Is Torture justified?
What is torture? Basically, this is the action of physically or psychologically hurting a person without their permission and against their will. The torture has many goals such as obtaining a confession or information of the victim, revenge for an act committed by the victim or just for entertainment morbid and sadistic of the torturer.
According to the 1984 United Nations Convention against Torture, the torture is: “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him, or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in, or incidental to, lawful sanctions.
Is Torture justified? Essay Example
” Torture is not acceptable because it is degrading and ethically wrong, but under certain circumstances torture can be justified. Torture is justifiable if lives of innocent people are in risk or if an entire nation is in danger. First of all torture is justifiable when the lives of innocent people are in danger of being injured by violent motives. For example, in the scenario that a terrorist put a ticking time bomb in a public place like the case of a shopping center, a park, a hospital, a stadium, etc. This person is the only one who can give a clue as how, when and where the attack will happen, so it is definitely better sacrifices the human rights of a single person who is doing evil, for it can save the lives of hundreds of innocent people.
Another example, in the scenario of a murderer or rapist who uses torture for sadistic and morbid motives, and he has prisoners and assuming that the police caught him, and this person does not want willingly confess the crimes committed and the location of these people. Then, the morals and ethics of society should be left aside and act promptly to extract the information needed to save these people from suffering provided by the torturer. According to Mirko Bagaric claims that torture is morally justified in order to save the lives of innocent people. He is confident that torture gives reliable information that can prevent terrorist attacks. According to the author, torture is a way to avoid killing innocent people. He claims that torture should never be used for punishment and domination, but it has different considerations when used for humane reasons such as saving lives.
In one part of his article says, “Killing Innocent People Worse than Torture; Paradoxically, people who propose an absolute ban on torture aren’t sufficiently repulsed by torture and are too willing to accept the murder of innocent people: either they lack compassion or have a warped moral compass. Torture is bad. Killing innocent people is worse. Some people are so depraved that they combine these evils and torture innocent people to death. ” Mirko Babaric is certain that torture is not cruel if it is motivated by a compassionate desire to avoid a tragedy, and it gets a greater good. He made a refutation to the people who are against torture. He said, “There could be nothing more inhumane than doing nothing as innocent people are being tortured to death. ” Torture used to save the life of another person is acceptable.
In another article clearly shows a real example of how the torture served to save the life of a human being. “In June 1979 Jean Leon and an accomplice kidnapped Miami cab driver Louis Gachelin, held him at gunpoint, and demanded a seven-thousand-dollar ransom from his family. Police officers quickly captured Leon, but Gachelin was not with him. Concerned that Gachelin might be murdered once Leon’s absence was noticed by his accomplice, seven police officers made a radical decision: To find out where Gachelin was being held, they beat the information out of Leon. The kidnapper caved in, and Gachelin was rescued. His life had arguably been saved by the use of torture.
” The author also shows how torture has been used since human civilization from The Code of Hammurabi , 1750 BC to the present day with the intention to punish or to get information, even in some parts of the world are still cases of torture as way of punishment or conviction, but this is not the case of the Americans because they do not supporter torture as a punishment, and it is established on the Eighth Amendment which prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment. ” nevertheless, the torture can be used in cases like Gachelin, where this serves as an interrogation technique to save the life of a person. Since The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, U. S. has been focused on how to prevent similar situations happen in the future. For this reason, some Americans have suggested the use of torture to obtain the desired information. The author notes that U. S.
government has experimented with new techniques of interrogation without violating international human rights; those are as known “stress and duress” techniques, which consist of exposing prisoners to isolation, darkness, blindfolding, discomfort (such as being forced to stand in one position for four hours), forced nudity, and unpleasant food. These tactics are designed to demoralize prisoners so that they will provide information, and they have been met with much controversy over the legality and morality of their application. Those in favor of using the intensified techniques argue that the information extracted from “stressed” prisoners might save hundreds of lives. ” The “ticking time bomb” is a very common scenario for those who support the use of torture. Supporters of the time bomb hypothesis believe that enhanced interrogation techniques are justified to obtain information from suspects to avoid massive loss of life.
Although Americans have probably never faced a real time bomb scenario, many of them are familiar with the concept and are aware of the various means of torture that could be used to obtain the necessary information, and all this because a TV series called 24. This show is directed, produced and acted by Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, whose job is to prevent terrorist attacks against the United States. According to Human Rights, before September 11, 2001, there were four or fewer cases of torture on television each year. In 2009, more than 100 cases were reported acts of torture that appear on TV. According to David Danzig Human Rights, he said, “It used to be almost exclusively the villains who tortured. Nowadays, torture is often perpetrated by the heroes, even though torture is illegal under the law U. S. and internationally. ” Is Torture justified?
The show 24 shows a simplified representation of the difficulty and complexity of the policy issues and definitions of torture facing the government of the United States. The opposite side says that Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments are like slavery and genocide, and they are always unacceptable. This principle has been established for many years and is enshrined in international law. “Everyone has the right to freedom from torture and inhuman or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. ” It is Accordance with Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They get three main arguments against the authorization of torture. First, it is the argument of art slippery slope this means that allowing torture in a limited context there may encourage more of these cases.
Nonetheless, this argument does not work for the concept of torture because it is already used even though it is universally prohibited, according to reports Amnesty International reported cases of torture and ill-treatment in 132 countries in 2003, including the United States, Japan and France. The second argument is that torture makes it lose its human sense to the society. Nevertheless, a society that chooses to defend the rights of those who do evil on innocent people instead of defending innocent people, in that case the society needs to make an urgent moral and ethical change to see things more humanely. Finally, people cannot be absolutely certain that torturing someone gives us the result of saving the life of another person.
However, it is a decision of self defense. In conclusion, the only way the torture is justified. There is when existed a threat to the lives of innocent people or finding a greater good for humanity. For example, a terrorist attack when is in danger the lives of hundreds of innocent people or in the case of murderers, rapists and kidnappers who has prisoners. keep in mind that torture can only be used as an information extraction technique because it is not acceptable as a punishment based on religious, political and social belief. Definitely, Torture is acceptable when used for the greater good of humanity to preserve the lives of innocent people.