This is a blog to discuss philosophy, chess, politics,
C. S. Lewis, or whatever it is that I'm in the mood to discuss.
Whatever the answer, the U.S.'s reputation is forever stained after this. Your torture policies would put plenty of Third World countries to shame. Yet today on the U.S. news channels, I see plenty of talking heads and former security officers defending it.God's chosen country? Hardly. More like a warning for others.
"Does a person who tortures someone to death deserve to be tortured to death? If not, then the killer gets something he denied his victim, a painless death?"Yes, the person who murders another via tortue *deserves* himself to be tortured to death. However ..."If not, then the killer gets something he denied his victim, a painless death?"... no other man deserves, in either sense of the word, to be that torturer. For, in the end, it is not Ceasar who carries out his orders (for 'Ceasar' is but the reification of an abstraction); rather, it is the mere, actually existing, man, Gaius, who executes the orders.
"Whatever the answer, the U.S.'s reputation is forever stained after this. Your torture policies would put plenty of Third World countries to shame. Yet today on the U.S. news channels, I see plenty of talking heads and former security officers defending it.God's chosen country? Hardly. More like a warning for others."And you believe the BS that leftists spew? All of it, or just when they're "proving" how "evil" the US is?
I'm never sure when this happens, but I think I agree with Ilion here. The person who tortures another to death certainly deserves the same for himself. But I'd rather follow Tolkien's advice here:Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.
If it is wrong to torture, it is also wrong to torture the torturer. I mean this to only apply to human moral agents.The corollary for our legal system is the concept of cruel and unusual punishment. The just punishment is that which is imposed in an ethical manner. We should not emulate those whom we judge as immoral.
The argument here parodies an argument frequently given for the death penalty. The argument is that the killer didn't respect the victim's right to live, therefore the killer should not be permitted to live. But in some cases the killer failed to respect his victim's right not to be tortured, so, by the same logic, should not be permitted to die free of torture. Ilion responds by saying that no one deserves to be the torturer, therefore we shouldn't torture torture killers. He then needs to counter the similar anti-death-penalty argument that no one deserves to be an executioner.
VR: "The argument here parodies an argument frequently given for the death penalty … Ilion responds by saying that no one deserves to be the torturer, therefore we shouldn't torture torture killers. He then needs to counter the similar anti-death-penalty argument that no one deserves to be an executioner."Oh!!! Did you really think I wouldn't be ready for that attempt?1) You (whether for yourself or as devil's advocate) are eliding the difference between merely killing another human being and murdering him. Why do you think I made a point of explicitly saying that “the person who murders another via torture *deserves* himself to be tortured to death”?2) You are ignoring the fact that *all* laws are at least implicitly backed-up by the death-penalty -- as witness what happened to Eric Garner in NYC for “cheating” the City out of a few damned cents in tax monies. Thus, *any* argument against capital punishment is *also* an argument against having any laws whatsoever.We’ve been over this before; it’s not that difficult.With 1) and 2) pointed out, let’s move on.To paraphrase my old philosophy and logic professor, “Setting a cat on fire isn’t wrong because it harms the cat, but rather because it harms the man (who did the act).”With that principle in mind – and, to really blow some gaskets, I’m not even saying that torture is inherently immoral -- and the keeping in mind distinction between murder and non-murder: 1) the man who commits murder *deserves* to be put to death -- *and* God requires us to execute the murderer;2) the man who commits murder via torture *deserves* to be put to death via torture;2a) however, any man who tortures the torturer commits a grave moral injury to himself;2b) since God does not require us to give every man *exactly* the justice he deserves, simply executing the murderer-via-torture as quickly/painlessly as possible, despite that he *deserves* a slow-and-painful death, is sufficient to satisfy the demands of justice;2c) while ‘Caesar’ has the moral obligation -- commanded by God (*) -- to justly execute the murder, he does not have the moral authority to command ‘Gaius’ to commit a grave moral injury against himself by torturing any man, including a murderer, even a murderer who *deserves* to be tortured;3) the point 2c) cannot be used as an argument against just capital punishment without dishonestly fuzzing over the difference between the just killing of a human and the murder of a human;3a) in which case, you (whether for yourself or as devil’s advocate) end up asserting that self-defense is also immoral;(*) and, any ‘Caesar’ who refuses to execute this moral duty is thereby delegitimized … and is not long for this world. One of the major reasons that *all* the Western regimes are tottering is that the elites of all of them (and a significant segment of the non-elite) *hate* justice; the anti-capital-punishment mindset is a major reflection of this wide-spread hatred of justice.
Ilion responds by saying that no one deserves to be the torturer, therefore we shouldn't torture torture killers. He then needs to counter the similar anti-death-penalty argument that no one deserves to be an executioner.My own response is simple: I think some people do deserve to be tortured. However, I think the state is pretty incompetent, and I can't trust them to do much of anything - so the right to torture should be kept away from them.As should, for that matter, the death penalty. I am all in favor of the idea that with a just government, it is entirely reasonable for some people to be put to death - or even that justice may demand it. But I've been convinced that the government is incompetent and corrupt enough to not trust it with that power.Or with many other powers, frankly.
I haven't thought about this very deeply but at face value, I would have no problems having the government torture those who torture people to death. I'm more sympathetic to a retributive rather than rehabilitative penal system.
But, there is no such thing as "the government" who/which can torture those who may deserve it. There are only actual individual human beings who command other actual human beings do it.
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