There has been extensive debate on the issue of torture and its moral permissibility. There have been requests on banning cruel treatment and torture of prisoners of war. With respect to what is torture, there have been varied philosophical views from Michael Davis (2005) and David Sussman (2005)…
A third viewpoint has arisen recently which combines views of both the groups and debates that torture can in some extreme emergencies be morally justified, however it should not be legalized or institutionalized.
As per the definition of torture, it involves some practices like using electric shocks, cutting some body parts, using hot iron, administrating severe pain, depriving of food, water and sleep for days together or beating. All this includes physically assaulting a person by the torturer by having a control over the person. The person who is being tortured is defenceless and also not agreeable to such assault. Apart from these, extreme mental assault can also be considered torture. However, the extent of it and consent of the person being tortured to brand the assault as torture is well arguable. On the other hand, it might be argued that some cases of intentional infliction of extreme mental suffering on non-consenting, defenceless persons are cases of torture, whereas some instances are not.
According to an article on Torture by Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy published in February, 2006, "In various national and international laws, e.g. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (United Nations 1984 - see Other Internet Resources), a distinction is made between torture and inhumane treatment, albeit torture is a species of inhumane treatment. Such a distinction needs to be made. For one thing, some treatment, e.g. flogging, might be inhumane without being sufficiently extreme to count as torture. For another thing, some inhumane treatment does not involve physical suffering to any great extent, and is therefore not torture, properly speaking (albeit, the treatment in question may be as morally bad as, or even morally worse than, torture). Some forms of the infliction of mental suffering are a case in point, as are some forms of morally degrading treatment, for example causing a prisoner to pretend to have sex with an animal." (Unknown author, Torture, 2006)
Though the main reason for torture is to break the victim's will, the other reasons for torture according to the above-mentioned U.N. Convention list them as to get a confession for a crime, to gather some information; to force a person or a group of people to behave in a way desired by the torturer as well as to punish for the crime.
Now the question arises on why torture is considered as wrong. Torture includes two aspects which are morally wrong as it involves administrating acute physical assault which is done intentionally on another person as well as it is administered on a fellow human being involving intentional, substantial curtailment of individual autonomy.
Authorities in the field feel that torture is worse than killing. According to Michael Davis,
"Both torture and (premature) death are very great evils but, if one is a greater evil than the other, it is certainly torture" (Davis, Michael, 2005: 165), and David Sussman feels, "Yet while there is a very strong moral presumption against both killing and torturing a human being, it seems that we take the presumption against torture to be even greater than that against homicide" (Sussman, David, 2005: 15). Another point related to why torture ...
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(“Torture Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 words”, n.d.)
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(Torture Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 Words)
“Torture Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.net/politics/293923-torture-essay.
Definition of torture offered by the United Nations Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) is, by far the most comprehensive and widely used definition. The definition also mentions several ways and reasons for which people may be tortured.
Victims of torture may be told that no one remembers them or cares, and that if they survive, no one will believe them. The psychological aspects of torture may range from the seeming inevitability of a fixed routine (e.g., the dread of interrogation and physical torture at set times each day) to an inability to anticipate what will happen next.
But it is also a logic that has been used to justify spying without a warrant, mass detentions, incarceration without trial, and abusive interrogation. In each case, we are told, some safeguards and rights that were formerly regarded as civil liberties have to be given up in the interests of security.
Correspondingly, it’s increasingly becoming a focus of the public debate. Being considered of crucial importance to both the very existence of liberal states and societies and regard for liberal values, the torture issue has divided the academia, the judiciary and the public opinion as well.
In post-9/11 America, the controversial topic of torture has become a significant ethical issue that has created much debate. On one side of this national issue are those who believe that torture is necessary and justifiable to safeguard the lives of innocent people.
Providing examples of where torture is justified, the author speaks of scenarios such as an atomic bomb hidden by a terrorist in Manhattan Island. In this scenario, the bomb would go off unless the terrorist’s demands are met. The reasoning is that by using torture on
s to obtain vital information, which would prevent destruction on a massive scale and save human life, became more or less a standard practice of the respective security services. Correspondingly, it’s increasingly becoming a focus of public debate. Being considered of crucial
lustration and definition of human dignity and self-esteem outlining the point at which such dignity and self-esteem may be deemed to have been violated through degrading treatment and punishment. It will also illustrate by manner of definition and explanation, the terms
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