On Torture

There has been much talk about torture since Osama Bin Laden’s death.

Those who advocate for torture cite Bin Laden’s death as evidence that torture works, while those against deny that torture led to the discovery of Bin Laden’s lair. Both sides are missing the point.

It doesn’t matter whether torture led to Bin Laden’s death. Torture  obviously works, if by “works” we mean it makes people more likely to give up information they would not otherwise disclose. But that’s not the issue.

We could institute the death penalty for parking violations and it would make double parking a thing of the past. But just because something works doesn’t make it right. The issue is whether torture is moral, and, if so, in what circumstances. Continue reading “On Torture”