I’m curious how UF readers respond to the torture question, so here’s a poll.
I’m assuming this definition of torture: the act of inflicting pain on another person for the purposes of punishment, information, or pleasure of the inflicter.
I’d like to say never, but I can imagine rare situations where I would grudgingly find it acceptable. For instance, if a bomb was going to go off and kill innocent people, and they had the person who knew the location of the bomb but wasn’t talking. These types of situations I’m sure are very rare, but I can’t in good conscience say torture is never acceptable.
What do you think?
Update: This has stirred up quite a bit of debate, which is very interesting.
If you answer “never,” I’d like you to give some alternatives — what should the authorities do instead when they quickly need information to save innocent lives?
People didn’t like my bomb example, so let me give a different example, which was a real scenario:
I think it would have been acceptable to torture that man. He forfeited his rights to be treated nicely when he kidnapped a person. That boy should not be tortured further, or die, because we don’t want to hurt a very bad man. If necessary, I think the guilty man can be hurt to give the innocent a chance to live.
But if you think that would be wrong, then I want to know what you think should be done instead to protect the innocent.