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Can torture ever be justified?

by VerityG (follow)
A life lived in fear is a life half lived.
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The CIA are in trouble again for using torture as part of its interrogation of terrorist suspects. They argue that by torturing a few individuals, they can save the lives of many.
Can torture ever be justified?

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Top Answers
I find this a very hard question to answer. My instinct is to say no, it can never be justified. What is the point of trying to defend certain values, if you have to act against those values to defend them?
But then the practical, cold hard logic of the argument that says ignoring the humanity of a handful of people is better than risking the lives of millions makes me pause....
I'm in the same boat as Verity, but if pressed, I would say torture cannot be justified on anyone unless they are proven hardcore terrorists who would not hesitate to do the same to us - and the information needed would have to vital.
I have to say I'm not in favour of Torture.

The people who work for the CIA and have to do that job must be psychopaths.
No matter what we think of the use of torture as a means of gaining valuable information (and just for the record I think it is abhorrent) IT DOESN'T ACTUALLY WORK!!!! We know that people will say whatever they can to stop the torture, which .... strikes me as even more risky, because false information isn't going to save any more lives, than no information does!?
I would have to agree with Verity too. It is such a difficult question to answer, as it feels very hypocritical to condemn someone for an act that will also in turn be carried out on them.
It is hard to say. Should you sacrifice one to save a million or risk a million lives because you do not want to infringe on the human rights of one person. I do not think there is any right answer here.
by Gia
In my opinion, torture can never be justified, unless by torture we mean solitary confinement and unless we can be sure, without a doubt, that those being put in solitary confinement know something that can directly save lives. Even then, I don't like it.

by Vee
Yes, it can -when we are talking about terrorists who are prepared to kill thousands of innocent people, including children, I definitely think torture is justified.
by Finy
Yes, I can see a circumstance where torture would be OK in my opinion. I would be OK with torture being inflicted on any man or woman that is physically cruel to children. The Valerio case comes to mind. Yes that prison sentence should have accommodated torture for the perpetrator and I would be just the one to dole it out.
No to torture
I agree with Verity 100% sometimes it must be done but I do not agree with it being done on suspects only on those proven to have done something. for example we know a bomb has been planted and by whom but not the location. in my eyes the person has forfeited their rights.
Torture sounds so cruel, but I do get upset when these paedophiles get off, or when there has been a cruel case of murder and rape, but then again I wonder about capital punishment sometimes!
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