Friday, September 08, 2006

Arguments Against Torture

After President Bush’s recent speech about the need to, how did he put it, “provide the CIA with the tools they need” I have read quite a few arguments against the use of torture by this country on persons captured in battle or otherwise suspected of terrorism.

Calling it “enhanced interrogation” or referring to it as “needed tools” does not disguise what is merely torture by a different name.

In most part the discussion has revolved around whether or not torture is effective; whether or not it provides reliable information. The consensus is that it does not, and that therefor we should not engage in torture. I cannot argue with that conclusion, but for me it misses the point.

For me the point is that torture is morally and ethically wrong. I don’t care what kind of information it provides, how valid that information is or how valuable. If torture is required to extract it then we must, in the name of all that is good and right about this nation, do without the information.

Our leaders claim that this is a Christian nation. Christians do not torture. Personal safety is not a factor; throughout history Christians have suffered horrible deaths rather than renounce their faith.

Christian nation or not, moral nations, civilized nations do not torture. Moral persons, civilized persons do not torture.

For a moral person, personal safety is not a factor. The moral imperatives of civilization do not permit descent into savagery for the sake of safety.

It has long astounded me that our President, claiming to be a “born again Christian,” can not only condone the use of torture but seems to have an unholy eagerness to promote it. How can he reconcile that?

I certainly cannot do so.

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