Author Topic: Survey: Support for terror suspect torture differs among the faithful  (Read 16202 times)

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Offline Bogoliubtsy

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Who would Jesus waterboard?



http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/04/30/religion.torture/

WASHINGTON (CNN)  -- The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists, according to a new survey. More than half of people who attend services at least once a week -- 54 percent -- said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is "often" or "sometimes" justified. Only 42 percent of people who "seldom or never" go to services agreed, according to the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified -- more than six in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only four in 10 of them did.

The analysis is based on a Pew Research Center survey of 742 American adults conducted April 14-21. It did not include analysis of groups other than white evangelicals, white non-Hispanic Catholics, white mainline Protestants and the religiously unaffiliated, because the sample size was too small.

The president of the National Association of Evangelicals, Leith Anderson, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The survey asked: "Do you think the use of torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain important information can often be justified, sometimes be justified, rarely be justified, or never be justified?"


Roughly half of all respondents -- 49 percent -- said it is often or sometimes justified. A quarter said it never is.

The religious group most likely to say torture is never justified was Protestant denominations -- such as Episcopalians, Lutherans and Presbyterians -- categorized as "mainline" Protestants, in contrast to evangelicals. Just over three in 10 of them said torture is never justified. A quarter of the religiously unaffiliated said the same, compared with two in 10 white non-Hispanic Catholics and one in eight evangelicals
« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 12:51:09 PM by Bogoliubtsy »
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Offline observer

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Depends on the definition of torture.  Certainly without interrogation in WW2 we would have been severely handicapped.  Sadists will always get in on the act.  I remembering reading how two Jewish sisters tortured Orthodox Christians in Russia - they did at a public performance aided by the Bolsheviks.  May be bring back the birch in certain cases?  If you are an enemy combatant then expect the worst... not something personally I would do.  In wartime I would hope to be a stretcher bearer.
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Offline ozgeorge

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 :o

Are you justifying torture observer?
Is anyone in the US actually sane any more?
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Offline scamandrius

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Coercive interrogation does not equal torture.


I think most people simply don't know the difference and there is a difference.
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Offline Bogoliubtsy

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Coercive interrogation does not equal torture.


I think most people simply don't know the difference and there is a difference.



Would the techniques recently discussed in the media and in government (eg waterboarding, nudity and humiliation, banging heads into break away walls, mock executions, etc) be considered coercive interrogation techniques or torture?
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Offline ozgeorge

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Coercive interrogation does not equal torture.
Doesn't it? What is the difference between that and the "coercive interrogations" of the Spanish Inquisition and the value of the "confessions" and "information" such "coercive interrogations" extracted?

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« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 01:32:28 PM by ozgeorge »
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Offline Νεκτάριος

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Is this likely to be moved to politics, or can this topic be hashed out here?

Offline Bogoliubtsy

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Is this likely to be moved to politics, or can this topic be hashed out here?


Seems less a political issue than an ethical one, IMO.
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Offline EofK

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I heard an interview on NPR last year with a man who had been an interrogator during WW2 and he explained that interrogations were far more effective (as in more reliable information was offered) when this man would sit down and have a beer with whomever he was interviewing and talk about sports or girlfriends or whatever else.  He emphasized that getting to know the person he was talking to made that person feel more at ease with him which made him let down his guard.  I know that interrogating a German soldier is far different than, say, a Saudi but it seems to me that showing some interest in the humanity of the person in custody would be much better than automatically torturing or even forcefully interrogating them and proving their assumptions about Americans true.
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Offline Quinault

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The culture of the Mid-East won't tolerate kindness because kindness=weakness. In that culture the stuff mentioned above is tame compared to what their friends, family and themselves have been thru on a regular basis. Read about what Sadaam did just as a punishment for DISAGREEING with him. The stuff he did to actually interrogate is abhorrent. So no matter whether we as people in "civilized" societies think about the techniques used, it is NOTHING compared to what these terrorists do to each other on a regular basis.

Offline EofK

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The culture of the Mid-East won't tolerate kindness because kindness=weakness. In that culture the stuff mentioned above is tame compared to what their friends, family and themselves have been thru on a regular basis. Read about what Sadaam did just as a punishment for DISAGREEING with him. The stuff he did to actually interrogate is abhorrent. So no matter whether we as people in "civilized" societies think about the techniques used, it is NOTHING compared to what these terrorists do to each other on a regular basis.

Even so, I don't think that makes it ok to mistreat people because they won't understand anything otherwise.  I admit I don't have the answer to the problem but what makes us any better than the dreaded terrorists when we use their same techniques?
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Offline Bogoliubtsy

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Is it permissible for one who calls him/herself Christian to support the use of torture?
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Is this likely to be moved to politics, or can this topic be hashed out here?


Seems less a political issue than an ethical one, IMO.

But not necessarily not mutually inclusive measurements. Νεκτάριος is right.
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Offline Fr. George

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Is it permissible for one who calls him/herself Christian to support the use of torture?

IMO, according to the witness of the saints, yes: someone who calls him/herself a Christian can support the use of torture on themselves, for God's glory alone.  In all other cases, I'd have to say "probably not."
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Offline Bogoliubtsy

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Is it permissible for one who calls him/herself Christian to support the use of torture?

IMO, according to the witness of the saints, yes: someone who calls him/herself a Christian can support the use of torture on themselves, for God's glory alone.  In all other cases, I'd have to say "probably not."
:)
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Offline Νεκτάριος

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Is this likely to be moved to politics, or can this topic be hashed out here?
Seems less a political issue than an ethical one, IMO.

I think this argument is only partially ethical, as in extreme situations regular ethics become subordinated to some greater good.  In the immediate post-9/11 era, further and more devastating attacks seemed imminent.  Decades of poor intelligence practices (basically being played the ISI and Saudis) left the US in a pretty vulnerable state.  Supposing torture were effective - it is a much tougher ethical dilemma than you are making it here.  If another major attack had occurred while people who knew actionable intelligence were being held in US custody, you full well know that heads would be rolling in the CIA, FBI and military.  It is very comfortable to have an academic discussion on topic - but I don't think it serves any purpose to infuse it with such moralism (which looks like thinly veiled partisanship) nor to call for witch-hunts against those whom even our current President has described as acting in good faith.  Although I do think a public discourse on how to improve policy is an inherently good thing.

From the released memos it does look like a certain level of control was lost.  Torture continued even after it was believed the subjects had given all the information they had known.  This falls into the bombing of Dresden category - while bombing of German industry was essential to the war effort, excesses that served no strategic purpose occurred.  On the whole though, if it is permissible for a Christian to kill in war how is that categorically different than torturing?  Extracting intelligence is a vital part of war effort.  

On the practical side, the ultimate question is whether these policies benefit the US in the long term.  A fairly convincing argument has been made from a number of sources (I'm seen articles on the topic from the New York Review of Books, The Economist, Foreign Policy and others) that by normalising torture, torturing low to mid level operatives and filling Gitmo with hundreds of low level and even innocent people has caused tremendous harm to US interests by eroding popular support for the US in Islamic countries.  The current administration's Nixonian smoke and mirrors is likely a better approach.  Gates came out with a statement today that there is a core group (50-100) of Gitmo detainees who aren't going anywhere.  Instead of using Gitmo whish is a public policy disaster, President Obama is doing the exact same thing (although with just higher level subjects) at Bagram - which is much, much further from any international oversight than Gitmo ever was.  

I'd sum up my position as saying it's not inherently unethical to torture.  I think there are serious practical problems with it (i.e whether the intelligence obtained is valid, the cost in terms of public diplomacy).  But there needs to be a definite objective and firm oversight.  For instance, I think it would be unethical to torture some Pashtun teenager who's involvement with the Talaben was limited to holding a gun - torturing in such a case would purely be punitive and sadistic, he has nothing to offer.  On the other hand, someone who is a high ranking member of either the Talaben or a Jihadist group and posses actionable intelligence is a different story.  There is even some buzz going around that leaking all of the waterboarding information to the press initially was an intentional leak by the CIA.  Brining somebody to the table when they very well know that the CIA has no qualms about using torture can change someone's willingness to talk.  

    

Offline scamandrius

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Coercive interrogation does not equal torture.
Doesn't it? What is the difference between that and the "coercive interrogations" of the Spanish Inquisition and the value of the "confessions" and "information" such "coercive interrogations" extracted?

Yawn.  Useless and ridiculous comparison.

And I reiterate that there is difference between coercive techniques and torture. 

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Offline Bogoliubtsy

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Coercive interrogation does not equal torture.
Doesn't it? What is the difference between that and the "coercive interrogations" of the Spanish Inquisition and the value of the "confessions" and "information" such "coercive interrogations" extracted?

Yawn.  Useless and ridiculous comparison.

And I reiterate that there is difference between coercive techniques and torture. 



As I asked above:



Would the techniques recently discussed in the media and in government (eg waterboarding, nudity and humiliation, banging heads into break away walls, mock executions, etc) be considered coercive interrogation techniques or torture?
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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The last scenes in Gibson's Braveheart....THAT was torture. Threatening a terrorist with a caterpillar is not.
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Offline EofK

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The last scenes in Gibson's Braveheart....THAT was torture. Threatening a terrorist with a caterpillar is not.

But when the suspect has been lead to believe that the insect is a stinging insect, does that not qualify as torture?  If I go rob a bank using a water pistol, does that mean I can't be charged the same way as if I had used a real gun?
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Offline Tamara

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I heard an interview on NPR last year with a man who had been an interrogator during WW2 and he explained that interrogations were far more effective (as in more reliable information was offered) when this man would sit down and have a beer with whomever he was interviewing and talk about sports or girlfriends or whatever else.  He emphasized that getting to know the person he was talking to made that person feel more at ease with him which made him let down his guard.  I know that interrogating a German soldier is far different than, say, a Saudi but it seems to me that showing some interest in the humanity of the person in custody would be much better than automatically torturing or even forcefully interrogating them and proving their assumptions about Americans true.

I would tend believe this could work if we used interrogators who were fluent in Arabic and understood Muslim Arab culture (Arab-American Muslim interrogators). Then, the terrorist might let his guard down because he would feel more at ease with him than he would with some WASPY, all-American, guy.

Offline Heorhij

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Personally, I would never, ever approve or support torture (or whatever you call it), under any circumstances.

I also completely, totally "un-support" the US military bases in the Middle East (and elsewhere), and the unilateral support of Israel (the root of the problem with the Muslim world).
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Offline EofK

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Personally, I would never, ever approve or support torture (or whatever you call it), under any circumstances.

I also completely, totally "un-support" the US military bases in the Middle East (and elsewhere), and the unilateral support of Israel (the root of the problem with the Muslim world).

I agree.
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Offline ozgeorge

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Coercive interrogation does not equal torture.
Doesn't it? What is the difference between that and the "coercive interrogations" of the Spanish Inquisition and the value of the "confessions" and "information" such "coercive interrogations" extracted?

Yawn.  Useless and ridiculous comparison.

And I reiterate that there is difference between coercive techniques and torture. 


No there isnt. And even if there were, what kind of idiot would put any trust in information obtained by "coercion"?
« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 04:23:53 PM by ozgeorge »
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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I heard an interview on NPR last year with a man who had been an interrogator during WW2 and he explained that interrogations were far more effective (as in more reliable information was offered) when this man would sit down and have a beer with whomever he was interviewing and talk about sports or girlfriends or whatever else.  He emphasized that getting to know the person he was talking to made that person feel more at ease with him which made him let down his guard.  I know that interrogating a German soldier is far different than, say, a Saudi but it seems to me that showing some interest in the humanity of the person in custody would be much better than automatically torturing or even forcefully interrogating them and proving their assumptions about Americans true.

I would tend believe this could work if we used interrogators who were fluent in Arabic and understood Muslim Arab culture (Arab-American Muslim interrogators). Then, the terrorist might let his guard down because he would feel more at ease with him than he would with some WASPY, all-American, guy.

I heard an NPR interview just the other day about a former interrogator (or maybe he's still one?).  He was saying something like what you and EofK are saying; he spoke Arabic and quoted from the Qur'an before the interrogation began as well as showed the suspect pictures of his (the interrogator's) wife and children.  He said the difference was the type of information he would get.  For example, the suspect might tell you where a terrorist' house is under torture, but when a report was established, the suspect would not only tell you where a terrorist' house is but that it is booby trapped.  

As a Christian, this would obviously be the best option.  BUT, there are shades of nuances that would change my mind.  For example, if I knew that I had the right person in custody, and that this person not only knew when, where, what and how people would be murdered ... better know I'd make him talk.  But let's make this more personal for the sake of argument; what if a member of your immediate family would be firebombed and the only way you could save their life would be to extract information out of a known terrorist?  I keep going back to 9/11 and seeing those people jumping out of windows; I keep hearing husbands and wives explain through tears how much they miss them; I keep hearing how children cry for a mommy or daddy that will never be able to hold them again.  So, yes, it's better if you can get people to talk without hurting them, but by God you better know I fully 100% support mere torture rather than more deaths.

So while all y'all pontificate whether you do or don't support torture, think about what you would do to protect your wives, husbands and children from being murdered.  You may say you wouldn't, but I dare say that seeing your child in flames screaming for you would change your mind in heartbeat!
« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 04:39:51 PM by GabrieltheCelt »
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Offline Bogoliubtsy

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 BUT, there are shades of nuances that would change my mind.  For example, if I knew that I had the right person in custody, and that this person not only knew when, where, what and how people would be murdered ... better know I'd make him talk.  But let's make this more personal for the sake of argument; what if a member of your immediate family would be firebombed and the only way you could save their life would be to extract information out of a known terrorist?  I keep going back to 9/11 and seeing those people jumping out of windows; I keep hearing husbands and wives explain through tears how much they miss them; I keep hearing how children cry for a mommy or daddy that will never be able to hold them again.  So, yes, it's better if you can get people to talk without hurting them, but by God you better know I fully 100% support mere torture rather than more deaths.

So while all y'all pontificate whether you do or don't support torture, think about what you would do to protect your wives, husbands and children from being murdered.  You may say you wouldn't, but I dare say that seeing your child in flames screaming for you would change your mind in heartbeat!

Good point. The problem that arises when I think about this type of scenario is just how exceedingly rare it is. Just how often did our interrogators, for example,  find themselves in situations where a threat was imminent, and was derailed by reliable information gathered from torture? I'd imagine that these instances are incredibly rare. That being the case- if I have to come down on the side of 1.) should we torture, or 2.) should we not torture, I will side with not torturing.
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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 Just how often did our interrogators, for example,  find themselves in situations where a threat was imminent, and was derailed by reliable information gathered from torture? I'd imagine that these instances are incredibly rare. 
Agreed, but since this information is classified and will be for a long time, we have no way of knowing.  Regardless though, I'm simply trying to show that there are nuances to each situation.
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Offline livefreeordie

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The whole "waterboarding" is torture thing is hard for me to swallow.  All the CIA agents who waterboarded were waterboarded themselves as part of their training.  Everyday american servicemen in SERE training are waterboarded.  I personally know many people who were waterboarded that while they would say it was horrible, never called it torture. I have personally experienced things in military training many people would consider worse than waterboarding.  Is it tough, yes.  But is it also far from what I would call torture, in my opinion yes.  And while I'm sure it elicits false confessions, this is war, I'm sure interrogators assume any confession by any means is false until it can be verified.  Considering how little we actually waterboarded people compared to the thousands of men we have interrogated since 9/11, and the fact we got intelligence from it that saved lives, I would say the "waterboarding" hit rate is pretty good.

Offline ozgeorge

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the fact we got intelligence from it that saved lives,
Such as?
And even if such "intelligence" exists, what have you become if you think nothing of torturing fellow human beings to obtain it? If torture is OK by you guys, then your lives are not worth saving in my book.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 05:42:15 PM by ozgeorge »
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Offline livefreeordie

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the fact we got intelligence from it that saved lives,
Such as?
And even if such "intelligence" exists, what have you become if you think nothing of torturing fellow human beings to obtain it? If torture is OK by you guys, then your lives are not worth saving in my book.

An attack on Los Angeles was averted after "enhanced techniques" including waterboarding were used on Sheikh Mohammed in 2005. Until that point he gave little to no intelligence, he was one tough dude.

I don't think waterboarding is torture.

What's this OzGeorge, "your lives are not worth saving"?  I thought you were mister, "don't judge lest ye be judged." ;) I'm sorry you probably don't think my life is worth saving.  Of course, considering I was a US Marine, I must be just pond scum to you.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 05:53:38 PM by livefreeordie »

Offline ozgeorge

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What's this OzGeorge, "your lives are not worth saving"?  I thought you were mister, "don't judge lest ye be judged." ;) I'm sorry you probably don't think my life is worth saving.  Of course, considering I was a US Marine, I must be just pond scum to you.
Emotive but illogical.
I know some wonderful people in the armed forces. But torturers are not wonderful people. They are torturers, crucifiers.
Those who accept torture as a valid means to an end have surrendered their souls to the demons.
And what disgusts me the most is that people get all pious about people living with their betrothed before marriage but see no problem with torturing human beings created in the image of God so long as it suits their "purposes". This is pure, unadulterated, diabolical evil. 
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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And what disgusts me the most is that people get all pious about people living with their betrothed before marriage but see no problem with torturing human beings created in the image of God so long as it suits their "purposes". This is pure, unadulterated, diabolical evil. 
Emotive but illogical.  :-*  ;)  I might add that just having to sift through this topic for some semblance of balance is torture.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 06:17:41 PM by GabrieltheCelt »
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Offline ozgeorge

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And what disgusts me the most is that people get all pious about people living with their betrothed before marriage but see no problem with torturing human beings created in the image of God so long as it suits their "purposes". This is pure, unadulterated, diabolical evil. 
Emotive but illogical.

You think so? Lets try an experiment:

Livefreeordie, is extramarital sex morally acceptable?
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Offline Rosehip

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Those who accept torture as a valid means to an end have surrendered their souls to the demons.
And what disgusts me the most is that people get all pious about people living with their betrothed before marriage but see no problem with torturing human beings created in the image of God so long as it suits their "purposes". This is pure, unadulterated, diabolical evil.


If we are talking about betrothal according to the biblical model, then, there is absolutely nothing wrong with living with one's betrothed. In biblical times, betrothal was as binding as marriage and technically speaking,  betrothed couples had every right to live together before the marriage celebration proper (if I understand correctly). A mere modern-day "engagement" is not the same as the betrothal of old.

And I do agree with you, torture is abominable, and I would never support it.
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Offline Νεκτάριος

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Personally, I would never, ever approve or support torture (or whatever you call it), under any circumstances.

Suppose the Great Russians decided to reclaim the Ukraine since the little Russians obviously haven't been able to administer it properly themselves, would it be permissible in your eyes to raise any sort of military resistance?


Offline GabrieltheCelt

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And what disgusts me the most is that people get all pious about people living with their betrothed before marriage but see no problem with torturing human beings created in the image of God so long as it suits their "purposes". This is pure, unadulterated, diabolical evil. 
Emotive but illogical.

You think so? Lets try an experiment:

Livefreeordie, is extramarital sex morally acceptable?
Not relative to the topic at hand; if you want a scenario, how about this one-
A man has a bomb that he's strapping to himself and and plans on detonating it at a crowded market filled with women and children.  In fact, all of your God-children will be there OzGeorge.  If he gets there, almost all will die and/or be horribly maimed; both physically and psychologically.  Two blocks away, you and another interrogator have captured a man whom you know can stop this by disclosing the bombers location.  Unfortunately, he ain't talking and he wants your God-children dead.  What will you do OzGeorge?  What will you do...
"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying

Offline Νεκτάριος

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Not relative to the topic at hand; if you want a scenario, how about this one-
A man has a bomb that he's strapping to himself and and plans on detonating it at a crowded market filled with women and children.  In fact, all of your God-children will be there OzGeorge.  If he gets there, almost all will die and/or be horribly maimed; both physically and psychologically.  Two blocks away, you and another interrogator have captured a man whom you know can stop this by disclosing the bombers location.  Unfortunately, he ain't talking and he wants your God-children dead.  What will you do OzGeorge?  What will you do...

The problem is that situation has never occurred in real life, nor is it likely to happen.  The way real intelligence gathering works is more slower and works with tiny bits. 

Offline livefreeordie

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Livefreeordie, is extramarital sex morally acceptable?

Do you mean morally acceptable like some good old fashioned waterboarding?! Did you ask this because you somehow think it's relevant to the discussion on waterboarding, or do you just like to think about sex a lot! ;)

Seriously, I know lots of people who have been waterboarded.  I was about 9 months from getting waterboarded myself before I was in my jet crash and saw nothing unusual about the prospect.  Waterboarding was something we saw as a training excercise. I have no reason to think waterboarding is torture.  If you disagree and as a result think I'm some monster, I'm sorry you feel that way about me.  I do find it ironic that you can pontificate endlessly on "not judging" people and then turn around and seem to damn me and other people who have very logical reasons for not thinking waterboarding is torture.  Neither myself nor anyone I knew in the Marines would advocate "torture", but none of us would have called waterboarding torture.
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« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 07:06:17 PM by livefreeordie »

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Livefreeordie, is extramarital sex morally acceptable?

Do you mean morally acceptable like some good old fashioned waterboarding?! Did you ask this because you somehow think it's relevant to the discussion on waterboarding, or do you just like to think about sex a lot! ;)
:D Actually, OzGeorge asked this; not me.  ;)
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Not relative to the topic at hand; if you want a scenario, how about this one-
A man has a bomb that he's strapping to himself and and plans on detonating it at a crowded market filled with women and children.  In fact, all of your God-children will be there OzGeorge.  If he gets there, almost all will die and/or be horribly maimed; both physically and psychologically.  Two blocks away, you and another interrogator have captured a man whom you know can stop this by disclosing the bombers location.  Unfortunately, he ain't talking and he wants your God-children dead.  What will you do OzGeorge?  What will you do...

The problem is that situation has never occurred in real life, nor is it likely to happen.  The way real intelligence gathering works is more slower and works with tiny bits. 
I actually agree with you, Nek.  But some of us want to encapsulate this into a tidy, moral black and white issue.  Unfortunately, it ain't that easy.
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Offline livefreeordie

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Livefreeordie, is extramarital sex morally acceptable?

Do you mean morally acceptable like some good old fashioned waterboarding?! Did you ask this because you somehow think it's relevant to the discussion on waterboarding, or do you just like to think about sex a lot! ;)
:D Actually, OzGeorge asked this; not me.  ;)

My bad, had my 2 year-old scrambling around in my lap and quoted wrong!

Offline livefreeordie

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Not relative to the topic at hand; if you want a scenario, how about this one-
A man has a bomb that he's strapping to himself and and plans on detonating it at a crowded market filled with women and children.  In fact, all of your God-children will be there OzGeorge.  If he gets there, almost all will die and/or be horribly maimed; both physically and psychologically.  Two blocks away, you and another interrogator have captured a man whom you know can stop this by disclosing the bombers location.  Unfortunately, he ain't talking and he wants your God-children dead.  What will you do OzGeorge?  What will you do...

The problem is that situation has never occurred in real life, nor is it likely to happen.  The way real intelligence gathering works is more slower and works with tiny bits. 

Exactly right, we had spec ops on the ground long before the initial invasion gathering intelligence and we have enormous intelligence centers that gather literally millions of pieces of intelligence and try to piece them together coherently.  That being said, there have been plenty of raids where "on the spot" intelligence was gathered seeking information on safe houses, hostages, suicide bomber locations, etc.

Offline Νεκτάριος

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Not relative to the topic at hand; if you want a scenario, how about this one-
A man has a bomb that he's strapping to himself and and plans on detonating it at a crowded market filled with women and children.  In fact, all of your God-children will be there OzGeorge.  If he gets there, almost all will die and/or be horribly maimed; both physically and psychologically.  Two blocks away, you and another interrogator have captured a man whom you know can stop this by disclosing the bombers location.  Unfortunately, he ain't talking and he wants your God-children dead.  What will you do OzGeorge?  What will you do...

The problem is that situation has never occurred in real life, nor is it likely to happen.  The way real intelligence gathering works is more slower and works with tiny bits. 

Exactly right, we had spec ops on the ground long before the initial invasion gathering intelligence and we have enormous intelligence centers that gather literally millions of pieces of intelligence and try to piece them together coherently.  That being said, there have been plenty of raids where "on the spot" intelligence was gathered seeking information on safe houses, hostages, suicide bomber locations, etc.

As you well know, acting solely based on intelligence gathered in an ad hoc, unverified manner is a good way to walk right into an ambush and get a dozen special forces killed. 

And that is what I am getting at.  I don't see any ethical reason to say torture (and let's cut with the euphemisms) is inherently wrong during war, especially consider that the alternative is to simply kill the subject on the battlefield.  While it might be honourable and romantic to fight with one hand behind your back, I hardly see how it is more ethical in any real sense.  On the otherhand, to torture merely for the sake of torture or to do so to those who have no real information to give is unethical.  In the heat of battle the lines blur, but that is why it is important to have some form of independent review. 

Offline ozgeorge

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Not relative to the topic at hand; if you want a scenario, how about this one-A man has a bomb that he's strapping to himself and and plans on detonating it at a crowded market filled with women and children.  In fact, all of your God-children will be there OzGeorge.  If he gets there, almost all will die and/or be horribly maimed; both physically and psychologically.  Two blocks away, you and another interrogator have captured a man whom you know can stop this by disclosing the bombers location.  Unfortunately, he ain't talking and he wants your God-children dead.  What will you do OzGeorge?  What will you do...
Well only an idiot would think that someone who wants your family dead because he hates you will stop hating you and want your family to live if you torture him.
But you see, once someone surrenders to the "logic" of demons- they become just as idiotic as they are and believe all kinds of stupid things.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 07:22:44 PM by ozgeorge »
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Not relative to the topic at hand; if you want a scenario, how about this one-A man has a bomb that he's strapping to himself and and plans on detonating it at a crowded market filled with women and children.  In fact, all of your God-children will be there OzGeorge.  If he gets there, almost all will die and/or be horribly maimed; both physically and psychologically.  Two blocks away, you and another interrogator have captured a man whom you know can stop this by disclosing the bombers location.  Unfortunately, he ain't talking and he wants your God-children dead.  What will you do OzGeorge?  What will you do...
Well only an idiot would think that someone who wants your family dead because he hates you will stop hating you and want your family to live if you torture him.
But you see, once someone surrenders to the "logic" of demons- they become just as idiotic as they are and believe all kinds of stupid things.
Completely missed the point. No points awarded.  :(
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