I do not believe in torture and consider it something barbaric and inhuman. Therefore I would say that torture is never acceptable under any circumstances, and regardless of what the consequences might be. Torture and civilization do not mix because the latter highly emphasizes the value of human beings as it is something intrinsic. Democracy also does not mix with torture because democratic societies believe in human rights and equality. My point is that the end does not justify the means when it comes to the torture of a human being.
September 11, 2001 was a turning point in not only the history of the United States but also the history of the world. It has put the commitment of the civilized world with human rights into test. After the occurrence of fatal attack, there were loud voices that tried to legalize torture as an acceptable means in interrogating suspects. Torture can be defined as, “the officially sanctioned infliction of intense suffering, aimed at forcing someone to do or say something against his or her will. ” (Rodley, N. S. The Treatment of Prisoners Under International Law’ (2nd edition) (Oxford University Press, 2000(. Although I have to admit that torture has been used on large-scale in different parts of the world to obtain confessions from suspects, morally speaking, torture is not an acceptable procedure under any circumstances. In this essay, I shall shed light on two arguments to answer a very critical question, is torture ever acceptable? I will weigh two points of view regarding this argument, the consequentialists and the deontologists.Order now
Then decide if I still stand on my position or are there truly exceptions to torture. Suppose that some authorities know for sure that someone positively knows the location of a bomb that will explode to kill tens of people and that person refuses to voluntarily identify the place of the bomb, would it be acceptable to torture that person to extract information and save the lives of innocent people. In fact, this scenario puts us before very critical choices and makes us weigh the torture of one person against the life of tens of people.
However, there are two basic arguments about this issue I am going to talk about. The first argument considers that we can use torture as the last resort. Consequentialists, who hold the first argument, consider that no action is bad in itself. According to them, morality of actions is determined by their consequences. Thus, in the above mentioned scenario “the good” (saving innocent people) must be weighed up against “the bad” (torturing the suspect) in order to make a decision on the correct course of action.
The second argument considers that torture is not acceptable under any circumstances and regardless what the consequences might be. Deontologists, who hold this argument, consider that torture cannot be justified because the acceptance of any form of torture as an effective means to extract information from suspects, would universalize and legalize torture. The act of torture is wrong because torturing a person for information is to use them as a means to exploit them.
Personally, I think that the “ticking bomb” scenario is very narrow and is deceptively used to legalize torture as an acceptable means of eliciting information from suspects in critical situations. There are several considerations that should be taken into account before trying to legalize the act of torture; the scenario of the “ticking bomb” can be challenged and rests only on assumptions. Exceptions will pave the way before the wide implementation of torture in different parts of the world and in very different situations that might include personal interests.
We are opening the way of tyrant governments to use torture against their subjects for political purposes that potentially have nothing to do with saving peoples’ lives as supposed by the “ticking bomb” scenario. Eventually, if a suspect is exposed to enough torture it makes them sometimes say anything in order to make the pain stop, making the confession unreliable. Therefore, I am still against torture and a firm believer that it is never acceptable.