Quote# 141332

Well, I got to figure that with the nuke example, with the stakes that high, I really don't have much to lose. Maybe the torture won't work, but there's a chance that it might, and the bomb can be stopped. If we don't torture him, there's no chance. It's as good as if I set the bomb off myself.

Either way, I've got the blood of at least one person on my hands—I just have the chance to keep the blood of 999,999 others off of them.

Of course, there's also the Realpolitik take on the situation—stopping the bomb might prevent a nuclear retaliation on the terror group and/or any country that was harboring them, which could conceivably be much MORE than a million people. Especially if there was a risk of word getting out that a government agent had the chance to get information out of the terrorist that could have stopped the bomb, but didn't, because he thought it would be immoral—otherwise, the government risks getting voted out (or toppled) in exchange for the kind of leaders who'd vow to never let that massacre happen again. At any cost.

In practical terms, that'd probably set back the cause of human rights and ethical government action back a lot farther and a lot faster than one would-be mass murderer coming to harm, and then quietly "disappearing."

But where do you draw the line? Would you torture an innocent person if it would save a million lives?

Take this for an example...the nuke terrorist has a five year old girl, who he loves dearly. Who you've also managed to take into custody, and is in the next room over.

Ranchoth, The Straight dope 9 Comments [11/24/2018 1:58:45 PM]
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Nuke terrorism only exists in mind games.

11/24/2018 2:05:15 PM


Example: There have been more terrorist attacks in the US by right wingers/fundamentalist Christains than by Islameists.

Does that torture you? Good.

11/24/2018 4:52:14 PM


He gonna set the nukes off right away, because you have one of his beloved and he KNOWS you're a blood god worshipper. In fact, there's no reason to think you haven't tortured her to death anyway, NONE.

Why do you fundies, who never advocate the right or merciful way, would be trusted to EVER be trusted.

11/25/2018 1:46:01 PM

Doubting Thomas

Take this for an example...the nuke terrorist has a five year old girl, who he loves dearly. Who you've also managed to take into custody, and is in the next room over.

This is something that only really true villains do.

11/26/2018 8:00:09 AM


I find it highly problematic that nearly all states have signed treaties banning torture as an instrument NO MATTER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, but not only continue to fail to actually not use torture (even though its immorality, ineffectiveness and horrible effects on both individuals as well as the state itself is well known) but also fail to teach their citizens why its not the "go to solution in case of emergency"-answer to problems like terror.
I'm especially disappointed with the US's high approval of torture especially among Republicans (who would have guessed) and its continued (though reduced) use, once again proving that China and Russia aren't the only super powers which are more or less morally bankrupt. I'm also horrified as a Christian (though I should have seen it coming) that a majority of religious people would actually go for torture in such a situation. Jesus would be proud! ./s

And yeah, in the nuke scenario the tortured terrorist knows that his interrogators are in a time-sensitive situation, he just has to hold out and provide false information until its too late. No torture in the world will change that. Torture in general fails because even if it weren't absolutely repugnant, it would still be used only as a last-ditch effort... which has to succeed. Which means that since torture isn't actually effective, it even fails in such a desperate situation and is therefore just useless, no matter whether it sometimes, rarely actually provides the needed intel (other interrogation methods have proven much more effective in that regard anyway). There is no reason to use torture aside from seeking sadistic pleasure from it.

11/26/2018 10:16:45 AM


Exactly; Torturers only torture due to sadism and vengeance and nothing more. They know it doesn't work. The GOP, for example, just wants to torture "brown people".

And MY DEITY....the OP is bringing a hypothetical 5 year old child into this! Pure evil.

"He Who Fights Monsters" indeed.

Authoritarian ChristoFrums are not Christians! I don't care what anyone says (Take your 'No True Scotsman' and make him into haggis!)....THESE ARE NOT CHRISTIANS!

Promoting torture (even of children) is NOT CHRISTIAN! Jesus would be appalled! Jesus promoted peace and compassion (that one line about 'not bringing peace, but a sword' is OOC and likely mistranslated. It should read more like a prediction of people warring over his name and not him purposefully causing it).

As for "If Jesus is the same as the Hebrew Testament Deity who sent floods and genocide", well, I say....scary version of the Hebrew Testament Deity was human-made and a Demiurge. The real Deity (H.T. or N.T.) is more merciful.

When the H.T. Deity is promoting decent stuff and not being a jerk, that's the real Deity....the Deity one can equate with Jesus.

The real Deity is above such silly Human Earth things like misogyny, ethnicism and other self-destructive behaviors.

11/27/2018 10:02:59 AM


“Take this for an example...the nuke terrorist has a five year old girl, who he loves dearly. Who you've also managed to take into custody, and is in the next room over.“

If you would seriously do that, you DESERVE to be nuked.

12/5/2018 10:19:05 AM


So yes he would torture a seven year old girl to get her parents to talk.

12/5/2018 11:46:46 AM


If I'm in that kind of situation, I'd probably just treat her to some pizza and ice cream or something and ask her if she knows anything. Five year olds aren't really known for keeping secrets.

Seriously, what kind of person would think of torture as the first thing in such hypothetical situation?

12/5/2018 1:08:38 PM

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