“If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists - to protect them and to promote their common welfare - all else is lost.” Representatives, keep this quote in mind today, as President Barack Obama was absolutely correct in saying so. Now Thomas Hobbes’s theory of the social contract is clear, in which the people must sacrifice a portion of their rights for protection by the government. But this sacrifice does not and cannot have a definition. Times change, and with it, so must security measures. With the rise of the digital age, the monitoring of this information becomes crucial to security. That is why we must let the NSA be, and that is why I must negate this resolution.
Domestic terrorism refers any forcefulness act exerted on the civilian population or the infrastructure of a particular nation. Mostly domestic terrorism is done by the citizens of the nation with the intention of coercing, intimidating the national policy. A lone wolf terrorist is a situation where a citizen performs a forceful act supporting or basing on ideology and beliefs of certain movements or groups. One person alone without any command or assistances does a lone terrorist from the group.
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.
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.
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.
“The case for torture” happens to be a notable work of Michael Levin, a philosophy professor of City University of New York. In many of his works, Levin has emphasized on philosophical aspects associated with science, logic and language. In the essay “The case for torture” the author tried to examine various circumstances to come to a conclusion that would indicate whether torture can be perceived as “just” in certain cases.
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.
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.
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.
“Brown Note” Myth Busters. Discovery channel. Artarmon 16 Feb. 2005. Television. In this episode they test one way of torture. It was more based on mental resistance as it didn’t inflict physical pain. It shows that one mental health has a lot to do with how effective torture is. Somebody who is used to stress should be able to resist longer than somebody who isn’t.
“Ethics is the discipline of determining good and evil and defining moral duties”. (Pollock, 2014) In this research paper I will look into the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation program and the remarks of Director Brennan who claims this program was “abhorrent”. To support my conclusion, I will use facts from the report itself, and ethical models I have applied to determine if this program, and its methods were ethical.
In the Ethical Life, by Russ Shafer-Landau, chapters written by Michael Walzer and Alan Dershowitz express their knowledge and opinions on the topics of terrorism and torture. Is it possible to justify and defend such acts? In the chapter “Terrorism: A Critique of Excuses”, author Michael Walzer shuts down four excuses that attempt to justify terrorism. In the chapter, “Should the Ticking Bomb Terrorist Be Tortured?”, Alan Dershowitz defends his theory that it is necessary to torture a terrorist if that means saving the lives of innocent people while protecting their civil liberties and human rights at the same time. Terrorism can never be moral because it violates all “excuses” and torture is an acceptable tactic to save lives.
There are many interpretations of what torture is and how something can be classified as torture. In “Believe Me It’s Torture” Christopher Hitchens talks about the United States and its various uses of interrogation tactics to get Important information from suspected terrorists. In the article the author often brings up the waterboarding tactic that is often used and how there is a large controversy over whether it is in fact torture or if it is just simply harmless. The article states, “waterboarding was something that Americans did to other Americans, it was inflicted upon and endured by the Special Forces in a form of training called S.E.R.E (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) so that they could build up a resistance to it so that they
The end does not justify the means. This was the principal ethical theory of Immanuel Kant and made up his ‘Categorical Imperative’, a deontological argument which showcased how certain actions are fundamentally wrong, such as murder, lying or torture and can therefore, never be justified. Contrastingly a utilitarian would claim that the ends do in fact justify the means and would enact a focus on outcomes in deciding whether or not an action is morally permissible. In 2002 Jakob Von Metzler, a boy of just twelve years, was kidnapped and a police officer threatened the kidnapper, Magnus Gafgen, with torture in an attempt to find and save the child. Gafgen told the officer that he had killed the boy and then disclosed the location of the body. The kidnapper was prosecuted and sentenced to life imprisonment; however the officer ‘was also prosecuted and convicted of violating the kidnappers rights’ (Sandel, 2011). This presents an interesting moral dilemma, can torture ever be justified? And was the officer acting in a morally respectable way? In this essay I will answer these questions by analysing the arguments which justify or condemn his actions, from both the utilitarian and deontological perspectives.
The two moral reasonings are consequentialist and categorical. Consequentialist means the consequences that will result after whatever you do, whether it is the right or wrong thing to do. Categorical moral reasoning locates morality in certain duties and rights. Somethings are just morally wrong even if it brings good outcomes.