Our reading for this week is a serious one. It deals with the ethics of torture and is also the subject of our third assignment, the article review. Alan Dershowitz argues that torture is illegal in most countries of the world because of the Geneva Convention. However, even with it being illegal, it still happens and, in numerous cases, it actually does work. It produces information from terrorists which has been used to save innocent lives. In one case, information was gained which was used to stop a small plane full of explosives from crashing into the Pentagon building and to save a group of airliners with 4,000 people on board from being crashed into the ocean.
Dershowitz argues that since torture happens anyway, even though it is illegal, it would be better to just make it legal and place rules around it. One rule could be requiring permission from a judge before torturing someone. The judge could even specify how much and how intense the torture could be.
Our question for this week is:
- Do you agree with Alan Dershowitz? Should torture ever be legalized and have rules placed around it like he suggests?
- Should governments ever use torture to extract information from terrorists which could be used to save other people’s lives?
- Please explain why you believe this.