What are your thoughts on physical, mental torture? Do you agree with the use of torture as a method to control people and collect information?Afterll, do you think torute is necessary for...

What are your thoughts on physical, mental torture? Do you agree with the use of torture as a method to control people and collect information?

Afterll, do you think torute is necessary for achieving some purposes? Please explain in as much as detail you can. Thank you very much!

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One's political leanings and beliefs on such an issue will play a role in how one answers this question.  My fundamental problem with torture is that the information procured lacks reliability.  On one hand, the person being tortured might give up the information because of an understanding that it is "the right thing to do."  Yet, they also might surrender information- any information- to stop the torture.  I know that if I was being tortured, I would say what I could just for it to stop. This would mean that one is not entirely certain that what is gained is authentic.  If time is of the essence in such a situation, time would be wasted following worthless information that was rendered for torture to stop.  There is a moral level of analysis, as well.  In engaging in torture, there is a loss of moral stature, putting the one who tortures on the same level as the rebel forces being tortured.  At this point, there is no moral difference between the two.  Finally, in engaging in torture, it seems to me that we are making a very stern commitment to not ending conflict, but increasing its duration as torture breeds future hostility and contempt from those who have to endure it.  Abu Ghraib, for example, did more to increase and galvanize resistance against American forces than much else.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When we use the word torture, we do cross over a threshold definition, no matter what methods we're talking about using.  First and foremost, it is the intentional infliction of pain on another human being.  Whether this is mental, emotional or physical pain does not matter, in my opinion, if it fits the above definition, then it's torture.

Not only do I disagree with the use of torture in any situation, any serious law enforcement official will tell you that torture serves no purpose.  You can gain information in this manner, sure, but you cannot, under almost any circumstances tell if the information is accurate or useful.  Everyone has a breaking point under torture (mine would probably occur in about the first four seconds) past which they will tell you anything to stop continued pain.  Waterboard me long enough and I'll tell you my own mother is Osama bin Laden, but that doesn't make it so.

There are much more effective, time tested methods of interrogation that involve no torture whatsoever, and we don't need to sacrifice any human or constitutional principles in order to use them, and in the end, we'll get better information too.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This depends to a huge degree on how you define torture.

If you define torture as inflicting great physical pain on a person, I do not think it is ever right to do it.  By that, I mean stuff like burning people with cigarettes or breaking their fingers or things like that.

If you define torture as making them uncomfortable (like by not letting them sleep or by trying to put a lot of emotional pressure on them) then I do think that it is okay morally.  I do not know enough to know whether this sort of pressure is likely to get accurate information out of the people, though.  If it is likely to get the truth then I am alright with it.  However, if it leads to inaccurate information or false confessions I am opposed to it.

Also, I am talking about this in terms of terrorism suspects, not criminals like accused thieves or even murderers.  I think in those cases, the police should have stricter rules than people who are interrogating people who might be connected to groups that might be trying to attack us.

missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Torture of mental or physical kinds should never be used on humans unless they have committed a great offense for which we need more information to prevent the loss of life for great numbers of people.

This is the case with many terror suspects. We have found many ways to emotionally and physically put pressure on people without hurting them in any way. Emotional and mental stress can achieve quite a bit in interrogation rooms these days.

We have a way of life worth preserving in America. Whether out of jealousy, spite, or disagreement, there are those who would wish to destroy this. Although we have a great value for human rights for all people, I see reason to sacrifice those rights to a small degree for someone who would wish harm on great other numbers of people and try to act on it.

dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Torture of any type whether mental or physical should never be accepted or tolerated. We must treat each other humanely in all circumstances. Now, I am not in the military nor have I ever been. There have been reports over the last several years of "water-boarding" and the like. Military experts may argue as to the effectiveness of this procedure. I humbly disagree and think that there are other ways to gain information from the enemy during times of war. I just strongly believe that it is wrong and we as a nation, the greatest nation in the world should not condone this type of action or behavior. Conventions and treaties between nations are in place that specify no torture should be used. These treaties are long standing and should be followed at all cost.

ako6777 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am on the fence with this topic.  I would like to say that I agree with torture to obtain life and death information, but I don't know if I would be able to inflict the pain needed on someone else.  I think if someone had a family member of mine and they were going to die if I didn't find them, I might be able to do it. 

I would like to think there is another way of obtain information from people.  The use of medication, like sodium thiopental can help illicit information from people.  Why can't we create a stronger form of the drug?

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Torture doesn't work. People who are under physical or mental duress will say anything to make it stop. They will make up information and tell you what you want to hear. The other problem with torture is that it is cruel and unusual punishment, which is against the constitution.