Debating Torture Is Like Debating Whether Rape Is Good

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False Debate

Torture doesn’t work to produce helpful intelligence. All of the top experts say that it hurts our national security. (More).

Those who believe that torture produces helpful intelligence don’t understand the facts … just as people that think that a woman’s body can reject a rape-induced pregnancy are uninformed.

Zero Dark Thirty is CIA-sponsored government propaganda. But the filmmaker — Katheryn Bigelow — claims that it’s a “complicated” issue that can’t be oversimplified.

Slavoj u017Diu017Eek notes:

With torture, one should not “think” [about trade-offs involved in a “complex” issue]. A parallel with rape imposes itself here: what if a film were to show a brutal rape in the same neutral way, claiming that one should avoid cheap moralism and start to think about rape in all its complexity? Our guts tell us that there is something terribly wrong here; I would like to live in a society where rape is simply considered unacceptable, so that anyone who argues for it appears an eccentric idiot, not in a society where one has to argue against it. The same goes for torture: a sign of ethical progress is the fact that torture is “dogmatically” rejected as repulsive, without any need for argument.

u017Diu017Eek also notes that the pro-torture crowd argues that it’s just real life … so we should discuss it:

So what about the “realist” argument: torture has always existed, so is it not better to at least talk publicly about it? This, exactly, is the problem. If torture was always going on, why are those in power now telling us openly about it? There is only one answer: to normalise it, to lower our ethical standards.

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George Washington blogs at Washington’s Blog.

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