Is Torture Ever Acceptable? Essay

898 words - 4 pages

Torture is the process of inflicting pain upon other people in order to force them to say something against their own will. The word “torture” comes from the Latin word “torquere,” which means to twist. Torture can not only be psychologically but mentally painful. Before the Enlightenment, it was perfectly legal to torture individuals but nowadays, it is illegal to torture anyone under any circumstances. In this essay, I will demonstrate why torture should never acceptable, not matter the condition.
From a moral standpoint, torture is wrong and unacceptable. Many religious people are against this act of violence because they see it as a violation of the dignity of a human being. Humans have the right to not have intentional harm upon themselves from others. The ban on torture furthermore supports this certain right. Not only does torture violate people’s rights, but they also violate the demands of justice. In the past, many of our nation’s people have been tortured and we have had a problem with it; but when it’s not you the one that is being tortured, it seems to be fine. Have you heard of the golden rule, “Treat others only as you consent to being treated in the same situation? (7)” This applies very well to this problem.
On the opposite side, there are people very much in favor of the use of torture. To them, torture is a “morally defensible” interrogation method (8). The most widely used reason for torture is when many lives are in imminent danger. This means that any forms of causing harm are acceptable. This may seem reasonable, as you sacrifice one life to save way more, but it’s demoralizing. The arguments that justify torture usually are way too extreme to happen in the real world. The golden rule also plays a big role in this; don’t do to others what you don’t want to be done to you.
One scenario used to defend the arguments above is the “Ticking Bomb” scenario. The attacks of September 11 brought to attention the debate on torture. The scenario describes an imaginary scene in which a enormous weapon was to unleash and a prisoner is known to have information on the attack but won’t say anything. The United States was faced with a question of whether to torture the prisoner or allow millions of civilians to die.
The reason that this scenario doesn’t back up the statement that torture is acceptable sometimes is that it seems to “perfect.” The conditions are too calculated to actually happen in real life. There are many factors that come into play in situations like this that affect the outcome.
It also doesn’t seem as easy as to just torture one person to save a thousand. The event of torturing doesn’t end at that one time; the United States is the most powerful country in the entire world. It sets an example for the rest of the world. One person being tortured will lead to many more to be tortured.
Let’s pretend that there is nothing wrong with torture and that is it not a controversial issue. What good is using torture to obtain...

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