Friday, December 2, 2011

It seems to me that in our discussion of interrogational torture there is really only one fact you need to know, this being that it does not work. If it does not work then nothing else matters. Sure its immoral and illegal but even if you were willing to look past that in a situation of necessity nothing can change the fact that it does not work. I guess people have a hard time accepting this because given a "ticking time bomb" type situation they want to think that there is something they can do. Even the chance that there might be a person who might have the information that might be useful and he might give it up if he is tortured seems to be enough for people to justify the use of torture. But this just is not logical. Torture does not work, so why do it? Why violate someones rights and humanity for false or no information? Earlier in the semester we discussed the scenario of a train that will hit three people unless someone flips a switch in which case it will hit only one. In this scenario we discussed peoples inclination to remain passive and allow the larger number of people to die. This is the same idea with torture except when given the situation we do not want to be passive, we want to flip the switch. Maybe this is because with torture we see the tortured as being unequal to those we want to save. We assume that the tortured is the bad guy and does know the information and therefore we justify torturing him to save others, something we would not do in the case of the assumed equally innocent train victims. The truth is though that we do not know this and in fact all we do know is that torture is proven to be ineffective.


  1. Torture is not only about getting information, but asserting dominance over someone, over breaking their will. My "breaking" someone in an interrogation setting, you have proven that you are dominate over them. It breaks the morale of those who are being tortured and removes a will to fight.

  2. I definitely believe torture is our way of doing something instead of nothing. Many most likely think that we must resort to anything to save the lives of innocent people, even if that means committing an act which violates human rights. We think that torturing a person will force them to a breaking point in which they will give us the information they need, but obviously this does not usually happen the way we want it to. We obviously need to find an alternate solution to finding answers in which we are not treating people as less than human beings.


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