The Immoral Majority

The torture debate has come down to whether or not it’s effective. Why are opponents of torture playing this game? Whether or not torture works is irrelevant. Even if it would save millions of lives–and that’s a stretch, to say the least–it’s wrong. What happened to Americans? Why are we so morally bankrupt? Wrong is wrong. It doesn’t matter whether or not it pays.

12 thoughts on “The Immoral Majority

  1. Precisely. Once you acknowledge that a place on the continuum is ok, any portion can be justified based on circumstance. Like justifiable murder or just war, the notion is a farce with no meaningful stopping point or standards. (Witness how Catholics sold out their religion just now on just-war, perhaps the Vatican excepted).

  2. How would you feel if you knew that your own life was saved by information obtained through torture?
    I would rather die than benefit from torture.
    Most Americans probably would appreciate that the police/military did that and so, as Ted pointed out, the nation is guilty.

  3. Here's a question for all: How many societies and civilizations through history have tortured enemies captured on the field of battle, but refused to torture civilian criminals and political prisoners? Not many, I'd warrant.

    I've noticed that the "gung ho for torture" crowd gets real quiet when you start talking about torturing criminals in prison. And really, if you're going to torture an alleged terrorist for information about potential attacks, why not torture a gang member for information that could lead to more arrests? That's practical-minded fascism that any torture supporter should be able to get behind. A real-life "ticking timebomb" situation that actually occurs sometimes.

  4. Barack Obama has said, "America does not torture". George W. Bush had previously said exactly the same thing. Does Obama mean the same thing as Bush when he says that? I believe what Bush meant was that the definition of torture is open for debate, therefor, what was previously called torture will henceforth be named 'enhanced interrogation techniques'.
    So, if Obama accepts that definition of torture, are we still torturing people? Little else has changed, especially for those who are called 'enemy combatants', chances are the torturers are still in business.
    Also, when prisoners are renditioned to foreign states for torture, Americans are not technically doing the torture, blood still stains the hands of those who order the renditions.

  5. Ted, what happened to America — and the West in general — was attitudes promoted by folks in groups like the Frankfurt school coupled with profit-only-no-responsibility corporations.

    Essentially folks learned that they had no responsibility to society (Frankfurt school)

    and society learned it had no responsibility to folks (profit-driven-corporatism)

    and so we've got the amoral hell-hole that we now see. How it's gonna get fixed I have no idea.

  6. Ted,

    A follow-up question. You believe that abortion is the murder of babies (for the other readers, Ted has said as much on this blog).

    Yet you believe that a mother's right to her body trumps that of the baby's not to be murdered (perhaps the only honest way to support pro-choice).

    If we view the state as a caretaker (which, I believe you do to a degree — and of course it behaves that way), following your logic, shouldn't its rights to protect itself and its citizens trump the rights of an aggressor not to be tortured?

  7. The thing I'm not getting is why the "debate" is allowed to go on and on like this. I actually heard one of those pos Republicans (Lindsay Graham?) positing that since waterboarding had been used for over 500 years, it must work. Work for what, is the question. It works to elicit whatever answer the torturer wants. If there was any doubt we live in a police state before, it's all tied down, now. I am truly ashamed to be called "American," today. And since I was born on a military base in Libya in the early '60s, and the record of my birth was lost in a govt. warehouse fire, and I have no passport or original birth certificate, I can likely no longer leave the country unless I don't want to come back. It's a strong option.

  8. G. M. Palmer:

    "The rights of an aggressor"?


    There's a lot wrong with your twisted logic, but to begin with, you've got the basic facts wrong.

    Who says those being tortured are "aggressors"? Some of them are innocent by-standards who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    That much is indisputable.

    You'll have to get a basic handle on reality before we'll be willing to entertain your middlebrow musing…

  9. Grouchy,

    Boy it's great when someone throws in a strawman to detract from a serious question.

    I mean, it's not like the fetus is a rapist or anything. In fact, the innocence/guilt of the baby/terrorist doesn't even begin to matter, since both abortion and torture are justified by the feelings of the mother/state.

    All I'm saying is that if you're for one you logically have to be for the other.

    I am against both.

  10. All I'm saying is that if you're for one you logically have to be for the other.Here's some elementary logic for you:

    If A is red, and B is also red–it is in no way logical to assume that A is necessarily B. That's like claiming my (red) Honda is an apple.

    An adult human being is a autonomous entity. A fetus cannot survive without the life support of its mother. These are two vastly different situations. A does not equal B. Torturing another conscious person is not the same as removing a dependent growth from your uterus.

    Equating torture to abortion is moronic.

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