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March 2017



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criminal minds reid verray parfait genti

Today is Blog Against Torture day

Well, duh.

Okay, let me unpack that a little.

As a torture survivor (and if you don't think child abuse is a form of torture, come here. I'd like to show you a few things.) I am here to tell you that torture works just fine--if what you are after is to get the person you are torturing to tell you whatever the hell they think you want to hear to make the hurting stop.

If you actually want to know something useful, not so much.

Also, it's an evil act.

Remember evil? We used to have evil.

We were against it.


Yes, on all counts.
Q: How do you get to be the good guys?
A: By doing good things.
Q: How do you get to be the bad guys?
A: By doing bad things.
What you said.
Both of you are made of so much win.
Agree entirely, which is why I am a member of Amnesty International and Liberty.
See, I would happily participate in this Day, but every time I think about the fact that it's even necessary to point out that torture is bad, I hear this weird humming noise in my brain and then wake up with blood leaking from my eyes. Damned if I know why....
My father was a veteran of World War II, and his unit had occupation duty after the Germans surrendered.

They managed Dachau as a Displaced Persons camp.

I am kind of glad he's dead, because seeing what's going on would be bad for his blood pressure, to say the least.
Amen dat.
Thank you. I don't understand why people are willing to use torture when it is both wrong, morally and ethically, and doesn't work. Although once you've started, it's easier to keep going than admit the wrong and change.
Without going into too much detail, hurting people is very satisfying. That doesn't mean it isn't wrong, just that it's understandable (which is not, I'd like to remind people, a synonym for 'less bad'). When you have social approval out the ass and enough misdirected confusion and anger, hurting other people is an excellent (if vile) outlet.

Since they are, for the most part, incompetent and stupid, the people prosecuting this shady little war are looking for some raw animal satisfaction and torture is how they're getting it.
It just... it boggles my mind. I cannot for the life of me understand why so many Americans think that torture is OK just because they're the ones perpetrating it. What the hell happened to the world I grew up in (and I'm only 31, for Christ's sake!) where Americans were the ones horrified by the evil regimes out there that use torture?
well, approval rate for Bush is pretty low, so I'm pretty sure there are millions of Americans who are horrified that we've used torture. I certainly haven't seen any polls that suggest there's a base of support for it. Have you?
Not entirely surprising and yet interesting that more secular people oppose torture than religious folk do. Wonder why that is.

The trend from 2004 to 2006 is sad, as well.
You must have grown up unaware of the School of the Americas, then. Unfortunately, this country's leaders have thought torture was a nifty tool for decades, and have taught it to others gladly if they thought they were anti-communist.
There is always hope. To quote one victim of torture (Niccolò Machiavelli): 'In republics there is more vitality, greater hatred, and more desire for vengeance, which will never permit them to allow the memory of their former liberty to rest.' Let us hope that he did have the right of it.
Not just tell you what you want to hear, but want desperately to agree with you that whatever it is is true - to convince you the worldview is shared.


I concur.
I don't like being broken and I don't want other people to be broken. We, humanity as a whole, could be so much better than this . . .

If you're a pragmatist, you should be against torture on the grounds that it doesn't work.

And if you're any sort of moral human being, you should be against it on the grounds that it's utterly and completely evil.
Good? Evil? There used to be some stories called "Bible," "Qur'an," and "Aesop's Fables" that talked about that kind of stuff, but they were so outdated that the current administration traded them for "The Prince."
See above comments about how religious people are actually more in favor of torture than secular people. It was the Church, not the State, that burned people for heresy and witchcraft, because hey, who cares what we do to your mortal body if it saves your immortal soul?
I think it's a bit of a stretch to blame the inquisition for the U.S. government's position on torture. It's a conscious decision they're making for themselves, and they have no basis from which to back it up.
I was not blaming the Inquisition for current US government policy. I was trying to say that reading or believing in the Bible and the Qur'an are not safeguards against torture.
Definitely not. They say not to eat pork either, but that doesn't stop me from eating a bacon burger. :)
The Prince was written by a victim of torture, be it noted. It may be short, but it does warn against those who believe in cruelty above all as a technique for the maintenance of power. Machiavelli, speaking of the tyrant Agathocles of Syracuse tells us 'It cannot be called talent to slay fellow-citizens, to deceive friends, to be without faith, without mercy, without religion; such methods may gain empire, but not glory.' It may be necessary, Machiavelli warns a would-be prince, to use harsh means to impose your rule, but such methods should be used all at once at the beginning of the reign and should not be part of its long-term maintenance.


There are far too many people who do not understand that the moral high ground holds vast strategic importance.

Sorry, it's a /what/ day??

When the hell did we start needing one of /those/, for *insert deity of choice*'s sake?!

It really, really shouldn't need saying. It doesn't work, it never has, and the end does not justify the means. A toddler could grasp that logic.
Barrington Moore, Jr. (the sociologist) wrote in one of his books that for some people, making other people feel bad is an enduring source of satisfaction. They feel bad about themselves and they deal with it by trying to make other people feel worse.

I suspect that this is at least part of why torture keeps happening. Some weird combination of shallow people who feel better when others feel worse, obedient people who follow the commands of folks in positions of authority, and plain old sociopathic people who don't see others as real humans or care one way or another about what they do to others in order to achieve their goals.

So some people know better and do it because they want to, some people can't be made to know better and don't care, and some people know better and do it anyway because someone tells them to do so. If we're going to get it to stop, I think we need to figure out ways to change the people in all three groups. And I think that's hard. Worth doing, but hard. The hardest part, I think, is what do about the occasional sociopathic types who won't be moved at all by reminding them that what they're doing is evil.