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« Derek Matravers on the Definition of Art | Main | Janet Radcliffe Richards on Men and Women's Natures »

March 30, 2008

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ollie

Im a person of contradiction. I always believe people should pay or suffer with the crime they did. However sometime when I'm hurt, I can feel the pain and I really hate it, I'm sure they will feel the same so if you ask me I have no idea. Yet, I do still strongly believe they should suffer with what they did.. wat do you guys think?

Jason

Gaita never answered the question directly, "Is there ever a time where torture can be condoned?".

The question is very simple and yet his answer was a protracted speech about Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative and the Nazis. A tactical torture session in a high stakes race for critical data is in no way analogous to a dictator's genocidal regime and the only appeal here is emotional. Sure, Hitler was as evil as evil can be but this comparison is flawed on nearly every level.

If a violator took someone away from me who I cared deeply about - I would gladly murder them with my bare hands (to get back my person) and sleep well the same night with as much moral integrity (perhaps more) as I had when the day began. In fact, I'd bury them the next day and tell their family I'm sorry for what's happened.

For some people the profession of thinking betrays the reality we all face in a dangerous (by its nature, for us it's dangerous) world. We've all signed away quite a bit of freedom - the generalized social contract of the western world. The guarantee of safety by those limiting our freedom (maintaining the contract) is absolutely critical and WILL be insured by any means whether or not anyone ever finds out what means led to that end.

Jason

Eric

I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoy the idea of torturing terrorists and probably always will :P. But after listening to Darius Rejali, author of "Terrorism and Democracy", at http://www1.cuny.edu/forums/podcasts/?p=378 (a City University of New York podcast), I can no longer consider it a valid military or law enforcement strategy.

Audrey

@ Jason

He did answer the question. If he thinks that the very thought of torture degrades the culture that harbors it, then obviously torture is never permissible to even consider.

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