Torture and Ethics

In: Other Topics

Submitted By Lioness7585
Words 1598
Pages 7
Torture and Ethics Paper
Alfreepha Williams
July 21, 2013
Patricia DeAngelis

Torture and Ethics There are many views or definition of the word “torture”, which is often debated by many individuals. According to “International Rehabilitation Council For Torture Victims” (2005-2012), “torture is an act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining information or a confession, punishing him for an act committed” (para. 2). “Torture is anguish of body or mind; something that causes agony or pain; the infliction of intense pain (from burning, crushing, or wounding) to punish, coerce, or afford sadistic pleasure; or distortion or over refinement of a meaning or an argument” (“Torture,” 2013). There are debates about torture and whether or not is unethical or a cruel and unusual punishment. People have been taught to believe that torturing a person is unacceptable and inhumane. However, the torturing of an enemy to get answers is not considered cruel and inhumane especially, when it involves saving the lives of many. This paper will analyze whether torturing enemy combatants or high-value targets violates standards of morality in an American free society. It will also examine whether the act of torture violates basic human rights and if it could have global implications, and last determine if torture may be justified under ontological, deontological, utilitarianism, or the natural law theory.
Torture and the Enemy
Is the torturing an enemy combatant or high value target violates the standards of morality in an American free society? To understand this question better, "morality are codes of conduct put forward by a society, religious group, or individual for his or her own behavior, or it is a code of conduct given specified conditions, would be put forward by all…...

Similar Documents

Torture Ethics

...believe that the use of torture in a post September 11 world is ethically more permissible in the eyes of most U.S. citizens. The attacks created a great worry among all the citizens and they wanted to do whatever it took to secure the national borders from all terrorism. Stereotypes abounded and many started to wonder about any foreigners, even those that were already in the country. The systematic implementation of torture in the wake of the 9/11/01 attack has become more apparent with the surfacing of documents since the Abu Ghraib scandal broke in April of 2004. The abuse of U.S. prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison was only the first case of 9/11-predicated torture that became widely publicized. In fact the U.S. government is implicated in crimes against detainees in many locations across the world. In 2006 Army and Navy investigators concluded that at least 26 prisoners in custody in Iran and Iraq were likely murdered by their captors, where only one of the deaths was in the Abu Ghraib prison. In 2005 it was reported that 108 U.S. detainees had died in custody, based on information provided by U.S. military officials. The most publicized case of torture at the hands of U.S. officials since 9/11/01 has been the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, in which Iraqi prisoners were reportedly subjected to abuse, torture, sodomy, and homicide by U.S. military personnel. In Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum, the oil giant is accused of being an accomplice to torture,......

Words: 505 - Pages: 3


...John Badidis 1/4/13 Ethics Dr. Yoder Box 1150 Can Torture Ever Be Justified? The topic of torture has been discussed rigorously over recent years, and many are torn on the issue. In my personal opinion, one can justify torture on human standards if there is no God in the picture. However due to the fact that I am a believer in Jesus Christ, I cannot justify the action. Why would God ever have it be His will to put a man or woman who in a situation to torture his own creation and be ok with it? All throughout scripture we see that God never tortures man in the way some of us feel is occasionally necessary to save lives. Sure God is a God of Wrath, but His wrath was never inhumane. If we call ourselves believers, then I do not see how we can justify this action. I think that it is also important to remember that God is the only giver of life and death. Who are we to think that we can take these matters in our own hands? We must ask ourselves what is right? Next is the issue of sin. Here are a series of questions. -Does every man and women sin? Yes -Is every sin the same in Gods eyes? Yes -Would you consider electrocuting, cutting, burning, and drowning a man or woman created by God a sin? Yes -Does God ever want his children to sin? No, it saddens our Father every time we sin. With this conclusion, one must see that there is no difference between the torturer (the one who cuts, burns, drowns, etc.…), and the tortured (terrorist who plants a bomb to kill millions.)...

Words: 502 - Pages: 3

To Torture or Not

...Chase Vanzant Phil201 August 16, 2013 To Torture or Not??? According to the Utilitarianism perspective, “the utilitarian is concerned with maximizing the benefits for the maximum number of people” (Holmes, Pg. 43), which invokes an appropriate theoretic principle for the probability of diminishing the resolve of the prisoner through torture. These efforts of torture would also be associated with consequentialism, which is results oriented; driven to achieve the best results by any means necessary and doing whatever is needed to get the job done by allowing the ends to justify the means. Obtaining the needed information by means of torture for the benefit of saving human lives would be the underlying principle of achieving the greatest good for the greater number of individuals involved. Kantian duty-based ethics states, “we must act out of regard for duty and respect for moral law, (…) always treat persons as ends and not just as means” (Holmes, Pg. 63), which would be associated with deontology that is ruled based. As an American being threatened with terrorist attacks, which would cause massive loss of life, a duty to America and its citizens would be to obtain any and all necessary intelligence that would aid in preventing such an act. Acting on a moral and civic duty to country and person(s) as well as a respect for life, deontologists would not necessarily be......

Words: 448 - Pages: 2

To Torture or Not to Torture

...To torture or not to torture is an ethical dilemma for whoever is in charge of making that call. The results may or may not seem justified to some or unjustified to others. With the theological/consequential view, is “result oriented”, if it takes torture to get the results intended, that’s the course of action is taken to do so. This is an action that one can view as ethically unbiased to the one who makes the call to torture or not to torture and the worthiness explicitly based on the results they want. As for deontological, they are” rule oriented” They examine the action and the rules. They might rule out the thought of torture and decide not to torture but do what is needed to attained the result within reason. Utilitarian,” is concerned with maximizing the benefits for the maximum number of people.” Utilitarianism puts into perspective that any form of strategy that is put into play and helps the majority to be happy is honorably right,” then we can likewise quantify the pain and simply subtract the sum of pain from the sum of pleasure/” Is this the right course of actions to take? Or should I ask, to torture only some will make a small number miserable as long as millions can be saved in return. The utilitarianism thinks so. Kant said it best,” that the categorical imperative is used to identify how we must act out of regard for duty and respect for the moral law.” The value of one’s deed is of no importance to morality. Knowing that you are doing wrong is......

Words: 545 - Pages: 3

Torture and Ethics Paper

...Torture and Ethics Paper Jennifer Yow ASJ 532 June 16, 2014 Since -9/11, torture has been official US policy by George Bush at the highest levels of government. On September 17, 2001, George Bush signed a secret finding empowering CIA to "Capture, Kill, or Interrogate Al-Queda Leaders." (Lendman, 2008). It also authorized establishing a secret global facilities to detain and interrogate them without guidelines on proper treatment. In the same time, Bush approved a secret "high-value target list" of about two dozen names. He also gave CIA free reign to capture, kill and interrogate terrorists that were not on the list (Lendman, 2008). What is torture: (a) the intentional infliction of extreme physical pain or suffering on some non-consenting, defenseless person; (b) the intentional, substantial curtailment of the exercise of a person's autonomy (achieved by means of (a)); (c) in general, undertaken for the purpose of breaking the victim's will." We will discuss terrorism and torture, look at arguments for and against each practice, and ethically evaluate those arguments (Lendman, 2008).. If pain is meant to break the will of the person, one must ask when we might have an interest in doing so. Certainly violating the freedom through violence is not acceptable for citizens; I may not justifiably torture you to obtain what I want from you, be it your property, your behavior, or your ideological consent (Lendman, 2008). Also, the police may not torture to obtain......

Words: 1562 - Pages: 7


...Hamzah Saleh We all know of the effects torture has on our physical bodies. We can see the bruises and wounds left by torture. That pain is instantaneous and even a person looking at the wounds on some one else will cringe as he tries to imagine the pain that was felt. But can torture do more than just damaging our physical bodies? Can torture also impact our minds and damage our well being psychologically? Many are surprised to find that the real pain of torture is what remains in the mind, somewhat forever. Definition of torture: First off, torture can be separated into two different categories. Physical torture, and Psychological torture. Physical torture is defined as the Infliction of severe physical pain as a means of punishment or coercion. Psychological torture is defined as the intentional infliction of suffering without resorting to direct physical violence. There have been many debates on which is worse physical? or Psychological? I’m here to say that torture is torture. It is wrong whether it is done with physical force or without. Either way it leaves a horrifying impact on the victims. Since we already know how torture can harm a person physically, I will focus on the psychological harm of torture in general. Research proves that the psychological affects of torture are greater than the physical affects. Torture has been shown to have “destructive health consequences on detainees.” Studies done on the Guantanamo Bay prisoners prove that the pain......

Words: 1491 - Pages: 6

Torture and Ethics

...Tour Torture and Ethics Paper CJA 530 January 31st, 2011 Eddie Koen Torture and Ethics Paper Torture is something that is known as wrong internationally. Torture is “deliberate, systematic or wanton infliction of physical or mental suffering by one or more persons acting on the orders of authority, to force a person to yield information, to confess, or any other reason” (World Medical Association, 1975, pg.1). There is a general consensus that there is a right to be free from any kind of torture as it can be found in many different human rights treaties around the world. The treaties show that all of the thoughts about torture are pointing away from the right to torture someone no matter what the case is. In American society we do have a high morality on life and how we should be treated. Torture is something that may not be written down in every countries laws, but is listed in different provisions of the law. In the American Society we all believe that we all shall be free from torture even if we are accused of a crime and do not want to talk about the crime that we are accused of committing. “International norms in this array of treaties and customary international law impose ranges of obligations on states. For instance, states must not only refrain from using torture, they must also take strong positive measures to prevent and punish torture” (McKay, 2005, pg.1037). If we have the right to be free from torture in here in......

Words: 1462 - Pages: 6


...Solomon Honors English II May 9, 2014 Torture Used an Interrogation Strategy One of the most controversially talked about topics is should torture be used. Torture is one of the most extreme forms of human violence (Gernity). Torture dates back to 530 A.D, when Roman jurists espoused to virtues of torture as the highest form of truth (Green). Torture was a well-established American tradition (Gewen). Torture can be used to gain valuable information in a timely manner, and other countries at war will not hesitate to use torture against their enemies to gain information. American Police and the U.S. Military have tortured people to gain information and evidence even though it is technically illegal. This shows that America is willing to break laws to gain information. Cruel and unusual punishment is banned in many countries including the United States of America (Torture is a Just Means for Preventing Terrorism). The Geneva Conventions ban the use of violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment, and torture (Torture is a Just Means for Preventing Terrorism). The United Convention Against Torture bans torture of all civilians, combatants, prisoners of war and terrorists (Torture is a Just Means for Preventing Terrorism). The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 5 states,” No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Torture is a Just Means for Preventing......

Words: 1249 - Pages: 5


...The Morality of Torture The authority of using torture as a punishment in the past has been a cause for conflict. Today, some people see torture as an efficient form of punishment; they believe it is especially necessary in the treatment of terrorist prisoners or prisoners for the purpose of pulling information. Some writers make up fake situations to blow the advantages of torture out of proportion, claiming that it is danger free, low cost and useful for getting fast response. However, after carefully thinking through the arguments used by many torture supporters, one will figure out that the arguments of torture supporters are false. Writers who support torture show less logic, but rather offended anger to evil violence. The use of torture as а form of punishment should be prohibited because contrary to the arguments of torture supporters, it does not serve а purpose, is against international law, and will only perpetuate hatred and retaliation. (Davis) According to, the International Statuette, Torture is any kind of use of force, mental or physical used on a human being to gain third party information or self-confession. No country prefers to use it but is forced to do in order to safeguard the lives of its citizens and smoothen justice. (Greenberg) Most criminal suspects go through some level of torture. Torture may involve Physical methods like starvation, beatings, burning, sodomy as well as psychological methods such as verbal abuse, solitary confinement, and......

Words: 1622 - Pages: 7

Custodial Torture

...PATIALA CUSTODIAL TORTURE: VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS SUPERVISED BY: SUBMITTED BY: Ms. Sangeeta Taak Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law Patiala (Punjab) PROJECT SUBMITTED IN THE PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF REQUIREMENTS OF THE SUBJECT OF CRIMINAL LAW FOR EIGHTH SEMESTER, B.A.LL.B (HONS.) COURSE SURBHI MEHTA Assistant Professor of Law (Roll No. 581) TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1 1.1. Objectives 2 1.2. Research Methodology 2 1.3. Hypothesis 2 1.4. Definitions 3 1.4.1. Police 3 1.4.2. Torture 4 CHAPTER 2: HISTORICAL BACKGROUND 6 CHAPTER 3: CUSTODIAL TORTURE AND RELATED DIMENSIONS 10 3.1. Categories 10 3.1.1. Physical torture 10 3.1.2. Custodial Death 12 3.1.3. Custodial Rape 13 3.2. Causes 14 3.2.1. Structural 14 3.2.2. Other Causes 15 3.3. Consequences 16 3.3.1. Physical Consequences 16 3.3.2. Psychological Consequences 16 3.3.3. Economic Consequences 16 3.3.4. Social Consequences 16 CHAPTER 4: LEGISLATIVE PROVISIONS 17 4.1. The Constitution of India, 1950 17 4.2. The Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 18 4.3. Indian Evidence Act, 1872 19 4.4. Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 20 4.4.1. The National Human Rights Commission 20 CHAPTER 5: JUDICIAL PRONOUNCEMENTS 22 5.1. Monetary Compensation and Judicial Response 25 5.2. Judgements Awarding Compensation 27 5.3. Judgments Awarding Punishment 28 CHAPTER 6: INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION AGAINST TORTURE 29 6.1. Major......

Words: 16033 - Pages: 65


...Torture Despite the strong commitments of the US legal system of torture, ever since 9/11, torture became an acceptable tool to be used. The practice of torture is difficult to address because there is not a concrete definition of what torture is. Thinking torture can be justified is not the same as thinking it is necessary. A survey posted by The Huffington Post, concluded that respondents were more uncertain about whether information gained through torturing suspected terrorists is generally reliable or unreliable. The survey also found significant uncertainty over whether the U.S. had used torture to track down Big Laden, as the new movie “Zero Dark Thirty” portrays. As defined by, “torture is the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty.” However, there are many other definitions. Defined by the United Nations Convention Against Torture, torture is an act where intentional pain is inflicted on a purpose. According to the Third Geneva Convention, torture is known to cause no “no physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever”. Who draws the line as to which specific practices are harsh enough to correspond to those words? Some have suggested that torture is worse than killing, and that torturing the innocent is morally worse than murder. The most prevalent......

Words: 2390 - Pages: 10

The Paper of Ethics and Torture

...The paper of ethics and torture 544 3/14/2016 Melba V. Pearson The paper of ethics and torture The following of September 11 tortures has become the method use, within the United States policy from former President Georgia W. Bush within the highest stages of the American government. During 9/11 former President Bush signed a document that would give the CIA the control, to capture kill also interrogate terrorist leaders and group member of that outfit as well. It even gave the CIA the authority to obtain private locations around, the world to capture also interrogate the terrorism with the human right being taken away from them within theses private areas they used. Then former president as well develop and top property lines, of high valued names of terrorist. This government agency granted the right to detain, interrogate also kill the terrorist that was not on the high-value list. Many people within a society have different definitions of torture. However, torture is a person that intentionally physically harms a defenseless, also not consenting individual severely. The considerable deliberate curtailment, with the exercises of a person self-sufficiency, obtain by any means necessary commonly to assume the reason for breaking the will of the not consenting individual. Also in this paper, we will talk about terrorism. Torture look at both sides in favor and not in the use of torture it evaluates each side ethically (Jeremy Diamond, 2014). In the practice of...

Words: 1874 - Pages: 8


...Torturing Terrorist The word torture makes teeth cringe with images of a person tied down to a chair with ruptured lips, bruised face, in a room full of people taking turns in “beating the truth” out of them. Torturers have an illusion of finding the “truth” through creative forms of inflicting agonizing pain on a terrorist. During times of crisis this technique can be tempting to practice. The ticking time bomb scenario is always a form in an attempt to justify torture (Smith). These methods can cause a negative impact in communities in our nation. Torture should not be an option. Torture is defined as: the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty ( In human nature every being is wired to survive. The primal instinct takes over a person when they are being tortured and know that they are in a life or death situation. Regardless if they know anything about what the interrogators want to know, they will say anything to keep themselves from being tortured. Excruciating pain is not the only way of obtaining information because torture has two forms that could be either physical or psychological ( There have been data-based attempts to probe the definition of torture. In a sophisticated empirical study of 432 torture survivors, Metin Basoglu (2009) analyzed the psychological meaning of 46 torture techniques. Statistical......

Words: 1316 - Pages: 6

Is Torture Justified? a specific lifestyle imposes certain conditions on humans. In this paper, I will be tackling the topic of torture and how modern civilizations cannot cope with such an idea so disastrous and humiliating to mankind. Justifying the act of torture cannot resemble but an annoying image of humanity. In what’s below, I will argue with and against the practice of torture and will come to a conclusion that no matter what, torture will always reflect negatively on the society as the only way of justifying it is through perfect knowledge of the consequences that no one knows but God. I also considered the scenario of ticket- time bomb because it is considered to be the heaviest argument that justifies torture. So, let’s see how torture isn’t justified. One night, I went into my house and saw a man, on TV, beating a defenceless tied person. The man was actually beating the guy and enjoying the extreme pain he’s suffering from. He even cut the guy’s feet with a butcher’s knife. My whole family was watching the movie. My dad seemed to enjoy the movie. My brother was just shouting for the man and encouraging him to beat the guy further. My mom had no reaction towards what’s happening. And still my sister who looked really annoyed and demanded to change the channel over and over. This gives rise to the question of whether torture should be accepted or not. And does accepting torture imply that it is justified? The movie, called “Hostel”, turned out to be talking about a group of Man......

Words: 2644 - Pages: 11


...Essay #5 In Michael Levin’s essay “The Case for Torture,” he states that most view torture as unacceptable and is rejected by our society. Levin also says that in some circumstances torture is not only necessary but also morally compelling. He recognizes that torture is unlawful but that does not matter when millions of lives may be at stake. He believes it’s a lot worse to let millions of innocents die then to just torture one guilty terrorist. Levin also makes clear that torture should not be used to punish. Levin notes the difference between the terrorist and its victim: The victim is unwillingly risking his or her life as opposed to the terrorist he or she is risking his or her life voluntarily which implies that he or she is giving up rights by committing such action. Levin also says that doing nothing to stop evil is the biggest issue. After reviewing Levin’s essay carefully I feel he does not have enough convincing information. The scenarios he uses as examples are not likely to happen in real life so he doesn’t have much credibility. Torture is defined as the intentional infliction of severe mental or physical pain or suffering by or with the consent of the state authorities for a specific purpose.
Torture is often used to punish, to obtain information or a confession, to take revenge on a person or persons or create terror and fear. Some of the most common methods of physical torture include beating, electric shocks, stretching, submersion or......

Words: 726 - Pages: 3

FC Barcelona Official 2019 Wall Calendar A3 New Sealed Messi | Computer - 3450 Words | 1700W Extra Large Deep Air Fryer LCD Display Temperature Control 6.3Qt 8 Presets