The Case against Submitting to an Inner Barbarian: Why Torture Is Never Justified In a post-9/11 world, where it seems that terrorism is rampant and increasing numbers of extremists threaten the safety and wellbeing of American citizens, is it ever justified to bend the rules of legality and morality while fighting the war on terror? Whether or not the use of torture as an interrogation tactic is justified in these circumstances is questionable because of controversy about its legality, morality, and effectiveness; the use of torture would violate several international and domestic laws as well as compromise American morals and beliefs. Despite this controversy, the United States has employed these tactics in recent years to questionable effect; however, the use of it is illegal, immoral and ineffective. Torture should not be used in any circumstance because it violates American morals, political treaties, and laws, would diminish the reputation of the United States in the world, has not been proven effective by scientific evidence, and would create a future of uncertainty regarding the use of torture. Torture is never justified because it defies moral values of both humans and the United States. Humans have the obligation to “respect the honor and dignity of other human beings” (Fried), even if that respect and dignity is not returned. Once tactics such as torture are resorted to, which compromise the dignity of another human, the dignity of the person performing that act is also compromised (Fried). There are some things, such as torture, that should never be done simply because the right to “call ourselves decent human beings” depends on not doing them (Jacoby). If humans sink to the lowest level that is torture, the essential abilities to feel empathy, respect, and honor are lost, all core parts of humanity that separate man from all other animals. As a country, the United States also has distinct morals that hold it above resorting to torture.


Cited: Cohn, Marjorie. Interview with Mark Karlin. "The 'normalization ' of torture". from the square. New York University. 16 Mar, 2012. Web. 30 May 2012.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Pros And Cons Of Torture

    • 1077 Words
    • 5 Pages

    to Merriam-Webster.com, “Torture is defined as the act of causing severe physical pain as a form of punishment or as a way to force someone to do or say something.” While torture is widely criticized by the United Nations and Amnesty International, organizations that are supposedly for the progression of human rights, there is no denying that the United States, in compliance with the Central Intelligence Agency, has received valuable intel from the use of torture. Torture is sometimes a necessary…

    • 1077 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Pros And Cons Of Torture

    • 1029 Words
    • 5 Pages

    towards the topic of torture. This on going dispute discusses if torture ought to ever be resorted to or if all forms of torture should be abolished for good. This paper will be discussing a side that most liberal democratic don’t agree with. In a liberal democratic society having the power to resort to torture is fair if they are receiving valuable information in return, protect the majority of the population who are innocent and have explored all other options before torture. Charles Krauthammer…

    • 1029 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    but there was torture and terror involved which some people argue that torture is far worse than just being given the death penalty. So is being tortured actually worse than just being given the death penalty? The importance of considering this question is that if torture is worse than the death penalty then the death penalty would be a lesser punishment and any punishment “above or below what would be acceptable for the crime committed would be immoral because it does not…

    • 1062 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Should We Ban Torture All Together? NO, WE SHOULDN’T. WHY? No, we shouldn’t get rid of Torture because it gives certain people power, it can give people power over other people and can also get information out of people, if someone were to have a secret that you need to know one way of getting it out of them can be torture. Torture can be used in a productive and good way - e.g. If someone were to have a national secret and the good people need to know it because it can break the whole world one…

    • 852 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    very strict and knowing that, I believe the torture that a prisoner would have to go through would be too much to bare. Now this doesn't mean that I would just go and try to escape right as I arrived but overtime after developing a plan that has a chance of working I would try to escape. I believe there is a better chance of escaping because either way you have a chance of dying. It all depends on if you want to die quickly or die by labor and torture. At least with escaping, there is hope for freedom…

    • 151 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Torture and civil liberties Civil liberties are rights one owns, that are stated in the Bill of Rights. After 9/11 terrorist attacks President Bush and the Republican Congressed passed the patriotic Act.it undermined basic rights and freedom of the people. The government increased spying, wiretapping and surveillance of citizens. The united nations convention against torture of 1987,the Geneva conventions of 1949,the international convent of civil and political rights, are some of the many treaties…

    • 424 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Torture Vs Torture

    • 1648 Words
    • 7 Pages

    police. There was one case where once the suspect confessed to his crime, another gang member confessed to his own crime. Yes, there are flaws in this technique, such as false confessions that can taint evidence, but it is the much safer route than torture. Even the Royal Mounted Canadian Police agrees that this is a method they will continue to…

    • 1648 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Torture

    • 1929 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Torture is Justifiable The limited use of torture should be permitted in the US in order to protect the wellbeing of the public. Torture can be both an effective means of gathering information, and it can be reasonably justified in some circumstances. Some of these circumstances can be any time where there is a huge amount of human wellbeing are in danger. With out a doubt, some people may be worried that allowing torture may make way for several human rights violations. However, this is not…

    • 1929 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    torture

    • 2504 Words
    • 11 Pages

    Is Torture Reliable or Humane? Imagine being forced into confession with your head down, and blood rushing to your brain. Picture the struggle of being held down and defenseless, against your will. Imagine having a thick towel pressed firmly over your face and continuous water being poured on the towel as you helplessly gasp for air simulating the effect of drowning. Imagine being bound and thrown into the ocean with a ‘weight’ that pulls you in only one direction: down to the bottom of the ocean…

    • 2504 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Torture

    • 3505 Words
    • 15 Pages

    26 November 2012 LÖG111F The term “torture” according to Article 1 of the UN Convention against Torture and scope of the Convention. Helene Inga Stankiewicz Björg Thorarensen 311088-3439 TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Introduction………………………………………………………………….…...…3 2. The Convention against Torture…………………………………………..….….…3 3.1. Structure of the Convention………………………………………….……..…4 3. Article 1: Definition of Torture……………………………………………..............4 4.2.…

    • 3505 Words
    • 15 Pages
    Powerful Essays