Is torture minimally, morally justifiable?
Debate Rounds (4)
2.)Torture, minimally, is to break a person"s will causing them to abandon autonomous decision - making in relation to some narrowly circumscribed area of their life for a limited period.
3.)Moral is a distinction between what are acceptable and what are unacceptable actions with concern to harm.
4.)Morality can be shaped to fit in an instance to make it justified.
5.)Torture is justified in instances of extreme emergencies.
6.)Someone has information that seriously threatens people.
7.)You know that they have that information.
8.)The person captured has the opportunity to comply and give up information.
9.)No reliable way to get the information otherwise.
10.)Upon compliance the person is not sent back to the people they betrayed.
11.)Torture is not an absolute moral wrong.
12.)If an action is not absolutely wrong, than there are some cases where that action is morally permissible.
13.)Therefore, some instances of torture are minimally, morally justifiable.
Torture is the intentional infliction of extreme physical suffering on some non-consenting, defenseless, other person for the purpose of breaking their will. Torture, minimally, is to break a person"s will causing them to abandon autonomous decision - making in relation to some narrowly circumscribed area of their life for a limited period. Moral is a distinction between what are acceptable and what are unacceptable actions with concern to harm. Someone has information that seriously threatens people. Upon compliance the person is not sent back to the people they betrayed.
Morality can be shaped to fit in an instance to make it justified. This can be seen as controversial because it could be seen as vague and subjective. What I mean by this statement is that there is no absolute, standard moral code, but there is a vague idea what should be right or wrong based upon the society you live in. certain instances of torture can be looked at as morally ok in some standards of morality. To justify the torture at hand one can go to another standard of morality as justification. Torture is justified in instances of extreme emergencies. This claim could be controversial because it is unclear by what an extreme emergency is. An extreme emergency would be if an action, or information, could harm large amounts of innocent people. You know that they have that information. This may be controversial because one may not be sure if the information is true or not. Also how can one be sure that the person in question actually has threatening information? Whether the information is truth or not does not matter in cases of torture because if it were true it would cause a lot of harm. The person captured has the opportunity to comply and give up information. This could be controversial because what one might know what is meant by comply? This would mean that there would be no way that the person captured would be harmed. If they were harmed then the torture would not be moral or justified.
No reliable way to get the information otherwise. This could be controversial because is the torturer sure that they have exhausted every other possible way to obtain information from the person being tortured? Torture is not an absolute moral wrong. This could be controversial simply because someone may not agree with this claim. This means that torture could be wrong but it is not the absolute worst thing that a person could do. Murder is an absolute moral wrong, because that is the worst thing a person could do to another person; whereas torture is not as bad. If an action is not absolutely wrong, than there are some cases where that action is morally permissible. This could be controversial because it could be said that even if something is not absolutely wrong it could still be partially wrong. For instance, in a court cases someone could have stabbed someone and harmed them, but not killing them. Killing is an absolute moral wrong but harming someone is less severe than murder, but is still wrong and would still get someone incarcerated.
2. I agree that torture may be a method in which someone tries to break someone's will but it does not always lead to ones will broken but it does however lead to some form of suffering on the individual.
3.Morality is principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.
4.In response to premise four, your statement is too vague and even though there are some that can be swayed, or change there mind on a view, there are some that may not. Some people may stick to their morals, and believe there are universal principles to abide by. For example; people who believe in god, they stick to what god says is morally right and wrong.
5.In response to premise five, according to the article five from the universal declaration of human rights; No one should be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. There being no reason to why torture should be justifiable nor necessary.
6.Even though you know someone has that information and it may threaten people, you do not know if that information you gathered from tortured is accurate or not.
7.Maybe people who are in such pain and panic will say anything to make it stop.
8. Even in the case where information gathered from torture is proven accurate and an entire city is saved, the official who did the torturing will still be subjected to a trial.
9. Torture is a negotiation; meaning that even is the person is captured, as you stated, they have an opportunity, an option on whether to comply or not. They should not be forced to give up information. Information that you may not be certain they have or not. Which means someone could be torturing an innocent person. Innocent until proven guilty.
10.In some place and cultures, inflicting pain or torture is against the law, and subjected to jail time or death.
11.According to article three of the universal of human rights, everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of a person.
12.Torture is used on a person because of what they know, or what someone thinks they know, but they overlook the pain they as causing upon a human being. Torture can be taken too far sometimes and lead to the death of a person which is not morally permissible or legal.
13. It is just a mistake to assume that what morality requires or permits in a given situation must be identical with what the law requires or permits in that situation.
14. Such torture, more generally, interrogation coercion are never morally permissible.
15. There are simply no real or imaginable circumstances in which torture could be morally justified.
16.Therefore, torture is an absolute moral wrong and cannot be justified.
Non controversial claims:
Pros premises 2, and 3. premise two, stating that torture, minimally, is to break a person will causing them to abandon autonomous decision-making in relation to some narrowly circumscribed area of their life for a limited period. Though I partial agree, I have also stated there may be instances where the persons will may not be broken, but suffering will always be present. Premise three, even with the grammatical error, our definitions have the same meaning.
Premise 1,4,5,12,14,and 15
Premise 1 maybe viewed as controversial because a proper definition has not be agreed upon. 4, it is too vague and inaccurate. In some instances it maybe true that someone's moral beliefs may change due to certain circumstances but not to everyone. Some people stand firm to their moral beliefs no matter the circumstance.5, may be controversial because it states that torture isn't necessary which leaves room for pro to give reasons on what would make torture justifiable and necessary. 12, may be controversial because pro may argue that someone's positive duty may cause them to have to make a negative duty. 14, too vague. 15, pro can give examples of situation in which torture may seem necessary.
In Con"s fourth premise they say that my premise is too vague and that sometimes morality can be swayed and sometimes it cannot. They explained that their premise was actually too vague and inaccurate; I say that it is too vague and inaccurate. Is it vague because who"s to say one person"s, or a peoples, moral standard is more right or more wrong over another? Also some standards of morality can allow for torture. This would have to be true if morality can be molded, it could be molded to fit instances of torture making them morally ok.
In their fifth premise, Con, says that no one should be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment. I say that is there is a threatening situation, such as a terrorist plot to bomb a city that would be extreme enough to use any means necessary to get the terrorists to give up their plans. In such a case there is a present positive duty to save innocent people of the city rather than worry about the well-being of one or a few terrorist who were going to harm many people anyway with no regarding for their lives. Why should anyone have regard for the terrorist lives, if they had no regard for innocents" lives?
In their sixth premise Con claims that even if you know that someone had information you are unable to tell if that information in true. I say that the truth would be irrelevant. The information only needs to be plausible then there is a justified cause to get that information for the person. Plausible information could be true so if, for say, a terrorist has a mapped out plan to bomb a city, and the FBI knows that name of the person who is organizing the plan, the FBI would have the right to capture the person and torture then to find out the bomb plan and stop it before people are killed.
In their seventh premise, Con says that maybe people who are in such pain and panic will say anything to make it stop. I say that people being subjected to the mental stress of torture would be more inclined to tell the truth. Torture is breaking someone"s will enough to where they don"t have the mental capacity to lie anymore so they are more likely to tell the truth.
In their ninth premise they say that someone should not be forced to give up information. I say that if someone gives up information they have willingly and it is the truth then they don"t need to be tortured. But if it is known that someone has information, that is essential in the protection of innocent lives, and they do not give it up willingly then it is necessary to torture to obtain that information. Con says that if torture is a negotiation, meaning that they have a chance to give up information willingly, and you torture them, you may be torturing an innocent person; the person is innocent until proved guilty. What Con does not account for is that in an extreme case where a lot of innocent people could be harmed, methods of protection, in this case torture, does not have to align with law where innocent until proved guilty. Extreme cases lend themselves to extreme measures of protection.
In their tenth premise, Con says that in some cultures torture is against the law and could send a person to jail or execution. This lends itself to be true that in some cultures torture would not be against the law. Also law is not necessarily moral, so law can not be able to dictate whether torture could be morally ok or not.
In their 11th premise they go on to say that everyone has a right to life, liberty and security of a person. I argue this not true because rights can be taken away if you intend on harming people. For example a murderer is sent to jail for killing and in jail you give up your aforementioned rights.
I do not agree with their 12th premise because, whether torture leads to death is irrelevant if you get the information you need to save others. The pain inflicted during torture is justified because you"re harming one for the sake of many.
In their 13th claim, they say that it is a mistake to say that morality must be identical to law. As I have already stated morality and law do not have to be aligned. Tortured is not morally justified based on law.
In response to your second paragraph, I was not stating that my premise was too vague and inaccurate; I was stating that your fourth premise was too vague and inaccurate. Morality can be shaped to fit in an instance to make what justified? In explanation to premise four, no one is stating that one"s moral standard is more right or more wrong over another; I am simply stating that there are some people who stick to their standards no matter what the instances might be. What are the standards of morality that allow torture? Morality has to do with what is morally right and wrong. I"ve previously agreed that morality can be molded and swayed but there are also instances in which it cannot.
In response to pros third paragraph referring to cons fifth premise, even though a threatening situation such as a terrorist plotting to bomb a city may seem extreme enough to use any means necessary; the positive duty of the law enforcement to defend the innocent citizens does not extend to a duty to torture or cause harm to a captured terrorist just to force him/her to give up the whereabouts of the bomb, this would be a breach of the negative duty.
In response to pros fourth paragraph regarding cons sixth premise, I argue that the truth is very much relevant. But knowing if the person you are torturing information is accurate or not is important. The question would be how much information this person really knows, just because the FBI knows the name of someone organizing the plan doesn"t mean this is the person putting the plan in motion. If the information is not accurate or useful, then an innocent is being abused and tortured for no purpose. Torching someone especially because of what someone thinks this person may know is morally wrong because this is still a person, a person who is suffering the pain just as much as any other person.
In response to pros fifth paragraph in regards to cons seventh premise, I do not agree that people under stress or pressure would be inclined to tell the truth. Some people do not break easily. Some people live by a code, such as gangs. You don"t say anything; you take whatever you know to the grave with you. The last sentence stating the definition on torture is inaccurate, there are many reason on why people torture, such as to get information, punishment, cruelty, even intimidation.
In response the pros sixth paragraph regarding cons ninth premise, the key word pro is missing is forced. If someone is not being forced and is willing to give information and they believe it is the truth, then I agree that they do not need to be tortured but if they are not willing, they should not be forced to give up that information. Information that is unknown if it is accurate or if the person even had information in the first place. Torturing a person not knowing how much information they have brings me back to my statement that torturing an innocent person is morally wrong and illegal. Torture is a serious violation of human rights and there is no justification about it.
In response to pros seventh paragraph regarding cons tenth premise, I agree that the law is no necessarily moral, but in further explanation, in some places and cultures, what is viewed as the law in one society is a way of life in another. Such as certain tribes, torture is only ok if the "chief" says it is and that is the law of the land. In our society, using force or the infliction of pain to overcome an individual"s desire to remain silent during interrogation not only violates the person"s right to be free from torture but also violates the person"s right not to speak during interrogation.
In response to pros eighth paragraph and cons eleventh premise, I agree that rights may be taken away but the person would still have the right to live, whether in prison or not, the right to liberty and security. If an inmate feels harm may come to him or her, they have the right of further protection.
In response to pros ninth paragraph, cons twelfth premise, I believe that this premise is relevant and torture is never justified, sometimes the torture gets frustrated because they are not getting what they want and take things too far and death occurs. It"s relevant because no matter the situation, the death of a human being is morally right or can be justified.
Therefore, torture is an absolute moral wrong and cannot be justified.
Con says that my statement that morality can be shaped to fit in an instance to make it justified is inaccurate. I say morality can be molded to make things justified. For instance, God says though shall not kill but most people would say that is moral to kill in self-defense but not moral in cases of murder. Con says that there are some people who stick to their moral code no matter what the instances might be. This would make torture morally justified for some people over others if some believe torture is morally ok based on their standard of morality. Con asks, what are the standards of morality that would allow for torture? I say that if morality can be shaped to allow for instances of torture any person can say that torture is morally right if that is what they believe. Con says that there are instances where morality cannot be swayed. But this leaves room for me to say that there are some instances where morality can be swayed, and one of those instances could be torture.
Con states that it is the positive duty of law enforcement to defend the innocent citizens does not extend to torture. The positive duty of law enforcement is to protect and defend innocent people. If all other means such as negation or interrogation do not work to obtain dangerous information then law enforcement has a right to use torture. It"s a last option and the inflicted pain is just a side effect of the last option necessary to obtain the information by torture. Torture is morally justified if it helps to save innocent lives, regardless if it inflicts harm on people with dangerous information.
Con states knowing whether or not the person has accurate information is important and that the truth of the information is important. Torture would not be used if it was not already known that the person has threatening information. There must be substantial evidence to prove that this person has information in order to justify the use of torture. And as I stated before the truth of the information is not important even if that information is plausible enough to make it danger then torture is justified as a means to obtain the information. Torture is not used unless the information obtained is actually useful in the protection of innocent lives. If the information was not useful there would be no need to torture that person at all.
Con does not agree that under the stress of torture a person would be more inclined to tell the truth. If you can"t give up the truth after torture the torture did not work. Torture is only used when the torturer knows the person has important information. The person being tortured knows that if they are being tortured and do not tell the truth they can continue to be tortured which may lead to their death. If someone dies during torture the torture is still justified because now that person can"t use the information to harm people anymore if they are dead.
If information is given up willingly there is no need for torture. Con says that if they are not willing to give up the information they should not be forced to. I counter that by saying if the information is needed to protect and defend innocent people then torture as a use of forced confession of information is necessary. Con claims that torturing an innocent is person is morally wrong. I agree that if the person is innocent there is no need to torture, but if there is clear evidence that the person has threatening information then torture is justified. Torture is morally permissible if it prevents the individual from causing serve harm to innocents. Con also says that torture is a violation of human rights. That is not necessarily true, torture is not a violation of human rights because if a person is withholding threatening information they give up their rights and are treated as a criminal, or in some cases a prisoner of war, and are subjected to torture that is justified.
Con says that there are cases where a leader says that something is ok and makes it into law. Law is not necessarily moral. Just because someone says that something is a law does not necessarily make it morally right. Our society believes in protecting people against harm which is why we allow for the government to have the C.I.A, F.B.I, and the Department of Homeland Security and we allow for those agencies to use any means necessary to protect us whether those methods are legal or not, this included torture.
In jail as in torture cases, you lose freedoms. In cases of torture you can"t let someone with threatening information walk around free because they may still be able to cause harm if the information is not obtained by officials and used to prevent harm. Whether torture leads to death does not matter, torture is morally justified because if you harm one for the sake of many you are protecting many people versus protecting just one dangerous person.
Torture is not an absolute moral wrong because there are worse things than torture that can be done. For instance murder is an absolute moral wrong and is morally worse than torture. If an action is not absolutely morally wrong, than there are some cases where that action is morally permissible. Therefore, torture is at least sometimes morally permissible.
Some people argue that the goal of saving innocent lives must override a person"s right to be tortured. Although in some instances, some may believe that is fair and right, the US law does not allow any exceptions to the prohibition against torture. Torture not only causes suffering at the time but permanently damages the lives of the victim and their families. Even if torture were allowed, who knows how far someone might take torture. Someone might get frustrated on now getting a trustworthy accurate answer and continue torturing. The victim might just admit to whatever the person wants just to make the torture stop, and even in that, there"s a possibility the torturer may not believe them. Torture can lead to death. Once torture is allowed, setting limits would be extremely difficult, or impossible. Tortured victims can sue against the law enforcement, but even if some succeed and get awarded financially, it could never undo the suffering, harm and damage that have been done. There are physical, mental and emotional consequences a person lives with. Those in law enforcement or not but engage in torture, especially on an innocent human being, are subjected to being prosecuted and tried.
I agree that morality can be molded to make things justifiable, but I don"t agree that torture is one of the things that can be molded and made justifiable. Morality being shaped or molded depends upon that individual person or persons. I agree that law enforcements duty is to protect and defend all people, not just the innocent. If all other means such as negotiation and interrogation does not work, law enforcement does not have the right to use torture, especially if the person remains silent. If law enforcement believes the person is withholding information then the law enforcement should use other strategies that do not cause physical, mental or emotional harm such as torture. For that use of torture would be against someone"s human rights. Torture is not morally justified even if it might save people"s lives or not; the fact being that torture is not an absolute method that always works to insure safety. If anything torture can cause more pain than help; torturing someone can take a time in which someone or people may not have, or torturing someone can be unreliable because the information can be useless, or false.
Pro states that if you can"t give up the truth after torture then the torture didn"t work, simple one of the points I was making; torturing someone may be a waste of time for the torturer because their will may not break, or they may end up torturing someone that doesn"t have any information or information useful to them, or they ended up torturing an innocent person and ended up where they started. Beside torture being against the law, if a person refuses to give up information it is not morally right for someone to force them to give them that information. I agree that law may not necessarily be moral but laws are put in place to protect and defend people of all kind. Such laws are the moral standards by which all human beings are suppose to live by. Torturing someone is not morally right or legal. I agree that being in jail such as torture case you may lose your freedom but just because your freedom is lost doesn"t mean you don"t have rights still. Such as a person has the right to remain silent, a person has the right to a lawyer; a person has the right to be protected in all circumstances, like torture. There are other methods in which someone may get information from someone without torture. Torture happens to not only bad people but good people as well, is that morally acceptable? Do torturing good people justify torture?
Pro states that murder is an absolute wrong and is morally worse than torture. Pro also states that whether torture leads to death or not does not matter, that torture is morally justified if you harm one for the sake of many. But I argue that it does matter because harming one for the sake of many, example being, someone could murder someone to protect or save people; doesn"t mean that murdering someone is morally right and doesn"t justify killing someone. How can murder be an absolute moral wrong and torture not be, when torture can lead to murder or is causing harm against someone. If anything I would say that torture is just as bad as murder and neither are morally right nor should be justified. Torture cannot be justified because I would not justify torture for myself. Therefore, torture is an absolute moral wrong and cannot be justified.
2.)The purpose of breaking someone"s will, in torture, is to take away their ability to make rational decisions, so they will surrender information.
3.)Torture is inflicted when:
a.When someone has information that seriously threatens people.
b.When you know they have that information.
c.No reliable to get the information otherwise.
4.)The person captured has the opportunity to comply.
5.)The information being obtained only needs to be plausible information, the truth does not matter.
6.)Morality is the distinction between what is acceptable and what is unacceptable behavior, with concern to harm.
7.)Morality can be shaped to make things justified. For instance, God says though shall not kill, but most moral codes would allow for killing in self-defense and murder would be consider the wrong type of killing that God talks about.
8.)Some standard of morality could allow for torture; morality could be molded to fit in instances of torture.
9.)Torture is morally permissible if it prevents the individual from causing harm to innocents.
10.)There is a positive duty to protect innocents, so harming one dangerous person for the sake of saving many innocent people is morally justified.
11.)There must be substantial evidence to prove that the person about to tortured has information needed in the protection of innocents in order to torture them
12.)The truth of the information is not important, even if that information is plausible enough to make it dangerous to many innocent lives then that information needs to be obtained even if that means by force.
13.)Torture should only be used as a last resort option if all other methods of negation and interrogation have been exhausted.
14.)Torture is not used unless the information that the person has is actually useful in protecting or defending innocent lives.
15.)Torture is not a violation of human rights because if a person is withholding, threatening information they give up their rights and are treated as a criminal, or sometimes a prisoner of war, and are subjected to torture. This is the same as, for example, a criminal for any other crime is incarcerated and they have no rights in jail.
16.)Extreme cases, or emergencies (such as terrorism), require extreme measures of protection (such as torture).
17.)Law is not necessarily moral.
18.)Our society believes that we should have agencies in the government to protect our innocent lives against harm which is why we allow for the existence of the C.I.A, F.B.I, Homeland Security, and certain areas in the military. These agencies do not necessarily have to follow the law and can use any means necessary to protect us, including torture.
19.)Torture is not an absolute wrong because there are worse things that one can do.
20.)For instance, murder is an absolute moral wrong and is morally worse than torture.
21.)If an action is not absolutely morally wrong than there are some cases where that action is morally permissible.
22.)Therefore, some instances of torture are minimally, morally justifiable.
Throughout the debate there are things that stayed constant throughout my argument. I have held on to the purpose of torture being to break a person"s in order to obtain useful information that will protect innocent people. This was hard for Con to argue because there is no other logic reason to have to torture someone unless they have important information. The protection of innocent people is the most important part of my argument. The whole need for the information to help innocent lives who are in danger. What is morally right would be to protect innocent people by any means necessary, one of those means may just have to be torture, so torture is morally permissible in that instance.
I have also held on to my definition of morality because it"s a usable definition. I have also kept the reasons for inflicting torture which would be to get information out of a person. The information is the most important. I have also constantly said that truth of the information in not important. If that information is in anyway useful in the protection of innocent people it is plausible enough to have to extract it form someone, and if you need to force them by means of torture that"s fine.
I have also constantly said that morality is flexible and can be shaped to allow for torture to be morally permissible. There is not one universal standard of morality so in some standard torture would be permissible. Con can"t say that every single moral code that ever were says torture is wrong. I have also constantly said that torture is not an absolute moral wrong. Con has said that it is an absolute moral wrong. I still say it is not because I could come up with instance far worse than torture that would be more likely to be absolute moral wrongs. I also kept constant that torture should be used in extreme emergencies where innocent lives could be harmed severely. If there is no dangerous situation that may arise or is happening then there is no use to obtain information. Con could not come up with a good enough argument to counter most of these instances that would get me to sway my argument.
2. Torture may be a method in which someone tries to break someones will but it doesn"t always lead to ones will broken but it does however lead to some form of suffering on the individual..
3. there are many reason on why people torture, such as to get information, punishment, cruelty, even intimidation.
4. Some people may stick to their morals, and believe there are universal principles to abide by. For example; people who believe in god, they stick to what god says is morally right and wrong.
5. Even though you know someone has that information and it may threaten people, you do not know if that information you gathered from tortured is accurate or not.
6. Sometimes people who are in such pain and panic will say anything to make it stop.
7. Torture is used on a person because of what they know, or what someone thinks they know, but they overlook the pain they as causing upon a human being.
8. Torture can cause more pain than help; torturing someone can take a time in which some one or people may not have, or torturing someone can be unreliable because the information can be useless, or false.
9. Torture can be taken too far sometimes and lead to the death of a person which is not morally permissible or legal.
10. Torture not only causes suffering at the time but permanently damages the lives of the victim and their families.
11. Morality being shaped or molded depends upon that individual person or persons.
12. With the use of torture, someone can become permanently damaged, physically, mentally and emotionally.
13. Torture can be looked as a greater evil than killing, even murder.
14. Tortured victims can sue against the law enforcement, but even if some succeed and get awarded financially, it could never undo the suffering, harm and damage that has been done.
15. Torture cannot be justified because I would not justify torture for myself.
16. Therefore, torture is an absolute moral wrong and cannot be justified.
Throughout the debate, there were some things I stood firm on and had strong reasoning to back up my conclusion. Such things that pro was unable to prove otherwise. Such things were the fact that the first definition used to define torture was inaccurate. Pro stated that torture was the intentional infliction of extreme physical pain on some non-consenting, defenseless, other person for the purpose of breaking their will. I stood by that torture doesn"t always have to be physical, nor does it have to be extreme. And even thought torture is a method used to attempt to break ones will, it does not always succeed in breaking ones will. Its a harmful method that some use to get answers, a method that ends up causing pain and suffering to at least one of the parties involved.
I also stated how torturing someone not only causes harm and suffering but is against their human rights. Torturing someone because of information that they think they might know is unjust because not knowing how useful the information is and causing mental, physical or emotional harm in the process. The harm in which this person has to live with for the rest of their lives. Torture does not only occur in law enforcement but it occurs around the world to many people including innocent people and children.
Lastly Pro stated that murder is morally worse than torture but I stood firm with my reasoning on why that is not true. Murder is sometimes quick, so the person may not suffer, but in certain cases of torture, one may feel better off dead than live with the agony and the pain from being tortured. Being tortured stays with you, some get nightmare, panic attacks, terrors, feeling like they are reliving the event. Torture in all morally degrades a human being and takes away a piece of life that we all are entitle to have. To some people torture is worse than death, which makes torture an absolute moral wrong. But from this debate, I have concluded that there may be a few cases in which minimal use of torture may be necessary. Therefore, torture is at least sometimes morally permissible.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by BLAHthedebator 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Justifiable means there is a valid reason for it, but it does not mean that it is completely right. Pro proves this and Con, although not pointed out, drops this case.
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