To begin, the US and it’s central intelligence agency, also known as the CIA are torturing captives, and it’s up for debate. The US should allow the CIA to torture its prisoners. It’s a way to get very valuable information from them. The torture techniques leave no marks or traces left behind on the victim. It strikes fear in the to be tortured prisoners so that they make talk before the CIA even lays a finger on them. It is very difficult to get dangerous people to talk, so we use dangerous methods to get them to talk.
“The My Lai Massacre: A Military Crime of Obedience” is an article written by Herbert C. Kelman and V. Lee Hamilton, that chronicles the story of the My Lai Massacre of 1968 and the resulting investigation. The article also contains the author's opinions on the military’s stance on following orders, specifically following orders that could be considered illegal. This is also discussed in Marianne Szegedy-Madzak’s “The Abu Ghraib Prison Scandal: Sources of Sadism”. In the article she discusses how guards will torture prisoners, because it is excused as a stress-relief tool, and were even congratulated by superiors for their actions. The torturers justified their actions because they believed they were helping the real interrogators out.
Mahatma Gandhi, the preeminent leader of the Indian independence movement states “You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.” This is important because torture is brutal on the body and mind. The article “Torture’s Terrible Toll” by John McCain is more convincing then the article “The Case for Torture” by Michael Levin because McCain provides more logical reasoning, he adds his own personal experience of being a captured prisoner during the Vietnam War, and he creates an emotional bond with people around the world.
“Authorizing torture is a bad and dangerous idea that can easily be made to sound plausible.” This is a shockingly true statement. Heymann’s purpose in writing this article is to persuade readers to agree with him that torture should not be authorized. Heymann uses the persuasive appeal of pathos primarily in this article to convince his readers to agree with him. Although that is not to say he did not use other forms of persuasive appeal, heymann also used Logos and Ethos, just not as strongly as Pathos. After examining the article, heymann’s use of Pathos should be seen as effective at persuading his audience because of how he uses positive and negative emotions, writes clearly and applies vivid details.
My opposition to torture fall under the beliefs of the absolutist Kant, who states that no matter what the circumstance is, something that is wrong will always be wrong (Boothe 2006, 12). Therefore, concerning the issue of torture, in this world or any other world, torture is immoral. In this paper, I will employ the ethical frameworks of virtue, rights, and fairness to argue against torture when viewed from the perspective of the victim, the torturer, and any outside source. Furthermore, I will dismantle the ticking-bomb scenario by deducing the incapability to achieve full certainty deeming these scenarios unrealistic.
In the Battle of Okinawa 1941, Japanese Kamikaze suicide pilots targeted the US in Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor. Over 2,400 American and British lives were taken from this world, an additional 1,178 wounded. The President of the United States, Harry Truman, was faced with an ethical dilemma of whether to use the atomic bomb against Japan that could end WWII. My goal is to try to answer this moral question using the philosophical views on the morality of Held, Kant, Aristotle, and Mill. I will also explain why I believe Kant’s theory is the most appropriate theory when answering moral questions in general.
While analyzing “The Torture Myth” and “The Case for Torture”, it is very clear to see the type of rhetorical appeals used to persuade the audience. Anne Applebaum, the writer of “The Torture Myth” --in context of the decision of electing a new Attorney General--would argue that torture is very seldomly effective, violates a person’s rights, and should be outlawed due to the irrational need upon which physical torture is used. On the other hand, Michael Levin strongly argues that physical torture is crucial to solving every imminent danger to civilians. Levin claims that if you don’t physically torture someone, you are being weak and want to allow innocent people to die over something that could have been simply done.
Ethics and the search for a good moral foundation first drew me into the world of philosophy. It is agreed that the two most important Ethical views are from the world’s two most renowned ethical philosophers Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill. In this paper, I will explore be analyzing Mill’s Greatest Happiness Principle and Kant’s Categorical Imperative. In particular, I want to discuss which principle provides a better guideline for making moral decisions. And which for practical purposes ought to be taught to individuals. I hope to convince the reader that Kant’s Categorical Imperative is the better way to live a morally conscious life and more practical to follow as well. First I will briefly describe both Kant’s and Mill’s principles. Then I will go on to explain the advantages and disadvantages of both. Finally, I hope to provide a counterargument for some of Kant’s Categorical Imperatives downfalls.
In Michael Levin's The Case for Torture, Levin provides an argument in which he discusses the significance of inflicting torture to perpetrators as a way of punishment. In his argument, he dispenses a critical approach into what he believes justifies torture in certain situations. Torture is assumed to be banned in our culture and the thought of it takes society back to the brutal ages. He argues that societies that are enlightened reject torture and the authoritative figure that engage in its application risk the displeasure of the United States. In his perspective, he provides instances in which wrongdoers put the lives of innocent people at risk and discusses the aspect of death and idealism. The author believes that the thoughts of enlightened societies are unwise and ascertains that there are situations whereby torture becomes morally mandatory in dealing with terrorists.
Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative and John Stuart Mill’s view of utilitarianism are two very different approaches to ethics and morals. In fact, they are the opposite of one another.
In Michael Levin’s “The Case for Torture”, he uses many cases of emotional appeal to persuade the reader that torture is necessary in extreme cases. There are many terms/statements that stick with the reader throughout the essay so that they will have more attachment to what is being said. Levin is particularly leaning to an audience based in the United States because he uses an allusion to reference an event that happened within the states and will better relate to the people that were impacted by it. The emotional appeals used in this essay are used for the purpose of persuading the reader to agree that in extreme instances torture is necessary and the United States should begin considering it as a tactic for future cases of extremity.
Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill are two of the most notable philosophers in normative ethics. This branch of ethics is based on moral standards that determine what is considered morally right and wrong. This paper will focus on Immanuel Kant’s theory of deontology and J.S. Mill’s theory of utilitarianism. While Mill takes a consequentialist approach, focused on the belief that actions are right if they are for the benefit of a majority, Kant is solely concerned with the nature of duty and obligation, regardless of the outcome. This paper will also reveal that Kantian ethics, in my opinion, is a better moral law to follow compared to the utilitarian position.
According to Mill the principle of utility means realizing a consequence of something before you do it,whether your intentions are good or bad. What Mill means by utilitarianism is giving the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people. According to Sandel's lecture Mill's utilitarianism uses consequentialist reasoning.
Dershowitz argues that there are two ways to deal with a ticking bomb terrorist, besides doing nothing and letting innocent people die. These options include continuing to torture behind closed door or to utilize torture and make this information open to the
Regarding tortures conducted by American military in Iraq, Ignatieff (Ibid, p.24) indicates the U.S.’s self-contradiction by stating “a country that thinks it is too virtuous, too exceptional, to pay respect to the Geneva Conventions and begins to write its own rules about detention, interrogation, and special status can end up violating every value it holds dear”. Hancock (2007, p.53) also wrote that, while human rights violations in friendly countries are overlooked “as counter terrorism, cultural diversity, necessary acts of self-defense, unproved allegations, tragic mistakes or as regrettable exceptions to an otherwise improving trend” and those acts in “states of peripheral concern to Washington policymakers” are simply ignored even if those are severe, those in enemy counties are “selectively highlighted…as proof of evil and repressive regimes”. Thus, the U.S. has created its own standards distinctively applied to itself and its allies, and its enemies (Hoffmann, 2005; Ignatieff, 2005; Hancock, 2007), and the language of human rights has utilized as technique to legitimize the standards and foreign policies based on those standards (Hancock,