Morality of Torture

Topics: Human rights, Torture, Suffering Pages: 4 (1350 words) Published: April 21, 2005
The moral issue of torture is one that has come under scrutiny by many national and international organizations as of late. To talk about torture one must really understand what torture is. As taken from Dictionary.com "1.a. Infliction or severe physical pain as a means of punishment or coercion. b. An instrument or a method for inflicting such pain. 2. Excruciating physical or mental pain; agony. 3. Something causing severe pain or anguish." This is just the literal meaning of the word but doesn't entail the great horror that usually accompanies torture. As stated in the "Ticking Bomb" example given on the instruction sheets, "The interrogation won't be pretty, and the prisoner may never recover. Shall we do whatever is necessary?" On what moral level is bringing a human being to humiliation, unbearable physical and mental abuse, and most of the time an ultimate end ever an acceptable practice? Torture should be as unthinkable as slavery. In principle it is: since World War II, governments the world over have agreed to ban torture without exception, even when at war or facing acts of terrorism. International treaties banning torture and other, inhuman, and degrading practices are among the most widely ratified treaties in existence. It is not just the United States that endorses these practices; it is over 150 counties according to the United Nations expert on torture Theo van Boven. Since the United States has gone to "war on terror" in Afghanistan, the president and other top officials seem to think that we are not actually "at war" rather these detainees are outside the realm of prisoners of war (POW) status and they don't have rights under the Geneva Conventions. Now governments are returning alleged terrorists or national security suspects to countries where they are at risk of torture or ill treatment. This is just a reminder as to why the U.S. did not join the International Criminal Court because they have the "bad man" mindset knowing that they will or...
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