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Is torture ever justified? Show more Show less

Torture is the intentional use of extreme physical suffering on a non-consenting, defenceless person for the purpose of breaking their will. While it is a horrific act, defendants argue that torture can produce information that is extremely valuable to governments and can save many lives.

No, torture cannot be justified Show more Show less

Torture is a fundamental contravention of human rights and is always unacceptable.
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Torture doesn't work

Torture warps the mind and information said can be false because of it.
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Context

The Argument

Torture can produce false information by harming those areas of the brain associated with memory. Chronic and severe stress compromises integrated psychological functioning, impairing recall and facilitating the incorporation of information contained in leading questions. The captive and interrogator both might not know this subtle process of incorporation has occurred. Torture fails during interrogation because it can assault our core integrated, social, psychological, and neural functioning.[1] Overwhelmingly, experts agree that torture produces unreliable information, and that it undermines attempts to get detainees to cooperate.[2]

Counter arguments

Framing

Premises

[P1] Torture compromises memory and impairs the recall of events. [P2] Torture damages neural functioning. [P3] Torture is not an effective way of gaining information.

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13642980600608384?src=recsys&journalCode=fjhr20
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-interrogated-brain/201603/why-torture-doesnt-work

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 5 Mar 2020 at 15:49 UTC