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. One major eye catching factor of this essay is the repetitive use of words that imply certain stigmas.
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.
Dershowitz, he is the author of the essay "The Case for Torture Warrants". Dershowitz is more in favor of torture than Young and McCain. He believes that an authority figure should make the decision to torture and only torture if a warrant is issued. He also believes in non-lethal torture that makes people uncomfortable but does not harm the individual. In his essay, he gives the example of the Israeli security service torturing a suspected terrorist by placing a "smelly sack over his head and shake him violently" (Dershowitz 687).
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.
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. Through more logical reasoning McCain Argument is more valid than Levin.
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.
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,
The Case for Torture Wins Torture is it morally acceptable? Many have debated this argument but I would like to bring up two main conflicting view points from Michael Levin, and Marzieh Ghisai. Michael Levin is a Jewish law professor who wrote The Case for Torture where he advocates where torture is acceptable in some circumstances.
“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 finding some torture tactics, it helped me research about the negative effects of torture. In his article, “Torture is a Crime”, Curt Goering listed the negative effects of torture. He argues that torture is illegal, ineffective, immoral and makes those around us unsafe. Curt uses ethos in his piece to back up his main argument. For example, he mentions that in 1984, the UN adopted the Convention against torture and it was ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1990.
Aside from being an information retriever, some people believe that torture can be used as an extra form of punishment for those that they believe death would be too swift and easy. In the eyes of many, torture is still seen as an important tool. Sometimes, interrogators do not ask all the right questions to get the entire truth out of an individual. With torture, the person being tortured tends to give up more information that was currently inquired by the interrogator. This often leads to more information that to locations of items and
Throughout history many great philosophers have attempted to unravel the origins of virtues by developing moral theories of their own. This document is designed to provide the reader with an overview of some of the more popular theories concerning morals. Three of the most popular moral theories are… Utilitarianism, Kantianism, and Aristotelianism. Though Utilitarianism, Kantianism, and Aristotelianism differ in many ways, they also share similar fundamentals. Utilitarianism is a highly acclaimed theory that is morally based on consequentialism.
Anne Applebaum states “The really interesting question is not whether torture works but why so many people in our society want to believe it works.” Applebaum is against the use of torture as she questions its effectiveness. America has operated under the false pretense that torture is a viable option for obtaining information. She argues that torture damages the country’s image and does little to acquire useful intelligence. Torture is merely a way for officers to take their anger and frustration out on detainees.