA but after 9/11 America just rushed out to make more enemies ... understandable but surely it just put Americans in more danger not less.
0 Replies
 
igm
 
  2  
Reply Tue 27 Sep, 2011 03:52 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

The classic hypothetical of having captured a person who knows where a ticking nuclear bomb is located in Manhattan, but refuses to reveal its whereabouts. If torturing results in his revealing the location, millions of innocent people can be saved, and there is a very short period of time before the bomb is set to detonate.

One doesn't need to be a Buddhist to appreciate cause and effect, but I don't think anyone who will have to make the decision about torturing someone to save hundreds of thousands of people is going to be concerned (nor should they) about whether or not the man's family issues a vendetta.

igm wrote:

On a more practical note: if you torture then the person and the family and others connected to the tortured person develop hatred towards the torturers and their country which will probably lead to more acts of hatred towards that country. So one act of terrorism may be stopped using torture but it may cause many more attacks to be attempted.


I guess you could read what I said in that way but I meant a vendetta coming from Islam i.e. 1.6 billion and growing every year by around 7%. 1 in 4 are Muslim... now is that a price worth paying for information gained through torture i.e. another excuse to come and kill Americans?

Also you can’t use a 'worst case scenario' to defend the general day to day use of torture i.e. the atom bomb scenario to justify common place rendition.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  2  
Reply Wed 28 Sep, 2011 07:46 am
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

It's torture to read defense of torture.
It is base hypocracy to advocate for others what no one would long endure in their own lives... We hold reason to be the highest of virtues, but what we truly value is the ability to make the irrational seem reasonable...
0 Replies
 
StanPep
 
  0  
Reply Fri 4 May, 2012 11:08 am
@Endymion,
The dark side of wars and what our Government does not want you to know.
About 20 years ago, I had the opportunity to talk with my uncle. He was an army doctor who served in the Pacific Theatre as well as the European Theatre during WWII. He was insistent that I know of these atrocities so they could be known. Until now I have not done much with the information he gave me but feel I should share it now. I should note that I have done some additional research on this and there is clear evidence that these practices still go on and that they have for hundreds and hundreds of years, in one form or another.
Pacific Theatre: The Japanese did not take prisoners as the conditions were primitive on these islands and they had no place to hold them. Rather than just shoot these young men, they tortured them to death. The most common practice was to kick or otherwise beat their testicles until they were mush. Whether or not they survived those beatings, which sometimes lasted for days, the Japanese would cut off the guys Penis, which would cause the captive the bleed to death. The Japs would collect these Penises for trophy’s and hang them in their caves. Hundreds were found in the aftermath, but did you hear about this from our government?
European Theatre: Here the Germans were just as evil, perhaps more. The translated term for this was called testicle “pulping” but to be fair, both sides engaged in this torture. The Nazi’s for the most part did take prisoners and many men survived these beatings, albeit without a set of working testicles. You would think that with so many survivors of this torture it would be widely known. However not many men wanted to make it known they had no testicles, as it was humiliating and embarrassing. The Nazi’s had a particularly cruel method of torture that some of the gestapo units practiced, that did often lead to death of the guy. The practice started with one particularly evil female officer. This was the practice of inserting a curved glass rod up into the penis and then inducing and erection. This would cause the rod to break within the penis causing significant bleeding and other obvious complications. Those that received medical attention afterwards survived but most lost the organ and many died. Other gestapo agents just inserted a straight glass rod into the penis then smashed the organ with a hammer. These unfortunate men lost the organ. Did you hear about any of this from our government?
While the above accounts come from my uncle, through his own eyes, survivors and eye witnesses, there is clear evidence that similar practices go on today, mainly in Africa, but also in the Middle East. There is also significant evidence and accounts of this throughout history particularly during the roman empire and the battles that created the empire, Indians in this country, and even the Christians way back when. The Romans would routinely sever off the penises of the dead warriors and present them to the emperors as proof of the body count. The Indians were particularly sadistic. They striped the captives, tied them up and turned them over to the squaws. Many were tied up and placed on wooden poles set in the ground, with the protruding end up their rectum. During the next few hours the pole would impale them either coming out the abdomen or traveling deep up inside the torso. Some captives were selected ( usually those with larger sex organs) for the squaws to torture. Some accounts include, inducing a erection, then tying a piece of rawhide about the base of the penis to lock in the erection. Then they would stimulate the guy to orgasm but he could ejaculate causing some real pain. After teasing him for hours in this manner, after which time they whipped the penis with thorny cactus. They, also pierced the guys testicles the cactus needles, before the finale which was to insert a thistle branch into the penis. This inserts easy, but can’t be removed without the needles opening up and tearing the penis apart from the inside. So the finale was to rip the branch out, remove the rawhide and let him bleed to death.
The Christians back in medieval times had many cruel and sadistic torture methods, while all were quite sadistic the one that goes with the topic of this piece is the testicle crusher. It looks just like the modern day nut cracker and would be applied to each testicle until it was popped and destroyed.
While it may appear I have gotten off on a tangent it is to illustrate a point. We don’t talk about this because it still goes on and our government does not want us to know about it. The media reports on all the rapes that occur in times of war but not this. They talk about our young men and women serving in the military as “troops” so as to dehumanize or mask the fact that they are human beings exposed to all this on our behalf.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

T'Pring is Dead - Discussion by Brandon9000
Another Calif. shooting spree: 4 dead - Discussion by Lustig Andrei
Friends don't let friends fat-talk - Discussion by hawkeye10
Before you criticize the media - Discussion by Robert Gentel
Fatal Baloon Accident - Discussion by 33export
The Day Ferguson Cops Were Caught in a Bloody Lie - Discussion by bobsal u1553115
Robin Williams is dead - Discussion by Butrflynet
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Torture No More
  3. » Page 2
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 07/14/2020 at 11:28:38