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Thursday, 18 February 2010

Pro-torture, anti-civilisation | Henry Porter | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk‏

Firstly, it's a shame that an attempt at provoking debate has been attacked like this.
Secondly, if it does come down to the rights of the bloke trying to kill you, or the lives of innocent people, the innocent people live and the terrorist suffers.
Now this is all hypothetical because it's based on huge assumptions - that torture works, that the intelligence is right etc. etc. but removing those and just getting all philosophical, I saw fuck em. If X, Y and Z conditions are met, then those who advocate violence against innocent parties should loose the right to their liberty. If that means them being tortured so that those they seek to destroy may live, then so be it.
It is when there is doubt cast on any of the factual basises underlying this theory that problems arise. Then I think a pragmatic approach is right. Torture should be avoided as much as possible, but should not be ruled out when the lives of the innocent are on the line.
And if there is a case where the innocent children of a terrorist are facing torture then the utilitarian principle must come to the fore.
It's not a nice business, and justifying torture is not nice for a liberal Socialist like me, but if terrorists weren't trying to bomb people into submission in the first place, we'd be in a happier place.
I may be a liberal but I'm not a bleeding heart type.

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