Can you think of a situation in which it would be ethical to torture somebody?
No, doing that is inhumane for the person and those watching.
There are other ways to punish people that may be even worse like isolation!!!
torturing is brutality.
Hmm.. As a form of punishment, isolation and torture are both entirely unethical; they're synonymous. Any form of retribution or punishment is always unethical.
But we can think a little deeper, philosophically, about when torture might be ethical.
Sounds like you're contradicting yourself. First you say it's wrong then you say it could be ok. We already isolate people like solitary confinement..I was thinking of exile.Some people voluntarily exile themselves and like it so it may not be punish
I'm saying it's wrong as a form of punishment. Punishment is not supposed to represent retribution.
In other instances, you might be justified in using torture to obtain life saving information from a monster who you know has the information.
Isolation is a form of torture. Besides, who knows what goes on in an isolation cell? No witnesses.
Think of this. A group of people are trekking in a remote hill. A man in the group gets unexpectedly wounded by a gun shot and there is absolutely no wherewithal to take him to a hospital for treatment. If the bullet is not removed immediately, he is likely to collapse. A doctor who happens to be in the trekking team decides to use his pen knife and take the bullet out immediately and he has no tranquilizer to apply.
I think such a scenario may fit into an "ethical torture".
Great answer. Best so far.
This is a situation and application I hadn't even considered for a moment. Thumbs up.
Torture is a deliberate infliction of pain and suffering. In this case, what you would be doing would be to relieve suffering and save the person's life. That's not the same as torture.
I'm inclined to agree with you, quildon. This situation isn't torture in the traditional sense, or even the definitional sense.
From the perspective of the one with the wound though, one could see how he might refer to it as a type of torture.
In removing the bullet you are not trying to get the other person to talk. If you were you'd probably get gibberish from them anyway. It has been proven. Torture leads to the gathering of misinformation. It also leads to the torture of the innocent.
If I knew for certain that they had my son locked up in a basement somewhere, and weren't talking, absolutely.
It depends how far you want to go though. Waterboarding (in the image) is terrible, but it's not "torture" in the "Spanish Inquisition" sense. It's almost not much more than making somebody extremely uncomfortable. If my son, or any child or innocent person, is going to die if they don't talk, we have no moral obligation to make them feel comfortable.
Actually torturing them though, like mutilation or any long-term damaging, barbaric stuff, is unethical, regardless of consequences.
This answer falls almost squarely in line with what I was thinking. I will elaborate in my own comment below, but philosophically, we're headed in the same direction here. Great answer!
Unfortunately people desperate for answers who use torture inevitably end up with the wrong answers. A serial killer might respond to torture but even there I have my doubts. religious nuts or the innocent...very doubtful.
Off hand I would vote no. The information gathered from torture is dubious at best. If the subject doesn't actually know the truth then under torture they will make something up. This has happened in recent times. The USA went insane for a while after 9/11. It is now paying the price with sour relationships with various countries in Europe that were happy to have U.S military on their land but not so happy to be part of a campaign of torture and in some instances death through torture. In the USA there has been some suspension of civil rights that is frightening. Keeping someone prisoner for months, even years without charging them is just so wrong. You cannot defeat the terrorists by becoming a terrorist.
When you have the laptop of a high ranking Al Qaeda official like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, with 10 years of information on its hard drive and hundreds of emails, he can't just make things up. The idea that torture NEVER works is a PC myth.
I would in the instance described rely more on the laptop for information than torture.
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