When is it Okay to Torture?
The word torture means different things for everybody. The Oxford Dictionary definition is “infliction of severe pain as a punishment or a forcible means of persuasion,” but to me it means violating ones natural rights. Many people say that they think torture is wrong, but don’t give much thought about the moral dilemmas that one faces when making the choice to use ”coercive interrogation” (ReasonOnline) as a way of receiving information. Most of the people who blatantly say that they are anti-torture are never put in a position where it is the only mean to save innocent lives, whether it is 1 or 1,000,000. Michael Levin said, “There are situations in which torture is not merely permissible but morally mandatory. Moreover, these situations are moving from the realm of imagination to fact.” In my eyes, only in extreme situations in which innocent lives are stake is it permissible to consider torture as a means of information gathering.
A well known scenario that forces people to choose between violating ones natural rights and saving innocent lives is the situation where a bomb that will kill a million people is going to detonate in a short two hours. You have captured the one person who could give you information that will save millions of innocent lives, but he won’t talk. People who are anti-torture argue that 6 out of 10 times torture is used, it is a false positive (Barnet 804) and that a sixty percent chance of failure is too big of a risk. What about the forty percent chance of saving millions of human lives? I think that a forty percent chance of saving innocent people is better than having no chance at all and it is morally wrong to not be willing to take a chance when there are lives on the line, even if it does means that one person has to suffer. I don’t think that one (guilty) man’s well-being is more important than a million innocent lives.
Part one: 1. Holden s Hunting cap: His hat is something that makes him stand out from the crowd and society. To Holden, wearing his hat says that he s not going to be like all the rest of the phonies. It s also something that he really likes and he constantly talks about it being different. On page 22 he refers to his hat as a people shooting hat, meaning he shoots people down when he wears it ...
That is a very unlikely situation, but in today’s world that is filled with war and violence, it is very plausible that such a situation could happen. In most cases, where there is no immediate danger, I feel that there are much more humane ways that will produce the same results. There are other situations that I feel torture would be acceptable. What if your child was kidnapped and the kidnapper was caught and admits he knows where the child is, but won’t say where he is hiding him/her. This is another situation where time is limited and a lack of action could lead to the death of an innocent.
Torture is not a mean that should be used on a regular basis, but I definitely feel that there are situations in which it is acceptable. All too often today it is done in secret and never reported, which is an issue that I think needs to be dealt with. If it was mandatory that all torturing accounts must be reported, and it was enforced, it would end the situations that torture is used because it is convenient, but not necessary. Torture should be the last effort to get information that would save lives and should only be used in extreme situations.