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Is it okay to torture a soldier ?

  1. Oct 17, 2004 #1
    Is it okay to torture a soldier...???

    I saw this thread "Terrorism and Torture" and wondered, if it would be okay if a country tortured an enemy soldier, who has infiltrated their country with the intentions to harm the country or it's inhabitants in some way?
    I'm not thinking of torture as a punishment but as a "tool" to get information, so the country could protect it self from the enemy.
    The most armies around the world are professional armies where the soldiers volunteer, so the soldiers should be aware that getting caught and tortured could be a risk like getting killed is.
    And yes, I know about the Geneva Convention...

    But what do you think about tortured being used as a tool, in the situation mentioned above??
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 17, 2004 #2

    russ_watters

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    If you know its in the Geneva Convention, then I'm not sure what you are asking...
     
  4. Oct 25, 2004 #3
    so what is geneva convention? do you think all nations at ANY GIVEN SITUATION can AFFORD geneva convetion?

    i think that the anwser to your question lies in the fact, that there is some sort of, mildly put, agreement, between the "developed armies" of the "civilised" world.

    it's like boxing...you can hit only certain parts of a person because it is agreed so to avoid unneccessary injuries, and it is also considered unhonorable to do so. So you can hit him in the chest (army), you can hit him in the head (industrial and research areas) and into the stomach (supply routes)...but you can't hit him in legs (civilian population) or in the eyes (red cross)....and certainly not in the balls (balls...ouch!)

    but in certain situations countries must abandon genevan guidance, those who can afford....so america as the world's most powerful country can afford to make an exception labeling terrorists as whatever they've labeled them and then they can torture them at their will.

    it is the neccessity that brought to that....you see, the terrorists are very shy and they don't show their chest, their head or their stomach readily, so they must be squeezed by their balls to start strippin'.

    shortly...the geneva convention is for those armies who can afford it in terms of tactics and in terms relative to casualties and risks and further development of war.....

    so russ, once again i must force you to see the bigger picture:-)
     
  5. Oct 25, 2004 #4

    PerennialII

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    If a country resorts to torture it also resorts using the very same methods it is claiming to prevent - double standard. Courts of law and rules for treatment of POWs (or whatever) do not have an off switch, no one can claim being unethical is "right" at one point because is suits their purpose or they have a conveniently justifiable claim in hand.
     
  6. Oct 27, 2004 #5
    your imagination is just so limited.

    what if your very country is in biiiig danger? would it be immoral to torture enemy soldiers if your democracy and courts and laws were at the very brink of destruction?
    by ISLAM, for example. and they have an evil god, too!!!

    it's easy to have that point of view if you live in america and fight all your wars away from home. you're watching them on television, right?
     
  7. Oct 27, 2004 #6

    russ_watters

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    No, pocebokli, I'm sorry, but you're wrong. If there is anything 9/11 and the subsequent politics has taught us, its that if we stoop to their level, we are doing their work for them. If our democracy and courts and laws are destroyed by others, and we throw them away, then we are the ones destroying them.

    To give the question more physical reality: would you nuke your own country to halt an invasion?

    This, right here, is the moral concept that the terrorists in the Middle East fail to understand and is the reason why the world is against them (specifically, in the Arab/Israeli problem).
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2004
  8. Oct 28, 2004 #7

    PerennialII

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    Russ stole my argument really well. The immorality of an act does not change with circumstances, it doesn't matter how close to extinction or whatever we are. This is the same question as "would you torture your torturer" ... you would succumb to the same level as he is destroying yourself in the process, but in certain situations doing so, is unfortunately, quite a human thing to do.

    and btw we're on the same continent.
     
  9. Oct 28, 2004 #8
    Use of poison pills to resist invasions

    Public corporations do this often.

    It might be profitably pointed out, however, that the Muslim world does not seem to be invading and does not seem to be trying to take over the United States. The Muslim world seems to be trying to convince, via guerilla and paramilitary warfare, the United States to withdraw from the Muslim world.
     
  10. Oct 28, 2004 #9

    PerennialII

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    Yep, it appears to be a primary motivator around there. A recent poll stated that like 80% of Iraqis consider the US as an occupying force ... makes it easier to understand how come the intensity of paramilitary action is what it is.
     
  11. Oct 28, 2004 #10
    I saw this boxing thing which was mentioned... Then I thought og the Geneva Convention. Isn't it just a set of rules? I mean rules are for games. And war, it's serious **** man.... Should there actually be certain rules for war?
     
  12. Oct 28, 2004 #11

    russ_watters

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    That isn't even close to the same thing - it involves only the appearance of damage, not actual damage.
    What is your point? Are you saying that this somehow justifies the immorality of the terrorists? Can you frame an argument in terms of morality alone, and then apply it? Or do the actions drive the morality? Thats a huge, huge mistake (but a common one), if that's the way you see it.
    The US is an occupying force in Iraq, by definition, and this fact is utterly irrelevant (on several levels). But the term is emotionally charged, so it is used. Iraq, our troops in Kuait, and the Arab/Israeli situation all have similarities and differences, but this is all besides the point:

    It appears to me that, just like with the definition of terrorism, people are attempting to fit the morality to the actions instead of the other way around because they want to justify actions that when looked at objectively, are immoral.
     
  13. Oct 28, 2004 #12
    Are you referencing a particular moral code, Russ?
     
  14. Oct 30, 2004 #13

    russ_watters

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    No, I'm asking you to present your argument. This is a discussion forum, not an assertion forum.

    I have justified my argument in terms of a moral code. Which particular code is an entirely different discussion and utterly irrelevant: What I'm seeing, hitssquad, is that you have no moral code with which to evaluate these actions. Or, perhaps, you have a moral code but refuse to apply it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2004
  15. Oct 30, 2004 #14

    PerennialII

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    The conventions referred to here are for treatment of POWs ... so they are rules for war, as well as other bans such as those for chemical weapons etc.
     
  16. Oct 30, 2004 #15

    PerennialII

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    Yeah, I agree with on the terminology. And what you made as the point is very much the point here (unclear enough...). Moral is being used as a rubberband, which it ought not be.
     
  17. Oct 31, 2004 #16
    russ, my dear friend...morality is only useful if you have a society to follow the particular moral code...that's only where morality is applicable, too.

    so speculations that the american people (or any other people) would defend it's moral code like they did alamo in case their society was in shambles or in grave danger is really childish.

    wouldn't it be immoral to follow your moral code if it was the reason to hold back your people's progress in war, especially if the situation is critical?

    wouldn't you throw sand into your opponent's eyes if he had a gun pointing at you?

    and not the least....just take a look at the capitalistic system...don't you think your moral code is awfully flexible to adapt to the immoral causes of capitalism? just be a bit self-critical...
     
  18. Oct 31, 2004 #17

    Chronos

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    This strikes me as moral absolutism. No one wishes to be tortured for any reason, at least not any sane person with other options. So it seems moral to conclude that torture is a fundamentally bad thing... the old walk a mile in my mocassins proverb. This brings us to the classic philosophy 101 question: would it [assuming time travel were accessible] be moral to go back in time and smother Adolph Hitler in his crib and save millions of lives? What about Typhoid Mary to save hundreds, or the choir boy who sneezed on the pope causing him to contract pneumonia and die prematurely? Those kinds of questions have no satisfactory answer. Would I torture an enemy soldier, or common criminal for that matter, if I knew it would spare my only child from a gruesome death? You can bet on it. Fortunately, I have never been placed in that position, and hopefully never will. I know what I am capable of and I'd rather not put it to the test. Morality is about taking every precaution to avoid being forced to chose between the lesser of evils.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2004
  19. Oct 31, 2004 #18

    PerennialII

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    So essentially, if someone is immoral its ok for you to be as well .... thats some weird logic. I'm having a problem getting how the two first sentences link - immorality of following morals + throwing sand, but that just me. With respect to the capitalistic system I think we could see eye to eye, but that just tells you something about todays society, its morals and values.
     
  20. Oct 31, 2004 #19

    russ_watters

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    Chronos, it is tough to know where to draw the line, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't attempt to draw it.
     
  21. Dec 6, 2004 #20
    it's only ok if you win the war, sorta like stalin killing all those people, but since he was on the right side of the fight, it was "ok" or at least overlooked
     
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