Is Torture Morally Justifiable?
The moral rightness of torture has had great exposure in our society for the past decade. Proponents of this method have argued that, without it, progress of gathering intelligence would be impossible. Of course, those who are against it see it as inhumane and ineffective. In my opinion, torture is a desperate act motivated by rage with only short-term results.
The utilitarian view that torture may be accepted if doing it improves the overall well-being of society is only a temporary fix. The torture may yield an immediate answer to avoid a specific calamitous event, but how long before the next? Also, would the torture scare enough potential deviants from committing heinous acts?
If torture could ensure that no future attacks would occur, then it could be a useful tactic; unfortunately, this is not reality. Enemies have access to the same tools and weapons as other powerful nations, so torture may make them enraged and determined to fight back. It seems that torture not only pains the body, but it also poisons the mind. If humans use tactics like torture to get the answers they want, then the ability to reason and find common bonds disappear. If we follow the view of doing the best we can do, then torturing another human being doesn’t seem to be the correct way.
When it comes to torture, I think that adhering to the principle of humanity should be considered. Using a person as a means to an end to get certain information may seem useful in a military or police type event; however, the subject knows this. If the detainee knows that his fate is going to end in severe punishment, what obligation does he have to be truthful? Maybe taking a humane approach could lead to willing participation by the detained person.
Another matter that I find compelling is what the act of torture does to the person administering the pain. It seems that the very act of inflicting pain on another is unnatural and falls outside of...