Thursday, November 03, 2005

Torturing the Innocent

One point to remember in the arguments about torture is that, by its very nature, torture stands the presumption of innocence on its head.  A victim of torture is presumed to be guilty of something, if only having knowledge the torturer wants. 

It must be assumed that some victims of torture are innocent of any crime or act of terrorism or war.

Advocates of torture believe that the possibility of deriving some greater good through torture justifies perpetrating devastating harm to innocent individuals.  (The benefits of torture, even in this construction, are doubtful.)

Opponents of torture believe that the certainty of causing such harm to individuals does not justify the unproven possibility of some greater good.


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