Is torture ever justifiable?

Is torture ever justifiable?

  • Yes

    Votes: 58 56.9%
  • No

    Votes: 33 32.4%
  • Undecided

    Votes: 11 10.8%

  • Total voters
    102
  • Poll closed .

m4rky_m4rk

Member
I think not. It seems to destroy any presumed moral high ground a country has. If it were me I'd say anything to stop the pain; so I can't see how any information gathered in this way can be reliable.

The Americans appear to be very fond it of it and are dragging complicit British agencies into the mire with them.

It seems to go against the "Christian values" we dearly espouse and is a step back into the dark ages. Ironic that the most powerful Christian nation feels it needs to use such methods.

...snip...

Mr Amiri says he was kidnapped by Saudi and US agents, tortured, forced to say he had defected and was living in Tucson, Arizona

...snip...
BBC News - Iran nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri 'flees US captors'
 
Last edited:

BB3Lions

Distinguished Member
Torture never truly gives the right answers, when you are in severe pain you will say anything to stop it, so people make things up to stop the pain.

BB
 

Singh400

Distinguished Member
No, never. Think about it, if you was being tortured, you would say or admit to anything under torture. To this end, torture can never and nor should be relied upon for getting correct information.
 

Mr Noble

Distinguished Member
People could fabricate anything when they have "fled".

But then again who knows what to beleive.

Could you imagine being on the run when a whole country is after you , i'd be scared to turn the lights on where i was hiding nevermind make a youtube vid :eek:

If there was severe risk to me or the country i was in , and torture meant getting the answers i would not totally rule it out.
 

jp_bl_68

Novice Member
Torture never truly gives the right answers, when you are in severe pain you will say anything to stop it, so people make things up to stop the pain.

BB
Assuming the person being tortured knows what the torturer wants to hear.
 

daveaka

Novice Member
Has anyone seen the film Unthinkable ?. Its quite an interesting flick and it got me thinking about torture. If one man held information that could save millions of lives would you not agree for him to be tortured to get said information ?. I know I would.

I kind of agree with the opinion that under torture a person will do or say anything in order to end the pain, but in some cases 'please tell me' just won't work.
 

captainarchive

Distinguished Member
No it's never justified. The ticking clock scenario often used to justify it is pure fantasy, it never has or never will be a real life situation where you have to torture someone to quickly get information out of them to prevent loss of life.
 

phairplay

Member
No it's never justified. The ticking clock scenario often used to justify it is pure fantasy, it never has or never will be a real life situation where you have to torture someone to quickly get information out of them to prevent loss of life.
How can you know for sure methods like this have not already been used. And were successful
 

Singh400

Distinguished Member
Has anyone seen the film Unthinkable ?. Its quite an interesting flick and it got me thinking about torture. If one man held information that could save millions of lives would you not agree for him to be tortured to get said information ?. I know I would.

I kind of agree with the opinion that under torture a person will do or say anything in order to end the pain, but in some cases 'please tell me' just won't work.
Yes I have seen it, and while I don't particular like the idea. The fact that it could saves lives means perhaps it does mean that some sort of pressure is OK. Doesn't mean I like it, of course we all turn a blind eye to this kind of thing.
 

kav

Distinguished Member
Jack Bauer has had to do it loads of times, so it must be okay.

I can see it being necessary if it were a matter of life and death, ie torture the few to protect the many, but how often these kinds of situations arise in real life is anybody's guess.
 

ste v p

Novice Member
Depends on what the information would be used for. The "evidence" is usually inadmissable in a trial so there seems little use there.

Then when the information might be used to alter an event perhaps something that that saves lives then perhaps the line gets a little blurry. Hollywood provides us with all sorts of situations where torture seems a necessary evil. I'm thinking films like Taken (Liam Neeson) or one of those with a line like "give me the de-activation codes!".

Where is the line drawn? What constitutes torture? Is it putting someone in an uncomfortabe situation so they produce some information? I've seen kids twisting anothers' arm to find out where their scoolbag has been hidden.
 

ste v p

Novice Member
No it's never justified. The ticking clock scenario often used to justify it is pure fantasy, it never has or never will be a real life situation where you have to torture someone to quickly get information out of them to prevent loss of life.
Really? I think that's a rather large sweeping statement. I have no idea how our security services work but I can imagine with the terror threat this country faces that there might be occasions where MI5 might have to intercept a terror cell.
 

PoochJD

Well-known Member
HI,

As much as torture is wrong on practically every level imaginable, I have to say that there may well be times when I may consider torture to be justifiable (if not actually acceptable).

I'm sure I'll be labelled as a horrible and unjust guy for admitting this, but you have to look at things like this:

The modern world is no longer black-and-white, in terms of the way people act and live. There are no longer just people who are good, and people who are bad. It's a million shades of grey out there, and when push comes to shove, there may come a time when - having exceeded all other legal, moral and other justifiable remedies - that torturing someone may be the only viable option left.

Put it this way: if you had been in the position of capturing the person who you knew had information that might lead to the death of hundreds of innocent civilians (e.g. Bin Laden, the day before 9/11), and that info could save those people, but time was against you, and there was no other feasible options left, would you not try coercing the information out of them, for the greater good? I know I would, and would have no qualms (sp?) about doing so.

As the saying goes "sometimes the end justifies the means", even if we may totally abhor those means! It may be wrong on every single human level to torture another human being, but ultimately, if one death could save many more, then I wouldn't hesitate for one second to do what was needed, even if it went against every moral view I held, or broke every law in the land!

I'm sure that the vast majority wouldn't hesitate in harming an intruder who had broken into your home, if that was the only option left to stop your family from immediate and imminent harm/danger! What's better: the death or serious injury of one person, versus the potential harm to many? Between an intruder, and my family, all bets would be off, and I would do everything necessary to protect my family, no matter what!


Pooch
 

GasDad

Remembered (1964-2012)
No it's never justified. The ticking clock scenario often used to justify it is pure fantasy, it never has or never will be a real life situation where you have to torture someone to quickly get information out of them to prevent loss of life.
During WWII - we (The British) were famous for not torturing German Spies.
Even during the run up to D-Day (surely a ticking clock scenario)

However they were given a choice, 'Turn and work for us' or Die. Only 16 or so of the 200 or 500 (depending on sources) were hung. The rest turned.
 

EarthRod

Distinguished Member
When does interrogation become torture?

Also, tickling someone's toes with a feather could be considered torture because of the unbearable responses it can produce with some people. A bit of slap and tickle.
 

dBrowne

Active Member
The other side's use of torture can be taken advantage of. The Brits fed their agents false info that the knew would eventually be confessed to the Germans when they were captured and "questioned".
 

Jenn

Novice Member
However they were given a choice, 'Turn and work for us' or Die. Only 16 or so of the 200 or 500 (depending on sources) were hung. The rest turned.
It's still mental torture though isn't it? Put the fear of death into people so they turn their back on their "people" (which is what they were asked to do).

I'd be interested to know though, how would the British army know for sure that the people didn't just say "ok i'll do it" but were lying and would have taken the first opportunity to sabotage and flee?
 

m4rky_m4rk

Member
but what is moral high-ground when it comes to war/spying/terror?
Yes, I should have said presumed/assumed moral high ground. Edited post to say this now. :)

I am I correct in in saying torture is against EU law? So, if there is any British involment in US torture cases then it could be big trouble for the Brits!
 

GasDad

Remembered (1964-2012)
It's still mental torture though isn't it? Put the fear of death into people so they turn their back on their "people" (which is what they were asked to do).
Indeed.

I'd be interested to know though, how would the British army know for sure that the people didn't just say "ok i'll do it" but were lying and would have taken the first opportunity to sabotage and flee?
In this instance we are talking about German spies on the UK mainland (hanging of spies is allowed by the Geneva Convention btw)

And because we'd cracked the Enigma code (and most of its variations) we knew what the spies were reporting back - and it was exactly what we'd told them. Which meant for instance even after the Normandy Landings had started, the German High command, felt it was a diversion, because their spies had been telling them differently.
 

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