Torture: Against Human Right or For The Security of Other?

by marieboulanger on Septembre 11, 2013 - 8:46am

Torture had always been an effective way to obtain something from someone else. Therefore it had been used throughout history to whether retrieve information, get people to confess or simply as a punishment. People in ancient Rome have gone as far as making it a public event. Fortunately, since then things have change. The turning point of torture happened during the eighteenth century and now there are norms such as the Geneva Conventions and the UN Convention. The article I read defines torture as “any act that involves the deliberate infliction of extreme pain, and often includes mental anguish, mutilation, and the feeling of imminent death”. According to that definition, a public debate had taken place in the United States (US) during the twenty-first century. This debate brings the question that “certain methods of interrogation used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the US armed forces constitute torture”.

Those who oppose torture argue that it is inhuman and against human rights. They say that it is immoral to inflict severe physical and mental pain on someone for the sole purpose of obtaining information. It is also against the ethical principles of the golden rule which means that we do not do to other what we would not want others to do to us, do no harm and do not use people as means. Even some values are against torture like the values of peace, security, harmony, autonomy, etc.  On the other side, there are the people who think that, under certain circumstances, torture may be the solution. They are saying that the techniques use by the US forces cannot be defined as pure torture. They argue this kind of torture is sometime the best resource the US forces have to retrieve information and that even if it is not pleasant for the person being interrogated, the information obtained could prevent terrorist attack and save millions of innocent people. Once again, there are ethical principles in favor of torture, for example, always act in accordance to your own self-interest and family first. There is also the value of security, the security of Americans who could be a victim of terrorist attack.

                In my opinion, if the purpose is to prevent terrorist attack and save millions of lives, torture can be justified. I believe that the type of torture use by the CIA and the US forces is completely different   from torture used in the past and that someone cannot die because he is being tortured. I think that saving millions of innocents is worth causing pain to someone who has useful information on an event that may occur and even if it does not work and the person refuses to talk, it is worth the try. Now I do not want you to think that I am in favor of using people as means and of harming people on purpose, I simply think that we should do anything to save the life of millions of innocent people even if it includes harming one single person once in a while.