7. Torture


  • inflicting real or perceived pain and punishment on a person to create fear
  • Information is easily extracted from people who are fearful
  • the victim conducts a cost benefit analysis of giving information versus experiencing future punishment
  • during torture fear is primary and pain is secondary
  • ticking time bomb scenario: fear must be created quickly to extract information before a deadline


  • if torture wasn't effective then we wouldn't be having this debate so assume that it works
  • you are 1/3 more likely to support torture if a terrorist attack has occurred and vice versa
  • ethics of responsibility - Weber

reliable information

  • humans lie all the time
  • people are even more likely to lie during coercive interrogation,
  • people are not more likely to lie when being tortured than when experiencing coercive interrogation
  • the solution to dealing with lies is corroboration


  • a political agenda presupposes a moral agenda
  • both sides want to champion a higher cause
  • torture destroy's the morale of soldiers
  • the solution to keeping morale high is to torture in secret and have veterens perform the torturing.
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