Recent current events have resurrected an old argument about whether torture should be used to help protect citizens of a country. I have some opinions on the matter that I am mulling over and over. I don’t think that this is as cut and dry as many would like it to be.
Here are some potential scenarios to consider:
1) Terrorists have taken people hostage and are threatening to behead them if their demands are not met. You capture someone who can lead you to their hideout, but they are refusing to speak. If you torture them you may get the information in time to save them and if you do not heads are going to roll. What do you do?
2) If you could have prevented 911 by torturing one of the terrorists, would you do it?
There are many others that I am sure you can think of. In the past I have heard people express their belief that it is better to let people die, than to allow torture. At times I have found that to be hypocritical because some of those same people think that it is ok to bomb the hell out of a country during war or use other wartime tactics.
I have to believe that people in London, Dresden, Nagasaki et al who survived the bombing might claim that experience to have been a form of torture. Not all torture is necessarily physical in nature. Sometimes the mental torture is much worse than anything you can do to a body.
In any case, I am forming and reforming my feelings about this. What do you think? Let’s talk about it.