The Instigator
estersb
Pro (for)
Tied
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The Contender
kffishs
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Some case of torture are minimally, morally acceptable.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/22/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 845 times Debate No: 65664
Debate Rounds (4)
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estersb

Pro

1.Torture is the practice of forcing someone to say or do something or the intentional infliction of extreme physical suffering on some non-consenting, defenseless, other person for the purpose of breaking their will.
2.Some instances of torture are to gain information, to terrorize some political group, or to gratify a desire on the part of the torturer to inflict suffering and to exercise power.
3.It is never permissible intentionally to inflict severe pain or severe harm on someone unwilling, unless the pain/harm is intended for their benefit, as a punishment, as part of a legitimate war, or to prevent the individual from causing severe pain or harm to innocents
4. Torture is a means of preventing terrorism and terrorist acts.
5.Torture is more humane than what terrorists do to people they capture.
6.Moral is a standard that is acceptable in behavior.
7. What doesn't kill you can only make you stronger.
8. There are some cases of minimally, morally justified torture.
It is clear we do not agree about the fact that torturing someone transpires that the torturer to get very caught up into the torture that they go beyond the limits, therefore making it murder. This statement is controversial because of the declaration that murder is a result of torture when it is not definite in all cases. My Premise seven contradicts this statement because it is clear that torturers main goal isn't to murder the tortured but just to torture him to get information from them. We also do not agree that torture is morally wrong and that torture is not necessary for the function of society because of obvious reasons that I am debating against that claim. I believe that that there are instances where torture can be seen as morally right. This can be seen in my Premise three which states multiple cases where torture is acceptable. I also believe that torture indeed is necessary in the case that millions of lives could be in danger because of someone and society will not be the same if something harmful were to happen to all of them. Torture is necessary in society in order to have a society. Another point I wanted to bring up is if humans are entitled to their own beliefs then why are you against people who see that torture as acceptable. This premise is controversial because as pro I could say the same thing and it's a bit vague. This premise could also be seen as non controversial because in both instances they end up agreeing. Evidently, the torturer has their own belief that it is acceptable to torture in certain circumstances which is a belief they are entitled to.
It is also clear that some statements in the argument are non controversial. In con's argument Premise one is non controversial because it is the definition of torture and definitions cannot be controversial since it is clear cut. We essentially have the same definition for torture. Premise four is also non controversial because the definition is accurate for moral. Our definition for moral is also similar on the aspects of what is right and what is wrong. In Premise three where it says that there is no guarantee that the person being tortured has correct or accurate information is not up for debate because the person being tortured could easily give false information in order to spare themselves from being tortured. This statement is kind of iffy because it all depends on chance and whether or not the person will risk lying to not be tortured.
In my argument Premise four is controversial because it is just one of many means that that torture prevents. Premise five is controversial because it depends on perspective. Some people may see it as more humane while others may see it as less humane. Premise seven is controversial because it's kind of a vague statement that could have two possible meanings. One could be interpreted emotionally while the other could be interpreted physically. Those that are controversial could be true if provided with more examples and a clearer explanation of the statement.
kffishs

Con

1. Torture is considered to be the deliberate infliction of severe painful distress, where the person undergoing the procedure is helpless, in order to leave the person no choice but to give into the demands of the torturer.

2. Human Beings are entitled to their own beliefs. Torturing a person for the sake of disagreeing with their belief does not make their belief depart. Different societies and different religions and groups have different views on numerous things. Saying or physically inflicting pain into a person does not make the belief go away. Terrorists are often quite similar to dogmatists. A dogmatist is someone that will not change their belief no matter what you do to try and change it. Most terrorists live like this, so how would torturing a person like that make their beliefs stop?

3. Torture in most instances is abused and unnecessary. When torturing someone, there is no guarantee that the person being tortured has correct or accurate information. When torturing someone, it habitually transpires that the torturer gets very caught up into the torture that they go beyond the limits, therefore making it murder.

4. Torture is not always used In circumstances. Interrogating a person could suffice, rather then torture the person and make them feel as if they are near death. Just because someone is tutored does not mean it will prevent acts of terrorism.

5. My opponent"s claim for number five too vague. What is the definition of humane? What are the standards to consider something humane? What is it that terrorists do to the people they capture?

6. Moral is a standard for acceptable or not acceptable behavior with in society. Different societies and different groups have their own view on what moral is morally right and what is morally wrong. What is morally right in an opposing society can be morally wrong in our society. Who are we in our own society to go into other countries, into other societies and torture the people their because we do not agree on their beliefs or values.

7. The Claim in my opponents argument number seven is Irrelevant to the argument. What does the adage "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" have to do with whether or not torture is minimally morally acceptable?

8. My opponent has some inconsistencies in her argument. The vague and irrelevant claims inside the argument make it hard to understand that some cases of torture are minimally morally justified. Therefore , all cases of torture are never minimally morally justifiable.

It is clear that my opponent and I do in fact agree on the meaning of torture. Torture is the deliberate practice of forcing someone who is helpless to say or do something or the intentional infliction of extreme physical suffering on some non-consenting, defenseless, other person for the purpose of breaking their will and giving into the demands of the torturer .However we disagree on some other concepts regarding torture. Claim number two can be controversial. Some may argue that people are not entitled to their own beliefs. However different societies do have different beliefs. For example the Taliban and Al Qaeda Do not agree with our beliefs. Torturing a person from one of these groups will not magically make the belief dismiss. Claim number three also follows this. Just because a person is a Muslim does not necessarily mean that they are affiliated with a terrorist organization. It is often seen in the United States that innocent people are tutored because of their race. US officials torturing Muslims because they are racist toward Muslims and not based on substantial evidence. Claim number four may be considered controversial that torturing a person does prevent acts of terrorism. However the wrong person might be tortured, the timing of the torture might be too late, not preventing an attack. The person being tortured might also be completely irrelevant to the circumstance and be innocent. My opponent and I agree on claim number six. We both see eye to eye on our definition of Moral, Moral is a standard for acceptable or not acceptable behavior with in society.
Debate Round No. 1
estersb

Pro

Torture is not always considered to be severe infliction of pain it can vary in many different ways like emotionally or psychologically. There is always the use of black mailing, solitary confinement or even exploiting the person to their phobias. The torture does not always have to be physical which some people do not realize. They figure that torturing someone always results in physical pain when in reality it does not always have to be like that. Torture is just a way for the torturer to simply get information out of the person in order to save a life or save many lives. It all comes down to the matter of human life. Torturing one person's life to save many other lives is acceptable . It is acceptable because for one the victims whose lives are at risk have done nothing to deserve harm whereas the person in charge of causing of the harm has done some evil and should get what they have given or are going to give. No matter how bad it sounds the whole concept relies on a process of elimination , not elimination as a persecution but an elimination of who's life is saved due to torture. Your conclusion to your argument is that torture is never minimally, morally justified. Never means that no time in the past or future; on no occasion or not ever. I believe that, that claim is false. It is false because there are some cases where torture is justified, maybe not all cases but there are some. Saying that torture is never acceptable must provide multiple examples of how torture could never be accepted. If you knew that your loved one could only be saved by torturing someone who could easily give up information to not end their life wouldn't you agree to it? Yes, torture can seem unjust on the outside but wouldn't being put in the middle of the situation change the whole idea? I feel as though anybody would agree to torture if that meant saving your loved one's life. In order to really understand an issue you have to sit back and put yourself in someone else's shoes because the victims all have family and friends who care about them. Believe it or not we live in a very selfish world on many different aspects because we as a society want what is best for us and the ones that are in our life. The means of torture can be seen as adequate because it means that we are getting what we want out of it. Saving a life or saving multiple lives by torturing someone is just one of those selfish acts that make our world go round. My whole argument is for the fact that there are some cases where torture is acceptable meaning that I do realize that in other cases torture is not acceptable. In other cases there sometimes are no actual purposes towards torturing someone which is all around unacceptable but that does not mean that all instances of torture are intolerable. The whole concept of torture will always have its pros and it's cons but for good reasons torture is suitable. When someone does have a condition that threatens people when you have the information to know they have that information the person captured has an opportunity to comply and give up the information. Also when someone does hold information that could possibly threaten people that person is given the chance to come clean with the truth but if not they will suffer the consequence in order to get information out. You are ultimately giving the person a chance to speak up and resolve the issue at hand but what they do with that information affects not only them but the lives that are in danger. Torture in this case can be overlooked but it is up to the person being put under inspection. The inspection can either go smoothly or it can go by the instructions of torture. The whole process can be avoided though if the person would just surrender and tell the torturer the information needed. Torture is ultimately justified because they are given the chance to come clean but whether they take advantage of this chance is up to them. Overall, there would not have to be any torture if people would just leave other people out of dangerous situations.
kffishs

Con

The definition of torture is defined as the deliberate infliction of severe painful distress, where the person undergoing the procedure is helpless, in order to leave the person no choice but to give into the demands of the torturer. You are saying that it varies in many ways, which is not true. Blackmailing is it"s own concept and is not a part of torture. Emotionally and physiologically would not be considered torture but rather interrogation which is not torture. This is just because interrogation is defined as questioning through verbal means which falls under Emotionally and physiologically. You state that exposing the suspect to their phobias will break their will, this can be true but keep in mind, by doing that you are using the concept of exposure therapy or flooding, which is again it"s own concept and not torture. You are arguing that torture does not always have to be physical which some people do not realize. However if the act is not physical then the act is not torture. My conclusion to my first round argument is indeed that torture is never minimally, morally justified. Never does mean that in no time in the past or future or on no occasion or not ever that torture is minimally morally justified. Torture is never minimally morally justified because when is it okay to put gallons of water down a persons throat? When is it okay to use a car battery to electrocute somebody? When is it okay to rip out a persons tooth with pliers? When I say never is torture okay I mean that it is never minimally morally justified to deliberately inflict extreme pain into a helpless person in order to break their will. I will admit that blackmailing, flooding, emotionally and physiological are all better ways to get information from a suspect, you must keep in mind that those are not means of torture. Those concepts are irrelevant to torture, they are irrelevant to the argument. When you say that Torture is just a way for the torturer to simply get information out of the person in order to save a life or save many lives, it sounds like you are saying that is the definition of torture and not what you said in the first round which was: Torture is the practice of forcing someone to say or do something or the intentional infliction of extreme physical suffering on some non-consenting, defenseless, other person for the purpose of breaking their will. Some instances of torture are to gain information, to terrorize some political group, or to gratify a desire on the part of the torturer to inflict suffering and to exercise power. How do we know that the person that is being tortured is guilty? How do we know that torturing the person is going to save many lives? When you say my claim is false because there are some cases where torture is justified, maybe not all cases but there are some, you never gave examples of cases when torture is minimally morally justified. By not giving me these certain circumstances, you are supporting my claim that torture is never minimally morally justified. If you can"t find a circumstance where torture is minimally morally justified, then I suppose it never is. I agree with you that there would be no need for torture if people would just leave other people out of dangerous situations. If this did not happen the world would undoubtedly be a better place. however, that will never happen. You state several times in your arguments; torturing one person's life to save many other lives is acceptable. How do you know that this is the case? How do you know that torturing that one person will stop the chaos? How do you know thousands of lives would be saved? The Terrorist Attacks of September 11th, 2001 are great example of this. thousands of innocent lives were lost on this day. But also the United States had tortured several people before the attack happened to prevent this. You are saying that it is right to torture one person if it means we can save a great number of people by doing it however. This does not necessarily follow. We tortured people to save other lives but yet it didn't stop the attacks and we didn't save all of those lives, why?
Debate Round No. 2
estersb

Pro

The person undergoing the torture is helpless in a way but they wouldn't be in that situation if they didn't make the choice to inflict harm on innocent people. They could easily give up the information that they are holding to free their self from being tortured. Overall the whole situation would be avoided if they just confess. It is the whole concept of what goes around comes around. Whatever hurt people want to pose on others there is likely to be a consequence for them in the near future. I do not agree with the fact that if the act is not physical then the act is not torture. Torture does have its physical side but torture also has its mental side. Just because in society in the media and what not you see torture as some horrid infliction of pain does not mean that that is how all people torture others. We can blame what we see on television which shapes our views of certain things such as torture. If you were to look up the different types of torture you would see that they are all not physical, they do vary because torture is a very broad concept which entails many different forms. If a person was not guilty in some case then why would they be in the situation of torture anyway? Obviously there is a reason for this action being put upon them. Some cases where torture would be minimally, morally justified would be in any case where a life was in jeopardy. Sometimes for some reason people feel the need to harm others for a reason that does not have to do with the innocent victims which is a case where torture is ideal. So if this is a case would you just allow for many innocent people to die without even trying to save them? Another point I'd like to bring up again is that if human beings are entitled to their own beliefs then the point of this argument would be irrelevant. There would be no ending conclusion because the argument would have no answer. Both the pro side and the con side would be able to consent to this statement. Torturers would be entitled to do what they wanted to do to people making the pro side acceptable because of their beliefs. In your Premise two you said that " Torturing a person for the sake of disagreeing with their belief does not make their belief depart" but this statement does not seem to make sense. The whole point of torture does not have to do with disagreeing with each other's beliefs but it's sole purpose is to stop them from hurting other people. In order to stop them the torturer must torture the person if they do not give up the information to eventually get information. Their beliefs do not have to be the same but the torturer will see to it that the lives of others remain intact. It is evident that for some people, especially terrorist, there is no way of changing how they believe but there is a way to keep people safe from danger because of them. This way would be torture. In most instances torture can be seen as abused and unnecessary but in other instances it is necessary to protect people. Torture provides a way to retrieve information from a person for necessary reasons such as saving a life or saving multiple lives. Although the information gained may or may not be accurate it is better to have tried to do something about the situation instead of not and wondering what the alternative would be. Overall there is a ultimate difference between torture and murder. Torture is the practice of forcing someone to say or do something or the intentional infliction of extreme physical suffering on some non-consenting, defenseless, other person for the purpose of breaking their will. Murder is killing someone unlawfully and with premeditation. Torturing does not pass the limit of killing someone, it is just an attempt to get a person to confess the truth using force. The person does not die and murdering the person would defeat the whole purpose of torture because then the torturer will end up with no access to the information about the situation. With no access to the information people could die and that is the exact opposite goal of the torturer. Innocent people are not murdered because of torture they are murdered because there are bad people in this world that cause harm for no reason . I do agree with the fact that torturing someone will never stop the attacks that happen in this world or just the bad acts that happen but I do believe that something must be done. We many not save all the lives of people but at least we are making an attempt to save some. Some is always better than none and as world we should fight to save our people especially if that means torturing the people in charge of the chaos.
kffishs

Con

Just because someone is being tortured does not necessarily mean they have intent to harm other innocent people. People are tortured all the time because of their race, ethnicity, religion, etc. "It"s the whole concept of what goes around comes around." This is irrelevant to the argument, this concept doesn"t covenant with whether or not torture is minimally morally acceptable. I am unsure what you are trying to state and argue when you say this. You are arguing how I am wrong for arguing that torture is only physical, you state that it is mental as well. However you have neglected to provide example of mental torture. Is this because you can not think of any Circumstance in which mental torture is used? You begin to talk about how television is changing or thoughts and view on what torture is. You are beginning to go off track here, the argument afresh is regarding whether or not torture is minimally morally justified. Television does not effect nor influence torture in anyway. Human beings are entitled to their own beliefs; societies are created as a result of that. People with the same beliefs join together and form a society, where they share the same values and beliefs. You have agreed with me that torture is abused and unnecessary. If a person was tortured and no information was gained then why was that person tortured in the first place? The torturers abused their power, to find a random innocent person to torture for fun. This is not morally justified. When a person does not comply with the torturer because they never had that information in the first place, they are killed because of anger and fear. When a person gets killed through this process, it is not torture, it is murder, and murder is not morally acceptable in society. To answer your question, a person can be put into a torture situation because of racial profiling. Today we see in the news, cases where people such as African Americans are accused for committing a crime not because there is evidence they are guilty but because of their skin color. The Trayvon Martin shooting is a keen example of this. Torture also parallels this, In the news and current events, we see that Muslims are always discriminated against as being terrorists because they wear a towel over their head. You ask me, if a person was not guilty in some case then why would they be in the situation of torture anyway? Because the person is racially profiled because of their race, religion, ethnicity. I shall reiterate, just because a person is being tortured does not necessarily mean that they have the intent to kill innocent civilians. Can you give me an example of any case where a life was in jeopardy? You argue this but you can not provide strong enough evidence to help support your argument. I do not understand what you are trying to say when you write: "Sometimes for some reason people feel the need to harm others for a reason that does not have to do with the innocent victims which is a case where torture is ideal. So if this is a case would you just allow for many innocent people to die without even trying to save them?" This is quite vague, I am unsure what you are trying to convey and ask me here. You are correct, I am arguing human beings are entitled to their own beliefs, because this is the case. As I have stated before in my previous arguments. We see this case between different societies. Different societies have different beliefs. In Hindu society they believe grandma is reincarnated as a cow so they do not eat beef. This is the same thing as: Muslims do not believe in having rights, such as freedom of speech and right to speedy and fair trial, but our United States society does believe in this. What I am stating in my arguments is that torturing a Muslim person will not make them suddenly believe in having rights, such as freedom of speech and right to speedy and fair trial. I am saying that torturing a person isn't going to make their beliefs change which is true because how will water boarding a person get them to believe in what you believe in?
Debate Round No. 3
estersb

Pro

1.Torture is the practice of forcing someone to say or do something or the intentional infliction of extreme physical suffering on some non-consenting, defenseless, other person for the purpose of breaking their will.
2.Some instances of torture are to gain information, to terrorize some political group, or to gratify a desire on the part of the torturer to inflict suffering and to exercise power.
3.It is never permissible intentionally to inflict severe pain or severe harm on someone unwilling, unless the pain/harm is intended for their benefit, as a punishment, as part of a legitimate war, or to prevent the individual from causing severe pain or harm to innocents
4. Torture is a means of preventing terrorism and terrorist acts.
5.Torture is falsely depicted in media showing that all torture is bad but indeed there are forms of torture that are not physical.
6.Moral is a standard that is acceptable in behavior.
7. There will always be bad people doing bad things to innocent people but there is acceptableness in torture that helps prevent these people from causing harm.
8. Therefore, there are some cases of minimally, morally justified torture.
As I was going through this debate I ended up making some changes to better my argument. I took out the premise which said that " Torture is more humane than what terrorists do to people they capture" because it seemed kind of irrelevant to me and did not really enhance what I was trying to argue. It is not about being more humane it is about doing what is right for the certain situation. In replace of that premise I put that " Torture is falsely depicted in media showing that all torture is bad but indeed there are forms of torture that are not physical" because it is the truth and one should realize that we are shaped to hate the idea of torture when it is actually necessary in some cases. Media easily forms ideas in our heads telling us what is right and what is wrong without proper evidence and argumentation. Another premise I took out as the one which said " What doesn't kill you can only make you stronger". I took this one out because it can be seen as very controversial. The statement is pretty vague and does not showcase why torture can be seen as acceptable in some cases. I think I was trying to say that torturing someone will not kill them but it will only make them stronger. This was not a good premise because the intention isn't for the person to get stronger , the intention is to get information out of the person. To replace this statement I put that "There will always be bad people doing bad things to innocent people but there is acceptableness in torture that helps prevent these people from causing harm". This statement provides an example where torture is justified and is useful in helping others.
Given the whole debate on whether there are some cases of minimally, morally justified torture I am still standing strong for being on the pro side of this argument. I believe that torture is a very challenging topic because of the different sides you can go on. Torture for some can be seen as repulsive and unjustified no matter what the circumstance but for others they can see where torture is needed in order to gain information that could negatively affect a person's life. As a pro arguer I had to examine torture as a whole and try to prove that torture can be seen as acceptable which is pretty hard given the foundation that torture has been seen as being. While I formed my argument for every round I was able to see both the positives and negatives of torture. I knew that torture can be viewed as terrible but I also knew I had to argue that there are some instances where torture is tolerable. A good way I found to argue this was to put con in the shoes of a victim's family member, friend, or loved one. Almost everybody would be able to agree to the fact that if someone they knew and love were part of this situation where they could be harmed they would allow the torturer to torture the person in charge to save their loved one's life. Ultimately, I learned a lot through this argument and found it very beneficial in my knowledge.
kffishs

Con

1. Torture is considered to be the deliberate infliction of severe painful distress, where the person undergoing the procedure is helpless, in order to leave the person no choice but to give into the demands of the torturer.

2. Human Beings are entitled to their own beliefs. Torturing a person for the sake of disagreeing with their belief does not make their belief depart. Different societies and different religions and groups have different views on numerous things. Saying or physically inflicting pain into a person does not make the belief go away. Terrorists are often quite similar to dogmatists. A dogmatist is someone that will not change their belief no matter what you do to try and change it. Most terrorists live like this, so how would torturing a person like that make their beliefs stop?

3. Torture in most instances is abused and unnecessary. When torturing someone, there is no guarantee that the person being tortured has correct or accurate information. When torturing someone, it habitually transpires that the torturer gets very caught up into the torture that they go beyond the limits, therefore making it murder.

4. Torture is not always used In circumstances. Interrogating a person could suffice, rather then torture the person and make them feel as if they are near death. Just because someone is tutored does not mean it will prevent acts of terrorism.

5. My opponent"s claim for number five is irrelevant to the argument. What does the media"s depiction have to do with whether or not torture is minimally morally justified? How does the media influence torture?

6. Moral is a standard for acceptable or not acceptable behavior with in society. Different societies and different groups have their own view on what moral is morally right and what is morally wrong. What is morally right in an opposing society can be morally wrong in our society. Who are we in our own society to go into other countries, into other societies and torture the people their because we do not agree on their beliefs or values.

7. The Claim in my opponents argument number seven is too vague. What is the acceptableness in torture that helps prevent these people from causing harm?

8. My opponent has some inconsistencies in her argument. The vague and irrelevant claims inside the argument make it hard to understand that some cases of torture are minimally morally justified. Therefore , all cases of torture are never minimally morally justifiable.

While going through the debate, I pretty much kept everything the way I had initially started off. Nothing really changed in my argument. My opponent and I did agree on the same definitions for moral throughout the entire argument. Our definitions of torture however changed, in the beginning of the argument we agreed but in the third argument we began to disagree. My opponent argued that torture can also be done through means of blackmail, physiological, emotional, and exposure to phobias. This started a new argument, we began to argue on what torture is or what can or can not be considered torture. Lastly we argued about what circumstances torture is considered minimally morally justified. She kept insisting that there are circumstance when torture is a must in order to save millions of lives. However, my opponent was never able to give examples on when it is intact necessary. As a Con arguer I had to analyze the pro argument and find out the inconsistencies in side her argument. Ways I did this consisted of asking questions, finding and picking out vague and irrelevant statements. My opponent was a great competitor and she definitely gave me a big challenge in debating her. In the last round of the debate, my opponent changed a few claims after I pick out her flaws. This was a good tactic, because this strengthened her argument at the end. Overall, I had a good time debating with my opponent, she put up a good challenge. I also learned a lot of new tactics about debating, that will come in handy for future debates and arguments.
Debate Round No. 4
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