The Use of Torture: Pros and Cons

1. Introduction

The use of torture as an instrument of intimidation, terror and control is as old as the times humans organized their first societies.
In recent years, the issue of whether torture can ever be justified has been the subject of intense debate, particularly in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

In this essay, I will argue that even though there may be some circumstances in which the use of torture could be considered acceptable, on balance, the cons of torture far outweigh the pros.

2. The Pros of Torture

There are those who argue that there are certain situations where the use of torture can be justified. Let us consider two such scenarios.

2. 1 The “Ticking Time Bomb” Scenario

This is a hypothetical situation in which a bomb has been planted and is about to go off, and the only way to stop it is to extract information from the person who planted it. In such a scenario, some argue that it would be morally permissible to use torture to save innocent lives.

2. 2 as an Effective Interrogation Tool

Another argument often put forward in favour of torture is that it can be an effective interrogation tool. The logic here is that if someone has information that could save lives, then it is morally permissible to use whatever means necessary to get them to talk.

3. The Cons of Torture

However, there are also a number of compelling arguments against the use of torture. Let us consider three such arguments.

3. 1 Inhumane and Degrading Treatment

Firstly, it is important to remember that torture is an intrinsically evil act. It involves subjecting another human being to physical or psychological pain in order to extract information or force them to do something against their will. As such, it is hard to see how it could ever be considered justifiable, no matter what the circumstances.

Furthermore, even if we were to set aside moral considerations for a moment, it is worth noting that the use of torture is also likely to result in inaccurate information. This is because people will say anything to stop the pain, regardless of whether it is true or not.

3. 2 Violation of International Law and Human Rights

Another key concern with regard to the use of torture is that it violates international law and human rights conventions such as the Geneva Conventions. This means that not only is it morally wrong, but it also puts those who engage in such activities at risk of prosecution.
As US Senator John McCain has said: “The use of torture compromises that which most distinguishes us from our enemies… our belief that all people… are deserving of respect and human dignity.”

3.3 Produces Inaccurate Information Torture also often produces inaccurate information because people will say anything under duress in order to make the pain stop. In fact, this was one of the key problems with the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, where detainees were subjected to various forms of torture and degradation by US soldiers. The information extracted from these detainees was often completely unreliable.
4. Conclusion In conclusion, while there may be some circumstances in which the


The main arguments for torture are that it is an effective way to obtain information or confessions, and that it deters future terrorist attacks. The main arguments against torture are that it is morally wrong, it does not work, and it creates more terrorists.

Torture affects the victims and their families in a number of ways. Victims may suffer from physical pain, psychological trauma, and social stigma. Families may also experience financial hardship as a result of medical bills or lost wages.

There is no definitive answer on whether or not torture works to obtain information or confessions. Some experts believe that it does work, while others believe that the information obtained through torture is often unreliable.

There is a difference between torturing terrorists and other criminals in that terrorists are often seen as enemies of the state, while other criminals are not. This difference can make torturing terrorists seem more justifiable to some people

Cite this assignment

Free Essay Samples (October 4, 2022) The Use of Torture: Pros and Cons. Retrieved from https://essayholic.com/the-use-of-torture-pros-and-cons/.
"The Use of Torture: Pros and Cons." Free Essay Samples - October 4, 2022, https://essayholic.com/the-use-of-torture-pros-and-cons/
Free Essay Samples March 13, 2022 The Use of Torture: Pros and Cons., viewed October 4, 2022,<https://essayholic.com/the-use-of-torture-pros-and-cons/>
Free Essay Samples - The Use of Torture: Pros and Cons. [Internet]. [Accessed October 4, 2022]. Available from: https://essayholic.com/the-use-of-torture-pros-and-cons/
"The Use of Torture: Pros and Cons." Free Essay Samples - Accessed October 4, 2022. https://essayholic.com/the-use-of-torture-pros-and-cons/
"The Use of Torture: Pros and Cons." Free Essay Samples [Online]. Available: https://essayholic.com/the-use-of-torture-pros-and-cons/. [Accessed: October 4, 2022]

More Related papers