Torture Is Morally Justifiable In Some Extreme Cases (Write A Letter To The Editor In Respose To Mirko Bagaric's Article).

1020 words - 4 pages

Whose distorted moral judgments?Torture, a controversial word, is defined by Paris Aristotle, the director of the Victorian Foundation for survivors of Torture as being " not just the physical applications of pain, but it requires the complete subjugation of the person at emotional, psychological and spiritual levels." It seems to be a complex definition, however torture is in fact much worse. As a survivor of torture I felt disgusted upon reading Mirko Bagaric's article supporting torture as an "excellent information gathering device" to "save the lives of thousands of innocent people". Torture is undoubtedly immoral, ineffective as well as rendering permanent scars inside the victim's head.A few years after I was released from my ordeal my movements were still restricted and I could hardly speak. I knew I had been tortured for something I had taken no part in. I knew that I was free but I also knew that I wanted to stay far away from the street and people and be seen as little as possible. I had become branded by something terrible and remained inside the house, hardly making a sound, always looking fearfully out the window worrying over the slightest knock on the door.I can still feel all the terror and anguish that I had years ago as I write this today. My horror of being tortured was magnified by the realisation that it was being done to me by another human being. It is a perversion and destruction of the very idea of human morality. I have accepted that these things happen in my country, but not here in Australia.Australia does not endorse the death penalty, even for the most heinous crimes, and even where the convict has been given a fair trial and exhausted a lengthy appeals process because Australia recognises that mistakes are made. But here is Bagaric stating that it should be permissible to kill an innocent person who "almost certainly" has information that the authority would like. "In those circumstances you would start with a minimum degree of harm; if that didn't work, you would escalate it, and if that unfortunately resulted in an innocent person being killed, in those circumstances that would be justified. I think as a society we would accept that one person being killed to save thousands is legitimate" and that "even if the individual tortured were killed and later proven innocent, or even if the threat of harm turned out to be false, torture still would have been justified because we must decide on the best evidence at the time".It seems that Bagaric conveniently left out the fact that, if that 'innocent' person were killed and the threat of harm was real, it would not save the lives of thousands of people at all. In those circumstances it would be the thousands of people who will in fact die, in addition to that poor victim of torture.In addition to that, who comprises the "we" that makes the decision? Would it be the same governments, military and intelligence chiefs who insisted that Iraq had to be invaded because "on the...

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