The Instigator
dairygirl4u2c
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
16kadams
Con (against)
Winning
22 Points

a terrorist with a bomb in an unknown location ready to explode, should be tortured to get the info

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
16kadams
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/1/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,058 times Debate No: 23995
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (4)

 

dairygirl4u2c

Pro

hypothetical. a terrorist has a nuclear bomb in NY city. he says he knows where it is, and that it will explode in a day. all evidence supports that there is a bomb, and that he knows where it is, etc.

when i say "torture" i am assuming we might try a progressive set of tactics, rough talk first, then a little violent, then things like water boarding, then full out torture, if necessary.

most would argue against this as a matter of 'the ends does not justify the means'. even if we assume that that might be usually true (read, 'proportionalism' v. deontology), we cannot assume it all the time. it would be immoral to let millions die because of your mere thoughts of what's "moral".... it would be selfish, and immoral as a lack of action in doing what is necessary to save the city.

i am open to other arguments about why we shouldn't torture them, but i assumed the "ends means" argument would crop its head up, so I got it right at the bat.
16kadams

Con

C1: Torture is illegal

Yes, it is. We have signed many treaties arguing that torture is illegal, and by my opponents opening response it seems as though she agrees something as water boarding is torture. (verbal questioning is irrelevant as that's not torture)

Common article 3 of the geneva convention is highly relevant to the debate, the US signed it, and the Bush administration actually agreed it was relevant and applied to the war on terror. [1] This was made for prisoners of war. Which again implies to the war on terror as if we arrest you based on these charges (we are at war with terror) we can assume that they are prisoners of war. As this article states: "violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; . . . outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment." [2]

The second treaty we signed is the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights treaty. This was made to promote civil rights and human rights and was made to make them stronger. As it states: "[n]o one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." [2]

The third is the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment treaty. This states: "[e]ach State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction, [...] [e]ach State Party shall undertake to prevent in any territory under its jurisdiction other acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment which do not amount to torture . . . ."[2]

As we can see, torture is illegal. As my opponent implied water boarding was. The resolution also states "torture". With this in mind if we take the resolution literally we can assume she means torture. Something that's unconstitutional and banned under the three treaties above. Now, the resolution here lakes it easy for me to prove it is unconstitutional. The wording of torture wins me the debate. As my opponent argued we might have to use full out torture, which is illegal, therefore I win this debate.

And lastly the 8th amendment. "The Eighth Amendment (Amendment VIII) to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights prohibiting the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines or cruel and unusual punishments. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that this amendment's Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause applies to the states. [...] Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." [3]

Torture is illegal. This is already a winning argument.

VOTE CON






1. http://www.nytimes.com...
2. http://lawreview.wustl.edu...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

the question is whether we should torture that person or not. just because torture might be illegal, doesn't mean we shouldn't do it. a good citizen is always wakeful to the need to rebel against a tyrannical society, its laws etc.
simply put. should we abide by the law for technicality's sake.... or quite potentially save millions of people? we save millions of people... this is the obvious solution, especially when compared to mere technicalities, so i should win the debate.
this is of course assuming that there's a real prospect of getting caught... which isn't clear in this hypothetical. if we aren't going to get caught, who cares at all? (if we cared about this... opponent would only win in some scenarios, but on balance, my argument is most convincing considering we're not talking about all scenarios)
even more important, even if we thought we'd get caught... or we were respecting the law for it's own worth.... why on earth would anyone care about these things?
how worthless is a person if they are not willing to break the law to save millions? or even risk spending life in jail, or execution, in order to save millions of people? opponent's arguments are morally weak and, frankly, spineless.
and for that reason pro should win the debate.
16kadams

Con

My opponents only argument is because its illegal means we should not do it. This is like saying I should murder because i think its right. This analysis fails as it does multiple things:

a) tramples upon our constitution which was made to protect rights
b) takes away rights
c) hurts our international standing

Breaking the law, is well illegal. And therefore should not be done as its unlawful and is against the things we singed onto. But even if voters find my opponents we should do it analysis convincing it fails in the principles above. I will use those 3 scenarios and defend them in order.

a) Tramples on the constitution

As stated last round, the constitution already protects us via 8th amendment. One could also argue this violates the 5th as it forces us to plead guilty, so it destroys both amendments. But the reason this matters is because the constitution is important. The constitution grants us rights so we are NOT ABUSED by the federal government and remain a free peoples. It is also important as it creates a structure to our government and policies.

As torture violates this, this is why we should not torture terrorists.

b) takes away our rights

Out rights are well and defined, internationally as stated we have a HUMAN right to NOT be tortured. For US citizens we have a right not to be subdued to cruel and unusual punishments, or be forced to say things that make us look guilty. Many of these rights are assumed, others written in treaties, and some in our constitution. Torture means it will likely make the government to overstep its bounds. People deserve rights, water boarding takes it away.

This is yet another reason we should not water board.

c) Hurts us internationally

We have signed international treaties, it is now a law and its an honor system. They are taking our word that we will follow along with it. Torturing suspects that may or may not be guilty is counter intuitive. And even if they are guilty one could argue it is not effective. The CIA had to do it 266 times to some prisoners. [1] based on the fact by doing this we are: 1) breaking our word, and 2) using ineffective methods whilst breaking our word will not help our international standing. Have you ever betrayed or felt betrayed by someone? Other countries will get those feelings and therefore lose respect for us.

And yet another reason why we should not do it.
**********

So I win the argument. Illegal -> dont do it. Terrible idea -> dont do it.

My opponents scenarios are not convincing even if we do know their guilty, as to get the info they still need to spill it. And as stated it is ineffective. [1] Likely because their convinced god said so.

Point being torture is illegal. Also a bomb would not kill millions, unless they had nuclear weapons. But that requires plutonium which is extremely expensive. So terrorists would not have that capability. My opponent throwing around the word millions is just a scare tactic.
At most he would be able to kill 100 or 200 with the bombs they could afford.

Also, there are more effective LEGAL ways to deal with the problem. As time says: "traditional interrogation methods, a combination of guile and graft, are the best way to break down even the most stubborn subjects."[2]

Summary:

> Its illegal to do it, un american
> A, B, and C show there are consequences to doing it
> Other LEGAL ways which are more effective will get the information. Waterboarding is ineffective and can take weeks. [1] My opponents scenario states one day time.

Pretty much my opponent goes on an opinion rant with no evidence or logic. It is illegal to torture and other ways are much more effective alternatives. Inflicting unnecessary pain is, well, cruel. CON has found a non cruel and legal way to get the info needed. Pros arguments are debunked.

1. http://www.csmonitor.com...
2. http://www.time.com...
Debate Round No. 2
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

"My opponents only argument is because its illegal means we should not do it."

actually, that's your argument. this is an illogical statement.

"This is like saying I should murder because i think its right"

it is not at all like murdering because you think it's right. at least if you are talkin about any old murder. torturing, or perhaps murder yes, in what is effectively self defense of a country, is where you are protecting innocent lives by hurting or killing the non-innocent. your point is only slightly analogous in that a law is being broken... but the actually details as to why one should be allowed and one shouldn't, are so different as to be night and day.
it's almost a joke of an analogy.
what is more analogous is... "Joe is sanctioned by the government to kill people indiscriminately. therefore, we should not stop joe or even kill him, because that would be illegal". this is almost directly analogous as there are innocent v noninnocent people involved.

"My opponents scenarios are not convincing even if we do know their guilty, as to get the info they still need to spill it. And as stated it is ineffective. [1] Likely because their convinced god said so."

this is vague and not very well reasoned. you seem to be asserting its not effective without proof. and something about a god? it's too incoherent to make out what's being argued here.
my scenario is saying... all other tactics have failed almost assuredly, by definition. we could keep trying and failing, but what good is that? might as well up the ante and do what is necessary.
16kadams

Con

lol I messed up. What I meant to say was my opponents argument was its illegal but that's irrelevant. @ voters: SHE HAS NEVER SUPPORTED THAT STATEMENT WITH FACTS

My opponent takes a red herring on my analogy, whether or not it was good is irrelevant as it missed the point of the argument. The point was we are prohibited in doing so, and breaking these laws will hurt our international standing and warrant scolding from the UN. As this point was never refuted the argument stands as torture is illegal. My argument wins. My opponent did this in her main rebuttal:

a) dodged the point
b) focused on an analogy red herring

As it is a red herring much of my opponents argumentation this round is a moot. Meaning I should win this debate.

My opponents final objection is arguing it is ineffective is not logical. He actually cherry picks the argument down to one statement instead of the whole paragraph. "Khalid Sheikh Mohamed, who has confessed to planning the September 11, 2001, attacks as well as personally beheading Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, was subjected to waterboarding 183 times in March 2003."[1]

It is perfectly reasoned. If it takes 183 times and multiple months of torture we can assume the method fails. Also the scenario was we had 1 day. (see round 1) This means we are doing an illegal practice that wont work.

CONCLUSION:

I have refuted all of my opponents weak points, my opponent relies on flawed logic refuted in round two and subsequently dropped and red herrings this round.

--Dropped points--

She dropped my important analysis if the a), b), c).
Dropped how water boarding has alternatives which are more effective hence water boarding is unnecessary pain inflicted on the person
The bomb killing of "millions" is exaggerated and likely closer to 50.

--> Why con won

args -- Dropped points and flawed logic + red herrings means con wins args
sources -- I had sources, she did not
S/G -- She had terrible grammar and capitalization mistakes everywhere
Conduct -- you choose

VOTE CON

1. http://www.csmonitor.com...
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Mrparkers 5 years ago
Mrparkers
dairygirl4u2c16kadamsTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: For every reason in Con's final round
Vote Placed by mee2kool4u369 5 years ago
mee2kool4u369
dairygirl4u2c16kadamsTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Nice to talk to you again 16kadams. I have to say it should happen but torture is illegal so...
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 5 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
dairygirl4u2c16kadamsTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Wow. This is quite clear cut.
Vote Placed by TheOrator 5 years ago
TheOrator
dairygirl4u2c16kadamsTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: The con wins because even though the Pro proved that a terrorist could have a bomb in the city... she didn't really prove anything else. The con, on the other hand negated nearly everything - if not everything - and showed that even if it we were to break the law to do it, we would not complete what we set out to do. In short, the Con simply made the better argument.