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Is Torture Ever Acceptable

Psychological effects

❶Likewise, if we cannot offer a reasoned account of the absolute wrongness of torture especially given the wide public support for it then our impassioned opposition, indispensable though it may be, will still be, strictly speaking, meaningless. Sophie's choice falls within the world of morals but beyond the human reach of moral guidelines.




Many experts find torture unnecessary and claim that it is not effective any more. Obviously, there are other methods of getting useful information that can save lives, but it has also been proven that not all people can be tortured and as a consequence tell the truth. Some of them lie when they are tortured and some of them just say nothing. Many experts think that torture is effective, but the other side of this issue is still unclear, as even an innocent person can get tortured by a mistake and then, probably, killed.

In this case torture is unacceptable. Torture has been known since the ancient times as a means of punishment, deterrence, and to obtain confessions.

In particular, a variety of torture is widely used in ancient Egypt, Assyria, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome and other ancient nations. Torture — is the infliction of deliberate torture both physical and mental in order to obtain information or to punishment. In a broad sense, torture is considered as any procedure causing human suffering and pain, regardless of the circumstances and objectives, regardless of whether the sentence ends with this procedure or followed by homicide.

This would therefore not apply to what we consider enemy combatants, primarily terrorists who do not fight under a flag or in a uniform and do not fight for any particular state. Among people, their personal tolerance and the lack of information do not allow them to fully imagine the situations when torture is used, the cruelty that was prevented with the help of torture methods. A root-canal patient can tell you all about eternity. Past a certain point, the victim's fear is no longer that he will die but that he won't.

Torture is a window into hell, with a satanic god cast as a human sadist. I believe one cannot grasp the role of torture in the imagination without integrating its metaphysical resonance. Torture rehearses eternal damnation. And that's not a good thing, because hell scares the hell out of everyone, even those who don't believe in it. To add insult to injury, the torturer reflects back to us a magnified image of that repressed speck of sadism buried in all of us.

This did not always bother us. God gave Moses not one but two commandments against lust, and not a single one against cruelty; likewise, Augustine deemed cupidity a more serious offense. It was not until Montaigne and Montesquieu that cruelty acquired a special status in moral philosophy. Torture offends us through its frontal assault on human dignity.

Beyond subverting free will into "anti-will"—your being tortured does not simply violate you: It dehumanizes not only the victim and the torturer, but society as a whole. Or so our modern liberal sensibilities tell us. S hould torture be legalized in exceptional circumstances? The answer is an unequivocal no. The ban must be unconditional. Because grotesquely evil behavior must be criminalized?

Pleasing though it may be, this simple answer won't do. We must first examine whether there might not be a utilitarian reason to make legal exceptions. Even the most committed deontologist will recognize the need to test laws against their consequences. I will show that there is no room for exceptions by revisiting the three arguments central to the issue: TBS, self-defense, and torture creep. I'll also discuss the criminal prosecution of torturers.

The ticking bomb scenario TBS would appear to beg for an exception—see [9] for a definition. I'll assume the usual conditions of imminence, gravity, proportionality, and certainty, without which TBS is not worthy of consideration. The first issue to address is consistency. TBS advocates often lack the courtesy to grant the same rights to their enemies.

They remain oddly silent on whether, say, the Taliban would be entitled to torture captured American soldiers thought to know about imminent drone attacks. There might appear to be a normative basis for the double standard.

After all, we're the good guys and they're not, so why should we grant them the same moral latitude? Our own code of warfare, such as it is, dictates that it apply equally to both sides—as do the Geneva Conventions.

Whether it should be so or not is an interesting philosophical question, but in practice this point is already settled. The legal issue hangs on the "rarity principle. But do we need a law for a bad act that happens at one millionth the rate of murder? Legality should offer only a blurry reflection of morality, not its mirror image.

Whereas morals delineate complex fractal lines, laws should follow smooth contours free of singularities. As the saying goes, "Hard cases make bad laws. TBS theorists will agree but say: No one's yet suggested a new speed limit sign: Tucking exceptions into law is courting the same trouble as overfitting a machine learning classifier, ie, loss of generalizing power and diminished appeal to universality.

Self-defense was invoked in the infamous Bybee "torture memos. A torture victim is not a threat. A captive terrorist such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is a culpable bystander , not a culpable aggressor. Therefore, first, the argument would need to appeal to self-preservation and not self-defense; second, this in turn would crash against the accepted legal doctrine that bystanders, even guilty ones, may not be hurt intentionally. But, by that logic, a gunman who shoots you might be forced to give you his organs to save your life: Trouble is, this constitutes a brand of justice far too alien to our own to be acceptable.

To that normative consideration, I would also guard against the slippery notion of "collective self. This might then justify the torture of war prisoners when one's country is under attack, thus losing the classical distinction between jus ad bellum why one may go to war and jus in bello how one may fight a war.

Even if all other options have been tried, the torture of terrorists cannot be called self-defense. The case of individual, non-state sponsored TBS is not as clear-cut. You're entitled to stab a man on self-defense grounds if you see him break into your house and try to strangle your daughter. No one will dispute that your "self" may extend to her. So why can't you do the same if he refuses to divulge her location after he's kidnapped her and buried her alive with 20 minutes left to live?

But isn't his silence every bit as much a weapon as his hands? After all, he can wield either one at will to decide her fate. One can draw two distinctions, neither of which resists scrutiny.

The first one is epistemic: This can be postulated away—certainty is an accepted part of any serious TBS narrative. No need to assume here that what you believe is true: The other distinction, silence vs strangling, ie, omission vs commission, concerns neither causality nor intentionality—in both cases the man acts willfully to kill. It rests solely on timing, a consideration of no discernable normative relevance.

One can, likewise, torture by omission. If the captive were diabetic, it would be torture to withhold his insulin until he talks, since this would fit our characterization of torture as a form of coerced trade.

In sum, tying a stand on torture to a distinction between omission and commission is dicey. And even a plausible self-defense plea which, it is fair to say, would never happen in practice must give precedence to the rarity principle: Torture creep is yet another reason to make the legal ban watertight. The historical record indicates that the slightest legal opening to torture will metastasize into widespread institutional abuse.

This "cancerous" spread affects intention, which leads to intimidation, submission, and extraction of false confessions. Even a state that allows torture only in rare cases will soon insist on competent torturers; hence torture schools, torture experts, torture research, and, given the gravity of the matter, an administrative state structure to oversee it all.

In other words, it will build itself a "School of the Americas. That alone justifies a total ban on torture. Finally, how much leniency should a judge extend in hypothetical cases of torture that demonstrably save lives?

It would seem wise to grant judges enough sentencing discretion to keep would-be torturers in the dark and induce them to proceed on worst-case assumptions. Just as torturers may not invoke the Nuremberg defense, so anyone who orders torture, directly or by proxy, must be held legally responsible.

Wartime torture admittedly poses a conundrum. There is empirical evidence that it is an inevitable by-product of aggressive warfare. If so, it may thus fall under the rubric of war crime like executing children and lose its categorical singularity. The issue of punishment becomes more complex. In theory, the jurisprudence on war crime should provide the relevant legal authority.

Right, but in theory war criminals are dragged before a judge even when their side wins the war. The use of sleep deprivation as a torture method causes cognitive impairment. Victims slowly develop attention problems, and memory and speech impairment. Although the physical effects of torture vary depending on the torture method used, all forms of torture have several long-term structural and functional implications.

These include scars, neurological damage, musculoskeletal pains, visual impairment, cardiovascular problems, and damage to other parts of the body Gerber, Clinical records on individuals tortured using the strapping method, illustrate various musculoskeletal effects.

Victims exhibited difficulties with muscle movement and injuries to tendons and nerve sheaths around the affected area. This resulted due to the fixation of individuals through means such as ropes and handcuffs. Electrical torture causes considerable damages to muscle fibers.

The effects of both mobile and fixed electrodes on a torture victim are similar to muscle injuries caused by blunt blows. Research shows that the use of electrical torture leads to the development of cardiovascular problems and neuropathy among the victims.

Scars, the most common physical sign of torture, result from torturous acts that cause burns and cuts. Scars aggravate the psychological effects of torture as they constantly remind victims of their ordeal. Severe scarring, especially around joints, hampers the normal functioning of the affected joints. Spinal injury is another devastating effect of torture. It mostly occurs when perpetrators of torture subject victims to various tortuous acts while the victims are in a fixed position.

Acts such as beating, the forceful carrying of heavy objects and making victims stay in inappropriate positions through immobilization or confinement, lead to spinal injuries due to the exertion of excessive pressure on parts or the whole of the spine. Prolonged exposure to torture in fixed position may lead to permanent disabilities.

Sexual torture subjects victims to inappropriate treatment of their genital and anal regions. This form of torture causes problems such as lumbar pain, pelvic pain, urination and defecation disorders, difficulties of movement around the affected areas, sexual problems and menstrual disorders if the victim is a woman.

All torture methods involve some form of violence. The perpetrator of torture hit victims on various parts of the body leading to complications. Head injuries may result in epilepsy and memory disruption. Blows around the eyes and ears may lead to visual impairment and hearing loss because of the damage of delicate optical nerves and the eardrum.

The disruption of sleeping patterns and inadequate sleep, both of which are common forms of torture, cause health problems such as hypertension.

Respiratory problems result due to toxic chemicals, gas, and confinement in poorly aerated places. Victims may develop asthma, bronchitis, respiratory cancer and other types of respiratory disorder.

Despite its adverse effects, proponents of torture view the practice as unavoidable in a society whose members are quickly losing morals and values.


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The Case Against torture essaysMichael Levin is a Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York and the Graduate center, City University of New York. He is well known in Libertarian circles and has written much about social issues in the US, especially feminism, race, crime, and other uno.

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Torture proponents always use the scenario in which thousands, if not millions, of lives are pitted against the well-being of one likely terrorist and his torture. Torture opponents argue that torture is a clear violation of human rights, morals, and ethics.

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A signatory to the UN Convention Against Torture, the United States "does Supermax incarceration and prison rape can be construed as institutionalized forms of torture. For the purpose of this essay, however, I narrow down the definition to the forced exchange of information for the relief of unbearable pain. a decision procedure to. Human Torture SHOULD Be Allowed Essay Words | 9 Pages. Torture has long been a controversial issue in the battle against terrorism. Especially, the catastrophic incident of September 11, has once again brought the issue into debate, and this time with more rage than ever before.

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Torture is illegal: international laws prohibit the use of torture against anybody. The country that approves torture also risks to lose the trust of its citizens in itself and its judicial system. In addition, torture that is officially approved at least once tends to become a regular practice. A persuasive essay is a form of academic. Au essay against the torture program, torture. Subjected to justify an essay: jeremy waldron, torture and the response against torture and opened for this. Just like to article strongly against in a. Oct 17, and effects and taboo: states, many other quality assignment with philosophical analysis. Short essay on torture and are many of torture.