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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/14/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 415 times Debate No: 67012
Debate Rounds (4)
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Votes (1)




(1.) Torture is the intentional infliction of physical and/or mental suffering on someone without one"s permission.
(2.) In minimal sense, breaking one"s will causes one to abandon autonomous decision-making in relation to some narrowly circumscribed area of their life for a limited period.
(3.) Minimal torture is that in the former case the victim"s will is broken only temporarily and in a contained manner, and their consequent humiliation is limited.
(4.) Torture targets autonomy itself, and seeks to overwhelm the capacity of the victim to exercise rational control over their decisions.
(5.) In extreme emergencies situations, extreme emergency is when any innocent person(s) is in danger such as nuclear bomb in a city, etc.
(6.) Morally justified is having ethical and right decisions or behavior.
(7.) It must be accepted in some cases such as to gain information, and/or to terrorise some political group to save the guiltless lives.
(8.) Torture should be done in the utmost emergencies to save the innocent lives. In one case, the car thief was trying to kill an innocent infant and the police believed that torture is the right thing to do because the thief from this case is known for his wrongness actions, so something must be done in order to stop him before more innocent people get hurt or get murdered in the worst incident.
(9.) Therefore, some cases of torture are minimally, morally acceptable.


I assume any premise of mine you do not directly address will be accepted as true, and any premise of yours you dont not revise will be taken as irrelevant.
(1.) I do not agree with your definition of torture, Merriam- Webster"s Definition of torture is "something that causes mental or physical suffering : a very painful or unpleasant experience".
(2.) Torture does not always lead to ones will be broken but it does always lead to some form of suffering
(3.) Some victims of torture have been so psychologically damaged that even after being released they can no longer function as a normal adult.
(4.) I do not feel this statement is necessary in deciding whether or not torture is minimally morally justifiable.
(5.) Torture is never
(6.) This definition of "morally justified" is too vague.
(7.) I do not know what is the "it" you are referring too here
(8.) Article 5 of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights says quite simply, "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."; There are no exceptions to the declaration of human rights.
(9.)To torture someone is to treat them as if they are less the human; to treat someone as if they are less than human is never morally acceptable.
(10.) Therefore, some cases of torture are not minimally, morally acceptable.

Controversial Premises
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Premise 1 is controversial until we can agree upon a definition of torture. 2 If torturing someone does not lead to them giving up the information the torturer is looking for that persons will has not been broken, yet they have still been tortured. 3 If someone"s will has been broken through torture the victim may remain psychologically damaged for the rest of their life. 4 I feel as if this premise fall within the definition of torture and does not need to be regurgitated. 5 the excessive use of statements within this premise makes your point unclear. 6 Please expand on this idea. 7 I can assume this premise addresses torture as the "it" but I would like to be sure this is the case before moving on. 8 Again, the use of several statements has clouded the original point.

Non-Controversial Premises
8 9 10

Questions/ Comments
In regards to premise 6 please redefine "Morally Justified"
In regards to the idea that torture should be used in emergency situations, Article 5 of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights says quite simply, "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." There are no exceptions.
To torture someone is to treat them as if they are less the human, to treat someone as if they are less than human is never morally acceptable.
The effectiveness of torture must also be brought into question.
Debate Round No. 1


I agree with your statement 3 that torture can give psychological damage to someone but I strongly believe that psychological damage is partially from physical and/or mental damage of someone"s. Also, I am talking about at utmost situation where torture is needed. Like I previously mentioned in my statement 5, let"s say that New York City is in big danger due to an organization of terrorism. What if an organization of terrorism is trying to set a nuclear bomb in NYC? If the person being tortured is from that organization who is trying to harm Americans and possibly kill millions of people, then torture is morally acceptable because it is the only way to find opportunities to save innocent lives.

The September 11 accidents are remember by all the Americans. It doesn't matter if you were born before year 2001, or not because Americans learn about the day because it was such a cruel and tragic terrorism, and undesirable event happened in years. Is it right to not capture one of the terrorists and torture him? I must say that torture is necessary because it is very important to keep in mind that American lives matter and we should stop the terrorism if it's possible. Almost 3,000 documented American deaths were announced. There could be hundreds of people who are missing and undocumented, which means that there is higher chance of more deaths on September 11, 2001.

Another hazard at Boston Marathon happened last year, 2013. On April 15, there were bombings at Boston, MA. Records show that there were 3 deaths and over 260 people were injured. The bombs exploded about 12 seconds near the finish line where many families, and friends were cheering for the runners. Two brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were in charge of this explosion and Tamerlan Tsarnaev deceased the day of bombing and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured and is at The Federal Medical Center in Devens, Mass.

The terrorists are all over the place; if the torture is not the right way then what do you recommend? It is already hard to see many innocent lives die due to accidents like the September 11, 2001 and the bombing at Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. These cases are the utmost situations that the torture is minimally allowed.

Once again, torture is minimally, morally acceptable because our people's lives are more important than the cruel criminals' lives.


Before we can get into any situational involved with torture we need to establish common ground with several things I addressed in round 1.
1. We are yet to even agree on a definition of torture, you claim "Torture is the intentional infliction of physical and/or mental suffering on someone without one"s permission." I do not agree with definition. As previously stated Merriam- Webster"s Definition of torture is "something that causes mental or physical suffering : a very painful or unpleasant experience". This is a more accurate definition.
2. You claim torture is related to breaking ones will. Torture does not guarantee results and is widely ineffective. To think torturing a man will break his will is invalid and an example of flying by instict. "I will torture him" "Therefore he will confess". Recently the U.S government released the "Torture Report" which has drawn virtually ZERO postive feedback in regards to the effectiveness of torture. After reading this official government document (The Torture Report) pertaining to many REAL terrorists former U.S army interrogator Mike Ritz claims " "Now we know without any doubt that these techniques don"t work,". Torture does not break ones will but apparently ones will must be broken in order to gain a confession.
To further point out the ineffectivness of torture former presidential candidate and former prisoner of war John McCain, a man who has been tortured claims "I know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners will produce more bad than good intelligence. I know that victims of torture will offer intentionally misleading information if they think their captors will believe it. I know they will say whatever they think their torturers want them to say if they believe it will stop their suffering." A high level political figure who has experienced torture first hand claims it is ineffective.
3. If you want to play situationals play this one out. A man witnesses a kidnapping, claims a young boy was abducted by a man dressed in black driving black sedan east on a major highway. Police only an hour later pull over a man dressed in black, driving a black sedan east on said major highway. There is no boy in the car but the man fits the description perfectly giving the police probable cause. The alleged kidnapper claims he was on his way to surpise his long time girlfriend and that he knows nothing about a kdnapping but with no witnesses or anyone to confirm his allaby the police do not believe it. The police believe they have their man, they are no longer searching for the black sedan but they are searching for the boy along the stretch of highway. The police begin to torture the alleged kidnapper and after 12 hours the alleged kidnapper can no longer take it, he confesses and claims the boys at a gas station. Before the police get to the proclaimed gas station a call from the state police 2 states over to the east confirms they found the boy and his captor, dead. The innocent man who has been subject to torture for over 12 hours confessed to a crime he had no part in because of how horrible he was treated. The boy is dead, the perpetrator is dead and the alleged subject is so destroyed mentally that he commits suicide because of the HORROR he experience in police custody. This man gave up false information just to make the pain stop and the boy was killed, leaving the torture ineffective. This situation leaves two innocent dead bodies and not only shows the ineffectiveness and unreliability of torture but also how it damages a person"s mind and can easily ruin their life.
4.This claim is simply unnecessary.
5.As previously stated torture has been deemed highly ineffective and unreliable. After 9/11 the U.S government instated the patriot act among other things in order to PREVENT a hypothetical nuclear bomb. The united states government has foiled many terror plots as reported by CNN. The patriot act has stripped the American people of some of their rights in order to prevent terrorism and to prevent he use of torture.
6.I need you to redefine "Morally justified" because your original definition is far to vague.
7. Within premise 7 of your original argument you stated, "It must be accepted in some cases such as to gain information, and/or to terrorize some political group to save the guiltless lives." I am unaware of the "IT" you are referring to.
8. You claim torture should be done in the utmost emergencies well The U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights disagrees with you. Article 5 of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights says quite simply, "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."
9. To torture someone is to treat them as less than human, to treat someone as less than human will never be morally acceptable, not even in the minimalist sense.
Debate Round No. 2


To begin with the definition of the torture, what makes you think that your definition of torture is more accurate definition? I don"t see how your definition is better than what is I have written down.

The first half of your number 2 is restating what I have stated earlier. "You claim torture is related to breaking one"s will" Yes I have said this and you just restated that "Torture does not break one"s will but apparently one"s will must be broken in order to gain a confession."
What is the difference here? The major idea is the same: breaking one"s will. I strongly believe that the torture is needed minimally and yes I mean it by breaking one"s will to gain any information/confession from the terrorists.

I believe that is how ONE individual thinks. However, just because one person says that torture is ineffective, it doesn"t mean it"s ineffective to everyone else's. Why do you think that torture exist then? It would be useless to even start with if it did nothing.

I don"t find it necessary for me to follow up with your story on this because this is not real factual event. I can make any stories of how torture can be used. I prefer realistic examples. Also there are other ways other than torture that can be used. Do you really believe that torture was necessary for this case? Is this situation of torturing an alleged kidnapper minimally, morally acceptable?
Please give me a practical situations.

How is my statement number 4 unnecessary? Will you explain why?

If you are not so pleased with many definitions with examples and explanation that I have given, what are your definitions?
What are your definitions torture? rights? morality? terrorists? etc.

Of course torture should not be the first thing that should be used in any crimes. The United Nation are the peacemakers of the world. The torture happens and I believe it will continue to happen in the future because the world is not a peaceful any yet. Yes many non-organizations such as UN tries to make the world peace, but then, why are there protests, a racism, wars, bombings, terrorists, etc?

Comment: You need to check on your spelling errors.


Please address all premises directly with their corresponding number in order to limit confusion.

1. I believe breaking ones will goes and in hand with torture, therefore I propose this definition of torture: Torture is the intentional infliction of extreme physical suffering on some non consenting, defenseless, person for the purpose of breaking their will. This definition is quoted from the material handed out in class.

2. The purpose of torture is to gain valuable information by breaking the victims will leaving them no choice but to give up this valuable information in order to make the suffering stop. No information can be extracted without the will being broken therefore breaking the victims will is a necessary requirement for torture to successful.

Torture has recently been brought into the spotlight due to the torture report released by the U.S Government. The U.S government has admitted the use of torture as a means of interrogation and the findings support my claim. The consensus opinion based on the facts within this report is that torture is not only ineffective but a stain on the moral conscience of our great country.

Former prisoner of war, former presidential candidate and current state senator John Mccain weighed in on the morality of torture and after his first hand experiences he said "it (Torture) is not only wrong in principle and a stain on our country "s conscience, but also an ineffective and unreliable means of gathering intelligence."
The report I am referring to also claims that torture in no way helped find Osama bin laden.

There is proof, supported by the United States government that says torture is ineffective and unreliable as a means of gaining accurate information.

3. "Why does torture exist?" Torture originated hundreds of years ago with many different methods. I will list some of the original methods of torture.
"The Brazen Bull" designed in ancient Greece a large solid piece of brass was was cast with a door on the side. The victim would be placed within the brass and it would then be placed over a fire and the victim would SLOWLY roasted to death unless information was gathered.
"Crucifixion" Arguably the most famous form of torture where you would be nailed or tied to a wooden cross and left to die or confess.
"Thumbscrew" A large vice like device used to immobilize body parts such as thumbs toes knees and even elbows. Once immobilized the torturer would literally screw through the victim"s body part until a confession was reached.

As you can see torture originated as a very barbaric and horrific means of extracting information from a victim the usually resulted in death, even if you confessed.

It seems to me that in order to break the will of another human being you must subject the victim to something worse than death. This is worse than simply killing someone because torture is slow, inhumane, and humiliating.
4. In response to your question "Is this situation of torturing an alleged kidnapper minimally, morally acceptable?" the answer is NO, because torture is NEVER MINIMALLY MORALLY ACCEPTABLE.

5. Within our debate over the moral justification of torture you ask "Yes many non-organizations such as UN tries to make the world peace, but then, why are there protests, a racism, wars, bombings, terrorists, etc?".

What exactly do you mean by this?

Are you claiming torture is a positive solution to these problems? To Protests? To Racism? To Wars? To Bombings? To Terrorists? ETC?
I do not believe torturing anyone will help end "protests, a racism, wars, bombings, terrorists, etc"

6. To claim torture is morally justified I believe you should first understand what happens to people who have been tortured. Torture is more than just a word but a horrific act of 1 human being destroying the will of another human being.


Keep in mind to successfully torture someone you must break a human beings will and to break the will of a human being you must subject them to something they fear more than death.

If you disagree with my premise that to break someone"s will you must subject them to something they fear more than death explain why, and regardless include your morally justifiable form of torture.

7. People who are victims of torture are known to LIE. Victims of torture will tell their captors anything in order to make the pain stop. Torture is an ineffective way of gaining information.

What is a necessary condition of breaking someone"s will? I believe subjecting them to something worse than death is a necessary condition to breaking someone"s will.

What do you believe is the most humane form of torture?

If the person you torture claims to tell you the truth how do you know it is the truth?

What situation do you believe torture is minimally morally acceptable? "Terrorists" threatening the united states?

Debate Round No. 3


ksungw105 forfeited this round.


Potoczak forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by FaustianJustice 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pity, though, I wanted to see this one finish out. Contender just really tied the use of definitions together, along with the reference to sources.