The Instigator
ManofFewWords
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Jevinigh
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Torture is necessary in some situations.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/18/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,214 times Debate No: 52848
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (18)
Votes (0)

 

ManofFewWords

Pro

First round is acceptance.

I shall define necessary as essential beyond any reasonable doubt.

Con and I agreed to define torture as the action or practice of inflicting severe pain on someone as a punishment or to force them to do or say something, or for the pleasure of the person inflicting the pain.

We also agreed that one additional condition is that we draw a line between physical torture and techniques designed to wear a subject down mentally with out inflicting physical harm.

Jevinigh

Con

In protecting our nation or or society from those who would do us harm. Not only is torture not essential it is the least effective method of extracting useful information. I accept this Direct challenge and look forward to proving the case.
Debate Round No. 1
ManofFewWords

Pro

My argument will essentially revolve around 4 key situations that are somewhat made up by myself and somewhat based on something I either saw in a fictional series/movie or from a real-life situation that I am dramatising for effect.

Target in Scenario #1: The Cop

Target in Scenario #2: The Nerd

Target in Scenario #3: The Hoarder

Target in Scenario #4: The Terrorist (To make my opponent happy)

Scenario #1: There is an illicit Cartel supplying drugs and running many factions of dealers throughout India and you are one of many suppliers, you lead a bunch of dealers and boss them around and have done so happily for the past 4 months, you got promoted for being a very experienced dealer and making good friends with certain people high up. Thanks to this, you actually became a supplier after working for the Cartel for only 2 years, the minimum anyone outside of the boss' family got to be supplier before you was 4 years, making you a record holder for fastest outsider promoted to supplier. Now, it turns out that your faction's boss has got wind that one of you are an undercover cop. Now, that isn't too bad, right? Well, not for Mister Daniels who has worked with the corporation by force, nor for Miss Robertson who has helped kill a few people on demand. In fact, it's not really bad for anyone apart from you and Mister Wilson who's sitting in front of you, hands tied behind his back and at your mercy, the clock is ticking; you have two hours to make him talk. There's a camera and the two of you, he's tied and you're not. You were given the benefit of the doubt because the boss liked you better but if he doesn't spit it, they're going to torture you and you will either end up admitting to being a cop or get tortured beyond your sanity's limits. Admitting to being a cop will mean that they will kill your family and hand you over to some 'boys' of theirs although it would be better to call them terminators. Now, you have pliers, electricity, acid and a hammer. Time is ticking, make it count. Oh, and if you're thinking of running away and calling the cops or rewinding time and doing that to being with then I should let you know you that you had literally ten seconds form the time you knew that you're a drug supplier and the cops will only give you immunity if you can hand over names but you don't know anyone's real name in the Cartel, and if you happened to dupe one of them via sketch-work they would know it was you the same way they found out there was a cop in your faction to begin with. The room is locked, there are two men outside with machine guns and you are not trained in any martial arts.

Scenario #2: You are in an exam, it's run by the Mafia. The one who passes it will become their appointed medic, the other 8 will be killed. Their families will be left alive to suffer the consequences. You were born into this life, it doesn't matter how you got here, there is no going back. You walk into the exam room, you only know the other 8 by vague meetings and passing by in certain Rendezvous points. The clock starts ticking, there are apparently no rules, you have two hours to find out what a Kilpwalelu is and none of you seem to know... Well none of you other than the one guy who picked up his pen and put it o paper only to get gagged by the shirt of another and put on his chair while another use his tie to handcuff him. The first to write the full description/definition of what a Kilpwalelu is passes the exam, if all 9 of you fail all of you die. He knows the answer but pretends that he was just going to guess, you need that answer and sit watching as the other two torture the guy. Suddenly a guy leaps out of his chair and snaps both their necks in two swift moves (clearly he was originally aiming to be a hitman but so much for that). He screams "I vill not stand for Zees! Zerrr mahst be Anahzer vay!". So you try and reason with the nerd say you'll let him free once he tells you the answer and give him a pen and you all begin at the exact same moment and finish it. You think you guy have beaten the system until he, himself, tell you that if more than one person happens to pass at once, you will be put in a pit to fight to the death. Realising that the guy who just killed to people has an unfair advantage you all grab his limbs and stabbing his neck with a pen, letting him to bleed to death on the floor. There's four of you standing and one guy tied to a chair, there are one hour and twenty minutes left. The guy is already half beaten up by the two original guys. You need this answer or your mother won't have enough money to survive, neither will your newly found girlfriend who has become somewhat financially dependent on you considering that you live in Sicily and the Mafia control everything. So, one hour and nineteen minutes are left to find the answer and if anyone else had knows they'd have written it down by now while you were distracted by the torture and killing. It's obvious that only this one guy in the chair knows and that he's not willing to give the answer up.

Scenario #3: If you've watched Lost, season 1 then this will simply be recall for the most part (sorry if this is a spoiler but this is actually a very early scene in Lost and has very little plot value other than that you find out that Sayid was an Iraqi torturer which becomes common knowledge throughout the camp by Season 2). If you haven't watched Lost then I'll lay it out for you. You are one of the surviving members of a plane crash on an island. There's a hoarder, who calls himself Sawyer, that has been stashing an awful lot of things on the plane, such as watches, shaving foam, shampoo and even socks. A girl suddenly breaks out in an asthma attack and begins choking. There's a doctor who tries to calm her down and it works for a while. in the meantime, her medicine can't be found and Sawyer was found to have one of her books, from the same suitcase as her asthma medicine. When asked if he has it he neither denies nor admits it until you tie him to a tree and begin sticking sharp folded leaves with a hard edge up inside of his fingernails making them feel as if they're going to rip off. He demands to see a girl named Kate but when she comes he merely demands that she kiss him or he wont' tell her where the medicine is only to reveal that he never knew where the medicine was to begin with. He could be lying, after all, realising that he can no longer admit he has it since there's nothing to gain but torture. Additionally, he just blackmailed a kiss out of a respected member of the community. The only reason that, in Lost, the torture doesn't proceed any longer is because the girl coped without the medication. However, what if she really began choking and the asthma inhaler replacements couldn't be found anywhere and the only reasonable lead is a compulsive liar named Sawyer who happens o be at your mercy while this girl is choking to death and he may well be sociopathic enough to let her die just for the hell of it. You know nothing about him and he's just as much of a stranger as the dying girl but if you don't torture him you will be indirectly responsible for her death if he really does know where the medicine is and is lying about it; which is very common behaviour for him. Would you let her die for the sake of being civil to a sociopath?

Scenario #4: There's a terrorist attack that's about to kill millions of people and you are the head of interrogation for the CIA. You have a guy who is 99% certainly involved with the terrorist attack that's about to occur in the next four hours. He is revealing nothing and truth serum and persuasion of each and every kind falls on deaf ears. Will you torture him or let thousands die at your metaphorical hands? The choice is yours but just remember that if you fail to get this information within the next four hours you will be fired as head on interrogation and possibly have your entire career ruined as will as allowing the lives of many to be destroyed.
Jevinigh

Con

This work you've put into this, the writing is really very colorful and well written. Have you ever considered writing a novel? Seriously ( not Ad-hominiem) these are written, they could be a suspense thriller novels. But despite their detail and colorful writing style, they are still bad arguments. Here is why.

Because you have accomplished a level of Pigeon holing the parameters of your scenarios to exclude any of the normal tools we use to extract information there is no good argument against your hypothetical situations and so you technically met all the parameters of the Debates topic but the letter of the word. What you did to get it to a point of argument is not unlike what I face as a vegetarian some times having people ask " would you eat meat for a million dollars?" In this instance what the Person is trying to do is push for a breaking point, a point where normal rules wouldn't apply. These hypothetical situations are the same line of thinking but they are bad arguments to make for systematic issues. Systemically we say Torture is never necessary, When its used it marks a failure of the system, a good argument cannot be based on the system failing and in the most wacky of situations ensue in order to make its point.


"Violence is the first act of the stupid and the last resort of the desperate."

There are better systemic ways of gathering Intel in the systematic world we really live in. An example in the criminal world is the Electroencephalography ( EEG) which works by measuring a brains subconscious responses to images and words related to a crime that would be triggered by memory recall they call "brain finger printing". http://www.truth-justice.org...

Next, our systems of breaking people down are based on honed Police strategies. These include convincing people that they important and we need their co-operation and there is a big job opportunity in it for them, such as we have done with a few Taliban 3rd man(s). But we take advantage of phycological mechanisms either way. Police them selves have various strategies for extracting information from a a person. Some of which are arguably abused by the system, but the system still functions. http://people.howstuffworks.com...

So what does torture do in the real world where our system is functional and we are not running around in a mad max universe? http://www.telegraph.co.uk... But that's a news blog right?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

Turns out that pain In sustained doses aids in the creation of false memories and damages the memory system. http://www.dailykos.com...

It turns out in the real world where the system works, Torture doesn't.
Debate Round No. 2
ManofFewWords

Pro

First of all, my opponent hasn't explained why torture wouldn't be necessary in any of those four situations. Since the resolution reads that 'torture is necessary in some situations' and those four situations are 'some situations' where torture is necessary.

Secondly, the argument that 'torture marks a failure in the system' is like saying that 'eating food marks a failure in the system of your body's self-reliant supply of nutrition' it is really irrelevant to whether or not eating food is necessary in some situation. If torture is necessary, then its necessary. The system is not flawless so its bound to fail at times and that's exactly why the resolution is true but only in some situations.

On another note, EEG is still being worked on, only usable in treating conditions such as epilepsy to date.[1][2] Additionally, this assumes that in all situations there's a trained EEG at hand. EEG is extremely complex to read and requires a trained interpreter to be at hand.

Even if there is a trained EEG officer at hand, under the time pressure of a bomb threat how are you going to force a person to use a specific shampoo, dis continue using medications that may interfere with the test and notify of all medications and herbal supplements that you are taking (which, if failed to do, can result in false results so ironically this itself may require torture to extract). Not to mention going back in time to ensure that the person hasn't consumed any food or drinks containing caffeine for eight to twelve hours before the test.[3]

As for the theory that torture doesn't work, you don't hear or read about it on the News when it worked because it works to avoid any News-worthy threats from taking root to begin with. If you want to use your newspaper site, then I will use my own. Firstly is an article in the Miami Herald[4] which explains a situation where torture is the only reason that Al-Qaeda was successfully torn apart in time.
  1. The first mention of Ahmed the Kuwaiti came from a young al Qaeda member held at Guantánamo named Mohamedou Ould Slahi. Slahi, before giving up the name, was tortured so grievously — beaten, deprived of sleep, exposed to extreme heat and cold, and threatened with the arrest of his mother — that the U.S. Marine colonel assigned to prosecute his case before a military commission quit.

  2. Slahi didn’t offer much more about Ahmed the Kuwaiti except that he existed. (Or had — Slahi thought he was dead.) But the next Guantánamo prisoner to talk offered much more: that Ahmed was a member of bin Laden’s inner circle and sometimes functioned as his courier. That disclosure came after the prisoner, al Qaeda militant Mohammed al-Qahtani, was interrogated 20 hours a day for 48 straight days, subjected to a mock execution, forced to perform dog tricks, drugged and given enemas until he hallucinated. His treatment was so brutal that the Pentagon decided it couldn’t prosecute him, even though he was scheduled to be one of the hijackers on Sept. 11.

  3. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the principal architect of the Sept. 11 attacks, also confessed to knowing Ahmed the Kuwaiti at some point during the 183 waterboardings given him by U.S. interrogators. But Mohammed insisted that Ahmed was an unimportant member of al Qaeda and had left the group years before. The CIA knew he was lying — by that time, Ahmed the Kuwaiti’s senior status in al Qaeda had been widely confirmed — but found the attempted deceit even more interesting than the truth. They must be getting close to something important, the CIA trackers concluded.

  4. Ahmed the Kuwaiti’s real name — Ibrahim Saeed Ahmed — was finally supplied in 2004 by a bin Laden aide caught slipping into Kurdish territory with bomb-making documents. In the TV documentaryManhunt, one of the CIA’s trackers is asked what the Kurds did to make the aide, Hassan Ghul, talk. She just offers a sly smile that slowly broadens in a Cheshire-cat grin.

Torture was necessary for this.

In conclusion, torture is neccessary in some situations.
Jevinigh

Con


I have been informed that the account of my opponent has received administrative action and will not be able to complete the debate but before the rest of the rounds go to Forfeit I would like to point out once more, the Real world cannot exist in hyperbole hypothetical. We as a functioning societal system has said Torture is not acceptable and as well, technology has rendered it Unnecessary as Highlighted in the previous round. The worlds created in Pro's scenarios where colorful but in the real world none of it happens. In the Real World Torture is among the least effective methods of extracting useful information and it has been demonstrated scientifically. The Final point Pro brings to the table was to argue that we don't see tortures success because the act it self adverts what we would see in the media to warrant the story. This point is almost purely conjecture, no real solid backing has been offered for it.


Thank you for your time in this debate.
Debate Round No. 3
ManofFewWords

Pro

ManofFewWords forfeited this round.
Jevinigh

Con

Jevinigh forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
ManofFewWords

Pro

ManofFewWords forfeited this round.
Jevinigh

Con

Jevinigh forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Jevinigh 2 years ago
Jevinigh
I have a strong suspicion of why ( I suspected so before I started the debate). But very well, Thank you for the Notice Ozzy.
Posted by Ozzyhead 2 years ago
Ozzyhead
Your opponent's account has been closed. He will not be able to complete this debate
Posted by Jevinigh 2 years ago
Jevinigh
One additional condition is that we draw a line between Physical torture and Techniques designed to wear a subject down mentally with out inflicting physical harm.
Posted by Jevinigh 2 years ago
Jevinigh
if we are defining Define Torture by dictionary definition as : the action or practice of inflicting severe pain on someone as a punishment or to force them to do or say something, or for the pleasure of the person inflicting the pain. Than I will accept the debate.
Posted by ManofFewWords 2 years ago
ManofFewWords
Whether it's to save your nation from being bombed or your daughter from being kidnapped is all contextual.

I am free to bring any set of situations, hence 'some'.
Posted by Carthage 2 years ago
Carthage
Essential for what? Something can only be essential for something else to happen.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
Alright then.
Posted by ManofFewWords 2 years ago
ManofFewWords
Yes, I have now defined it.
Posted by ManofFewWords 2 years ago
ManofFewWords
Yes, I have now defined it.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
So let me get this straight. The focus of this debate has been revealed. That focus is the word necessary. It's definition is required in order to understand the focus of the debate. But you're not going to provide your definition of necessary until the second round.

...Am I missing something here? If the word necessary is the focus of the debate, and you're not going to provide a definition of it until the second round, then you're not revealing a key detail about the focus of this debate. Just spelling out the word on the screen doesn't mean you've revealed the focus, especially if your definition doesn't match what your opponent expects.
No votes have been placed for this debate.