Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tortured words, tortured logic, tortured morals

I've said this before, but the whole torture "debate" among our leaders — and some of the so-called politically minded among us — sickens me.

What's there to debate? How is this even acceptable? To actually contemplate the worthiness of subjecting other human beings to simulated drowning and insufferable levels of heat, cold and noise — let alone the unnamed "enhanced interrogation techniques" — is chilling. It says something about the values of the people who insist that our country continue such actions.

The language being used by those who support these practices is straight out of a George Orwell book. We don't torture in this nation, says President Bush. Waterboarding can't be torture because we do that, and what we do isn't torture. Our very language is being turned meaningless!

No matter what detainees, prisoners, terrorists or anyone else has done, someone in the charge of the world's leading democracy should not fear for their safety, even if they are being punished. The golden rule should be extended to everyone — remember that Jesus did not make exceptions about turning the other cheek.

Because he knew then what some of us still know now — treating detainees as they would surely treat us makes us just as morally bankrupt as they are.

1 comment:

Erdos56 said...

Indeed. The only ethical gedankenexperiment I have encountered that allows for torture is the "ticking bomb problem". Essentially, if the bomb is about to go off and kill people, and you know subject A planted the bomb, is it permissible to try to torture A to get the location of the bomb? Now, this dilemma centers on the problem of "limited information" in that you need either certainty that A knows the location or a more relaxed standard like "probable cause." It also requires that you think torture might work.

But beyond the cleanroom of thought experiments, the whole idea is genuinely repulsive.