I started writing this piece about torture back in January 2006. It seemed to me many folks were talking about the benefits of torture, and that it was somehow a good idea. Something justifiable to, at least, themselves.
This bothered me a lot. I don't like torture. Torture is not a Golden Rule Behavior as far as I'm concerned.
Why Torture is Not Reliable
- If a person thinks he's going to be tortured to death, why should he give you any accurate information? He's either going to keep silent or lie.
- If a person is ready to die for "the cause", why should he give you any accurate information? Again, he's either going to keep silent or lie.
- The previous reason is why I don't believe in "the ticking bomb" reason for torture. If someone set a bomb to blow up, and it's ticking away somewhere, do you think the person would rather suffer or have their crazy plans happen? My guess is that chances are the person will not "crack" under torture especially if s/he thinks "the ticking bomb" is going to end up killing him/her.
- If a person's religious beliefs includes the perverted notion that God finds lies acceptable, especially to the enemy, why should your prisoner tell you the truth? Again, the person will either keep silent or lie.
- Watch any of the many episodes of the excellent 1960's TV show, "Mission Impossible". How many people did they torture? None that I recall. They used their brains to outwit the enemy. Non violent trickery is how MI stopped many "ticking bombs."
Since it seems some folks promoting torture call themselves Christian, I'll approach it from that perspective.
So let's see. Jesus said anyone who lives by the sword, dies by the sword. (Matt 26:51)
It's written he also said the way you treat and judge others is the same way it will be done to you. (Matt 7:1)
Not only that but Jesus said to pray and do good to people who mistreat you. But that requires love in one's heart. (Luke 6:27, 45-46; John 5:39-42)
I just saw a show on TV last night. Unfortunately it was on very late. However, it looks like it's available online and you can watch it at this web site: