Friday, January 16, 2009

define: torture

I thought I understood this unit, but apparently not. Perhaps this is because I have accepted the idea that there is an absolute truth to everything, and whether or not we can know it, it is always there. So, if something is, according to absolute truth based on reports from victims, torture, then how can it simply be defined differently, or remain undefined, and be acceptible under the Geneva Convention? Why, if something is not directly labeled by a government as torture, but is, why is it okay? I don't understand.

5 comments:

Matt Beall said...

First of all, and I realize that this is very disagreeable, but I believe that war by nature is barbaric, and that no one has the right to restrict rules on both/all parties that are engaged in battle. They have different value systems, and that is why they are at war, and so how do we expect for people with different value systems to compromise on rules of engagement but not compromise on something far less major that started the war in the first place. This is why I think that any mention of the Geneva conventions is ridiculous.

Secondly, off a similar justification, I think that torture may become necessary in a time of war. The definition of torture is actuality is universal. However, when people choose to define it in certain ways, it is simply because they feel they need to justify their actions and feel good about themselves.

Caleb said...

Alright, I am confused as to what you are trying to say. Clarify please?

Fred said...

Matt: If war is, by nature, "barbaric", as you say, then why is it considered acceptible to engage in such acts in a civilized society?

Caleb: I refer to the fact that our government (previous government - thank gods for elections) did not define water boarding as torture, and therefore, because it simply was NOT defined as torture, it was considered okay by the Geneva convention. How is this right, when it is clear and testifiable that the practice is torture? I don't understand how, by simply redefining something, it becomes right.

Matt Beall said...

Quite honestly, Fred, I am continuing to figure out why mankind can justify war, and yet considers murder to be wrong. I know that in the Old Testament the Lord gave the Israelites the power to conquer anyone who stood in their way, but at the same time I feel that the Crusades were not truly fought following the principles of the Bible's teaching. I believe war is a barbaric act, however, beyond my understanding, war can be justified, and can become necessary.

Fred said...

I think violence is a direct violation of our brain capacity. If we have the ability of language and the capacity of analytical thought, it is a crime not to use diplomacy, regardless of the circumstances. When attacked, retaliation puts us on the same level as our adversaries. If forced, I can accept the notion of a defensive war, but never something offensive. Never something with ulterior motives, like the war in Iraq. Never something against a concept, because ideas can't die. And never something against civilians, as well. Only those with enough guile to sign up for military duty and go at it should be part of a war. Never the innocent.