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Tabitha
Monday, October 16th, 2006, 06:51 PM
Are there any circumstances in which a government should be permitted to torture a suspect?

I would argue against this idea, on the grounds that a government which permits torture is ceding the moral high ground. It will, of course, be suggested that torture could reveal information that could save lives, however, such occasions are exceedingly rare and there is plenty of evidence to support the idea that torture does not yield first class intelligence, the victim is prepared to say anything to make the pain stop.
However, I would argue, that it is more acceptable for a nation to lose lives as a result of a terrorist action, rather than to barbarise itself by sinking to the level of torture.

Thoughts please. :)

Maryland
Tuesday, October 17th, 2006, 12:16 AM
Are there any circumstances in which a government should be permitted to torture a suspect?

I would argue against this idea, on the grounds that a government which permits torture is ceding the moral high ground. It will, of course, be suggested that torture could reveal information that could save lives, however, such occasions are exceedingly rare and there is plenty of evidence to support the idea that torture does not yield first class intelligence, the victim is prepared to say anything to make the pain stop.
However, I would argue, that it is more acceptable for a nation to lose lives as a result of a terrorist action, rather than to barbarise itself by sinking to the level of torture.

Thoughts please. :)

I would argue against government-sanctioned torture as well, most notably because of the very reasons you just gave. Of course, the United States has been debating this for some time, despite the Bush administration already proceeding with it. They used 9/11 and the possibility of future terrorist attacks as a pretext to this expansion in government power. Do I like the idea of terrorist attacks? I assuredly hate this notion, but you're playing with fire when you're rather short-sightedly allowing a government to do that which may (definitely in the case of the US) be against some of its most basic ideals. Besides, let's just say that victory is attained, something of which I am a skeptic when it comes to a well-funded, well-trained, worldwide, and (among others ethnically like them) difficult to discern from the general population group that outright hates those whom they are fighting. Even IF victory would be attained from information resulting from torture, I sincerely doubt that any government would willingly give up this "right." Who's to say that this would not be unleashed on anyone the government deems "hostile?" That's what I fear - a government even more out of control, even further trampling the rights of its citizens.

Maryland

Veritas ∆quitas
Tuesday, October 17th, 2006, 09:12 AM
Absolutely not. If the government is allowed to torture, let's say, a Islamic extremist in order to gain information then what's to stop the government from torturing you or a political dissident? It's not to say it doesn't happen, which it most certainly does - but to turn a blind eye, or permit such barbarism is insane. We don't behave like animals in civilized society, and neither should those representing us in the government.

Rafael
Tuesday, October 17th, 2006, 12:30 PM
Torture, maybe. If there were laws saying who could and who could not be tortured. Detailed laws which would sound silly and laughable to many just the way old victorian laws in british colonies today sounds silly to many.
I believe muslim terrorists must be tortured. Not just out of rational purposes but out of pure hatred and vengeance. To degrade them.

Moody
Tuesday, October 17th, 2006, 04:31 PM
Are there any circumstances in which a government should be permitted to torture a suspect?

Yes - if the suspect is suspected of with-holding vital information.
It is then the duty of the government to use all possible means to extract that information.


I would argue against this idea, on the grounds that a government which permits torture is ceding the moral high ground.

What is that "high moral ground"?

Is Thou shalt not torture one of the Ten Commandments of Moses?

Or is it some unworkable idea of 'human rights'?

To my mind, a traitor or a serious criminal do not deserve such 'rights', whether the 'rights' be Biblical or Kantian.

Essentially, it is about responsibility; the responsibility that a government has towards its law-abiding citizens.

Any government which shirks that is unfit to govern.


It will, of course, be suggested that torture could reveal information that could save lives, however, such occasions are exceedingly rare and there is plenty of evidence to support the idea that torture does not yield first class intelligence, the victim is prepared to say anything to make the pain stop.

Not if they are always severely punished for giving false information.
Only the correct information will end their pain [and of course the info will be checked out while the subject is being held].

Human pain thresholds are such that most people will give up all the information they have to stop the pain [there are exceptions who will rather die than give up - so let them die].

Remember that torture is often used to confirm known information.
In other words the subject will know that you know that you know he knows; it is just a matter of his yielding it up.

If torture didn't work, then it would never be used - and at any rate, that is not a moral argument.

If you say that torure shouldn't be used because it doesn't work in any circumstances, then you are not operating on the level of "moral high ground" as you pretend, but on the ground of utility - a mistaken utility at that, as torture definately does work [torture techniques are quite varied - sensory deprivation is a very effective method of torture, for example].


However, I would argue, that it is more acceptable for a nation to lose lives as a result of a terrorist action, rather than to barbarise itself by sinking to the level of torture.

"Acceptable" to whom?
A government that cannot protect its citizens is a failed government; it is completey unacceptable for a government to leave its own citizens open to terrorist attack.
And it is certainly not acceptable to the families of victims.

You are begging the question by suggesting that torture is "low" and "barbaric".
This is not true; torture is a completely legitimate response to those who are traitors and enemies of the nation and the body politic.

Not only that, torture is an art-form.
There are certain men who are artists in torture, and who should be given such an outlet in every nation.

Like the hangman, they do their job dispassionately and without a trace of sadism.

And anyway - how do you define and delimit torture?

If we use the definition of 'cruel and unusual treatment', then corporal punishment [beating] could be seen as such.
To some liberals, even imprisonment is seen as 'torture'.

Surely, once we outlaw such things as capital punishment, corporal punishment and torture [as the Human Rights addicted states have], then you are on the way to having a state with very few sanctions and deterents against wrong-doers, as is the case with certain Western European states today who have buckled under terrorism.

Of course, in a perfect world we wouldn't need to torture anyone, just as we wouldn't need to punish anyone.

However, we do not live in such a world, and never will.

Those governments who have abjured torture have opened themselves up to enemy action in a most irresponsible way.



They used 9/11 and the possibility of future terrorist attacks as a pretext to this expansion in government power.

The misuse of power in a particular case is no argument against power as such, any more than the use of poison is an argument against food.

Just because our enemies use torture doesn't make torture wrong anymore than the fact that our enemies use spys makes spying wrong.


That's what I fear - a government even more out of control, even further trampling the rights of its citizens.

I would say that the rights of a citizen to protection from an enemy attack is one of the most important rights that a government can uphold.


Absolutely not. If the government is allowed to torture, let's say, a Islamic extremist in order to gain information then what's to stop the government from torturing you or a political dissident? It's not to say it doesn't happen, which it most certainly does - but to turn a blind eye, or permit such barbarism is insane. We don't behave like animals in civilized society, and neither should those representing us in the government.

Unfortunately, those are the risks we have to take.

A life without risk is not possible [or desirable].

If you oppose a government from within then you have to expect - if you are caught - to be punished and tortured [not necessarily in that order].

In fact it is a Leftist/Islamist tactic to harp on about 'human rights' to Western governments, trying to prevent them from using punishment and torture so that they can overthrow the government and culture!

What strong government in its right mind would dispense with such things [outside of an Utopia]?

An Islamic government wouldn't [and nor should it].

The West will be defeated because it no longer believes in strong measures of law, order and ruthless counter-terror.

Maryland
Tuesday, October 17th, 2006, 06:29 PM
Yes - if the suspect is suspected of with-holding vital information.
It is then the duty of the government to use all possible means to extract that information.



What is that "high moral ground"?

Is Thou shalt not torture one of the Ten Commandments of Moses?

Or is it some unworkable idea of 'human rights'?

To my mind, a traitor or a serious criminal do not deserve such 'rights', whether the 'rights' be Biblical or Kantian.

Essentially, it is about responsibility; the responsibility that a government has towards its law-abiding citizens.

Any government which shirks that is unfit to govern.



Not if they are always severely punished for giving false information.
Only the correct information will end their pain [and of course the info will be checked out while the subject is being held].

Human pain thresholds are such that most people will give up all the information they have to stop the pain [there are exceptions who will rather die than give up - so let them die].

Remember that torture is often used to confirm known information.
In other words the subject will know that you know that you know he knows; it is just a matter of his yielding it up.

If torture didn't work, then it would never be used - and at any rate, that is not a moral argument.

If you say that torure shouldn't be used because it doesn't work in any circumstances, then you are not operating on the level of "moral high ground" as you pretend, but on the ground of utility - a mistaken utility at that, as torture definately does work [torture techniques are quite varied - sensory deprivation is a very effective method of torture, for example].



"Acceptable" to whom?
A government that cannot protect its citizens is a failed government; it is completey unacceptable for a government to leave its own citizens open to terrorist attack.
And it is certainly not acceptable to the families of victims.

You are begging the question by suggesting that torture is "low" and "barbaric".
This is not true; torture is a completely legitimate response to those who are traitors and enemies of the nation and the body politic.

Not only that, torture is an art-form.
There are certain men who are artists in torture, and who should be given such an outlet in every nation.

Like the hangman, they do their job dispassionately and without a trace of sadism.

And anyway - how do you define and delimit torture?

If we use the definition of 'cruel and unusual treatment', then corporal punishment [beating] could be seen as such.
To some liberals, even imprisonment is seen as 'torture'.

Surely, once we outlaw such things as capital punishment, corporal punishment and torture [as the Human Rights addicted states have], then you are on the way to having a state with very few sanctions and deterents against wrong-doers, as is the case with certain Western European states today who have buckled under terrorism.

Of course, in a perfect world we wouldn't need to torture anyone, just as we wouldn't need to punish anyone.

However, we do not live in such a world, and never will.

Those governments who have abjured torture have opened themselves up to enemy action in a most irresponsible way.




The misuse of power in a particular case is no argument against power as such, any more than the use of poison is an argument against food.

Just because our enemies use torture doesn't make torture wrong anymore than the fact that our enemies use spys makes spying wrong.



I would say that the rights of a citizen to protection from an enemy attack is one of the most important rights that a government can uphold.



Unfortunately, those are the risks we have to take.

A life without risk is not possible [or desirable].

If you oppose a government from within then you have to expect - if you are caught - to be punished and tortured [not necessarily in that order].

In fact it is a Leftist/Islamist tactic to harp on about 'human rights' to Western governments, trying to prevent them from using punishment and torture so that they can overthrow the government and culture!

What strong government in its right mind would dispense with such things [outside of an Utopia]?

An Islamic government wouldn't [and nor should it].

The West will be defeated because it no longer believes in strong measures of law, order and ruthless counter-terror.

Basically, a lot of what I'm saying is in accordance with what Veritas Aequitas previously said:

You may love Britain and its people just as much as I love America and its people, and you may want to protect them just as much as I do, but can you honestly say that you trust your government, or any government for that matter, especially with carte blanche to do exactly as it pleases without any public oversight? It's especially problematic in regards to terrorists, as they can be citizens. Granted, they are definitely not the kind of citizen I'd like to see in my country, but here's my question: Who's to say that, if the government has the right to torture (even its citizens), it won't do the same to any citizen they deem an enemy combatant just because they may be against a specific policy or a war? If a government has the ability to torture anyone they deem hostile, then it's only a matter of time before law-abiding citizens who happen to be on the dissenting side are tortured and violated by a government originally intended to protect them.

I think this famous quote is appropriate here: "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

Maryland

Mazorquero
Tuesday, October 17th, 2006, 07:59 PM
The problem with tortures made by USA are the following: the government says they don't torture and that they are fighting a fair war. We know they lie when they say that, at least about tortures. We don't like hipocresy, and the governments are hipocrit. If they said "Yes, we torture because it's necesary", good, now we can discuss if torture is moral or inmoral, but the most of you focused in the hipocrsy of the government.
About the morality of the torture, well, I don't think it is so bad. I'll tell you my opinion; almost everyday I hear about old people, children and workers with family being stolen and robbed, sometimes killed by [censored by myself] thiefs, drugaddicts, politicians and all those things (because we can't call them "people"). I mean they cause suffering and pain to people who believes in honour and works to bring peace and health to their homes, and all of a sudden a [again censored by myself] terminates with their dream. Isn't that torture?! You make all what you can to be a good person, you are screwed up and a judge says that the criminal is a victim from society. That's torture. Punishing with Vlad Tepes' methods any of those excrement bags is not torture but justice. How big was the crime index during dictatorial regimes? Quite low indeed, huh?
I'll go further; if I had the oportunity to make a security plan, I would allow torture, but first everybody will be adviced about the punishment for being criminal, as we make with all laws published. Those who don't want to change will be tortured in public until death. All the governments which employed similar tactics had very low crime index.

Maryland
Tuesday, October 17th, 2006, 08:47 PM
The problem with tortures made by USA are the following: the government says they don't torture and that they are fighting a fair war. We know they lie when they say that, at least about tortures. We don't like hipocresy, and the governments are hipocrit. If they said "Yes, we torture because it's necesary", good, now we can discuss if torture is moral or inmoral, but the most of you focused in the hipocrsy of the government.
About the morality of the torture, well, I don't think it is so bad. I'll tell you my opinion; almost everyday I hear about old people, children and workers with family being stolen and robbed, sometimes killed by [censored by myself] thiefs, drugaddicts, politicians and all those things (because we can't call them "people"). I mean they cause suffering and pain to people who believes in honour and works to bring peace and health to their homes, and all of a sudden a [again censored by myself] terminates with their dream. Isn't that torture?! You make all what you can to be a good person, you are screwed up and a judge says that the criminal is a victim from society. That's torture. Punishing with Vlad Tepes' methods any of those excrement bags is not torture but justice. How big was the crime index during dictatorial regimes? Quite low indeed, huh?
I'll go further; if I had the oportunity to make a security plan, I would allow torture, but first everybody will be adviced about the punishment for being criminal, as we make with all laws published. Those who don't want to change will be tortured in public until death. All the governments which employed similar tactics had very low crime index.

I'll agree with you that it's extremely difficult to open some sort of serious dialogue on the matter when a government goes ahead and does what it sees "fit" without even listening to the citizens who have put them in office. As for the implementation of torture as a deterrence for future criminal activity, I'm not so convinced it's all that effective in the long-term sense. Yes, the statistics will show that crime may go way down for as long as a government may last as a dictatorship, but as soon as a government crosses the line and unleashes unspeakable cruelty upon its people (criminals or not), there are those who become disenfranchised and seek revolution. This continues though, because the concept of a dictator becomes part of the political culture, so much so that a new government does not know how to cope without resorting to torture and other measures like it. Then what happens? In the former Soviet Union, for example, torture and very public deterrences to crime were utilized. Along with a whole host of other issues, this led many there to be starkly opposed to their government. The Soviet Union is gone, and is Russia all that better? Russia's using many of the same tactics, and they still are unable to control crime (especially organized crime). That's my take on it.

Rafael
Tuesday, October 17th, 2006, 08:51 PM
Everyone lies. When USA claims they fight a clean war they lie just as much as those who claim Nazi-Germany didn't commit genocide lie.

I am not against the USA or the Nazi way of war, but I don't feel the need to deny it.
I am in favor of torturing muslims just because they deserve to be tortured and I support what is considered "war crimes" etc without shame. More people should be like me. Why so scared of the evil side of man?

Dr. Solar Wolff
Tuesday, October 17th, 2006, 11:20 PM
No torture. It doesn't work anyway. Bush and company just want to brand political opponents "terrorists", just like Bill Clinton tried, and then water-board them. Bush has taken away ever right in our Bill of Rights except that the government cannot force citizens to share their homes with soldiers--honestly they have!

Mazorquero
Wednesday, October 18th, 2006, 03:25 AM
Ok, I just want to make clear some of my frases. I said we should apply torture as punishment to criminals, and criminals are people who behave in a totally unacceptable way, no matter which religion, race or sex they have. I never said "I support Bush on torturing terrorist/muslims", because the most of muslims are good people, I can confirm that with many arabs I know, besides, the definition of terrorist is quite vague, it depends on which side you stay. The definition of terrorist deserves a thread apart from this one. My opinion on torture applies to the everyday criminal we face like thiefs, drug dealers, killers, rapists and so on. The use of torture in international conflicts as the one the most of members are discussing, is a more complex and delicate matter, and since it's that complicated, I wont say any opinion about that issue. I referred only to domestical crime and the daily injustice we all complaint about.
Concerning the use of torture as punishment, if well applied in the right moment, you won't need to extend the "terror period", after a little time if criminals are a bit smart, they will realise you are not joking and there will be no reason to sustain that heavy treatment, it's true that after a long time even the good population tires of it. The problem about that are all those human rights organizations which defend more the criminals than the victims, or when you kill as self-defence a criminal and you are judged as one. Criminals are treated as innocent lambs, when put in jail they have free house, free food, pay no taxes and don't work, besides the most of them learn new tactics in jails. A bit of "Pol Poth medicine" is not that bad in some occasions:dgrin .

Maryland
Thursday, October 19th, 2006, 12:48 AM
I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea from my posts either. I may be against torture, but that's mostly because I do not trust placing such a power in the hands of a government that I feel would use it arbitrarily and unjustly. On the other hand, I am not against the execution of terrorists who have been tried in some way, shape, or form as such, although abuses could still surface in a plan such as that. I simply feel that there should be some sense of human dignity in it all; besides, by torturing them, we may, through such brutality, be creating 5 new terrorists for every one that we torture. For me, the same goes for other dangerous criminals. I'm not against capital punishment, but torturing them publicly could be counterproductive as a deterrence. I guess you could say that I'm more in line with Locke's notion of "reparation" in order to administer justice and get on with life.

Maryland

Moody
Thursday, October 19th, 2006, 02:30 PM
can you honestly say that you trust your government, or any government for that matter, especially with carte blanche to do exactly as it pleases without any public oversight?

Ideally, my government should represent and embody the will of the Folk.

A government like that can and should be trusted.

A government like that derives its 'carte blanch' from the people who trust it to use its powers, such as the powers to punish and torture traitors, terrorists and criminals.

Whether or not a government has the "right" to torture is the question of this thread.

Therefore I say that a government which represents and embodies the Folk does have the right to torture miscreants.

Now, if you say that a certain government can't be trusted with that power, then you would have to say that that particular government shouldn't be alllowed to do anything!
This is because we are dealing in this forum with ethical and moral principles.

If you really do not trust a particular government then you cannot trust it over the whole range of its policies, not just on counter-terror.

So your argument is really about the trustworthyness [or not] of governments, rather than about the right of a government to torture.

In that case, you need to make it clear whether you believe that all governments, no matter what their complexion, are to be trusted.

If you distrust all forms of government , then it stands to reason you would be against all government powers - not just that of torture.


Who's to say that, if the government has the right to torture (even its citizens), it won't do the same to any citizen they deem an enemy combatant just because they may be against a specific policy or a war? If a government has the ability to torture anyone they deem hostile, then it's only a matter of time before law-abiding citizens who happen to be on the dissenting side are tortured and violated by a government originally intended to protect them.

A government has the right to act against the 'enemy within' - who could be citizens - if the latter are perceived to be a real threat to the safety, security and cohesion of the nation.
Of course, if a government starts to mistreat citizens who are not a real threat then we have a case of corrupt government.
But this is an argument against corrupt government rather than against the right to torture [i]per se.

If you are saying that, because there is the possibility that any government can become corrupt, that they should therefore not have any serious powers [such as the power of life and death over its citizens] then you arguing, as I say, for weak government across the board [or else Anarchism], because all power could be seen as open to abuse.

This would go along with the adage that 'all power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely'.
I disagree with this, as I do not believe that it is power as such which corrupts [I believe that corruption is due to degeneracy]; rather that corruption is amplified when it is united with power.

To my mind, it is not power which should be curtailed, but rather corruption which should be curtailed.

Power is absolutely necessary and acceptable in the right hands as you need power to accomplish anything in politics.



I think this famous quote is appropriate here: "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

It is the liberal policies of post-war Western governments that have made the world unsafe on many levels for Whites the world over.

Open door policies, open prison policies, anti-punishment policies - liberal policies in toto are fine if the world is inhabited only by gentle, hard-working, honest angels.

However, we know that this is not the case.

The liberal experiment has failed.

Maryland
Thursday, October 19th, 2006, 04:50 PM
Ideally, my government should represent and embody the will of the Folk.

A government like that can and should be trusted.

A government like that derives its 'carte blanch' from the people who trust it to use its powers, such as the powers to punish and torture traitors, terrorists and criminals.

Whether or not a government has the "right" to torture is the question of this thread.

Therefore I say that a government which represents and embodies the Folk does have the right to torture miscreants.

Now, if you say that a certain government can't be trusted with that power, then you would have to say that that particular government shouldn't be alllowed to do anything!
This is because we are dealing in this forum with ethical and moral principles.

If you really do not trust a particular government then you cannot trust it over the whole range of its policies, not just on counter-terror.

So your argument is really about the trustworthyness [or not] of governments, rather than about the right of a government to torture.

In that case, you need to make it clear whether you believe that all governments, no matter what their complexion, are to be trusted.

If you distrust all forms of government , then it stands to reason you would be against all government powers - not just that of torture.



A government has the right to act against the 'enemy within' - who could be citizens - if the latter are perceived to be a real threat to the safety, security and cohesion of the nation.
Of course, if a government starts to mistreat citizens who are not a real threat then we have a case of corrupt government.
But this is an argument against corrupt government rather than against the right to torture [i]per se.

If you are saying that, because there is the possibility that any government can become corrupt, that they should therefore not have any serious powers [such as the power of life and death over its citizens] then you arguing, as I say, for weak government across the board [or else Anarchism], because all power could be seen as open to abuse.

This would go along with the adage that 'all power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely'.
I disagree with this, as I do not believe that it is power as such which corrupts [I believe that corruption is due to degeneracy]; rather that corruption is amplified when it is united with power.

To my mind, it is not power which should be curtailed, but rather corruption which should be curtailed.

Power is absolutely necessary and acceptable in the right hands as you need power to accomplish anything in politics.




It is the liberal policies of post-war Western governments that have made the world unsafe on many levels for Whites the world over.

Open door policies, open prison policies, anti-punishment policies - liberal policies in toto are fine if the world is inhabited only by gentle, hard-working, honest angels.

However, we know that this is not the case.

The liberal experiment has failed.

You're right; ideally, your government (as well as mine) should represent and embody the will of the People, but as we oftentimes note, the outcome of the application of this ideal does not work in accordance with it. Otherwise, such a government can and should be trusted.

I agree that a government derives its power from the governed, but there is one detail to point out. I'm going to make another reference to Locke, most notably because his work is very pertinent to this debate on life, death, and torture and how the government (or lack thereof) should fit into it all. In his Second Treatise on Government, Locke states that, because government is a contract in which the People cede some of their rights and authority to the government, the government cannot have any right or power that the People never had originally. So, my question for you is: Do you believe that the individual in the course of history has ever had the moral right (since, as you said, this is a discussion on ethics and morals) to torture another? If not, then the government most definitely does not have the right to do so either. Besides, even if the individual has ever had the right to torture another, based on the consent of the governed, they have a right to decide how and to what extent their government is limited. Therefore, a government would not even necessarily have this power if the People in their own individual capacities were allowed to.

It is in this respect that I do not believe a government has the right to torture; a government should not have free reign to do that which is not explicitly granted to them by the People. I'm by no means an anarchist, but that does not mean I'm in favor of an unlimited government that has the potential to do just as much (if not more) harm to its citizens than any attack (foreign or from within...sometimes the same in regards to terrorists). I'm not arguing for "weak" government, but I am certainly arguing against a terribly centralized regime. A government should have the right to protect its citizens without violating the rights of other loyal, innocent citizens. That's where what a government should be able to do ends for me - no "Big Brother," no socialist policies that rob the People of their hard-earned money, and no torture!

Whether or not you'll agree that power corrupts, I'm sure you can agree with me that power has the potential to bring out the worst in someone, correct? It doesn't matter if they were disturbed from Day One or if they became too accustomed to the power; the "how they got to be powerful and corrupt" is not nearly as important as the mere fact that they are. Power is necessary to getting things done in politics; there's no question there, but you must first have the right to exercise such power before doing so.

Your critique of Western governments tends to contradict itself. On the one hand, you agree that government is based on the consent of the governed, a very "pro-liberty" notion attributed to Locke and other social contract theorists. On the other hand, you feel that a government's plans override what the vast majority of the People may want or not want. I agree with you that the essentially anti-White policies you speak of have been detrimental to us worldwide, but I do feel that power and corruption are components of human nature. Some similar things to that which was said about Western nations' abuse of power can be in some way, shape, or form said about Asian or African governments. When anyone is given the power to do something they want, they won't miss the opportunity to do so. Besides, I'll also remind you that those in government are people too. How many politicians and other government officials have you heard of that are "gentle, hard-working, honest angels?"

I'm merely a proponent of citizens remaining educated as to their rights and exercising them within their own government.


Maryland

Moody
Thursday, October 19th, 2006, 06:41 PM
You're right; ideally, your government (as well as mine) should represent and embody the will of the People, but as we oftentimes note, the outcome of the application of this ideal does not work in accordance with it. Otherwise, such a government can and should be trusted.

My view of an ideal government [essentially a monocultural racial-nationalist government] allows trust, as far as any unified Folk can trust themselves.

So while I do not have a utopian view of 'human nature' anymore than you do, I believe that, even today, this type of government can be achieved, and - somewhat ironically - we will need to have a full complement of powers in order to work towards it [how else are we to return our mutlicultures to monocultures - if that is what we want?]

So I say that my 'ideal' can be achieved in the future, just as it was achieved in the past.

Because of the view I have of human nature, I believe that such a government will always need to have the power of life & death over its citizens.

So I do not regard this as 'idealist', nor as 'utopian' - far from it.

Your own position seems to be based on a conflicting view of 'human nature'.

You cannot trust men enough to form trust-worthy governments, but you can trust men enough to take away governmental powers such as torture.

Therefore you have a contradiction.
If men are as untrustworthy as you say [when they form governments as they are wont to do], then it seems to me that we will always need to have powers such as torture to protect ourselves from others.


I agree that a government derives its power from the governed, but there is one detail to point out. I'm going to make another reference to Locke, most notably because his work is very pertinent to this debate on life, death, and torture and how the government (or lack thereof) should fit into it all. In his Second Treatise on Government, Locke states that, because government is a contract in which the People cede some of their rights and authority to the government, the government cannot have any right or power that the People never had originally.

This is the Contract model of government [and there are other models], which is one that I do not agree with.

Firstly because it separates the Government from the People in the way you describe, in a kind of 'business arrangement'.

I believe that this view is a much later rationalisation of government [springing as it does from the Enlightenment thinkers] which turns the reality of government upside down.

For me, government begins from the tribal, racial, religio-cultural entity; as such it is based on Blood & Soil.

This is a primordial notion which is prior to all so-called 'contracts' .

In Aryan terms it later has the three functions of Warrior-Kings, Priests-Artists, Farmer-Merchants, all above the Peasantry-Slaves.

It does not believe in 'equal rights'.

It is only when the Merchants rise to the top with the revolutions of the middle class that the conception is altered to agree with the form of a 'contract'.

Quite fittingly, the merchant [and then the lawyer] like to see the nation as a contractual entity.

And it is [i]at this point when trust [and honour] starts to disappear.

So I am not a fan of Locke and his laissez aller view of politics.
After all, if it is all about contracts then it is a small step to start contracting your nation out to other nations etc.,


Do you believe that the individual in the course of history has ever had the moral right (since, as you said, this is a discussion on ethics and morals) to torture another? If not, then the government most definitely does not have the right to do so either.

That is a false inference in my mind as the individual is not comparable to the government.

This is because individualism is a very late development amongst humans.

First there were tribes and conglomerations of blood-related tribes who had internal hierarchies where their 'rights' tended to come with their rank-order.

A slave had no rights; a peasant very few.
The farmer and merchant had the rights that he could afford and more importantly the privileges that were afforded to him by his Lord.

Likewise the priests and artists who relied on the protection of the Lord which power rested in the Warrior caste from where the Lord derived his 'legitimacy'.

The Lord had the most 'rights', yes; but he also had the most responsibility.
Therefore this model demonstrates the balance between 'rights & responsibility' which is so often talked about.

So 'rights' were due solely to Power which flowed down from the Lord & his loyal Warriors.

In all of this, there were very few 'individuals' as we understand them.

Even the Lord or King was of a kingroup.

So the idea of the 'individual' arrives much later, at roughly the same time as that of the 'contract', strangely enough.

So, my model of government says that power [and rights] are concentrated in the Government, and they flow down only as privileges to those below.

Of course, in this organic system, all traitors and enemys are immediately outlaws and have no rights whatsoever; indeed, it is the responsibility of loyal 'citizens' to yield outlaws up to the government as desired.

So, to answer your question; the private individual [Greek 'idiotes'], has no right to torture others above him in the hierarchy, although he has a right to punish those below him as a privilege afforded to him by the sovereign according to his place in the hierarchy.
To that end, a master may punish and torure his slave, for example.

The citizen also has the responsibility to yield up suspects to the government [and can be punished for neglecting to do so].

However, the sovereign individual [the King, Lord etc.,] has the ultimate power of life & death over all his citizens [or subjects, as it is more proper to call them], which he can delegate as he sees fit.

This is based on the concept of organic hierarchy found in nature and in human societies.


Besides, even if the individual has ever had the right to torture another, based on the consent of the governed, they have a right to decide how and to what extent their government is limited. Therefore, a government would not even necessarily have this power if the People in their own individual capacities were allowed to.

For the 'people' to have more power than their government is again a kind of Anarchist position.
Whereas what I describe is borne out by history, Anarchism is largely in the realms of theory.
It is almost a contradictio in adjecto to describe a 'powerless government', as the government is meant to be where the most power resides.


It is in this respect that I do not believe a government has the right to torture; a government should not have free reign to do that which is not explicitly granted to them by the People.

And so if a government holds a vote on the issue, and the People return a vote in favour of torture, then you would conversly accept that a government has the right to torture?

If so, your position is not against torture as such, but only against torture which isn't sanctioned by the People.


I'm [B]by no means an anarchist, but that does not mean I'm in favor of an unlimited government that has the potential to do just as much (if not more) harm to its citizens than any attack (foreign or from within...sometimes the same in regards to terrorists). I'm not arguing for "weak" government, but I am certainly arguing against a terribly centralized regime.

So if you had a limited and decentralised government, and yet that same government was given carte blanche by the People to torture, then torture would in that case be acceptable to you?

You only object to centralised government, not to torture as such.


A government should have the right to protect its citizens without violating the rights of other loyal, innocent citizens. That's where what a government should be able to do ends for me - no "Big Brother," no socialist policies that rob the People of their hard-earned money, and no torture!

I have always maintained that a government which deliberately tortures innocent victims is a corrupt government - this is no argument against torture itself, but rather an argument against corruption.

I also believe that a 'limited' government which stands-by and allows the enemy into its country, allows them to become citizens, and then stands-by once again as those enemies kill "loyal innocent" citizens is just as bad.

Indeed, it could be seen as worse as the number innocent victims in the latter case could be far greater than the former [and I am not just talking about terrorism here, but the general tragedy of mutliculturalism which often results from limited governmental powers].


Whether or not you'll agree that power corrupts, I'm sure you can agree with me that power has the potential to bring out the worst in someone, correct?

Not neccesarily. Someone may actually benefit from the added responsibility of having power - it could bring out the best in them too!
Why?
Because Power is neutral in and of itself: it is down the quality of the persons using it.


Power is necessary to getting things done in politics; there's no question there, but you must first have the right to exercise such power before doing so.

And where does that right come from?
If it comes from the People and the People overwhelmingly put their trust into a great Leader, giving him the power over life and death - how can you gainsay that?

If you can, then where does the 'right' to govern come from, in your view?


Your critique of Western governments tends to contradict itself. On the one hand, you agree that government is based on the consent of the governed, a very "pro-liberty" notion attributed to Locke and other social contract theorists.

Not quite; I said the government should "represent and embody" the Will of the Folk.
Clearly, I am not talking about the Contract Theory of government, but the Blood & Soil model of government - the will-to-power of the race which is exemplified in its aristocracies and great leaders.


On the other hand, you feel that a government's plans override what the vast majority of the People may want or not want.

I do not believe that the vast majority of the Folk would not want its Folkish government to fail to protect them, by neglecting to use such effective means as torture.


I agree with you that the essentially anti-White policies you speak of have been detrimental to us worldwide, but I do feel that power and corruption are components of human nature. Some similar things to that which was said about Western nations' abuse of power can be in some way, shape, or form said about Asian or African governments.

The latter are far more corrupt than Western governments; and that is the crux of things.
It is about the racial make-up of governments first, and also what 'caste' [or order, or class] is ruling.

When power is in the hands of the merchant classes [as they are with big-business today] then corruption will be endemic; not only amongst that class itself, but that class will encourage corruption in the governments of lesser races, as we see in Africa.
Only when power is concentrated in the Aryan race, and in the Warrior and Priestly castes of that Race will you have relatively corruption free government.


When anyone is given the power to do something they want, they won't miss the opportunity to do so. Besides, I'll also remind you that those in government are people too. How many politicians and other government officials have you heard of that are "gentle, hard-working, honest angels?"

This is because the politicians of today are from the business and lawyer class [or else are controlled by that class].

I do not believe that all people are the same - some are born to serve, just as some are born to rule.

It is in the interest of every Folk to cultivate its own ruling class from out of those castes I have already mentioned.

The merchants/businessmen/accountants/lawyers et al., must be put back in their place which is well down the pecking order.

This is view is given extensive elaboration philosophically in Plato's Republic, of course [and this was based on the very real example of Sparta].


I'm merely a proponent of citizens remaining educated as to their rights and exercising them within their own government.

Yes - but there is no such things as equal rights.

Maryland
Thursday, October 19th, 2006, 07:31 PM
My view of an ideal government [essentially a monocultural racial-nationalist government] allows trust, as far as any unified Folk can trust themselves.

So while I do not have a utopian view of 'human nature' anymore than you do, I believe that, even today, this type of government can be achieved, and - somewhat ironically - we will need to have a full complement of powers in order to work towards it [how else are we to return our mutlicultures to monocultures - if that is what we want?]

So I say that my 'ideal' can be achieved in the future, just as it was achieved in the past.

Because of the view I have of human nature, I believe that such a government will always need to have the power of life & death over its citizens.

So I do not regard this as 'idealist', nor as 'utopian' - far from it.

Your own position seems to be based on a conflicting view of 'human nature'.

You cannot trust men enough to form trust-worthy governments, but you can trust men enough to take away governmental powers such as torture.

Therefore you have a contradiction.
If men are as untrustworthy as you say [when they form governments as they are wont to do], then it seems to me that we will always need to have powers such as torture to protect ourselves from others.



This is the Contract model of government [and there are other models], which is one that I do not agree with.

Firstly because it separates the Government from the People in the way you describe, in a kind of 'business arrangement'.

I believe that this view is a much later rationalisation of government [springing as it does from the Enlightenment thinkers] which turns the reality of government upside down.

For me, government begins from the tribal, racial, religio-cultural entity; as such it is based on Blood & Soil.

This is a primordial notion which is prior to all so-called 'contracts' .

In Aryan terms it later has the three functions of Warrior-Kings, Priests-Artists, Farmer-Merchants, all above the Peasantry-Slaves.

It does not believe in 'equal rights'.

It is only when the Merchants rise to the top with the revolutions of the middle class that the conception is altered to agree with the form of a 'contract'.

Quite fittingly, the merchant [and then the lawyer] like to see the nation as a contractual entity.

And it is at this point when trust [and honour] starts to disappear.

So I am not a fan of Locke and his laissez aller view of politics.
After all, if it is all about contracts then it is a small step to start contracting your nation out to other nations etc.,



That is a false inference in my mind as the individual is not comparable to the government.

This is because individualism is a very late development amongst humans.

First there were tribes and conglomerations of blood-related tribes who had internal hierarchies where their 'rights' tended to come with their rank-order.

A slave had no rights; a peasant very few.
The farmer and merchant had the rights that he could afford and more importantly the privileges that were afforded to him by his Lord.

Likewise the priests and artists who relied on the protection of the Lord which power rested in the Warrior caste from where the Lord derived his 'legitimacy'.

The Lord had the most 'rights', yes; but he also had the most responsibility.
Therefore this model demonstrates the balance between 'rights & responsibility' which is so often talked about.

So 'rights' were due solely to Power which flowed down from the Lord & his loyal Warriors.

In all of this, there were very few 'individuals' as we understand them.

Even the Lord or King was of a kingroup.

So the idea of the 'individual' arrives much later, at roughly the same time as that of the 'contract', strangely enough.

So, my model of government says that power [and rights] are concentrated in the Government, and they flow down only as privileges to those below.

Of course, in this organic system, all traitors and enemys are immediately outlaws and have no rights whatsoever; indeed, it is the responsibility of loyal 'citizens' to yield outlaws up to the government as desired.

So, to answer your question; the private individual [Greek 'idiotes'], has no right to torture others above him in the hierarchy, although he has a right to punish those below him as a privilege afforded to him by the sovereign according to his place in the hierarchy.
To that end, a master may punish and torure his slave, for example.

The citizen also has the responsibility to yield up suspects to the government [and can be punished for neglecting to do so].

However, the sovereign individual [the King, Lord etc.,] has the ultimate power of life & death over all his citizens [or subjects, as it is more proper to call them], which he can delegate as he sees fit.

This is based on the concept of organic hierarchy found in nature and in human societies.



For the 'people' to have more power than their government is again a kind of Anarchist position.
Whereas what I describe is borne out by history, Anarchism is largely in the realms of theory.
It is almost a contradictio in adjecto to describe a 'powerless government', as the government is meant to be where the most power resides.



And so if a government holds a vote on the issue, and the People return a vote in favour of torture, then you would conversly accept that a government has the right to torture?

If so, your position is not against torture as such, but only against torture which isn't sanctioned by the People.



So if you had a limited and decentralised government, and yet that same government was given [i]carte blanche by the People to torture, then torture would in that case be acceptable to you?

You only object to centralised government, not to torture as such.



I have always maintained that a government which deliberately tortures innocent victims is a corrupt government - this is no argument against torture itself, but rather an argument against corruption.

I also believe that a 'limited' government which stands-by and allows the enemy into its country, allows them to become citizens, and then stands-by once again as those enemies kill "loyal innocent" citizens is just as bad.

Indeed, it could be seen as worse as the number innocent victims in the latter case could be far greater than the former [and I am not just talking about terrorism here, but the general tragedy of mutliculturalism which often results from limited governmental powers].



Not neccesarily. Someone may actually benefit from the added responsibility of having power - it could bring out the best in them too!
Why?
Because Power is neutral in and of itself: it is down the quality of the persons using it.



And where does that right come from?
If it comes from the People and the People overwhelmingly put their trust into a great Leader, giving him the power over life and death - how can you gainsay that?

If you can, then where [b]does the 'right' to govern come from, in your view?



Not quite; I said the government should "represent and embody" the Will of the Folk.
Clearly, I am not talking about the Contract Theory of government, but the Blood & Soil model of government - the will-to-power of the race which is exemplified in its aristocracies and great leaders.



I do not believe that the vast majority of the Folk would not want its Folkish government to fail to protect them, by neglecting to use such effective means as torture.



The latter are far more corrupt than Western governments; and that is the crux of things.
It is about the racial make-up of governments first, and also what 'caste' [or order, or class] is ruling.

When power is in the hands of the merchant classes [as they are with big-business today] then corruption will be endemic; not only amongst that class itself, but that class will encourage corruption in the governments of lesser races, as we see in Africa.
Only when power is concentrated in the Aryan race, and in the Warrior and Priestly castes of that Race will you have relatively corruption free government.



This is because the politicians of today are from the business and lawyer class [or else are controlled by that class].

I do not believe that all people are the same - some are born to serve, just as some are born to rule.

It is in the interest of every Folk to cultivate its own ruling class from out of those castes I have already mentioned.

The merchants/businessmen/accountants/lawyers et al., must be put back in their place which is well down the pecking order.

This is view is given extensive elaboration philosophically in Plato's Republic, of course [and this was based on the very real example of Sparta].



Yes - but there is no such things as equal rights.

Is it not therefore anarchist to have an opinion on this matter based upon an ideology originating from tribes vastly lacking government (at least in the modern sense), where the individual, even if he/she was of a lower rank, still had much more individual sovereignty and a greater say (especially proportionally) in how their government should be? I'm not at all anarchist; it's far more anarchical to back a brutal system which could lead to revolution, violence, the collapse of the system itself, and thus anarchy.

By the way, I'll be the first to note the seemingly evident contradiction that I'm a Confederate, in favor of Southern secession, and yet am not even somewhat "anarchist" in nature. That's one of the very reasons why I take the stance that I do on issues of torture. Brutal treatment by a government almost always leads to revolution. The case of the South is similar; the federal government has conquered, occupied, and oppressed the Southern States so much that it led to and will once again lead to revolution. Do I love thinking about the uncertainty of revolution? I certainly do not, but I'll take liberty and what is right over the seemingly convenient notion of stability created by a long-established, oppressive government. I'm not an anarchist, because I don't think that people are better off without some form of stable, protecting government. In fact, I believe that government, when implemented correctly, can be a wonderful institution that protects its people and allows for improvements as the People see fit.

This simply does, in fact, happen to be a debate of overall encompassing ideologies as opposed to the issue at hand. My rationale is that regardless of whether or not you believe another class or race is inferior to your own, you are only provoking a conflict and thus bringing about your own downfall by giving them a reason (torture, for example) to rebel and perhaps kill. The same goes for the entire nation, not just certain groups of society; if you oppress mainstream society as well, you're playing with fire. I'm not here to argue the "Blut und Boden" policies in which some here believe. It's simply not consistent with my own ideology, nor is it consistent with that of the vast majority of citizens in my own nation.

As for torture becoming a government's right, it's their legal right, if the People explicitly grant this to them. Legality does not necessarily have anything to do with morals. I am morally opposed to torture and believe that both individuals and government should possess some sense of human dignity across the board...if not for the moral issues, for their own security and the stability of their nations. If you wish to discuss the legal right of a government to do so, then perhaps it is a topic much more suited for the areas of "Law" or "Politics" in the Forum. Of course, I'm not speaking ill of anyone who has discussed law or politics here, but since it is classified under ethics and morals, this is the manner in which I took it.

Maryland

Dr. Solar Wolff
Friday, October 20th, 2006, 07:22 AM
At least in the United States, this is not an argument over morals or folk culture, this goes to the core of our being, the Constitution of the United States of American and the Bill of Rights. What Bush has done is unconstitutional and I am sure it will be nullified by the Supreme Court when a test case arises.

But in the meantime, some subsidary of Halliburton will corner the market on waterboarding kits to sell to local law enforcement in the United States and make billions of dollars. American members of Skadi are already being monitored and on "watch lists" of the ADL and by extension, the Mossad, F.B.I. and NSA. The history of Presidents attempting to bypass our Bill of Rights is a history of political repression in which citizens of the USA were arrested and their rights taken away for no other crime than political discent. Of course, these laws were overtuned, but not before people had suffered. All of us can expect a knock on their door---I am serious.

Moody
Friday, October 20th, 2006, 01:54 PM
Is it not therefore anarchist to have an opinion on this matter based upon an ideology originating from tribes vastly lacking government (at least in the modern sense), where the individual, even if he/she was of a lower rank, still had much more individual sovereignty and a greater say (especially proportionally) in how their government should be? I'm not at all anarchist; it's far more anarchical to back a brutal system which could lead to revolution, violence, the collapse of the system itself, and thus anarchy.

It is more a case of contrasting two different models of government; the one you favour based on the notion of soicety originating in a contract of individuals, and the one I favour, originating in the kindred of the tribe.
I mentioned the latter as you had introduced the notion of 'Contract' to defend your opposition to torture.

We can look at how those two models have worked themselves out in the modern world; your own model in the current democratic and multiracial states of the West, and my own in the racial fascist states of Europe which were destroyed by the former and their allies.


Brutal treatment by a government almost always leads to revolution.

How many revolutions never happened because they were crushed by a powerful government?
Countless.
The only revolutions you hear about are the rare and successful ones; and the few successful ones, such as the French and Russian revolutions, were both preceded by the the state softening its stance in the hope of appeasing the revolutionaries.

So I would say that revolutions are only successful when a government starts to become degenerate and thereby begins to liberalise its approach: it refuses to crush the revolutionary movement and allows it to grow, hoping that it can 'do deals' with it and come to a compromise.

If such a government stops torturing the terrorists it catches, for example [to get back to the subject of the thread], then terrorists will perceive that the government is weakening.
A genuine revolutionary movement will punish such weakness by inflicting defeat on the government.

So I return again to the point: it is the responsibility of a government to protect its citizens.
By giving succor to terrorists it abrogates that responsibility.

Therefore it is not only a 'right' for a state to use torture, it is a duty to do so.


The case of the South is similar; the federal government has conquered, occupied, and oppressed the Southern States so much that it led to and will once again lead to revolution.

How does this relate to the use of torture?
Did the Southern States never practice torture - not even of slaves?


Do I love thinking about the uncertainty of revolution? I certainly do not, but I'll take liberty and what is right over the seemingly convenient notion of stability created by a long-established, oppressive government.

Wasn't the Southern States' use of slaves "oppressive", and against "liberty" according to the principles you claim are "right"?
I would argue that the German people were 'freer' under National Socialism, for example, than they are today under so-called liberal democracy - even though the latter government is against torture and the death-penalty while the former was all for those measures.


My rationale is that regardless of whether or not you believe another class or race is inferior to your own, you are only provoking a conflict and thus bringing about your own downfall by giving them a reason (torture, for example) to rebel and perhaps kill.

Torture is a response to those who want to bring conflict into our lives.

Such aggressors should never be appeased.

To put it on an individual level by way of an hypothetical illustration:

A man's wife is kidnapped and held for ransome at a secret location.
The man agrees to meet the kidnapper [who has threatened to rape and kill the wife] to pay the ransome at a neutral location.
In the meantime, the kidnapper is traced by secret surrveilance methods and captured.
He is in a separate location to the man's wife and denies that he knows where she is.
The man wants his wife back, and he knows that kidnapper knows where she is.
Should torture methods be used to loosen the kidnapper's tongue?
What would you say if you were the man?
I know what I would I say.
I would demand that the authorities use any methods they can to find out from the kidnapper where my wife is - even if that entails the use of torture.

This is torture as a legitimate method interrogation.



As for torture becoming a government's right, it's their legal right, if the People explicitly grant this to them. Legality does not necessarily have anything to do with morals. I am morally opposed to torture and believe that both individuals and government should possess some sense of human dignity across the board...if not for the moral issues, for their own security and the stability of their nations. If you wish to discuss the legal right of a government to do so, then perhaps it is a topic much more suited for the areas of "Law" or "Politics" in the Forum. Of course, I'm not speaking ill of anyone who has discussed law or politics here, but since it is classified under ethics and morals, this is the manner in which I took it.

Actually, this is the first time you have stated that you were "morally" opposed to torture as such, basing your approach at first on whether one could trust a government to not misuse torture.

This is why I asked you those questions about popular support legitimising torture, in the hope that you would come out and say that your opposition to it was moral, and not legal [you began using the Contract argument] or political as you initially indicated.

Now the discussion really begins.

On what moral grounds do you reject the legitimate use of torture?

Maryland
Friday, October 20th, 2006, 03:28 PM
It is more a case of contrasting two different models of government; the one you favour based on the notion of soicety originating in a contract of individuals, and the one I favour, originating in the kindred of the tribe.
I mentioned the latter as you had introduced the notion of 'Contract' to defend your opposition to torture.

We can look at how those two models have worked themselves out in the modern world; your own model in the current democratic and multiracial states of the West, and my own in the racial fascist states of Europe which were destroyed by the former and their allies.



How many revolutions never happened because they were crushed by a powerful government?
Countless.
The only revolutions you hear about are the rare and successful ones; and the few successful ones, such as the French and Russian revolutions, were both preceded by the the state softening its stance in the hope of appeasing the revolutionaries.

So I would say that revolutions are only successful when a government starts to become degenerate and thereby begins to liberalise its approach: it refuses to crush the revolutionary movement and allows it to grow, hoping that it can 'do deals' with it and come to a compromise.

If such a government stops torturing the terrorists it catches, for example [to get back to the subject of the thread], then terrorists will perceive that the government is weakening.
A genuine revolutionary movement will punish such weakness by inflicting defeat on the government.

So I return again to the point: it is the responsibility of a government to protect its citizens.
By giving succor to terrorists it abrogates that responsibility.

Therefore it is not only a 'right' for a state to use torture, it is a duty to do so.



How does this relate to the use of torture?
Did the Southern States never practice torture - not even of slaves?



Wasn't the Southern States' use of slaves "oppressive", and against "liberty" according to the principles you claim are "right"?
I would argue that the German people were 'freer' under National Socialism, for example, than they are today under so-called liberal democracy - even though the latter government is against torture and the death-penalty while the former was all for those measures.



Torture is a response to those who want to bring conflict into our lives.

Such aggressors should never be appeased.

To put it on an individual level by way of an hypothetical illustration:

A man's wife is kidnapped and held for ransome at a secret location.
The man agrees to meet the kidnapper [who has threatened to rape and kill the wife] to pay the ransome at a neutral location.
In the meantime, the kidnapper is traced by secret surrveilance methods and captured.
He is in a separate location to the man's wife and denies that he knows where she is.
The man wants his wife back, and he knows that kidnapper knows where she is.
Should torture methods be used to loosen the kidnapper's tongue?
What would you say if you were the man?
I know what I would I say.
I would demand that the authorities use any methods they can to find out from the kidnapper where my wife is - even if that entails the use of torture.

This is torture as a legitimate method interrogation.




Actually, this is the first time you have stated that you were "morally" opposed to torture as such, basing your approach at first on whether one could trust a government to not misuse torture.

This is why I asked you those questions about popular support legitimising torture, in the hope that you would come out and say that your opposition to it was moral, and not legal [you began using the Contract argument] or political as you initially indicated.

Now the discussion really begins.

On what moral grounds do you reject the legitimate use of torture?

It appears that you have taken the federal government's revisionist version of history hook, line, and sinker...the very same government which has brought so many countries, such as Britain, back into the fold for another game of "play nice, exploit, and go to war." The South, along with other regions of the "United" States and other sovereign nations, has bore witness to the consequences of an unlimited government. In addition, nowhere have I said I support the institution of slavery. But once again, since I am a proponent of a government based on a social contract, I'm going to point out that slaves brought to America before, during, and after the American Revolution, under the law, did not come as citizens and therefore were not yet entitled to the resulting benefits of a social contract. Does that mean that, for me, it was morally acceptable to deny them of their God-given rights? No, I believe they were entitled to treatment pursuant to some sense of human dignity. I also find it rather interesting that you'd jump to criticize this system, when under your ideology, they'd already be cast off somewhere and/or outright killed. By the way, what does your system have to do with torture if, for you, it's already a given and unworthy of debate?

Do I love feeling like a foreigner in my own country, a country apparently under the spell of "multi-culturalism?" Of course I don't! Do I want my family, my countrymen, or myself to be attacked and killed? No!!! But does that mean that I'm willing to sacrifice our rights indefinitely for some temporary sense of satisfaction and "safety," when down the road, any regime change could develop into an even stronger tyranny? There's no need to answer that; I believe I've mad myself clear. If one day, I hear that Moody Lawless has brought about the only movement in history in which all government departments and officials can be completely, without a doubt, and blindly trusted, then I'd be much more inclined to hear your thoughts on the "benefits" of torture. Until then, well, you should know my answer by now.

As for your hypothetical situation, I must point out that that's exactly what it is - hypothetical. No two criminal/terrorist acts are going to be the same, so why think that one can solve and punish them all in the same brutal manner? One does not need to kill a fly with a hammer. To more directly answer your question, yes, I'm all for it in principle. Those who would harm others should be punished and used to the fullest extent of the law to share what they know, but I'm quite sure there's never been anything developed that can identify a criminal or a terrorist with 100% accuracy. Therefore, should an innocent citizen be tortured, then your system fails to protect the People, and the most innocent of them, no less.

Although it's terribly difficult in this day and age to do so, one must at least attempt to separate oneself from the dismay, sorrow, and rage and focus what will be best for citizens in the long-term sense. As Dr. Solar Wolff noted, in the case of the United States, this is much more a matter of what is legally promised to everyone. Until the laws themselves are changed, the debate over its morality, at least in the case of the USA, are moot.

Moody
Saturday, October 21st, 2006, 12:20 PM
In addition, nowhere have I said I support the institution of slavery. But once again, since I am a proponent of a government based on a social contract, I'm going to point out that slaves brought to America before, during, and after the American Revolution, under the law, did not come as citizens and therefore were not yet entitled to the resulting benefits of a social contract.

I am aware of that; the model of government I proposed also endorsed slavery; I talked about it at length in a previous post.
It seems that the model of government that you endorsed also endorsed slavery at some point.


Does that mean that, for me, it was morally acceptable to deny them of their God-given rights? No, I believe they were entitled to treatment pursuant to some sense of human dignity.

That depends on what God you are talking about.
There's very little condemnation of slavery in the Bible, for example, even though the Middle East was then rife with slavery.

Does your belief in "human dignity" extend to all races?

And does this so-called "human dignity" extend even to murderers, traitors, terrorists and rapists etc.,?

I hardly call such creatures 'dignified'.


I also find it rather interesting that you'd jump to criticize this system, when under your ideology, they'd already be cast off somewhere and/or outright killed.

Show where I "jumped to criticise" slavery?
I was careful not to.

I have already included slavery in my own system and justified it, not criticised it.

I at no point criticised slavery; I rather asked you, as a self-proclaimed proponent of "human dignity" who had spoke of the Southern States in the context of the American Civil War, how you feel about slavery.
That was not a criticism of slavery but rather an implicit criticism of your own position.

And yes you're right - under my system they would.


By the way, what does your system have to do with torture if, for you, it's already a given and unworthy of debate?

Where did I say it was "unworthy of debate"?

I am arguing that there is such a thing as legitimate torture, and that the abuses of torture are no argument against it, anymore than the abuses of marriage are an argument against marriage.

That is where the moral debate rests at the moment.


Do I love feeling like a foreigner in my own country, a country apparently under the spell of "multi-culturalism?" Of course I don't! Do I want my family, my countrymen, or myself to be attacked and killed? No!!! But does that mean that I'm willing to sacrifice our rights indefinitely for some temporary sense of satisfaction and "safety," when down the road, any regime change could develop into an even stronger tyranny? There's no need to answer that; I believe I've mad myself clear.

But you haven't made clear what those "rights" are based on.

If they are based on the equality and 'human dignity' of all human beings then you have at least made a coherent point; but you have also accepted, by that position, multiculturalism and internationalism.

As I said before, we are really talking moral principles here with politics merely as the context.


If one day, I hear that Moody Lawless has brought about the only movement in history in which all government departments and officials can be completely, without a doubt, and blindly trusted, then I'd be much more inclined to hear your thoughts on the "benefits" of torture. Until then, well, you should know my answer by now.

I am not so much interested in your answer, as to the [i]reasoning behind your answer [this is what we do in philosophy].

If you are saying that risk makes positive decision impossible then you will not be able to make a positive decision.

Life is all about risk - we must [i]take risks.

The terrorists today have contempt for Westerners because they know that we are becoming more and more afraid of risk.


As for your hypothetical situation, I must point out that that's exactly what it is - hypothetical. No two criminal/terrorist acts are going to be the same, so why think that one can solve and punish them all in the same brutal manner? One does not need to kill a fly with a hammer. To more directly answer your question, yes, I'm all for it in principle. Those who would harm others should be punished and used to the fullest extent of the law to share what they know, but I'm quite sure there's never been anything developed that can identify a criminal or a terrorist with 100% accuracy. Therefore, should an innocent citizen be tortured, then your system fails to protect the People, and the most innocent of them, no less.

This is a further development of risk-phobia; because there is a slight chance that mistakes can be made, then we should not act.

The same argument is used against capital punishment and even against imprisonment by some.

Obviously, because risk cannot be eliminated from life, one has to make a calculated choice.
Can we protect more people by using punishment and torture then by not using punishment and torture?

The idea that criminals & terrorists cannot be targeted with "100% accuracy" is plain wrong.

You have shifted from identifying that there is a small element of risk to irrationally spreading that risk across the board, to the extent of suggesting that no criminal or terrorist can be guilty!


Although it's terribly difficult in this day and age to do so, one must at least attempt to separate oneself from the dismay, sorrow, and rage and focus what will be best for citizens in the long-term sense.

It has nothing to do with emotion.
Torture is an ancient and established practice; it is both traditional and rational.
This is why it continues to be used, even if it is now called something else.
For, as I mentioned early on, there is always a fine line between punishment and torture.


As Dr. Solar Wolff noted, in the case of the United States, this is much more a matter of what is legally promised to everyone. Until the laws themselves are changed, the debate over its morality, at least in the case of the USA, are moot.

As you yourself mentioned, this is a forum about morals and ethics.
Points made about specific countries are only contextual and used as examples.
They do not address the moral essence which has been avoided by those who are against torture.

I have yet to see a coherent moral argument against the use of legitimate torture.

Maryland
Saturday, November 18th, 2006, 07:20 AM
I am aware of that; the model of government I proposed also endorsed slavery; I talked about it at length in a previous post.
It seems that the model of government that you endorsed also endorsed slavery at some point.



That depends on what God you are talking about.
There's very little condemnation of slavery in the Bible, for example, even though the Middle East was then rife with slavery.

Does your belief in "human dignity" extend to all races?

And does this so-called "human dignity" extend even to murderers, traitors, terrorists and rapists etc.,?

I hardly call such creatures 'dignified'.



Show where I "jumped to criticise" slavery?
I was careful not to.

I have already included slavery in my own system and justified it, not criticised it.

I at no point criticised slavery; I rather asked you, as a self-proclaimed proponent of "human dignity" who had spoke of the Southern States in the context of the American Civil War, how you feel about slavery.
That was not a criticism of slavery but rather an implicit criticism of your own position.

And yes you're right - under my system they would.



Where did I say it was "unworthy of debate"?

I am arguing that there is such a thing as legitimate torture, and that the abuses of torture are no argument against it, anymore than the abuses of marriage are an argument against marriage.

That is where the moral debate rests at the moment.



But you haven't made clear what those "rights" are based on.

If they are based on the equality and 'human dignity' of all human beings then you have at least made a coherent point; but you have also accepted, by that position, multiculturalism and internationalism.

As I said before, we are really talking moral principles here with politics merely as the context.



I am not so much interested in your answer, as to the [i]reasoning behind your answer [this is what we do in philosophy].

If you are saying that risk makes positive decision impossible then you will not be able to make a positive decision.

Life is all about risk - we must [i]take risks.

The terrorists today have contempt for Westerners because they know that we are becoming more and more afraid of risk.



This is a further development of risk-phobia; because there is a slight chance that mistakes can be made, then we should not act.

The same argument is used against capital punishment and even against imprisonment by some.

Obviously, because risk cannot be eliminated from life, one has to make a calculated choice.
Can we protect more people by using punishment and torture then by not using punishment and torture?

The idea that criminals & terrorists cannot be targeted with "100% accuracy" is plain wrong.

You have shifted from identifying that there is a small element of risk to irrationally spreading that risk across the board, to the extent of suggesting that no criminal or terrorist can be guilty!



It has nothing to do with emotion.
Torture is an ancient and established practice; it is both traditional and rational.
This is why it continues to be used, even if it is now called something else.
For, as I mentioned early on, there is always a fine line between punishment and torture.



As you yourself mentioned, this is a forum about morals and ethics.
Points made about specific countries are only contextual and used as examples.
They do not address the moral essence which has been avoided by those who are against torture.

I have yet to see a coherent moral argument against the use of legitimate torture.

Well, it's certainly been a while since this topic was last discussed, but I still wouldn't feel right if I didn't offer a reply. At any rate, please accept my apologies, as I've been rather busy in general and in the political sector.

Instead of nitpicking, I'd much rather offer a straight-forward take on where I stand and why. First and foremost, I don't particularly see how the general discussion of a government's implementation of torture has anything (directly) to do with race. Now don't get me wrong; I love and wish to protect my heritage, the very same reason for which I believe most are here. I merely see the greatest defense of one's race in not provoking attacks from other races. Also, few would ever be elected here on the platform which you support. We can do all we'd like to change public opinion in terms of "political correctness," but if we are not successful there, there is little hope of being elected and thus being able to defend one's nation.

However, since your notions of government seem to hinge entirely on race, I'll attempt to briefly address this line of thinking for which I do not much care. Contrary to what deceitful textbooks tell you, the Confederacy was no more racist than the "Union" or any other country at that time. First, there were slaves in all the states upon independence from the Crown. Until the "Civil" War, slavery was practiced in the United States on a national level, North and South, not to mention its existence on a global level. Even so, the only explanation for fewer and eventually the lack of slaves in the North was because their economy did not warrant their presence, but just like Britain, they tolerated the institution and made a pretty penny from it in the meantime.

I am a Christian, and I certainly won't deny that. The Bible does not seem to, in some instances, explicitly forbid slavery either; I certainly won't deny that either. However, please do not take me for one who blindly follows. Just like mankind's notions concerning government, notions in terms of spirituality and religion have changed profoundly in our history. Even so, morals vary profoundly from culture to culture, religion to religion, and person to person, which is exactly why practicality is a much better basis than religion for morals anyway.

The primary example of this, for me, would certainly be the torture of the innocent. After all, your basis for support of this torture is to promote the survival and welfare of the nation. In principle, I'm not at all against this; the greatest duty one can have is to defend one's family, home, and country. However, I do believe there is a difference between a government defending a nation and picking fights in the name of the defense of the nation. After all, if the moral goal of government is to protect its People, then wouldn't it be immoral to take actions that lead to the destruction of the nation and the victimization of its People?

It is in another sense that I also believe it to be immoral for a government to torture its citizens. History shows us that, when given the opportunity, unlimited government will seize such an opportunity and use it in a way that best supports the government and NOT the survival and well-being of the People. I'm for anything with a practical implementation that protects a nation, but allowing the government to possibly torture the innocent and incite hatred that could lead to its demise (most notably from the outside) is not only irresponsible but immoral.

Maryland