is an action that leads or causes either a physical or psychologicalpain to individuals that forces them to say or do something in theinterest of the party inflicting agony(Gordon, 2014).It can also be used as a form of punishment. With the rise in ethicsand complication of the world security due to extremist terrorism,the question is, “when is it right to inflict pain on someone togain information?” Also, “what justifies a country to invadeanother in times of war?” The natural law always advocate thatforce can be used to uphold the general good of the society whenanother party is inflicting unjust pain to other people(Pollock, 2014).This can be elaborated when terrorists attacked the USA in 9/11. Theact prompted the US to invade two terrorists affiliated countrieswith the intention to protect the sovereignty and safety of theAmerican people (Pollock, 2014).War is unjust and immoral, but in that case, it was justified(Gordon,2014)
Similarly,the issue of torture becomes serious when there are lives to besaved. What would you do if you knew there was a bomb in DC or NewYork, but could not locate it and the perpetrator was unwilling tocooperate? Would you follow the law or go to extremes? Such argumentis what makes even the diehard opponents of torture silent. Thebenefits of torture are weighed against the harm that will be causedif the results outweigh its adverse effects, then the actions arejustified. It is for the same reason that Department of Justicedropped 91 cases out of 101 against the CIA and another official forparticipation in enhanced interrogations (Pollock, 2014).Obama also added that those who acted in good faith would not beprosecuted (Pollock, 2014).Thus, torture becomes justifiable under utilitarianism by those whosupport it.
Onthe other hand, those against torture put some few arguments. Theyargue that it can make anyone say anything because he/she wishes toend it (Pollock, 2014).Also, it results to harm both to the victim and the one doing the act(Pollock, 2014).While the victim harm is physical in nature, the torturer experiencesa psychological one, which might distort his/her peace. Moreover,there is no way to tell if torture may or may not create ‘disutility’in the society resulting to more or less terrorism or criminaldeviance acts. Those arguing against torture propose right basedpolicing as extreme methods in combating crime may turn peopleagainst security force agencies thus resulting to more delinquency insociety (Pollock, 2014).Theyargue that torture is against human dignity and rights(Pollock, 2014).
Gordon, R.(2014). Mainstreamingtorture: Ethical approaches in the post-9/11 United States.New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Pollock, J. M.(2014). Ethicaldilemmas and decisions in criminal justice(8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage learning.