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Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
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11 Points


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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/3/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,215 times Debate No: 16853
Debate Rounds (1)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)




This will be a 1 round debate. I thank my opponent for accepting, and hope he can give a good argument. good luck.

Should The U.S. Torture Terrorists? Why not? They tried to kill themselves to kill some of our own. If we happen to capture a terrorist, caught in the act, what will we do? Through him in a normal jail where he can have a cell to himself and live the rest of his life like a happy camper? NO, we torture the bastard. He tried to kill US, he risked his life, he knew the punishments, and he got caught.
For the purpose of torture and prisoner maltreatment, there are three kinds of war prisoners:
[1]First, there is the ordinary soldier caught on the field of battle. There is no question that he is entitled to humane treatment. Indeed, we have no right to disturb a hair on his head. His detention has but a single purpose: to keep him hors de combat. The proof of that proposition is that if there were a better way to keep him off the battlefield that did not require his detention, we would let him go. Indeed, during one year of the Civil War, the two sides did try an alternative. They mutually "paroled" captured enemy soldiers, i.e., released them to return home on the pledge that they would not take up arms again. (The experiment failed for a foreseeable reason: cheating. Grant found that some paroled Confederates had reenlisted.)
Because the only purpose of detention in these circumstances is to prevent the prisoner from becoming a combatant again, he is entitled to all the protections and dignity of an ordinary domestic prisoner--indeed, more privileges, because, unlike the domestic prisoner, he has committed no crime. He merely had the misfortune to enlist on the other side of a legitimate war. He is therefore entitled to many of the privileges enjoyed by an ordinary citizen--the right to send correspondence, to engage in athletic activity and intellectual pursuits, to receive allowances from relatives--except, of course, for the freedom to leave the prison.
Second, there is the captured terrorist. A terrorist is by profession, indeed by definition, an unlawful combatant: He lives outside the laws of war because he does not wear a uniform, he hides among civilians, and he deliberately targets innocents. He is entitled to no protections whatsoever. People seem to think that the post war Geneva Conventions were written only to protect detainees. In fact, their deeper purpose was to provide a deterrent to the kind of barbaric treatment of civilians that had become so horribly apparent during the first half of the 20th century, and in particular, during the Second World War. The idea was to deter the abuse of civilians by promising combatants who treated non combatants well that they themselves would be treated according to a code of dignity if captured--and, crucially, that they would be denied the protections of that code if they broke the laws of war and abused civilians themselves.
Breaking the laws of war and abusing civilians are what, to understate the matter vastly, terrorists do for a living. They are entitled, therefore, to nothing. Anyone who blows up a car bomb in a market deserves to spend the rest of his life roasting on a spit over an open fire. But we don't do that because we do not descend to the level of our enemy. We don't do that because, unlike him, we are civilized. Even though terrorists are entitled to no humane treatment, we give it to them because it is in our nature as a moral and humane people. And when on rare occasions we fail to do that, as has occurred in several of the fronts of the war on terror, we are duly disgraced.
The norm, however, is how the majority of prisoners at Guantanamo have been treated. We give them three meals a day, superior medical care, and provision to pray five times a day. Our scrupulousness extends even to providing them with their own Korans, which is the only reason alleged abuses of the Koran at Guantanamo ever became an issue. That we should have provided those who kill innocents in the name of Islam with precisely the document that inspires their barbarism is a sign of the absurd lengths to which we often go in extending undeserved humanity to terrorist prisoners.
Third, there is the terrorist with information. Here the issue of torture gets complicated and the easy pieties don't so easily apply. Let's take the textbook case. Ethics 101: A terrorist has planted a nuclear bomb in New York City. It will go off in one hour. A million people will die. You capture the terrorist. He knows where it is. He's not talking.
Question: If you have the slightest belief that hanging this man by his thumbs will get you the information to save a million people, are you permitted to do it?
Now, on most issues regarding torture, I confess tentativeness and uncertainty. But on this issue, there can be no uncertainty: Not only is it permissible to hang this miscreant by his thumbs. It is a moral duty.
Yes, you say, but that's an extreme and very hypothetical case. Well, not as hypothetical as you think. Sure, the (nuclear) scale is hypothetical, but in the age of the car-and suicide-bomber, terrorists are often captured who have just set a car bomb to go off or sent a suicide bomber out to a coffee shop, and you only have minutes to find out where the attack is to take place. This "hypothetical" is common enough that the Israelis have a term for precisely that situation: the ticking time bomb problem.
And even if the example I gave were entirely hypothetical, the conclusion--yes, in this case even torture is permissible--is telling because it establishes the principle: Torture is not always impermissible. However rare the cases, there are circumstances in which, by any rational moral calculus, torture not only would be permissible but would be required (to acquire life-saving information). And once you've established the principle, to paraphrase George Bernard Shaw, all that's left to haggle about is the price. In the case of torture, that means that the argument is not whether torture is ever permissible, but when--i.e., under what obviously stringent circumstances: how big, how imminent, how preventable the ticking time bomb.
Con-Torture will argue that it is against the eighth amendment classified as cruel and unusual punishment. If they get good facts, they could even argue that it is also against the Third Geneva Convention. They are dead wrong. What the enemy does to the United States of America, is that against the eighth amendment, hell yes, but do they care, hell no. All they care about is killing us for a supposed cause. What cause would make you give up your life to kill innocent civilians that just want to live a normal life? Any cause that is that harsh is wrong. So once again I ask you what should we do to this terrorist? Let him out and go back to his homeland where he can, and will find his way back to the united states to commit the same act which we released him for? I'm sorry John McCain for the torture you went through in Vietnam, yes what they did to you was wrong, but you were a normal soldier, you should not have been tortured. But what I'm talking about is terrorist, people who want to kill us. The information gathering I don't really care for, but to torture them for doing what they did, I completely agree with.



I thank my opponent for the interesting debate.

The US should not torture terrorists. While it does help get needed information, it is unconstitutional and against the Geneva convention. The moral implications say that it lowers us to the level of terrorists. Also, it widens ant-American sentiment in other countries. Besides, other methods are just as effective like the usual backhand or a punch to the face/crotch. The 6th amendment states that all accused persons are "innocent until proven guilty". But why do cops, even today with DNA, or the CIA who torture terrorists, always come to the wrong conclusion even on innocent people? It's morally and physically wrong.

I'm going to use a most uncommon example for why torture is wrong: A movie.
Its called "Unthinkable", starring Carrie-Anne Moss and Samuel L Jackson. In the movie, Jackson plays a former Black Ops agent who knows many torture methods. He is called in by the FBI to interrogate an American-born Muslim who claims he has hidden 3 nuclear bombs in 3 cities. He is allowed to use whatever means are necessary to break him. So for days, he tortures him and interrogates him about the location of the bombs. At the end, he threatens the man's children if he doesn't cooperate. He breaks, giving him the addresses, but he goes crazy and gets killed by the FBI. But there was a fourth bomb. So in the ends, torture doesnt really accomplish that much
I leave my opponent to rebut.
Debate Round No. 1
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by coldog22 5 years ago
i wish my opponent had stated more information. this debate was only 1 round because it was ment to be like an essay, but with do little defending his reasons, it sucks.
Posted by CGBSpender 5 years ago
I don't think the debate was taken seriously by your opponent. I think you failed to define a number of terms, including terrorist. Your personal biases were clearly shown in your arguments and it was all very over-emotional. Some facts would also be nice regarding effectiveness of different tactics, not to mention some moral theories beyond your own opinion. All 'n' all a pretty horrible debate.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Copy Pasted arguments.

Here's one of several.
Posted by coldog22 5 years ago
So What do people think?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: "So in the ends, torture doesnt really accomplish that much" - that is because he stops, you left that part out. Con could have put more effort into a defense, but Pro did a copy/paste.
Vote Placed by OMGJustinBieber 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro copy-pasta.
Vote Placed by Kung-Fu_Action_Jesus 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I like how ob122 said he can't wait for a rebut. In a 1 round argument.