ENGL 1301 Composition I
November 9, 2013
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.” 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...
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