The Instigator
LR
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
NRod
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Are Some Cases of Torture Minimally Morally Acceptable?

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
NRod
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/30/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 517 times Debate No: 66096
Debate Rounds (4)
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Votes (1)

 

LR

Pro

1.There is plenty of reason to believe a suspect has information that threatens the lives of the innocent.
2.The individual captured is given the opportunity to comply and give up necessary information.
3."The threat of torture, and torture in its preliminary stage, simply function as a form of coercion." (548.6.3)
4.Sometimes torture is the only way to get a suspect to talk.
5.Torturing said suspect to get them to talk will result in saving the lives of many innocents.
6.One-off, minimal use of torture will not give rise to the legalization of torture or lead to torture being used more often.
7.Therefore, some cases of torture are minimally morally acceptable.

Torture "is the intentional infliction of extreme physical suffering on some non-consenting, defenseless, other person for the purpose of breaking their will."(548.2.3) The purpose of torturing a victim is to cause them to stop to act in accordance with their own will and act in accordance with the will of the torturer, even if it is only temporary. When the victim stops following their own will to follow the torturer"s will, the victim"s will has been broken. Breaking an individual"s will can be understood in either a minimalist sense or a maximalist sense. In a minimal sense, the person"s will is only broken temporarily in a contained manner and their humiliation that results is sparse, so they can survive the trauma and continue living their lives. In a maximal sense, the person is damaged irreversibly, whether it is physically or mentally, to the point where they cannot function as normal human beings anymore. Coercion is the practice of persuading someone to do something by use of force or threats. Past experience and cases show that sometimes waterboarding a suspect can coerce them into talking. Waterboarding is a technique in which water is poured over a cloth covering the face and breathing passages of an individual causing the sensation of drowning; it is a form of torture in many countries. However, it is not certain whether or not the suspect is telling the truth through waterboarding; it is possible that people who are in pain and are desperate might say anything just to stop the torturing. In many cases where torture may be morally acceptable, there is a very limited amount of time and options. In these cases, there could be one-off acts of torture that are considered morally acceptable and justifiable in emergencies. Public officials have plenty of reason to believe that a suspect knows certain things with evidence through intercepted phone calls and emails. A suspect is usually given an opportunity to comply and confess something. Police also know that there is a reasonable chance that the individual in question will talk if tortured. This information may be the only reliable source. There may be no other way to save innocent lives and avoid disaster due to limited time. If the suspect agrees to give up useful information, they are usually given a lesser sentence, they will not be sent back to the people they have just betrayed and they will not be tortured. But if they refuse, sometimes torture is necessary to receive the needed information. Once the suspect refuses, they will realize that the torturing will not stop until the torturer receives the desired information. So in a way, the suspect actually has the opportunity to choose the option that determines whether or not they will be tortured and for how long. The suspect declining to give up information prevents the police from stopping the suspect from their crime. If the suspect would just disclose the information that was asked for, police would elude from torturing them. Many forms of torturing are illegal, and if police torture a suspect, they are still breaking a law, in which there will be consequences. Their one-off use of torture will not inspire the legalization of torture. Police have a negative duty to harming citizens, but they also have a positive duty (which may contradict their negative duty) to torture one for the well-being of others, if that is what it takes.
NRod

Con

1)It is a human right to not be tortured no matter if they had committed a crime or not.
2)Sometimes the information gained from torture is inaccurate or wrong.
3)The person being tortured will say anything to make the torture stop.
4)Torture can cause serious physical and psychological damage to the victim where they are unable to function as a normal member of society.
5)There are other actions that can be used to gain information from someone.
6)The use of torture violates municipal and international laws. Allowing an exception is hypocritical.
7)Therefore, some cases of torture are not minimally, morally acceptable.

http://www.merriam-webster.com...
I do not agree with your definition of torture and propose a different one. Torture is defined as "the infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing, or wounding) to punish, coerce, or afford sadistic pleasure."
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Moral is defined as "concerning or relating to what is right and wrong in human behavior"
My fourth premise is minimally controversial because it is known that torture can cause harm physically and mentally to someone.
Torture is not minimally, morally acceptable. It goes against human rights as well as municipal and international laws. Article 5 of the Human Rights states that, "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." It violates the Geneva Conventions as well as the Constitution. Article 3 of the Conventions prohibits the use of torture. "To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture." The Fifth Amendment in the Constitution states that, "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, " nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;" The Eighth Amendment also prohibits the use of "cruel and unusual punishments."
https://www.icrc.org...
http://constitutioncenter.org...
http://constitutioncenter.org...

In my opponents third premise they state, "The threat of torture, and torture in its preliminary stage, simply function as a form of coercion" (548.6.3) and they define coercion as "the practice of persuading someone to do something by use of force or threats." Someone who is being put under stress through threats or force have the possibility of giving false information. They even state the following, "However, it is not certain whether or not the suspect is telling the truth through waterboarding; it is possible that people who are in pain and are desperate might say anything just to stop the torturing" which supports my claim.
Information gained from those who are being tortured have the possibility of being inaccurate. The victims will say what the torturer wants to hear, as well as the torturer not knowing if the information given to them is reliable. There are also cases where those who have no relation to the cause or situation are assumed to know information. These innocent people are then forced to go through torture for something they had no part in. A good example of this is the Khalid El-Masri case, where he was detained by Macedonian authorities for being mistaken as a member of al-Qaeda. He was then transferred to the U.S CIA where he was beaten and tortured.
http://abcnews.go.com...

Torture has serious and long lasting psychological and physical effects on the victim. It not only affects the victim but the family as well. It is known to cause PTSD and depression.

"There is plenty of reason to believe a suspect has information that threatens the lives of the innocent." Does this justify the use of torture? There are many other ways to gain information from someone without using torture. Interviewing or using techniques that would psychologically entice a suspect to give up information are two alternate ways.
My opponent states, "Police also know that there is a reasonable chance that the individual in question will talk if tortured." Police are also known to use torture to instill fear and power over the victim even if there is no concrete proof of them being a suspect. Obviously the victim will speak if threatened or tortured but as stated previously there is no telling if it is a truthful confession.

My opponent also states within their argument that, "Many forms of torturing are illegal, and if police torture a suspect, they are still breaking a law. Their one-off use of torture will not inspire the legalization of torture. Police have a negative duty to harming citizens, but they also have a positive duty (which may contradict their negative duty) to torture one for the well-being of others, if that is what it takes." This does contradict itself. Torturing someone is breaking the law and there should be no exceptions. If the system requires its own laws to be broken to achieve results then the system and its components are inherently flawed and broken.
Debate Round No. 1
LR

Pro

I must disagree with premise three, in which my opponent states that "The person being tortured will say anything to make the torture stop." I have stated that there may be a chance that the person being tortured could be saying anything to cease the torturing, but that is not always the case.
In many cases of torture, police have enough knowledge to confirm that the suspect in question does indeed possess information that is needed to save an innocent life or lives due to the suspect"s background information and crimes, intercepted phone calls, and e-mails. This proves my opponents claims that "There are also cases where those who have no relation to the cause or situation are assumed to know information. These innocent people are then forced to go through torture for something they had no part in." and "that there is no concrete proof of [the victim] being a suspect," are irrelevant.
Additionally, the information held by the suspect may be the only reliable source due to the limited amount of time in order for public officials to save the lives of the innocent. This causes a misunderstanding with my opponent"s fifth premise, where it is acknowledged that "There are other actions that can be used to gain information from someone." Two supposed examples of the justified use of torture are found in Seamus Miller"s argument "Is torture ever morally justifiable?" One of the examples was a car thief that stole a car without noticing a toddler inside asleep on the backseat. When he did realize that there was a child, he abandoned the car somewhere and the police caught him and questioned where he left the car. The car thief refused to let the police know where he had left the car. The police explained that his refusal to tell where the car was hidden was endangering the life of an innocent baby and then tried to reason with the car thief, allowing his sentence to be of a lower degree, if he had just agreed to share the information about the whereabouts of the car. The car thief still refused to comply, while the toddler was locked away in a hot car with increasing temperatures and his survival rate decreased with each minute. The police knew that there was a reasonable chance that the criminal would disclose the location of the car with the child in it if tortured, and the fate of the child depended on it. The other example was a group of terrorist that had planted a bomb with a timing device that was about to go off in London, where it would kill thousands of innocent people. One of terrorists was captured, and police asked where the bomb was hidden so that they could deactivate it, thus saving the lives of many. Police knew that this particular terrorist has committed several other bombings previously, and that he is also the leader of the current bombing situation. The terrorist refused to disclose the location, and again, the public officials knew that there was a reasonable chance that the terrorist would talk if tortured. As I have expressed before, police officers have a positive duty of torturing one person for the well-being of many other innocent people. In both case, there seemed to be no other way of gaining the needed information to save innocent lives on account of limited time. So it would mean that in cases such as these, some cases of torture could me minimally morally acceptable.
It seems that we must also have a further discussion about premise four, where my opponent declares that "Torture can cause serious physical and psychological damage to the victim where they are unable to function as a normal member of society." As I have stated before, there are indeed a couple of cases of torture that result in physical and psychological damage, but in the case of police officers inflicting torture on suspects who refuse to comply, it is in the minimal sense. This means that torture will only be used in limited, survivable amounts, and not in large, unbearable amounts. Suspects who are tortured by public officials to gain information will be able to continue on with their lives without any lasting physical or mental pain that was inflicted by the process of torture. After all, inhumane torture is illegal and extreme brutal cases of torture will not be tolerated. This causes me to access my opponent"s premise six, which states "The use of torture violates municipal and international laws. Allowing an exception is hypocritical." As I have stated before in the previous argument, the fact that just because public officials utilize a one-off use of torture, it will not lead to the entire legalization of torture. For those military officers, police officers or any public officials who have committed an act of torture, they will face consequences that are quite serious, such as time in prison and even resigning from their position entirely.
NRod

Con

PRO: In many cases of torture, police have enough knowledge to confirm that the suspect in question does indeed possess information that is needed to save an innocent life or lives due to the suspect"s background information and crimes, intercepted phone calls, and e-mails. This proves my opponents claims that "There are also cases where those who have no relation to the cause or situation are assumed to know information. These innocent people are then forced to go through torture for something they had no part in." and "that there is no concrete proof of [the victim] being a suspect," are irrelevant.

It is indeed relevant to the argument as I have provided an example of a case where the victim had no relation to the crimes in question. I will link the article again and further explain the situation.
http://abcnews.go.com...

Khalid El-Masri was falsely accused of being a part of a terrorist group. Khalid was detained by Macedonian authorities for being mistaken as a member of al-Qaeda. He was only arrested because he shared the same last name as the true suspect. He was then transferred to the U.S CIA where he was beaten and tortured while in custody. The police had not done background checks at first notice. Only until after the torturing did they decide to check if the man was actually the suspect they were looking for. This supports my claim that there are cases where the victim has no relation to the situation or cause and are forced to go through torture. This situation also shows that the police do not always reliably check suspects before torturing them. The police did not have enough knowledge to confirm that the suspect had information they needed.

PRO: I must disagree with premise three, in which my opponent states that "The person being tortured will say anything to make the torture stop." I have stated that there may be a chance that the person being tortured could be saying anything to cease the torturing, but that is not always the case.

Because there is a chance the person could not be revealing accurate information that proves that torture isn"t always a reliable means of gaining information. My opponent states, "However, it is not certain whether or not the suspect is telling the truth through waterboarding; it is possible that people who are in pain and are desperate might say anything just to stop the torturing," which supported my claim that victims being put under stress through threats or force have the possibility of giving false information. They are only giving information to please the torturer.

PRO: Additionally, the information held by the suspect may be the only reliable source due to the limited amount of time in order for public officials to save the lives of the innocent. This causes a misunderstanding with my opponent"s fifth premise, where it is acknowledged that "There are other actions that can be used to gain information from someone."

I do not understand what the misunderstanding is. There are still other ways to gain information from suspects without torture. I am not sure what I acknowledged within this statement. I ask that my opponent could clarify.

PRO: In both case, there seemed to be no other way of gaining the needed information to save innocent lives on account of limited time.

These examples are specific in a short-term sense and not in a long-term. It is impossible to know whether torture would be effective in these situations. No one can predict the future to know if torture will truly benefit people.
Specifically the ticking bomb example, the terrorist could give false information to the police. He knows when the bomb will go off and will do anything to make it happen. He has every reason to lie and give false locations. Torture will not guarantee that the terrorist will give the information needed to stop the bomb.

PRO: It seems that we must also have a further discussion about premise four, where my opponent declares that "Torture can cause serious physical and psychological damage to the victim where they are unable to function as a normal member of society." As I have stated before, there are indeed a couple of cases of torture that result in physical and psychological damage, but in the case of police officers inflicting torture on suspects who refuse to comply, it is in the minimal sense.

I have stated in my argument that this premise was minimally controversial and my opponent completely over looked it. It is failure on my opponent"s part for not correctly reading the first couple sentences of my argument.

PRO: As I have expressed before, police officers have a positive duty of torturing one person for the well-being of many other innocent people.

As I have stated in my previous argument, torturing someone is breaking the law and there should be no exceptions. If the system requires its own laws to be broken to achieve results then the system and its components are inherently flawed and broken.

PRO: As I have stated before, there are indeed a couple of cases of torture that result in physical and psychological damage, but in the case of police officers inflicting torture on suspects who refuse to comply, it is in the minimal sense. This means that torture will only be used in limited, survivable amounts, and not in large, unbearable amounts.

My opponent still uses the word torture and going by the definition I provided "Torture is defined as "the infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing, or wounding) to punish, coerce, or afford sadistic pleasure."" It is still considered torture even if it is in a minimal sense. Even if torture is used in a minimal sense there can still be physical and psychological damage to the victim.

PRO: As I have stated before in the previous argument, the fact that just because public officials utilize a one-off use of torture, it will not lead to the entire legalization of torture. For those military officers, police officers or any public officials who have committed an act of torture, they will face consequences that are quite serious, such as time in prison and even resigning from their position entirely.

Torture will not be legalized but will still be used. Even though torture is against the law it is still being used today. As I have stated in my previous argument allowing an exception to the law shows the law to be flawed. An example of an exception are black sites. Black sites are secret prisons controlled by the US CIA. There is great assumption that torture is being practiced within these facilities. I will clarify my premise, "The use of torture violates municipal and international laws. Allowing an exception is hypocritical." There are set laws that prohibit the use of torture and allowing an exception to these laws defeats the purpose of them.
http://ccrjustice.org...
Debate Round No. 2
LR

Pro

It seems that we may have a misunderstanding once again. I am well aware that there are cases of torture where the suspect had no relation to the crimes in question. But in the case where torture would be minimally morally acceptable, the police officers have enough information to confirm that the suspect has information that may be threatening numerous innocent lives. An example of a case where torturing a suspect for the well-being of innocent beings would seem minimally morally acceptable is as follows:
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a member of al- Qaeda, was captured and planned to blow up a dozen airliners over the Pacific. Keep in mind that this criminal was also partially responsible for the truck-bomb massacre at the U.S embassies in Africa, where approximately forty completely random innocent human beings (including women and children) were shot dead along with about one hundred and fifty others injured at the Westgate Premier Shopping Mall, 9-11, where four airliners were hijacked and destroyed the World Trade Center located in New York City, crashed into the Pentagon in Washington D.C., and a field in Pennsylvania resulting in over three thousand deaths, and major demolition, and slitting the throat of Daniel Pearl, who was a Wall Street Journal Reporter who served as a Middle East correspondent and was kidnapped and killed. Mohammed was found in Pakistan along with a computer, recordings, and cellular phones with data confirming his malicious idea of bombing the airlines. He is refusing to talk. However, if he is forced to cooperate and share the information that he obviously has, thousands of innocent lives can be saved. It would seem to be morally acceptable to torture a well-known criminal, who has done nothing but terrorize thousands of innocent human beings, for the sake of human souls who have done nothing wrong to deserve such an unfortunate event.
Let us recall morality. It is defined as "concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness or badness of human character" according to the Meriam-Webster dictionary (http://www.merriam-webster.com...). So morality basically has to do with what is considered right and wrong. The morality of an act is influenced by the conditions and reason. It would not seem moral to torture somebody for no reason. It would also not seem moral to torture somebody without first giving them a chance to cooperate and comply within reasonable time limits depending on the situation. But if torturing somebody who continuously refuses to talk when given the opportunity for the intent of saving the lives of thousands, hundreds, or even a few innocent mortals, the torturing of that suspect who would have otherwise inflicted pain and/or killed said mortals would seem morally acceptable. It is for the greater good, majority wins.
My opponent asks for greater clarification when I say that there is a misunderstanding about the other ways of gaining information from suspects without torture. There seems to be a misunderstanding because in many cases where torture would be considered minimally morally acceptable, there is in fact a time limit. I have given the two examples where time is critical in both the car thief refusing to let police officers know where the toddler in the hot car is and the terrorist refusing to tell the police officers the location of the timed bomb placed somewhere in the city in my previous argument. Since there is a time limit with every single second counting, torture would be a more effective interrogation technique.
In the previous argument, my opponent states "It is impossible to know whether torture would be effective in these situations. No one can predict the future to know if torture will truly benefit people."
I happen to disagree with my opponent on this. First off, torture would be the last resort. A suspect would be given the chance to cooperate. Pain will then be inflicted if and only if the suspect refuses to comply. So torture will only commence if the other techniques, such as interrogations, interviews, and enticing a suspect to release needed information, are not effective.
I also disagree with the fact that torture will not benefit people. I actually believe it is the opposite. Torture will have an effect on both the suspect, and the spectator. The spectator would recognize that there are consequences for certain actions and insubordination. Much like a child learns after being put in a time out, the observers would most likely understand that they cannot simply just get away with criminal acts. The suspect would realize that there is a greater power over them, and they will not escape with what they have done because they must suffer the consequences and punishment for disrespecting authority.
In the previous argument, my opponent claims "I have stated in my previous argument, torturing someone is breaking the law and there should be no exceptions. If the system requires its own laws to be broken to achieve results then the system and its components are inherently flawed and broken."
As I have also stated in my previous argument, public officials are indeed punished if they use torture because it is still illegal. They are not actually excluded, because they do suffer consequences, such as time in prison and even resigning from their job.
NRod

Con

PRO: It seems that we may have a misunderstanding once again. I am well aware that there are cases of torture where the suspect had no relation to the crimes in question. But in the case where torture would be minimally morally acceptable, the police officers have enough information to confirm that the suspect has information that may be threatening numerous innocent lives. An example of a case where torturing a suspect for the well-being of innocent beings would seem minimally morally acceptable is as follows: [example] It would seem to be morally acceptable to torture a well-known criminal, who has done nothing but terrorize thousands of innocent human beings, for the sake of human souls who have done nothing wrong to deserve such an unfortunate event.

No one deserves to be tortured. Every human has the right to not be tortured. Article 5 of the Human Rights states that, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” No matter who the person is or what they did they are still human. The human being tortured is dehumanized and seen as something that will give information.

Torturing a terrorist will not stop terrorist attacks from happening. My opponent’s view of “the ends justify the means” does not have a definite end. They assume that the outcome will be positive. What if the ends are just more terrorist attacks which means more innocent people will be harmed? There is a possibility of a worse outcome.

PRO: But if torturing somebody who continuously refuses to talk when given the opportunity for the intent of saving the lives of thousands, hundreds, or even a few innocent mortals, the torturing of that suspect who would have otherwise inflicted pain and/or killed said mortals would seem morally acceptable. It is for the greater good, majority wins.

The argument presented is a very ‘ideal’ situation. It fails to take into account the regular torture of prisoners. It assumes the torture will be for information to save masses. It does not take into account torture as a regular practice. Torture is used outside of gaining information and not with the intent of being used for ‘the greater good.’ My opponent loses the moral high ground when they continually resort to torture as an answer. Correlation does not imply causation. My opponent is implying that torture will cause lives to be saved. How can one know torture will save the lives of people?

PRO: My opponent asks for greater clarification when I say that there is a misunderstanding about the other ways of gaining information from suspects without torture. There seems to be a misunderstanding because in many cases where torture would be considered minimally morally acceptable, there is in fact a time limit…. Since there is a time limit with every single second counting, torture would be a more effective interrogation technique.

I would like to thank my opponent for the clarification. I have proven that torture would not be a more effective interrogation technique in my previous argument. In the ticking time bomb example the terrorist could give false information to the police. He knows the time limit of when the bomb will go off and will do anything to make the explosion happen. The terrorist can lie and give false locations or just prolong the torture not giving up any information which will waste time. This also applies to the stolen car scenario. The man could give out false locations of where the car is located. Torture would not be effective if there is false information being given which renders it useless.

PRO: In the previous argument, my opponent states “It is impossible to know whether torture would be effective in these situations. No one can predict the future to know if torture will truly benefit people.” I happen to disagree with my opponent on this. First off, torture would be the last resort. A suspect would be given the chance to cooperate. Pain will then be inflicted if and only if the suspect refuses to comply. So torture will only commence if the other techniques, such as interrogations, interviews, and enticing a suspect to release needed information, are not effective.

In the specific examples my opponent has given me there is a time limit. I will quote what my opponent said in the argument, “In both case, there seemed to be no other way of gaining the needed information to save innocent lives on account of limited time. So it would mean that in cases such as these, some cases of torture could me minimally morally acceptable.” If torture is to be used as a last resort other interrogation methods would need to be used first. Those other interrogation methods take a considerable amount of time and expertise to be done. By the time torture is used the threat would be very close to happening. Even the torture itself is time-intensive. If the suspect had not given up information from the other interrogation methods what would make the suspect give up from being tortured? The information the suspect gives still has the possibility of being false. This would render torture useless.

PRO: I also disagree with the fact that torture will not benefit people. I actually believe it is the opposite. Torture will have an effect on both the suspect, and the spectator. The spectator would recognize that there are consequences for certain actions and insubordination. Much like a child learns after being put in a time out, the observers would most likely understand that they cannot simply just get away with criminal acts. The suspect would realize that there is a greater power over them, and they will not escape with what they have done because they must suffer the consequences and punishment for disrespecting authority.

My opponent is comparing the effect of torture to a child being put in time out. If I understand this correctly my opponent is saying that those who observe or experience torture will see it as a punishment or consequence for their crime? There is a bit of irony in my opponent’s statement as torture is also considered a criminal act. My opponent is also supporting the use of torture as a way to teach people a lesson. A punishment for a crime is not always torture and torture is not always a punishment for a crime. This is unrelated to the point I was making within my argument. What I am stating in my argument is that the outcome of torture cannot be predicted. There is no way to predict if the outcome will benefit people. To refute the point that my opponent is making though, torture or consequences of committing a crime does not stop people from committing criminal acts. If it did there would obviously be no crimes today. There are people who have gotten away with their criminal acts some examples are The Zodiac Killer, a serial killer from the late 1960s who was never caught, and Dan Cooper, he hijacked a plane in the USA, demanded ransom, had the plane take off, and then parachuted out to which he was never seen again. These people knew the consequences of their actions, they knew they could be punished, yet they still committed the crimes.

PRO: As I have also stated in my previous argument, public officials are indeed punished if they use torture because it is still illegal. They are not actually excluded, because they do suffer consequences, such as time in prison and even resigning from their job.

I have agreed that it is against the law and that it is illegal. There are public officials who are excluded from these laws. I have given an example of black sites which are secret prisons controlled by the CIA. There is the great assumption of torture being used in these facilities done by the US CIA. My opponent’s statement would be true for a public official that committed torture on their own volition not by approval or command of a higher power. The government usually ignores torture done by government officials which is what I am referring to in my claim when I say there is an exception to the law.

Debate Round No. 3
LR

Pro

1.There is plenty of reason to believe a suspect has information that threatens the lives of the innocent.
2.The individual captured is given the opportunity to comply and give up necessary information.
3."The threat of torture, and torture in its preliminary stage, simply function as a form of coercion."
4.Sometimes torture is the only way to get a suspect to talk.
5.Torturing said suspect to get them to talk will result in saving the lives of many innocents.
6.One-off, minimal use of torture will not give rise to the legalization of torture or lead to torture being used more often.
7.Therefore, some cases of torture are minimally morally acceptable.

As this argument comes to an end, I have decided to keep all the premises that I started out with.
In cases where torture would be considered minimally morally acceptable, there is plenty of reason to believe that a suspect is indeed related to the case in question. Whether it be through telephones, cellular devices, computers, discs, videos, e-mails, texts, calls, and/or witnesses of any sort, the suspect in question is in a position that is heavily involved and it would be just impossible for them to not know a single thing about said case. In the examples given about the car thief committing grand theft auto with a toddler located in the back seat of the motor vehicle, and the terrorist threatening the lives of an entire city filled with living souls, including women and children, whom did no such thing to encounter such a cruel fate with a ticking time bomb, destined to go off at any given time, were heavily proven to have put countless innocent lives at risk.
The suspect is given a chance to cooperate and release the needed information. They are often offered a shorter sentence, and protected from the people who they have betrayed. Suspects will not be thrown back at their partners in crime for the fact that that may guarantee death on the suspect"s part. The sentence would be extended the longer they refuse to speak. Suspects are usually made aware of the consequences that would be performed if they do not take the generous offer. If the suspect continuously refuses to disclose the information that will be used to rescue an innocent life or lives, then torture would be used as an advanced interrogation technique to obtain the information. Torture is one of the more effective techniques used to coerce someone into talking. It is especially vital when there is a limited amount of time, such as the examples given about the child trapped in a heated car, who could easily become dehydrated, develop brain damage, or even suffocate and die due to the harsh weather conditions inside the tin car along with the amount of time passing by, and the entire city living amongst a bomb destined to explode in a very short matter of time, who could be blown to bits and parts of the city would be beyond repair due to the demolition caused by such a weapon.
Most forms of torture are technically illegal, and a public official"s one-off use of torture will not encourage the legalization of torture. I can agree that torture in a maximalist sense, where the sufferer becomes physically and/or mentally impaired to the point where they may not even be able to function as a human being, is a right being tampered with and abused and torturing an individual to gain information should not be used in such a harsh manner. However, torturing an individual in a minimalist sense, where the suspect"s will is temporarily broken in a contained manner without further complication due to an unnecessary infliction of physical and/or mental pain, would be morally acceptable if there was just no other way of receiving information in order to avoid disaster and benefit the innocent lives of others. Police officers do have an obligation to keep citizens safe and out of harm"s way, but they also have an obligation to possibly torture a suspect (if that is what it takes) in order to protect the lives and well-being of many other innocent citizens.
NRod

Con


1) It is a human right to not be tortured no matter if they had committed a crime or not.


2) Torture is not a reliable means of gaining information.


3) Sometimes the information gained from torture is inaccurate or wrong.


4) The person being tortured will say anything to make the torture stop.


5) Torture can cause serious physical and psychological damage to the victim where they are unable to function as a normal member of society.


6) There are other actions that can be used to gain information from someone.


7) The use of torture violates municipal and international laws. Allowing an exception is hypocritical.


8) How would one know if the act of torturing a person will have a positive outcome?


9) Therefore, some cases of torture are not minimally, morally acceptable.


Throughout the debate I stood firm on all my claims and gave examples and sources to back up my claims. All my premises are the same and I added two more, Premise 2 and 8. I did not agree with my opponent’s definition of torture as I think the purpose to break someone’s will was incorrect. My opponent did not state a definition of moral in the first argument but I assume they agreed with mine since it was used in the third argument. I say many times within my argument that there was no way to determine if torture will benefit the lives of people and how would someone know if torture will have the positive outcome that is wanted. My opponent had never given an example to prove these. The one example that they did give came to the conclusion of an ‘if, then’ situation. “If he is forced to cooperate, then innocent lives will be saved.” She had not given a conclusion of yes in this situation innocent lives were saved. This still did not justify the use of torture as there are still other ways to gain information. I also stand with my first premise.


My opponent has actually supported my claim of torture not being a reliable means of gaining information. My opponent also tried to claim my example of an innocent person being tortured as irrelevant when it was indeed relevant. She stated that police have enough knowledge to confirm someone is a suspect before torturing them. My example shows police torturing someone without an adequate amount of information to prove that he was the true suspect.


My opponent uses extreme situations as examples which are designed in a way that will force a person to agree torture should be used in those situations. The examples she gives are those that have a time limit. I have proven that torture would not be effective within these situations as the suspect will say what the torturer wants to hear, they can purposely give false information, and torturing someone is time-intensive causing the threat to come nearer as time is being wasted.


My opponent had ignored my statement of my forth premise being minimally controversial. She goes on to say that torture used minimally will not cause severe damage. I prove this wrong as she still uses the word torture and it is still considered torture even in minimal amounts. There is still damage being done to the victim.


A very odd comparison my opponent made was comparing the effects of torture to a child in time out. First, it had nothing to do with the claim I made. Second, people still commit criminal acts knowing there are consequences.


I continuously state how allowing uses of torture is against the law and allowing exceptions causes the law to be flawed. This could also cause torture to be of common use. My opponent stated that public officials are always arrested when committing acts of torture and that there were no exceptions. She ignored my example of the US CIA and other government officials being ignored or given a pass on their acts of torture.


My opponent assumes that torture is always used in situations where information will be gained and lives will be saved when that is not always the case.


Torture is against human rights and violates municipal and international laws. Every human being has the right to not be tortured. Torture is not a reliable means of gaining information as the information given has the possibility of being incorrect. There is no way to know if the use of torture will have a positive outcome or benefit people. Allowing the use of torture is against the law. If the system requires its own laws to be broken to achieve results then the system and its components are inherently flawed and broken. Some cases of torture are not minimally morally acceptable. Overall, my opponent was a great competitor and gave me a challenge towards the end of the debate. She had some good points and ended very strongly. I learned many things and will use what I learned for my next debates. Thank you!


Debate Round No. 4
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by BLAHthedebator 2 years ago
BLAHthedebator
LRNRodTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con refutes all of pro's arguments. Pro did not use sources to back his arguments up, unlike con. Con also cites the articles of human rights and amendments. If, according to he human rights and amendments, torture is unacceptable, then we already know it is purely unacceptable. Con easily proves this fact.