The Instigator
gkoz23
Pro (for)
Tied
3 Points
The Contender
vintinthethird
Con (against)
Tied
3 Points

Torture is wrong by the US

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/24/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,024 times Debate No: 46577
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

gkoz23

Pro

Torture is wrong because it gives false info. If you are being tortured you will do anything to stop it. Also if the US follows the rule of law why do we torture. We only torture when it is convent to us. We really only torture Muslims also. Why don't we torutre our own citizens if it's so great.
vintinthethird

Con

Torture can be the fastest way of gaining key information from someone who refuses to divulge information. For example, if one person knows the details to a imminent terrorist attack, but refuses to share, torture can be justified. Obviously, torture should only be used in extreme measures, when it will save many lives. I won't say torture isn't barbaric, but if it causes less pain than , say, a bomb, then I think it should be used. As to whether torture is actually effective and reliable, many books describe torture scenes, such as Vince Flynn's book, which explain how it is used effectively to stop lying. This is of course fiction, but I would argue that if so many fiction writers can come up with a reasonable method to gain reliable information, I would say that many governments could (and maybe have) easily carry out research to hone torture into reliable craft.
Debate Round No. 1
gkoz23

Pro

Torture can't be effective because you don't get legitimate information. Just look up Mancow getting water boarded. Before he said it wasn't torture. Then he was water boarded and gave up in a matter of seconds and said it was torture. So as you see people will say anything to stop the torture especially if you do it over 150 times like we did the supposed masterminds of 9/11. You also say it is ok under extreme situations. The eight amendment states cruel and unusual punishments and are illegal but yet we torture in Guantanamo Bay. Also torture has been made illegal by many world conventions. We only torture when it is convenient for us too. If your going to be a country that goes by the rule of law, which we are, you cannot torture. For all these people in Washington like Cheney who allow torture I say we water board them. I bet you could get them to admit to anything. I haven't seen one person who was tortured say it was okay for the US to use it either. Torture by the US has resulted in the deaths of people too.
vintinthethird

Con

The whole point of torture, or at least in my view, would be to gather information to help prevent future crisises. There would be no benefit to anyone to get people to say what you want them to say. I should say that torture for the sake of gettng a false confession is obviously wrong. However, if someone who is known to be guilty, or is withholding key information (and the only people who would do that must involved or guilty of something) then torture can be useful to gain information.

" I haven't seen one person who was tortured say it was okay for the US to use it either. Torture by the US has resulted in the deaths of people too."

I mean, would you expect someone who had just been tortured to condone torture? I'm sure torture has resulted in the deaths of people, but you must remember that these people were all involved in acts of terror, and were planning to cause many innocent lives to be ended.

Imagine this scenario: You have captured a terrorist whom you know is guilty. He has key information regarding an imminent attack. Would say that torture in this case was worse than allowing the attack to carry on, at the expense of thousands of innocent lives? Surely the life of one terrorist is worth far less than the lives of innocent people? How else but with torture would you be able to stop the attack?
Debate Round No. 2
gkoz23

Pro

Torture is illegal. The U.S. breaks laws and the bill of rights when they torture. You can never ever break the Bill of Rights. Regarding your scenario we found out more things about the 9/11 terrorists before we tortured them. The best way of extracting truthful information is surely not torture. I have never even heard a situation in which torture has benefited us either. However, as I stated before torture violates the eight amendment. You can't just break the amendments because someone deems it necessary. Laws and the Bill of Rights are there too be followed, not broken when it is convenient.
vintinthethird

Con

Torture is illegal. The U.S. breaks laws and the bill of rights when they torture. You can never ever break the Bill of Rights"

This here is a contradiction. You say that the Bill of rights can never be broken, yet then say that the government of the country who made these rights are breaking them. I would also say that the 8th amendment doesn't apply, firstly as the torture of people intending to destroy many innocent lives is not out of proportion, and secondly, it is not intended as a punishment, it is intended as a last resort to save lives. Also, the Bill of rights was written by people with no experience of the type of warfare being conducted today. There was no suicide attacks, or terror cells intent on committing terrible acts of terror. I think that we need to shape our laws based on what is actually happening today, not what people thought 300 years ago.

"Regarding your scenario we found out more things about the 9/11 terrorists before we tortured them"
This is a very naive statement. Do you really think that men radical enough to commit an act like 9/11 would then instantly spill the beans on their organisation, without any coercion?

As to your claim that you have never heard of a situation where torture has benefited us, it is quite reasonable why you haven't. Do you really think that U.S government officials would admit to torturing someone (which is, as you say, technically illegal)? Furthermore, do you think they would divulge top-secret information, like the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden to the public? That would make the information totally useless.

Your argument only really answers the question "Is torture illegal". I assume this is not intended, as this is not a debate. Of course torture is illegal. It is incredibly easy to prove this, as you have done. However, I am arguing a finer point "Can torture be moral". This seems to answer the question "Is torture wrong?", taking wrong as meaning morally wrong, which is what I assume you meant, as "Is torture legally wrong?" is not a debate, it is a statement of fact.

So is torture always morally wrong? I would say it isn't, as it is the most effective way of gaining information quickly. This means terror cells can be stopped before they can carry out their acts, and whole terror organisations can be brought down, which would save millions of lives. Compared to the destruction that many people wish to wreak on western society, I believe that the torture of a few terrorists is the lesser of the two evils.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by thesupporter 3 years ago
thesupporter
Right
Posted by Jifpop09 3 years ago
Jifpop09
The guy below me is a idiot.
Posted by The_Serb 3 years ago
The_Serb
torture is super cool
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by thesupporter 3 years ago
thesupporter
gkoz23vintinthethirdTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I think that we are just getting info from people who won't give it otherwise
Vote Placed by Jifpop09 3 years ago
Jifpop09
gkoz23vintinthethirdTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Terrible job by Con. He conceded to half of pro's points and argued based on opinion and not logic. Pro was not too far behind, but he did a little better. None used sources.