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Torture: Is it ever OK?

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-Mystery-

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-Mystery-

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Posted: 29 October 2009 at 6:12pm | IP Logged


Welcome  All the Lovely IFians out there!Hug

Well, this is a very gruesome topic, and a lot of people just avoid it, but that's no way to deal with something so unfair as this.

In my Comp. Lit. class, we have just finished reading a short story by Thomas Glave "The Torturer's Wife." And that's how the topic of torture came up for class discussion.

I wanted to have a healthy discussion here so please post your views.  If you don't agree with someone else's views that's why, you can state that but no matter what be respectful to one another.  No personal attacks will be tolerated at any cost.

Thousands of people are tortured in various different countries even though state sanctioned torture is illegal under the international law.  Torture is not only used in the developing countries but also in well developed countries where there is always a big deal about human rights when the biggest right of not having to bear pain is completely ignored.

Do you think it's ever OK to use torture? If yes, then under which circumstances?

The main argument given in favor of torture is usually to save lives... that if they can torture a person so he/she gives away the information that can save others' lives, then it's OK.  Do you think it is?

History has it that most of the information gained by torture is always useless because most people can't bear the pain for long.  They would sign on any statement, any accusation you bring on them just to make you stop torturing them.  So what's there to gain by torture?

Under this pretense, thousands of innocent people are tortured too.  The families of criminals are tortured to give away the information about a criminal when they even don't know where he/she is.

Thousands of innocent people are tortured just because an office suspects that he/she might be involved with some crime.  What if one day you are one of the innocent people captured?

What if the tortures becomes a reason of vengeance for an otherwise innocent and normal citizen? If you have see "New York" you know what I'm talking about.

While you're reading this post and some of you are preparing to reply, imagine that right at this moment thousands of people are being tortured all over the world.  In fact 24/7.  When we're partying and having some, some people some innocent ones too are being tortured mercilessly.

Over to you all, waiting to read your opinions on this matter.

-Mahi


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LeadOxide

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Posted: 29 October 2009 at 8:41pm | IP Logged
Its never ok

souro

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souro

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Posted: 30 October 2009 at 7:55am | IP Logged
Originally posted by -Mystery-

Do you think it's ever OK to use torture? If yes, then under which circumstances?
Torture is perfectly acceptable when there is a genuine reason to believe that a person is witholding information related to some past or future crime.

The main argument given in favor of torture is usually to save lives... that if they can torture a person so he/she gives away the information that can save others' lives, then it's OK.  Do you think it is?

Yes it is. It's a case of greater good.

History has it that most of the information gained by torture is always useless because most people can't bear the pain for long.  They would sign on any statement, any accusation you bring on them just to make you stop torturing them.  So what's there to gain by torture?

History also shows that many crimes were averted or solved because the criminal broke down under duress and divulged some vital information.
Moreover, if we want to extract information from a criminal, what other options do we have. It's not as if that if we shower too much love, then he will have a change of heart and will come right out with everything that he did or was about to do.

Under this pretense, thousands of innocent people are tortured too.  The families of criminals are tortured to give away the information about a criminal when they even don't know where he/she is.

Torturing of innocent people is never right. But why bring innocents into the discussion. Just because a few police sometimes err and tortures an innocent person doesn't mean that the method of torturing to extract information itself becomes unacceptable.

Thousands of innocent people are tortured just because an office suspects that he/she might be involved with some crime.  What if one day you are one of the innocent people captured?

As I said innocent people should never be tortured. Before a person is pressed for further information, it should be clearly established that he has some information related to the case to begin with. Mere suspicion or hunch should never be the basis of torturing someone.

What if the tortures becomes a reason of vengeance for an otherwise innocent and normal citizen? If you have see "New York" you know what I'm talking about.

Haven't seen 'New York', so can't really comment on what was shown in it.


-Mystery-

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-Mystery-

BollyCurry Buzzers

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Posted: 30 October 2009 at 12:38pm | IP Logged
^^^ Yes, but when do you have a "genuine reason to believe that a person is withholding information."

Don't police always have a genuine reason????

History has more cases when nothing was gained from torture than something valuable was actually extracted.  So in these circumstances is it worthwhile?

People are tortured endlessly to 'gather information' but when do you for sure that the person has some information?  Countless instances have been recorded when the police knew 'for sure' that the person has some info. but in reality such was not the case.  So how can you justify torture?

Isn't it said that 10 guilty can be released so that not a single innocent person should be punished?

-Mahi


Edited by -Mystery- - 30 October 2009 at 12:38pm

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Posted: 30 October 2009 at 1:37pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by -Mystery-

^^^ Yes, but when do you have a "genuine reason to believe that a person is withholding information."

Don't police always have a genuine reason????

History has more cases when nothing was gained from torture than something valuable was actually extracted.  So in these circumstances is it worthwhile?

People are tortured endlessly to 'gather information' but when do you for sure that the person has some information?  Countless instances have been recorded when the police knew 'for sure' that the person has some info. but in reality such was not the case.  So how can you justify torture?

Isn't it said that 10 guilty can be released so that not a single innocent person should be punished?

-Mahi


Genuine reason can be established from the evidences linked to that person. If the person is connected to a crime then obviously he'll know more about it.

@Red: When you speak of countless instances, I'll expect you to state some instances.
And moreover, as I said earlier, instances of illegal detention and torturing doesn't mean that the whole idea of torturing to gather information is bad. Torturing without a purpose or just for the sake of entertainment is bad. But torturing because the information from that one person can save several others, is perfectly fine.
Torturing might be an evil for you and for many others but it is a necessary evil. If it's so bad then atleast the people who are opposed to it should come forward with a better alternative to extract information.


-Mystery-

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-Mystery-

BollyCurry Buzzers

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Posted: 30 October 2009 at 2:45pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by souro


Genuine reason can be established from the evidences linked to that person. If the person is connected to a crime then obviously he'll know more about it.

@Red: When you speak of countless instances, I'll expect you to state some instances.
And moreover, as I said earlier, instances of illegal detention and torturing doesn't mean that the whole idea of torturing to gather information is bad. Torturing without a purpose or just for the sake of entertainment is bad. But torturing because the information from that one person can save several others, is perfectly fine.
Torturing might be an evil for you and for many others but it is a necessary evil. If it's so bad then atleast the people who are opposed to it should come forward with a better alternative to extract information.




But even then how can you be so sure?  Some people are just paid or brainwashed to do a certain job.  And they don't know about who the real planners are.  They genuinely don't know.  Then just because someone has committed a crime, they know about the entire gang is not a good theory.

You said it yourself.  Illegal detention and torturing has happened especially the near past and without any reason.  The evidence was pretty much some names similarity to a criminal.  How is that a genuine reason to torture or even consider someone a criminal?

Just because we don't have a better way to extract information doesn't mean that we have to use the wrong way.  Two wrongs never make a right, at least not for me.  I guess it depends on idealogies and values of different people. 

souro

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souro

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Posted: 30 October 2009 at 3:16pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by -Mystery-


But even then how can you be so sure?  Some people are just paid or brainwashed to do a certain job.  And they don't know about who the real planners are.  They genuinely don't know.  Then just because someone has committed a crime, they know about the entire gang is not a good theory.

Doesn't matter whether they were brainwashed into committing the crime. Fact still remains that if they were connected with the crime then they'll know something that the investigators don't. If they don't want to part with that information willingly then force must come into play.

Originally posted by -Mystery-

You said it yourself.  Illegal detention and torturing has happened especially the near past and without any reason.  The evidence was pretty much some names similarity to a criminal.  How is that a genuine reason to torture or even consider someone a criminal?

I'm saying illegal detention or torturing shouldn't be used to proclaim that the whole idea of torturing criminals to extract information is useless and evil. Just because police can apprehend an innocent by mistake doesn't mean that we don't need the police force.

Originally posted by -Mystery-

Just because we don't have a better way to extract information doesn't mean that we have to use the wrong way.  Two wrongs never make a right, at least not for me.  I guess it depends on idealogies and values of different people. 

I'm not talking about two wrongs. It is wrong in your opinion not for me. For me a person did something wrong, we want further information so we ask him nicely, he refuses, we tie him up and beat him real good and he sings about everything he knows. For me that's a quick and perfect solution. Nothing wrong in punishing a criminal or a criminal suspect.
Moreover, if you don't have a better solution in mind, then what do you expect that it doesn't matter whether we get any information out of that criminal or not?? Go on endlessly with the investigation when actually a few hits with the rod can move your investigation miles ahead??

-Mystery-

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-Mystery-

BollyCurry Buzzers

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Posted: 30 October 2009 at 3:26pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by souro

Originally posted by -Mystery-


But even then how can you be so sure?  Some people are just paid or brainwashed to do a certain job.  And they don't know about who the real planners are.  They genuinely don't know.  Then just because someone has committed a crime, they know about the entire gang is not a good theory.

Doesn't matter whether they were brainwashed into committing the crime. Fact still remains that if they were connected with the crime then they'll know something that the investigators don't. If they don't want to part with that information willingly then force must come into play.  It does matter however.  What's the point of beating someone to death when they don't even have the information?

Originally posted by -Mystery-

You said it yourself.  Illegal detention and torturing has happened especially the near past and without any reason.  The evidence was pretty much some names similarity to a criminal.  How is that a genuine reason to torture or even consider someone a criminal?

I'm saying illegal detention or torturing shouldn't be used to proclaim that the whole idea of torturing criminals to extract information is useless and evil. Just because police can apprehend an innocent by mistake doesn't mean that we don't need the police force. Yes, but the point is that it's usually not by a mistake.  As long as torture is allowed to use, they use it on anyone.  A lot of times it's only about exerting your power on the other person.  It's not just about gathering the information.  In the history of Rome, they would always torture their slaves to get information.  None of the testimonies without torture would be accepted because the idea was that torture is needed to make them say the truth.  Obviously it backfired.  You mostly don't get correct information through torture.

Originally posted by -Mystery-

Just because we don't have a better way to extract information doesn't mean that we have to use the wrong way.  Two wrongs never make a right, at least not for me.  I guess it depends on idealogies and values of different people. 

I'm not talking about two wrongs. It is wrong in your opinion not for me. For me a person did something wrong, we want further information so we ask him nicely, he refuses, we tie him up and beat him real good and he sings about everything he knows. For me that's a quick and perfect solution. Nothing wrong in punishing a criminal or a criminal suspect.
Moreover, if you don't have a better solution in mind, then what do you expect that it doesn't matter whether we get any information out of that criminal or not?? Go on endlessly with the investigation when actually a few hits with the rod can move your investigation miles ahead??
  Oh OK, you don't think torture is bad at all.  Well, in that case it's a whole new discussion.  My point is that a lot of times people will give away more and correct information by other means.  Giving them money? Or something like that.  Every person has a weakness and when we hit the right chord, we can get everything without beating them to death.  Torture is NOT just hitting a few times with a rod, it's a severe and harsh.  I was actually referring to torture when peoples' hands are severed, nails are pulled out, fingers are crushed and so on.

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