Underwater Contingency Planning (in Off-topic)
With the debate going on in Washington, I was wondering how the CB community felt about the water-boarding argument.
Personally, I don't think that water-boarding is torture. It has no lasting damage to the person involved, is rather painless, and seriously! All we are doing is pouring water up their noses. Don't we do this to recruits too?
April 24 2009 9:34 AM EDT
It certainly is torture in the purest sense of the definition.
However, do terrorists who have killed innocent people deserve to be treated with respect?
That is the ultimate question.
I am more of the Jack Bauer type.
"However, do terrorists who have killed innocent people deserve to be treated with respect?"
so only people convicted of terrorism & murder were subjected to this?
I'm something of a radical. I feel that if you break the law, you shouldn't then be protected by it.
Of course, the problem is always the innocent people...
Don't do unto others that you won't do on yourself
April 24 2009 10:21 AM EDT
Of course, GL, that is the problem. If you are using torture to get information from ALLEGED criminals, how do you know they broke the law?
And even then, I have to say I think it is a sad day for human rights when we say criminals aren't allowed to be treated with any respect or protection because they broke the law. I guess if I get a speeding ticket, and then the next day get T-boned and killed by a speeder, then... I got what I deserved? I'll let you tell my wife and family.
Due process, suitable punishments, and abolition of torture -- all the things I was taught in social studies class in fourth grade -- are around for a reason. That reason is called civilization. Sorry, but as lapsed as I am in my Catholic upbringing, JC had an awful lot right, IMO. Yeah, even that "turn the other cheek" bit, if we were to take this discussion to an extreme. I guess in that sense, Jack Bauer, I ain't. *smile*
In response to the OP, if recruits are treated that way, at least I can say they signed up, right? Some people hang themselves from hooks using rings through their backskin. That's their choice. But if someone did that to me to try to get me to confess to a crime, I think that would kind of suck.
The information we got out of them saved lives. A good example of this is the planned Brooklyn Bridge terror attack.
April 24 2009 10:23 AM EDT
Marlfish - I don't think you could define simulated drowning as anything short of torture.
It does have lasting damage. There do not have to be open wounds on a body for it to be damaged physically and/or mentally.
Yeah, and I suppose they get "mentally" damaged when we blare heavy metal music in their cells.
Human rights? Are you serious? We are dunking them in water. We are not beheading them.
I highly doubt the CIA is going around saying: "Suspected terrorist? Water-board 'em."
They do not make these descisions lightly...
April 24 2009 10:30 AM EDT
I do not believe that it is right for the current administration to take any legal action against people following orders in the previous one. As for waterboarding I sit somewhat in the middle. I tend to hold faith that people getting waterboarded have most of the time done something in order to rise suspicion and that their torture provides exceptionally important information.
I don't however like waterboarding because it is an excercise that does something that makes little sense to me...that is the guy can't speak. how is he supposed to break if he can't talk because he's drowning.
April 24 2009 10:38 AM EDT
"I'm something of a radical. I feel that if you break the law, you shouldn't then be protected by it. "
I'd just like to point out here that breaking the law consists mainly of proceeding with such actions that would earn you sanctions. Sanctions allowed by such systems of law that that particular uhm... system/state operates by.
In which case, if you contend that once you have committed such offenses, you ought not be considered among other laws that would protect you in ways (Human rights, etc.), then it would seem that you would also require the Law, in the matter of the specifics as to the method of punishment, to be unbarred from any regulation too.
I would not say that this is right or wrong. However, I would not endorse this for fear of the consequence of there being no check against the discretion of the enforcers of the law in matters of punishment for every crime, for I possess the impression that it is entirely possible that I be subject to such treatment myself in the course of my life.
a comment on reddit yesterday summed it up for me pretty well
"dying because we didn't waterboard is what it means to be american" - paraphrased from some guy on reddit
If we have to forgo the constitution and accepted conventions to win, then I'd rather lose. My grandmother could never understand how things had changed so much. When she was younger it was said that if you were ever in harms way in a foreign nation you could wrap yourself in the american flag and no one would even consider harming you. Today you'd be doused with gasoline and lit ablaze by millions of people. We have failed our ancestors and squandered the good will they left us with greed, xenophobia, and stupidity. I rarely argue a nationalist perspective, but I think in this case nationalism might be the way to go. We should demand that the United States behave in a manner befitting the beliefs of the majority of it's populace. I think there are still more good people here than bad, and even those willing to torture a faceless nameless "terrorist" couldn't begin to do so given face to face conversation. You have to break people to get them to perform these acts, training them to forgo the normal human reaction of empathy.
"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy" - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
April 24 2009 11:00 AM EDT
Ever heard of a netty pot? You pour water up your nose and it clears out your sinuses. We were doing them a FAVOR.
April 24 2009 11:05 AM EDT
Just wait till someone you know and love dies from a terrorist act that could have been prevented. Especially if we had one of the planners in custody and all we did we try to talk the information out of him.
Time have changed. People have changed. There are radical people out there who will never listen to reason. They will never meet in the middle.
I would rather win then lose due to inaction.
Jack Bauer is my hero.
I'm still an idealist... maybe I'd crumble and magically become a violent sadist given the right stimulus, but then that would just further my point. You have to make someone be willing to do those things, break them somehow.
April 24 2009 11:20 AM EDT
Yeah, sadly I have to side with America here.
The enemies are complete and utter fanatics. A lot of people don't seem to understand just how much this kind of zeal messes with a person and just what it will make them do. I feel that if breaking one of these peoples minds is what it will take to save hundreds of live, then it can be justified. They would sacrifice themselves to kill 10+ people without question.
When dealing with people who are so far out of it, who are actively trying to kill as many innocent people as they can, I think that extreme action is needed. You can't just put up a sign that says, "Please don't detonate yourselves", or make a speech asking them to not murder you. Action actually has to be taken, or innocent people WILL die. WILL.
i feel that we have traded our constitution for a false sense of security. especially when you consider that the precedents set for "enemy combatants" could one day be turned against the citizens of this country.
decisions made based on fear are rarely well thought out or in hindsight good decisions.
April 24 2009 11:40 AM EDT
Marlfish, you know how we could also save lives?
-- Save time by doing away with the need for pesky things like search warrants. The police are right, right? Let 'em do their jobs! What if they are delayed, and the criminal commits another bad act!
-- Don't tell criminals their rights, don't bother with due process, and do away with appeals. Think of the money and time we would save! Again, if someone gets arrested, they must be guilty, right?
-- When you DO convict a slimeball, don't shy away from harsh punishments like castration, beatings, or hobbling. Criminals are scum. Molesters should lose their sex organs, violent offenders should get a taste of their own medicine, and if someone tries to escape, then make sure they can't run very fast. Again, someone in the system did something wrong, and they should pay (especially if it is one of your loved ones that got hurt!!!!)
-- Freedom of speech and religion is fine and all, but...man, it seems to cause a lot of problems. Let's shut some people up, the complainers, and let's all be the same religion. Problem solved! We CAN all get along if we just fall into line here!
Do any of those bullet points resonate with you? If not, why not? What do you think is too harsh or unfair about the above points, and for parts you do find unfair, can you draw any comparisons to the waterboarding issue?
If you are going to start forgoing human rights and such (or even start feeling apathetic toward their conditional defense), please, by all means, go the full nine yards. Why wouldn't you? You clearly have a vision of what is right and what is wrong, so why not go all the way?
April 24 2009 11:42 AM EDT
I'm pretty sure it's been shown that torture is rather ineffective at providing information. What's the point if innocent people will confess too?
And the bomb that might go off in an hour without torturing the guy scenario doesn't really happen..
April 24 2009 11:48 AM EDT
The bottom line is, you've all watched too many movies and/or too much 24.
April 24 2009 11:49 AM EDT
Furthermore, if it did (even if I lost a loved one!), I would accept that. We don't use barbarism when it's convenient. We don't use barbarism when something just seems too dangerous otherwise. And we don't use barbarism out of fear. If we do, then we should do it all the time and just go back to being animals 24x7.
So much for evolution!
April 24 2009 11:50 AM EDT
"Molesters should lose their sex organs, violent offenders should get a taste of their own medicine"
Agreed. Far as everything else though, not so much... ^_^ I've always felt that the punishment and requirements for being a sex offender needed to be bumped up a few notches. Girl posts pictures of herself on myspace and is now labeled a sex offender. 18 yo dude gets a 16 yo girl pregnant, the parents on both sides knew of the relationship, he married the girl when he got out of jail, they now have 2 kids, he can never be alone with his children because he is a sex offender due to his wife's age at the time on conceiving the first child. These are bullcrap... But in the case of rapists, child molestors, and the like, they should be greeted by their captors in a manner somewhat similar to: "Proven you can't be responsible with all your organs, Mr. Sex Offender (adressing random SO, not calling anyone here one :P)? Well then please go see the orderly that is waiting in the next room with a circular saw and a pair of pliers."
April 24 2009 11:52 AM EDT
I thought that historically torture was considered a fantastically unreliable method of obtaining information?
These ends justifying means arguments are more persuasive if there is good evidence that the means work.
And yes, torture is wrong.
If you were in Europe and someone thought you were a terrorist and carted you off to torture plans out of you (in a simple case of mistaken identity) I'm putting money on one of the first lines of defense being 'you can't do this I'm American'.
Why should we expect rules and human decency to protect us when we cannot see fit to have them protect others?
ﾓOnce we assuage our conscience by calling something a ﾑnecessary evilﾒ, it begins to look more and more necessary and less and less evil.ﾔ
- Sydney J. Harris (1917-1986)
April 24 2009 11:55 AM EDT
The worst I've heard is trying to convict teenagers for sending nude pictures of themselves to classmates as Distribution of Child Pornography...
As for retaliation against criminals, what does that accomplish? If they really can't stop themselves, they need help. If you cut off a sex offenders organs... he still had hands.
As someone who has held some religiously based extreme views, I can say with certainty that violence would have less chance than traditional methods of coaxing cooperation out of me...
April 24 2009 11:57 AM EDT
Cube, that's in the next room :P
April 24 2009 12:13 PM EDT
My mistake, let's return to discussing 24
April 24 2009 12:20 PM EDT
As bad/wrong as torture is it has it uses. To many people making a big deal out of it.
Most of the people complaing about it. Would be all for it if the perosn being tortured murdered their kid/family.
I know i'm one of them. I'm not for torture but if some one murdered my kid/family and i got my hands on them they would welcome torture.
April 24 2009 12:24 PM EDT
Thak and if the government tortured, got bad information, and missed the real terrorist attack that affected your family?
April 24 2009 12:25 PM EDT
I was going to post the Hitchens video, but Slayer beat me to it.
It's torture, and it's disgusting. America should stand for something better then that.
April 24 2009 12:27 PM EDT
This is a argument that we can go aroudn in circles about all day.
And what if they missed the attack that killed your family cause they didnt make the guy talk.
A lead is better then no lead.
April 24 2009 12:42 PM EDT
It is a very dicey situation.
With outstanding arguments on both sides.
I do feel that what Obama is now doing, releasing the CIA documents and possibly putting those that signed off on it on trial is a travesty.
Sometimes hard decisions have to be made. The president made a very difficult decision in a very difficult time. What is happening now is very partisan politics very much like the "impeachment" of Clinton.
April 24 2009 12:46 PM EDT
Looking into it a bit, there really is only one way to describe the water boarding method in terms of how it works; drowning. It may seem harmless, but really it is very dangerous. Imagine being dunked under water for a few seconds (forcefully mind you), let up to take a couple of breaths then dunked right back under (forcefully again). Sure you get a few moments to breath, but for the most part, all you're breathing is water with maybe a hint of air here and there...
This is the gist of how it works. Mind you it is fairly disturbing, but it gets the point across...
Oh such sad times it seems to be alive some days...
April 24 2009 12:47 PM EDT
Other countries still pull finger nails out flog and way worse.
As an american i agree and think we are better then that.
but the fact still is, it is a war.
We are at war with these people. WAR its not pretty! Your defending the same people that use woman and children as shields, and hospitals and schools as bases. And your worried how we are treating someone that has no regard to human life. These people are basicly trying to do what Hitler was trying to do.
In this rainbow filled world of peoples where war can be faught with squirt guns and both sides play by the rules will unfortunatly never happen. We can not even not fight on a stupid forum.
You think Alexander the Great, Rome, China, Egypt and all the other great civilizations of time got to where they were at by saying please tell me where xyz is. Oh you wont tell me ok thanks you can go.
In this rainbow filled world of peoples what do you suggest be done instead?
April 24 2009 12:51 PM EDT
You state: "Most of the people complaing about it. Would be all for it if the perosn being tortured murdered their kid/family."
Care to prove that? I already said I would not condone torture to save a loved one even if it were effective, neither as prevention or as vengeance
Am I the only one who played "What would you do if...?" when I was a kid?
And am I the only one who had any scruples when discussing the nastier bits during that mental exercise? I certainly don't think so.
Can we leave anecdotal feelings and "Most people..." out of this? They have no place in a rational discussion about these matters.
April 24 2009 12:53 PM EDT
"Your defending the same people that use woman and children as shields, and hospitals and schools as bases"
*you're. Yay simple typos :D
But am I defending them? Not necessarily. I'm simply stating my opinion ;P. That is the original point of this thread, is it not?
April 24 2009 12:54 PM EDT
Oh dear, Thak, I can't even keep up...
You know the Geneva Convention, an oft-mentioned agreement/declaration against torture, came about in such a way that it most certainly did not state war was an exception. In fact, the Geneva Convention was meant to protect prisoners of war and such.
Who ever told you war was an exception to the rule of civilized treatment of prisoners/detainees? I'm genuinely curious?
April 24 2009 12:56 PM EDT
I have a two friends that have did their tour(s) in the mid east. One was in Afghanistan and Iraq and the other was just in Iraq.
One i have to worry about killing himself cause he is so traumatized by what he saw over there and if you have seen the pictures they took and the stories of what is going on over there for real, not the watered down propaganda clips you get from news networks.
I gaurantee you would change your view.
April 24 2009 12:56 PM EDT
"Am I the only one who played "What would you do if...?" when I was a kid?"
And I sure hope not Sut D:. That was the greatest game ever on a day we were really bored and had nothing better to do.
April 24 2009 12:58 PM EDT
And could you enlighten me on who "these people" are we at war with? Are we at war with any fanatic who commits mis-deeds designed to terrorize? To that end, I guess we are at war with (and could therefore torture) anyone convicted of a hate crime, right? A fanatical endeavor based on deep-seated hatred to cause terror in and harm to another human being?
Looks like Gitmo is going to need a lot more water boards once we start sending in everyone who has ever beaten a homosexual or committed violence of a racist/sexist nature. I wonder what company I should buy stock in?
April 24 2009 1:01 PM EDT
Nic, my favorite was always, "Would you rather lose your olfactory sense (taste/smell) or lose the pinkie (with no chance of reattachment) on your non-dominant hand?" Then, change pinkie to thumb and see if that changes a person's mind.
Always seemed to be about 50/50 (for the pinkie, anyway) when you ask a wide variety of folks. Judging by the size of my tummy, it's bye-bye pinkie for me! *smile*
April 24 2009 1:02 PM EDT
One more for Thank:
I guarantee you I would not.
the mere act of calling it a war on terror is seen by some as a highly manipulative act planned to allow certain freedoms that would otherwise not be allowed.
should a war on drugs then allow torture of all marijuana users? she would send them off of american soil and ignore due process?
that is an extreme example, but it is unfortunately how legal precedents work!
April 24 2009 1:04 PM EDT
If it's right for 'civilised' countries like the US and UK to operate like this then presumably it's alright for other countries to do the same in return for their own intelligence gathering?
Things like this have been classed as war crimes before now.
April 24 2009 1:06 PM EDT
LOL never fails
One i didnt say you did is why i said most people. Most people doesnt mean it applies to you incase you forgot. You must have some guilt or something that you thought it pertained to you.
And i simply voiced my opinion as you and everyone else on the topic to and look what i get insta jump down my throat so in turn im defending my view.
Second Geneva Convention is a joke, One side plays by the rules the other doesnt. What good is the Geneva Convention with no way to enforce it.
April 24 2009 1:06 PM EDT
"if you have seen the pictures they took and the stories of what is going on over there for real... I gaurantee you would change your view."
This is partially true, mate. However... Most things that I hear and see on the news have a strong enough of an impact on my life to change my point of views on everything.
To go into a somewhat dark subject, about a year ago, I heard the most disturbing report I had ever heard. It made me feel absolutely sick to my stomach, and the story itself still haunts me. That little bit right there changed my whole perspective on life. The way it changed my perspective on life? For the worse. I now see both life and humans as cruel and unforgiving monsters.
The stories of the war. Honestly, I just wish they'd get it over with -,-. I am seriously getting sick of hearing that mess on the news. That's been my perspective since day one. Though sadly, as the days go by, I care less and less.
To go back on subject a bit; I still believe they could find other ways of getting people to talk. Being incapable of breathing isn't pleasant...
April 24 2009 1:09 PM EDT
"Nic, my favorite was always, "Would you rather lose your olfactory sense (taste/smell) or lose the pinkie (with no chance of reattachment) on your non-dominant hand?"
Omg that game was one hell of a challenge. Only we did that back in 10th grade it was "which sense would you be able to live without and why." I honestly couldn't think of something. Without my ability to see, I wouldn't be able to do some of the things I love to do (read and write). Without being able to hear, I wouldn't be able to listen to my music(Huzzah music!) And so on so forth. So I just let the group I was in pick one lol
April 24 2009 1:12 PM EDT
We are at war with the extremist muslims (not all muslims for those who dont seem to understand word usage) who want to wipe out any human that will not convert to the muslim ways cause they believe they are superior.
Same as the Christians did in the crusades 100's of years ago now its just flipped the other way. Crusades all over again.
April 24 2009 1:15 PM EDT
"We are at war with the extremist muslims who want to wipe out any human..."
At the rate things are going? I high doubt no one will convert, so in the long run, they'll probably mass reproduce until there's enough of them to just destroy the world. So I have a feeling with the way you said it, the end of the world is nigh!
... I'll bring the vodka and party hats.
April 24 2009 1:30 PM EDT
There are plenty of people wrongly in Gitmo. I read about one UK citizen, who was helplessly held captive by the US until the Obama Administration was there to let him out. Did nothing wrong, just the wrong place at the wrong time.
And Thak, what I said isn't fantastical because more often than not you get the wrong information via torture.
Anyone see Lie to Me? If you aren't familiar, the guy usually solves the case by saying the write thing to provoke the right reaction. Again it's fiction, but as novice testified, mind games can be far more effective than any torture.
Yes, I'd rather torture a terrorist than have 1000 innocents get killed, but that's not what the choice comes down to.
April 24 2009 1:36 PM EDT
^For the record a terrorist refers to a single terrorist, not 50.
April 24 2009 1:46 PM EDT
Cube i know i agree with you. that is what is said originally.
i dont agree with it and as american we are better then that.
but it has its uses. A percentage wise might be 20% success at best(being generous)some just talk at the fear of it alone(your mind games).
And collateral damage unfortunately will always be a factor too. Not only in this torture/gitmo topic but any prison in the world has innocent people in it that wont ever get out. Cause the evidence says the did it, so they are stuck. That is just leading into a whole nother realm of the justice systems being messed up. That can be left to discuss/debate privately if you want
April 24 2009 1:48 PM EDT
You are correct, using a strawman argument (if I am being nice) and flat out misrepresenting the truth (which would be more accurate) do tend to get a rise out of me.
Even using the phrase "most people..." shows your bias as well as a complete lack of respect for anyone elses viewpoint. How do you know "most people"? Better yet, how do you know what "most people" think? You have polled a majority of all human's alive? No, you are making an assumption. An assumption which isn't much more than a rehash of your own opinion. That misrepresentation. There's no need for such hyperbole if you believe in your position and can defend it with rational discussion (i.e., NOT hyperbole).
You are correct -- the Geneva Convention cannot be enforced unless there were a force above all other powers on earth. That's technically impossible. It's also why civilization is hard to maintain. There is no meta-layer up there to keep us all in line. We have to agree to be civil, and have to try to depend on consistency and fair-play from all involved. That's why several people have offered up the very simple reality check:
If it is OK for the USA to detain and use any means necessary to gather information and protect ourselves, then I assume you would have no problem with other countries detaining and water-boarding Americans (if they perceived a threat)?
Do you agree with that? Is your stance consistent? If so, and you believe it is fair play for other countries to water-board Americans, then that is 100% fine. We will simply agree to disagree, and I am OK with that.
However, if you believe Americans should be allowed to water-board those from other countries, yet Americans themselves should be immune from such a turnabout, then that sounds like what my World History professor boiled down as "might makes right".
He didn't use the phrase to be flattering.
But, under the Bush admin., water-boarding was legal.
April 24 2009 1:55 PM EDT
Marl, it's LEGAL to do all sorts of horrible things to women in Pakistan simply because they are women.
What's your point?
Do you think Amnesty International only exists to come out against ILLEGAL human rights violations?
Is this really your viewpoint on legislation and the judiciary? It used to be legal (in fact, enforced), that all black people had to use separate (oh, but equal!) facilities such as water fountains and bathrooms. Would you walk up to Rosa Parks on the bus and say, "But Rose, it's LEGAL to make you sit where we want to. Sorry."?
That's not what I was saying. I'm just remarking (I should have probably made this clearer) that it's unfair to prosecute the man.
April 24 2009 2:04 PM EDT
Oh yeah, sorry, I forgot about that part of the thread (I'm the center of the Universe, remember? *smile*)
I tend to agree, especially the grandfathering nature of it... That's a tough one.
April 24 2009 2:05 PM EDT
I just have to say: I grew up in a city that was quite regularly the target of terrorist attacks. I was this close to being blown up on several occasions due to my proximity. Ten minutes late going to work on July 7th 2005 found me not in my usual seat on my usual train. A usual seat that ended up being blown up. Ten minutes earlier that was the train I would have been on. But as I say, through the 70s and 80s we were regularly hit by terrorist attacks. And not once, not ever, have I thought it would have been ok to carry out torture (psychological torture is far more effective than physical torture) to find out what would stop the next attack.
We're better than that. We should be better than that. We have to better than that otherwise nothing will ever change. Not one thing.
April 24 2009 2:18 PM EDT
sutekh137 people will always fit into one of 2 groups no matter what. Majority or a Minority. No getting around this no matter how civilized we get as long as we all think independently.
"We have to agree to be civil, and have to try to depend on consistency and fair-play from all involved. That's why several people have offered up the very simple reality check:"
My reality check is we are humans simple animals with a higher intelligence then most other animals. Killing to survive is a fact of life wether it be plant or animal we are killing, and will be until we find unlimited/never ending, food, water and resources that we all share equally.
"If it is OK for the USA to detain and use any means necessary to gather information and protect ourselves, then I assume you would have no problem with other countries detaining and water-boarding Americans (if they perceived a threat)?" I absolutely agree with that.
I used to have a pacifist view in my earlier years like you Sut. But things happened in my life that showed me the cruel and harsh simple reality of life its self. And yes i have have traveled all around the world and seen many places besides my little american box i call home before any one makes a snide comment.
April 24 2009 2:36 PM EDT
It sounds like we will agree to disagree in that case, which is fine. I appreciate your response.
However, I am not a pacifist. Nothing I have said indicates "roll over and take it no matter what, in the interest of peace". Idealist? Perhaps. Pacifict? Not at all. I know that sometimes might is required. I just don't think might makes right.
Neither do you, apparently, so I think we can move our separate directions now.
April 24 2009 2:46 PM EDT
Hey np prob we agree to disagree, you have your view i have mine.
"Furthermore, if it did (even if I lost a loved one!), I would accept that" pacifist comment
I would not condone torture to save a loved one even if it were effective, neither as prevention or as vengeance pacifist comment again.
Thats where i got it from.
not condone torture is equal to pacifism?
April 24 2009 2:56 PM EDT
"I would not condone torture to save a loved one even if it were effective, neither as prevention or as vengeance."
When put into a sentence like this it is, cause he is stating that no matter what happens to a loved one he will just sit by and take it. even if it could have been prevented
Not saying his view is wrong. if more people thought like him. there would be less fighting in the world
prevented by torture and prevented are two different things
April 24 2009 3:12 PM EDT
Hm, we'll also have to agree to disagree on our definition of "pacifism", I think. *smile*
Pacifying is not the opposite of "vengeful", IMO. If I lose a loved one and can some to terms with that and do not desire to retaliate with what I would consider my animal side, that doesn't really make me any specific label that I can think of, other than non-vengeful.
To me, "pacify" is something you do up front, not as a reaction to something bad happening. Sadly, I am not very good at the upfront peace (so am definitely not a pacifist). I tend to be antagonistic, stubborn, and smug. In other words, I would have a hard time appeasing someone (a true synonym of "pacify") even if I tried.
If you define pacifism on the "back end", as in how you would react to aggression, I have no problem with that. I don't wish to be a pedant. If you do define "pacifist" as "not looking to get even", then yes, I think I am more a pacifist than not. I can't say it has been tested a great deal, but other than wishing some ill thoughts and striving for justice when I am wronged, I don't tend to get too creative in sticking it back to someone, even less so in defense of others. I figure they can take care of themselves and/or ask for help (I don't have kids nor have any true "dependents"), so I am not a fan of postured support... In fact, I really dislike that kind of thing, especially when a friend is supposedly doing it on my behalf.
Your definition is consistent though... Yes, there would be less fighting if there were more pacifists, by your definition. Cycles of violence _might_ be stopped. I doubt it, though. Who knows when my limits would be reached (because you are right, it can often be a matter of degree on how much one can take). That's why "idealist" describes me better, because I like to THINK I can always keep moral high-ground and live up to what I know I am capable of...
Unchecked pacifism on the front end won't stop war, either. It just means aggressors take over that much more quickly. Think Chamberlain vs. Churchill. Now, poor Neville had a tough situation, to be sure. But few history books throw support behind his appeasement strategy. Hard to say since I wasn't there, and I certainly can't know what I would have done in his shoes!
April 24 2009 3:19 PM EDT
Def: Pacifism is the opposition to war or violence as a means of settling disputes or gaining advantage.
How is that statement not pacifism
you can be morally opposed to torture and not want it used because of that reason and still use violence to protect yourself or loved ones or even for the sheer deviant fun of it. that is where i have an issue with branding someone a pacifist based on one sentence. while it is not an incorrect label, without knowing more about the person it is definitely naive.
April 24 2009 3:26 PM EDT
I said you have a pacifist view not you ARE a pacifist.
"I used to have a pacifist view in my earlier years like you Sut."
Once again all in the wording. And why text is horrible to explain things cause im sure if we were to discuss this face to face you wouldnt have misunderstood.
April 24 2009 3:32 PM EDT
Thak, I understand your definition. *smile* It's all good.
April 24 2009 3:32 PM EDT
"you can be morally opposed to torture and not want it used because of that reason and still use violence to protect yourself or loved ones or even for the sheer deviant fun of it."
dudemus did you read the defenition of pacifism?
And for being naive. Naive is believing every one can get along. before what i mentioned above about resources above can be achieved.
April 24 2009 3:38 PM EDT
No worries man we're just haveing a friendly debate/discussion on our views and unfortunately its in text so misunderstandings are always going to happen.
people need to learn to be more civilized and not be so pissy with each other when some is trying to explain there point of view. *chuckles*
i know the definition.
the statement that someone has a pacifist view or viewpoint though would usually be taken to mean that they abhor violence in all situations.
thus, stating someone has a pacifist view because they wouldn't use violence in one situation was what i meant was naive.
i may be against torture, but i have a sawed off shotgun in my house ready for defense. (i live in texas, so only having one gun may make me a pacifist!)
i think you meant that regarding this particular issue sut may have a pacifist view, it just seemed you were labeling him as a pacifist overall and i was pointing out that you likely need more info.
April 24 2009 3:49 PM EDT
ok but we werent discussing everything, were we, in lies the problem.
We were discussing about torture and Sut is taking a pacifist view on it imo by definition.
"I used to have a pacifist view in my earlier years like you Sut. But things happened in my life that showed me the cruel and harsh simple reality of life its self."
the context made it seem, to me, more like a life viewpoint rather than regarding this particular subject as i guess you meant.
April 24 2009 4:01 PM EDT
I see how you get that out of that.
If i worded it like so would that have been better for you?
For future reference
I used to have pacifist views in my earlier years like you Sut. But things happened in my life that showed me the cruel and harsh simple reality of life its self."
April 24 2009 4:03 PM EDT
Basically it comes down to:
Does the end justify the means? And at what cost? Our soul?
As Dudemus has remarked, I'm more of a glass half-full kind of person. This is probably the first bath these fellows have had in years!
April 24 2009 4:05 PM EDT
"This is probably the first bath these fellows have had in years! "
And with that, I hope this thread ends!!!
The mention of castration of sex offenders and waterboarding of marijuana users made me want to mention something:
There's a big difference between the "corrections" department and the military/CIA. I think the primary goal of each should be protection of citizens, though, rather than punishment. In other words, it should be more of a "I'm going to kill/imprison/castrate you so that you can no longer commit such actions on people again," vs the current idea that seems to be more towards "I'm going to kill/imprison/castrate you because you're a horrible person who deserves it."
The purpose of torture, however, is much more expressly to help prevent future harm to citizens, rather than to be malicious and vengeful.
Not that I support torture. I'm still thinking about the rest of anything that what I just said may imply.
April 24 2009 5:53 PM EDT
as Ranger says, it comes down to "do the ends justify the means?"
Personally, I don't think torture is admissible under any circumstances. Doesn't matter if everyone else is following the rules or not, just because someone else steals and gets away with it doesn't mean it's OK to steal yourself.
"I do feel that what Obama is now doing, releasing the CIA documents and possibly putting those that signed off on it on trial is a travesty."
I agree with this. There is a LOT of secret information held by our armed forces and by our secret services, CIA included, that could pose a lot more of a threat to the security of the U.S. than simple terrorism.
I also consider putting those involved on trial when it was made legal at that time to be a form of ex post facto (which is arguable, and the fact that it is arguable is why they won't strike it down.)
Water-boarding should never have been done, though. It's torture, and Americans are outraged when they hear that American soldiers/citizens are tortured elsewhere. We shouldn't be holding a double standard.
April 24 2009 6:08 PM EDT
Honestly, I'm sure there is a point where everyone will agree it's worth any means necessary to get information in theory.
Mad scientist with a code to stop blowing up the world, such that it would kill every single person?
However, not only is this circumstance unlikely. Torture is not the best way to solve it regardless.
If something is immoral AND ineffective, why would we use it?
Read this article http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A2302-2005Jan11.html
In summary, plenty of experienced military interrogators will tell you torture doesn't work. Experienced people from Vietnam. I don't care what you've seen Thak that gives you a harsh view of life. Unless you have experienced torturing someone, how can you know the best course of action? These guys know. I trust them.
Come on, if you guys saw/read Watchmen (the comic or the movie) you would know that it is an extreme example of the ends-justifying-the-means gone too far. But the answer is no, the ends do not justify the means.
April 24 2009 8:22 PM EDT
If water-boarding is torture would brandy-boarding be considered a kindness ?
Either way, I love you all...
I would hardly object to being drowned in a vat of chocolate. In fact, that would create a serious dilemma: Eat the chocolate and die, or swim to the surface and live a life full of regret? ;)
April 24 2009 11:39 PM EDT
There was a time people all over the globe and most of Europe looked at the USA and only saw freedom, hope and heroism ; even if there were some bad things to be observed, nobody was really paying attention.
Now, people all over the globe look at the USA and more often than not what they really see is a hopelessly corrupt capitalist police state, govermnent-sanctioned stupidity on a national scale and a bunch of bullies.
It's a problem of image, and USA has spent the past 8 years dragging its own image into the dirt.
I personally still have some hopes that the current 4 years might make it better, but I wouldn't really hold my breath.
Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War
--Article 17, line 3.
No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.
Countries which agreed to these "guidelines" include Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq, and Korea. Can't say any of which discuss a Spanish Inquisition bathing process as a preventative measure, have persons of office(including reporters)condone the method, or attempt to justify such actions for the good of the state openly. Openly being a key word for the whole statement. Can say torture is torture no matter what era. We aren't the Catholic Church and this is not The Tudors.
Before finding this thread today, for the first time ever, I watched a Freedom Watch video. One of the speakers repeated,"We're America, we don't torture!" a term I wish was correct.
April 25 2009 12:48 AM EDT
I got halfway through the thread before I realized no one was going to say anything new, really. I probably won't either. But I feel like I might as well say something.
- Waterboarding is torture. You can be for or against it, but don't fool yourself. I can respect someone who's opinion differs from mine easily, but I find it difficult to do the same for someone to lies to themself.
- If I started cutting your fingers off one by one and each time asked what 2 + 2 was equal to and everytime you said 4, I cut another one off, I bet you'd start changing your answer real soon. The fact is, incredible amounts of pain won't bring truth. It'll bring the answer the person dealing the pain wants.
I remember a case a few years ago where a teenage boy was kept in interrogation room for something like 10 hours straight and asked over and over if he killed his sister (I believe these were the details. They're not really the point of this though.) After all these hours, the kid finally says he -did- kill his sister and is let out and later convicted. The point is, the interrogators aren't there to hear no. They're there to get a yes.
You won't get truth from torture. You'll just get the answer you're looking for.
Eh. I have more points. But there're even more opinion based, and the last thing this thread needs is more relatively baseless opinion.
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