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Thread: Waterboarding

  1. #91
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    This sounds like a utilitarian approach to morality.
    Exactly.
    What strikes me, though, is that the phrase, "innocents are gonna suffer no matter what" could well be used to justify a terrorist act. Kill a few people on a bus to get the attention on a bigger problem that will save more people.
    I think your reference is to collateral damage and not intentional damage to non-combatants which makes it different from the application I mentioned, but still, the reasoning is troubling for its direct similarity to the justification for a terrorist act.

    I'm watching a documentary on tree-hugger eco-terrorists. That term "terrorist" includes people who have plausibly positive motivations to help the world. It includes people who have never killed anyone. And most problematically it includes people only suspected of terrorism who are tortured in order to determine their guilt. There was a quote in the documentary, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter depending on whether or not you agree with his motives". It was somewhat chilling to hear that. Terrorism is the tactic used by those who don't have the resources to have an armed forces necessary to confront a powerful country head-on. It's called asymmetrical warfare because it grows out of strong power imbalances and so overcompensates for its position of vulnerability with strong violence and fear. I am not convinced of the reasoning to remove human rights from people who happened to end up on that side of a conflict. I don't think it is possible to isolate guilt so clearly to the level of individual - they are operating and reacting within a system. There are comparable instances in which soldiers have been accused of committing violence against innocent civilians and yet they are not labeled "terrorist" for these acts. Why? Perhaps because they are on the correct side of the power imbalance?
    You bring some interesting points. Indeed, not all terrorists are intrinsically bad people. But we can't treat them based on their values. We treat them based on ours (backed by law, preferably). Otherwise we would have to grant them virgins and statues with their names. Anyways, despite the fact you seem pretty smart; pragmatically speaking, I think you are inserting as many moral variables as possible to justify inertia. The speech is convincing, but impractical on a pragmatic level.
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  2. #92
    figsfiggyfigs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    Exactly.

    Otherwise we would have to grant them virgins and statues with their names
    You relize that not all terrorist are Muslim extremist retards(redundant), right?

  3. #93
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YWIR View Post
    You relize that not all terrorist are Muslim extremist retards(redundant), right?
    Yes. I like using extreme yet tangible examples to highlight my points. Saves a lot of time.
    I wish I had Ni, so I could keep things short and vague while still managing to sound smart, but that's a skill I lack.
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    A man builds. A parasite asks 'Where is my share?'
    A man creates. A parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?'
    A man invents. A parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God... '


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  4. #94
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    I subscribe to utilitarian morals, too, and I'm against the government use of torture. I'm not convinced that it has ever achieved the results that a number of these fantastic scenarios claim they would. On the other hand, we're not merely talking about a few people being tortured (which is bad enough), we're talking about leaving the door open for the government to keep using torture, even at a time where laws are being passed allow the government to essentially call anyone a terrorist and lock them up without trial. That could easily get out of hand. Furthermore, it's a very bad image and it hurts abroad to openly advocate torturing prisoners of war.

    The statement that innocents are going to suffer no matter what is not really a good utilitarian premise because it has no sense of quantification. One innocent suffering and two innocents suffering does not have the same value, so doing one does not validate the other. But you did go on to say you'd kill 10 to save 100, basically. Okay, that's a typical utilitarian conclusion, it is correct in principle, but I think you should understand that it's the correct answer to a very specific hypothetical scenario. I'd like to emphasize your own choice of words in saying "seem guilty". How much does one have to seem guilty to be fair game for torture? What if the government was wrong about one of them, or all of them? What if they torture 10 innocent people and it does nothing to protect anyone? Should they just keeping going and round up more people that seem guilty and torture them? When accumulated error has run its course, we may find more than 100 people tortured and less than 10 saved.
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  5. #95
    Riva
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeeekyyy View Post
    I don't know how you go from "there's worse" to "this is perfectly acceptable."
    I never went there.

    I was just surprised how water-boarding got so famous knowing there are other forms of torture which are much worse than it.

    Beargryllz came to the rescue.

  6. #96
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YWIR View Post
    You relize that not all terrorist are Muslim extremist retards(redundant), right?
    Of course not all terrorists are Muslim. In fact if any Muslim commits an act of terror, they are not true Muslims. Islam, after all, is a religion of peace. And this is true because not one but two Presidents of the United States of America have said Islam is a religion of peace.

  7. #97
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riva View Post
    I was just surprised how water-boarding got so famous knowing there are other forms of torture which are much worse than it.
    Yeah, some of that mind-erasure shit they do in Guantanamo (and countless worse-than-Guantanamos abroad) is probably worse than waterboarding.

    That said, I'm against the government use of torture as well, and that includes waterboarding.

    To invoke Hitchens on this matter, here's an interesting article he wrote about his experience undergoing waterboarding.
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