Torture: The Guantanamo Guidebook
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30-07-2013, 03:45 AM
RE: Torture: The Guantanamo Guidebook
(30-07-2013 03:38 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  
(30-07-2013 03:35 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  I find the "argument" that torture is immoral and therefore should not be practiced to be as compelling as the "argument" that homosexuality is immoral and should not be practiced.

The difference is that the rest of the social animal kingdom does not condemn homosexuality, so that is a subjective element to our morality.

(30-07-2013 03:35 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Second, the view that torture is universally held to be immoral doesn't hold much water because torture happens every day all around the world.

That is a poor argument. With that argument, one could say that murder is not immoral because it occurs all over the world. I said it is generally demonstrated by the universal objective elements found in basic social morality.

So when Slavery was universally accepted it was moral? Morality is such a nebulous concept, something which is so open to individual interpretation, that is really is a silly basis for an argument.

Good arguments are based on facts and logic. Bad arguments are based on value judgments, weak assertions, and personal opinions.

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30-07-2013, 03:53 AM
RE: Torture: The Guantanamo Guidebook
(30-07-2013 03:45 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  So when Slavery was universally accepted it was moral? Morality is such a nebulous concept, something which is so open to individual interpretation, that is really is a silly basis for an argument.

Good arguments are based on facts and logic. Bad arguments are based on value judgments, weak assertions, and personal opinions.

So then you have failed to show a good argument for torture and not even a bad one. Bad information and immorality combined and yet you are still trying to defend this barbaric practice. As for morality a very simple test is first do no harm slavery and torture both fail that test as does most all immoral actions.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense

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30-07-2013, 03:55 AM
RE: Torture: The Guantanamo Guidebook
(30-07-2013 03:45 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  So when Slavery was universally accepted it was moral? Morality is such a nebulous concept, something which is so open to individual interpretation, that is really is a silly basis for an argument.

Good arguments are based on facts and logic. Bad arguments are based on value judgments, weak assertions, and personal opinions.

No, again, I think you need to do some research on the bases of which morality is grounded upon. The video below is a brief introduction:




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30-07-2013, 04:03 AM
RE: Torture: The Guantanamo Guidebook
(30-07-2013 03:53 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  So then you have failed to show a good argument for torture and not even a bad one. Bad information and immorality combined and yet you are still trying to defend this barbaric practice. As for morality a very simple test is first do no harm slavery and torture both fail that test as does most all immoral actions.

Actually I haven't actually condoned torture as you errantly claim. I merely said its justification was a function of the need for the information being sought. Torturing to find out who ate the strawberries is clearly unjustified, but is torturing to find out the location of a suitcase nuke? Well that's not a cut and dried.

Further I pointed out bad arguments, like the fact that torture often yields false information is a red herring. Does it increase or decrease the chances of finding the desired information is what is pertinent.

Last I pointed out that arguments based on ones opinion of what is moral or immoral are silly.

I find torture distasteful. I don't like the idea that the end justifies the means, however that is something can't outright reject either. Maybe sometimes the end does justify the means.

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30-07-2013, 04:07 AM
RE: Torture: The Guantanamo Guidebook
It has been quite clearly established that it is not an effective information gathering technique.

http://harpers.org/blog/2009/09/torture-...gist-says/
http://georgewashington2.blogspot.de/200...rture.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con...71_pf.html
http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/20...brain.html
http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/lib...apter1.htm
http://www.theguardian.com/science/the-l...0/nov/04/2

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30-07-2013, 04:16 AM
RE: Torture: The Guantanamo Guidebook
(30-07-2013 03:35 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  I find the "argument" that torture is immoral and therefore should not be practiced to be as compelling as the "argument" that homosexuality is immoral and should not be practiced.

1. Consensual bonding between same-gender people who want to share pleasure is immoral.
2. Confining people against their will and and causing them pain, humiliation, and despair is immoral.

Those really sound the same to you? Are you sure?

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30-07-2013, 04:36 AM
RE: Torture: The Guantanamo Guidebook
(30-07-2013 04:07 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  It has been quite clearly established that it is not an effective information gathering technique.

What exactly does "not effective" mean? Is torture only 99% effective? 50% effective? 25% effective? 10% effective? or is it 0% effective?

Unless you can show that torture is 0% effective, that is that it never yields desired truthful information, a scenario can be constructed whereby engaging in torture will increase the likelihood of coming across the desired information.

Claiming torture is "not effective" doesn't help us to evaluate if it is in fact justified.

Can you say with a straight face that torture, under no circumstances, will ever increase the likelihood of obtaining the desired information? Let me modify that last question somewhat. Can you say with a straight face that torture, under no circumstances, will ever maximize the likelihood of obtaining the desired information?

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30-07-2013, 04:41 AM
RE: Torture: The Guantanamo Guidebook
(30-07-2013 04:16 AM)I Am Wrote:  1. Consensual bonding between same-gender people who want to share pleasure is immoral.
2. Confining people against their will and and causing them pain, humiliation, and despair is immoral.

Those really sound the same to you? Are you sure?

They both sound like crappy arguments to me.

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30-07-2013, 10:00 AM
RE: Torture: The Guantanamo Guidebook
(30-07-2013 04:36 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Unless you can show that torture is 0% effective, that is that it never yields desired truthful information, a scenario can be constructed whereby engaging in torture will increase the likelihood of coming across the desired information.

That is unsound reasoning.

One must only demonstrate that it is no more effective than not torturing.

To require merely that it increase, ever so infinitesimally, the chance of obtaining accurate information - notwithstanding the fact that that claim is unproven, while it does demonstrably increase the chance of obtaining inaccurate information - is to leave aside all moral concerns. That there is disagreement over the specifics of morality hardly seems sufficient reason to neglect it entirely.

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30-07-2013, 11:39 AM (This post was last modified: 30-07-2013 11:45 AM by Heywood Jahblome.)
RE: Torture: The Guantanamo Guidebook
(30-07-2013 10:00 AM)cjlr Wrote:  That is unsound reasoning.

One must only demonstrate that it is no more effective than not torturing.

To require merely that it increase, ever so infinitesimally, the chance of obtaining accurate information - notwithstanding the fact that that claim is unproven, while it does demonstrably increase the chance of obtaining inaccurate information - is to leave aside all moral concerns. That there is disagreement over the specifics of morality hardly seems sufficient reason to neglect it entirely.

You committed the fallacy of quoting out of context. You should be ashamed of your error. I used some pretty significant phrases that you, for some reason left out. Phrases like "maximize the likelihood" and "under no circumstances"

Further I have said at least a couple of times now in this thread that the "justification for torture is a function of the need for the desired information"....which should suggest to you that I am not leaving aside all moral concerns as you errantly claim. I did claim that saying it was "immoral" is a weak argument. It's circular. "The use of torture is immoral because it is immoral". Do you find that argument compelling? I don't. But that is essentially is a boiled down version of the morality argument being made in this thread.

So far in this thread I have given two factors that should be used in determining if torture is justified. Let me spell them out for you.

1. The need for the information must be great.
2. Torture must be the method that maximizes the likelihood of obtaining the desired information.

There are other factors, but these two are the only ones I have espoused in this thread.

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