Torture has been used for hundreds of years as an effective, if not cruel way of extracting information from a prisoner. The use of these methods has been highly scrutinized by members of society. In this paper, I will break down arguments both for and against torture. This will be done firstly, by looking at several scientific studies on the effectiveness of torture. Next, I will look at several arguments both for and against torture from a standpoint of various philosophers throughout history. And finally, I will formulate my own reasoning as to why I believe torture should be used, albeit sparingly. I will do this by drawing from not only my personal beliefs, but the studies and views I will state in the first and second parts.
To start off, we should know if torture is actually an effective method of extracting information. For this, we will reference a study done in 2015 at the University of Montana. In this experiment, participants were told to hide a marble in a room. An “interrogator” came into the room to question the location of the marble. The participant’s hand was submerged in cold water for 3 minutes, while in the mean time being bombarded with questions as to the true location of the marble. The study concluded that: “While pain may be a useful mechanism to retrieve information, those experiencing pain may give information that is intentionally deceptive. Pain may be effective in getting people to talk, but that talk may not produce reliable information” (Conway, Houck, Repke, 2015). The researchers do note, however, that this study did not involve truly painful methods, and instead in the interest of safety, settled for discomfort instead of pain. There have been no o...
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...my views on torture and when it should be used.
Overall, torture has been and always will be am extremely touchy subject on the eyes of many around the world. There are so many different viewpoints and variables to consider when deciding whether or not torture should be used as a means of saving lives. Both arguments for and against torture are valid, and one side is not more correct than the other; which makes it a very hard concept to rationalize and believe in. I believe, however, that torture can and should be used, but only sparingly and in desperate situations. Yet I am a strong proponent of personal freedom and self-determination; so my views are conflicting at the very basis of my moral foundation. I would like to see further research done into this topic, and hope that one day, we as a collective can decide what steps we should take to save innocent lives.
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