Romney: It's not torture unless you admit it - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2008, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
Do you believe that coercion takes place, even if highly illegal and generally regarded as totally immoral?
Yes

Do you believe that people in power play with words and shades of meaning to avoid legal proscriptions to coercive measures?
Yes

Do you believe it is a fact of history that our culture has always done this?
Yes

Do you believe it is wrong that the people in power take advantage of the "little people" in law enforcement and intelligence, making them the scapegoats when it happens?
Yes

Do you have a solution?
I don't but we do
I understand that we pretend to live in a "civil" society but maybe if we believe it hard enough then we would evolve and enforce civility.
B, you raise some good points, did you watch the show 48 hours where a bunch of detectives try to solve murders on TV within 48 hours? Did you notice how many people taken into the interrogation rooms never called for a lawyer? My point is that most of the population has no idea what freedoms were bestowed on us and think that this is the world of da man What's wrong with educating people about their rights?

B
In the general case I completely agree with you. In the hypothetical special case I disagree, but with serious reservations in my disagreement.

For example, if I caught a person whom I was convinced had kidnapped my child and knew exactly where she was sequestered I would have no reservations whatsoever in extracting the information as expeditiously as I possibly could using whatever tools were convenient. But I would be absolutely opposed to another man in exactly that position doing exactly the same thing that i said I would do. And I could absolutely never condone any authority in that kind of interrogation.

But what if it was 2 people? 20 people? 200 people? 2,000 people? 2,000,000?

Somewhere along that line my absolute prohibition loses it's absoluteness. I think for me it is somewhere between 200 and 2,000. But I'm not absolutely certain! Individual considerations come into play. What if the 200 were all children? Hmm.

In summary, I have a problem with dogmatic statements, especially when considering moral issues.

B

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thatís what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2008, 07:48 PM
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CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer posed this question to noted author and Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz and Ken Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch.

<more>

ROTH: Once you open the door to torture, once you start legitimizing it in any way, you have broken the absolute taboo. President Bush had it right in his State of the Union address when he was describing various forms of torture by Saddam Hussein and he said, "If this isn't evil, then evil has no meaning."
The "ticking bomb" excuse is failed logic. You don't know if torture would actually work so using the scenario as an excuse to corrupt morals and ethics is a bogus premise.

In the scenario shown and you torture your outcomes vary. If there was actually a bomb and you got the information in time you don't know if you could have also gotten the information without torture thus bringing into question your actions and morals. If there is NO bomb then torture proved both the wrong choice AND brought into question your actions and morals. Every variable of the scenario has moral and ethical questions. Only one is codified.

McBear,
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2008, 06:40 AM
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The "ticking bomb" excuse is failed logic. You don't know if torture would actually work so using the scenario as an excuse to corrupt morals and ethics is a bogus premise.

In the scenario shown and you torture your outcomes vary. If there was actually a bomb and you got the information in time you don't know if you could have also gotten the information without torture thus bringing into question your actions and morals. If there is NO bomb then torture proved both the wrong choice AND brought into question your actions and morals. Every variable of the scenario has moral and ethical questions. Only one is codified.
It does not fail. The point is one has compelling evidence, not absolute knowledge. Nobody has ever postulated absolute knowledge. Except theists. The degree of certainty plays a central role in this as in any other decision made by the human mind. To postulate ignoring it is to postulate unreality. There is no doubt in my mind that in reality, it is a terrifically complex problem.

The central point is finding the bomb. If there is a bomb. We could make a rigorous exercise out of it in which we assign probabilities of a bomb de novo or a bomb stolen from inventory or a bomb surreptitiously donated, etc, etc ad nauseum.

But the central issue remains: Is there a point at which the probability of a cataclysmic disaster outweighs moral objections to harsh, coercive interrogation?

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thatís what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2008, 07:53 AM
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It does not fail. The point is one has compelling evidence, not absolute knowledge. Nobody has ever postulated absolute knowledge. Except


......George W. Bush.


and Jayhawk.

Jim
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2008, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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......George W. Bush.


and Jayhawk.
Absolutely false!

Don't believe everything you think
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2008, 03:57 PM
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But the central issue remains: Is there a point at which the probability of a cataclysmic disaster outweighs moral objections to harsh, coercive interrogation?
You misunderstand my point. The logic fails in your central issue. Even if you ascertain the location of the bomb through torture you don't know if you would have succeeded in gleaning the information without torture so the conundrum of your now fully compromised morals and ethics is still not answered.

That is why the logic of this parlor exercise in morality and ethics is failed. You can never gain a clear answer whether you fully compromise or fully hold to your core beliefs [or any option in between, if that is possible].

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2008, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mcbear View Post
You misunderstand my point. The logic fails in your central issue. Even if you ascertain the location of the bomb through torture you don't know if you would have succeeded in gleaning the information without torture so the conundrum of your now fully compromised morals and ethics is still not answered.

That is why the logic of this parlor exercise in morality and ethics is failed. You can never gain a clear answer whether you fully compromise or fully hold to your core beliefs [or any option in between, if that is possible].
You must be the most "misunderstood" poster on this board... Maybe it isn't "their" understanding (logic) that is at fault?

Don't believe everything you think
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2008, 06:43 PM
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You misunderstand my point. The logic fails in your central issue. Even if you ascertain the location of the bomb through torture you don't know if you would have succeeded in gleaning the information without torture so the conundrum of your now fully compromised morals and ethics is still not answered.

That is why the logic of this parlor exercise in morality and ethics is failed. You can never gain a clear answer whether you fully compromise or fully hold to your core beliefs [or any option in between, if that is possible].
You misunderstood my point: In the immediacy of the moment, I don't give a damn which is the best methodology, only that one of them works. I choose not to intentionally blind myself to any possible solution to an immediate and vast disaster.

B

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thatís what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama
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