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Oh the horror!

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Chris OConnor

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Re: horrors

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ADO15Quote:...when Colin Powell stood up in front of the UNSC and told those obvious (and now admitted and regretted) lies, with the sole aim of providing a spurious reason to invade Iraq.Oh, you have GOT to be kidding. There is NO evidence that Colin Powell or Bush "lied" to anyone about anything. The Intel was bad, and you can scream all you want about this, but please don't accuse people of lying about the WoMD. Your accusation, in my opinion, is one of the leading factors of why I remain more trusting of the Republican Party. Just about every liberal I come across makes such unsupported and biased conspiracy theory remarks. Jesus, you can detest conservatives and conservative policies, but you owe it to yourself not to deceive yourself. I imagine it makes it much easier to hate conservatives if you believe they are lying bastards, but don't you be one too in order to justify your feelings. There is no evidence that people lied about the WoMD.Do you really think they would have concocted stories about WoMD just to allow themselves the opportunity to be publicly HUMILIATED when none are found? Your biases are drowning out your message.And why isn't anyone answering Frank's question? What would you do if you had the opportunity to save your families lives, but you had to brutally torture someone that had set in motion a plot to kill them? Would you like to borrow my blowtorch and needle nose pliers?Luck of the DrawQuote:In your book two wrongs make it right? Your excuse, "well the others were doing it also."This is my issue with torture and abuse in general. Just because THEY lack compassion and morals doesn't mean we should stoop to their level. But then there is Franks (as of yet) unanswered question. What if you could prevent horrible events by forcing a bad guy to talk and give away his secrets? Yes, I know that these same bad guys could use this very same logic on us when they capture our soldiers. Quote:What if the prisoner doesn't know squat? Continue torturing until you kill him or he says anything to make it stop?You hit on another scary aspect of condoning torture. How the hell do we know for SURE that the person has any real secrets? What a horrific scenario. MisterpessimisticQuote:Stop with the strawman shit...your examples are pretty lame and do not really do justice to the larger issues at hand.That isn't fair at all. Just answer his question, Nick. What would you do in the situation he details? Let's assume it is indeed a strawman. Just answer the question.Ok, what if it isn't your own personal family that is at risk. What if it is a few hundred thousand complete strangers? Does this change the scenario or is it still a strawman argument?What if....We capture one of the top Al Qaeda terrorists who somehow made it into the United States. We search his New York apartment and see sketches of several of the largest Manhattan buildings, and a list of 53 other terrorists that are also inside NYC hiding waiting on a Valentines Day massacre. They plan on blowing off 53 dirty bombs all over NYC tomorrow. Potentially a million or more people will die if the plan comes to fruition.What do you do?Please don't avoid answering the question simply because your answer will show your own inconsistency. Imagine that this Al Qaeda terrorist spits in the face of his interrogators and says he would rather die than speak. What now? Be totally honest with us and yourself.In fact I'd like to hear the answers of all the liberals on this thread. And be nice. Don't get all defensive just because you're being asked a tough question. The reality is each and every one of you would probably do everything you can to get that terrorist to spill his guts.And if this is the case then we're not discussing whether or not torture is ever justifiable. We're really discussing WHEN and WHERE and WHO and WHY we should torture. Frank wants you to admit that there is a gray area and we unfortunately enter this gray area at times of war.
Luck of the Draw

Re: horrors

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That which you are attempting to promote is if one act of torture is justifiable then all are. (easing the conscience)In that case just one justifable lie condones all types of lies. One justifiiable case of indiscrimination justifies all discrimination. And it simply snowballs, carries over into any area we wish to make excuses for...anything goes. As mentioned, we have these beliefs we keep saying that are the supposed bedrock of our nation/that supposedly separate us from other nations/societies. Are we the law abiding people we promote ourseleves to be? Or hypocrites? LoTD"If the truth ever wins ask which lie fought for it"--Nietzche"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell Edited by: Luck of the Draw at: 2/14/06 1:23 am
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Re: Oh the monkey poo!

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What this argument, all 100% of this entire didactical thread, boils down to is this question:Do the ends justify the means?Which makes me wonder why this thread, beneath the thin guise of a political debate, is not actually in the Religion and Philosophy section. Because that's what this is.Do you follow the ethic of reciprocity, or are you a utilitarian? Do unto others, or do what is necessary for the greater good?This is where some tend to get a bit... squirmy. Because most religious figures (including Christ) promote the former, and yet it seems that most conservatives tend to be promoting the latter, despite the fact that if they are Christian, they should, by doctrine, be following the "Golden Rule."It's a puzzler, to be sure. And it's down to personal choice, and personal faith.But this...Quote:Not to offend, but I find some of the moralist grand-standing here to be rather irritating.Let me put you folks in a room.In this room with you is a known terrorist. He has planned, and in some cases carried out, intentional attacks on helpless civilians in many countries. His motto is "Conversion or Death for the Infidel, and Nothing Else."Furthermore, you know that he has vital information pertaining to an attack that will kill a group of people who's safety is your personal responsibility. Perhaps they are family or friends. Maybe employees. Either way, all that stands between them and a horrifying death at the hands of this religious madman is you. No higher authority is going to intervene; either you get the necessary information, or your people are going to die (if their lucky; they could spend the next twenty years in a miserable hell of skin grafts and repeated reconstructive surgeries).This terrorist is a hard man, and he hates you and everything you stand for. To him, the people who you are trying to defend aren't really people; they are merely chits on a map of his mad objectives, willingly sacrificed to further the fantasy ideology of a global Caliphate. Concepts like "reason" and "compassion" are so far removed from his morality that he actually straps bombs onto children and sends them to blow up other children.How will you proceed?...is farce.This is the plot to last season's 24, starring former vampire Keifer Sutherland.See, it's never clear cut like this in real life. It seems we're interrogating (torturing) prisoners just to find out whether they ARE terrorists. I mean, if THAT was established, wouldn't the prisoners in Cuba be tried by now? So, is torturing someone just to find out if they really are the one you are after ok? Or, do we only use torture once we are really really sure (beyond a reasonable doubt) that they are indeed terrorists?Be careful -- because the "wrong place at the wrong time" scenario is definitely possible. And that makes even the innocent susceptible (albeit rarely) to these methods. But...If I really really did know for sure that this guy was as Darth Vader-ly evil as you have caricatured him; If I had documented, irrefutible evidence that this man was a real-life Lex Luthor, and that he did indeed hold information key to the safety of my family, then YES, I would start with the toes and work my way up.Hell, Greg.. i wouldn't even go so far as to apologise, if this guy were as morally bankrupt as you portray him. I am assuming that he will be sitting in a chair, stroking a cat, looking at me through his one good eye and cackling madly while telling me about his "master plan," most likely aboard an underwater fortress, or perhaps a space station when this is all taking place. I would get some garden shears, a scouring pad, a kilogram bag of table salt and a good, strong plastic bag and i would go to town.Unless of course there was a huge insurance policy on my family or something. Because then i'd probably just shout "jackpot!" and kick him in the nuts to make him even angrier.But that's just me being philosophical. Counter-question:Can you be Christian and advocate torture.
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Use of force

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I will say one thing about my response about me using force against someone who fucks with me...I rarely have to. I usually can control the situation with words...indirectly harsh, psychotic, informationally backed words, but words nonetheless. (Think of how a the mafia makes threats in the movies without really saying what they intend to do).I have tracked someone down to where they live and did research on them in the past (the internet is so good for finding people...), then approached them with what I knew and laid down a few sentences that explained things quite nicely...so they desisted in what they were doing at the time. Power is in what you know, how you use it and your willingness to act further if necessary. I have had very few fights...I find that making people see the insane side of you very clearly helps!Just some light-hearted info to share...carry on! Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy PiperEdited by: misterpessimistic  at: 2/14/06 9:52 am
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Mr. P

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Re: horrors

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Quote:No I do not, because if your family is worth that much, why not all families? If you can justify that kind of violence in a personal situation to protect one family, what can be justified to save thousands? The thing is, if I did that as an individual, I would be arrested for vigilantism. It is against the law to inflict bodily harm on someone who is not harming you. But I would do it because it is a one on one and I would fight back anyway I could. If we extend this to national policy, do you not see where it can lead?The example we set will be followed by others, and against us. If we would not want it done to us, we should not do it to others.Look at all the outrage about the hostages the terrorists (whoever they are) capture and show on TV. This is a similar tactic to torture. But according to your theories of what is ok and not in war and intelligence gathering, I cannot see how we can get outraged over it. Well, I see how I can get outraged, but not you.C'est la vie? Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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Re: horrors

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Chris:Quote:And why isn't anyone answering Frank's question? What would you do if you had the opportunity to save your families lives, but you had to brutally torture someone that had set in motion a plot to kill them? Would you like to borrow my blowtorch and needle nose pliers?Answer this question. What if you tortured this person and found out nothing...and your family still died...and then you find out that this person NEVER knew anything anyway?You tortured and maybe even KILLED an innocent person because you let your rage and irrational behavior take hold of you.How do you feel about yourself now?I mean...since we are making strawmen...Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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Re: horrors

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Chris:Quote:Oh, you have GOT to be kidding. There is NO evidence that Colin Powell or Bush "lied" to anyone about anything. The Intel was bad, and you can scream all you want about this, but please don't accuse people of lying about the WoMD. What kind of PROOF would be acceptable to you? What 'smoking gun' would be satisfactory?Maybe we should not use the word lie. But how about manipulation of the intel. Maybe, now humor me here, MAYBE Bush and crew wanted Iraq, as many have intoned or have written about (insiders). And MAYBE they cherry-picked intel that supported thier position. Do you believe that our government is capable of this? And I know Conservative Republicans are USUALLY angels (**richard nixon***), but they are capable of this no? And yes. I admit Clinton lied about his blowjob and he is not a boy scout (although boy scouts can be sadistic bastards themselves), so no need to show me the opposite. I understand that those in power will abuse it to an extent...but blowjobs do not get us into wars and inflate our deficit.Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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Re: horrors

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Quote:I'm finding it interesting that every liberal on this thread has conveniently avoided the question.And I find it amazing that YOU have made it partisan. Again...we 'liberals' are simply NOT condoning torture...are you saying that 'conservatives' are pro-torture? Is it that simple Chris? Again I point to McCain...a Republican I can respect.This was not a partisan debate, until you dragged that in. Bush & crew are a travesty...Republican or Democrat does not factor in, to me.Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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Re: horrors

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Quote:That which you are attempting to promote is if one act of torture is justifiable then all are. (easing the conscience)In that case just one justifable lie condones all types of lies. One justifiiable case of indiscrimination justifies all discrimination. And it simply snowballs, carries over into any area we wish to make excuses for...anything goes. As mentioned, we have these beliefs we keep saying that are the supposed bedrock of our nation/that supposedly separate us from other nations/societies. Are we the law abiding people we promote ourseleves to be? Or hypocrites? Not much to add except for - I concur!Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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Re: horrors

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Quote:Chris. Do you then agree that we should answer the silly, fabricated situational arguments that those who try to disprove evolution posit?What I would do as an individual differs from what I espouse as a national policy or just a civilized policy. I am one person. If someone fucks with me, they will get a throat full of teeth or worse. I do not have overwhelming force behind me. It is a one on one situation where I am fighting for myself or my loved ones. If it is me against someone hurting my family or loved ones, I would fight them for a resolution.This is the question Greg posed. Do you see the absurdity in trying to extrapolate that out into organized and sanction torture?Either you misread me, or you're attempting to portray my argument as something it is not (which someone else has done too, but I'll get to that in another post). And you certainly have not shown how I'm using strawman tactics.My original post had but one purpose: To put the people having this discussion in a position where the question of torture isn't academic, but practical. It is a fact that there is a relatively small group of Americans who are directly responsible for the safety of their countrymen. Responsible in the same way that the rest of us are responsible for the safety of friends, family, co-workers, employees, or what have you. They take an oath of utmost seriousness to protect the US, and (despite conspiracy theories to the contrary) the vast majority of them are good, brave, smart, and honest people who genuinely want to serve their country and protect its citizens.They do not have the luxury of discussing things like war, terrorism, and torture as abstractions; in their world, such horrors are concrete, everyday realities. It is very easy to make a blanket condemnation of something like torture when doing so carries absolutely no risk or cost to you. It's better than easy, in fact, because the groupthinking majority are all going to nod their head in assent and remark on your great compassion. And that is precisely what I saw upon entering this thread: People lining up on the easy side of the argument, none of whom have the slightest inkling of what it might be like to actually have to make life-and-death decisions.The question I posed was only geared towards jostling everyone out of their easily-assumed, cost-free positions of moral authority. I am not condoning the sanctioned, systematic torture of prisoners, and I said as much in my initial post. I despise cruelty of any sort whatsoever. But I'm willing to allow for the possibility that controled and precisely-applied cruelty might, in rare circumstances, be necessary to save many thousands of lives. I don't like it, but there it is anyway.In any case, I'm glad you're willing to see your enemies swallow some teeth, Mr. P. I think more highly of you for it. What you and I seem to disagree on is the idea that defending yourself or your family in such a way can be extropolated into defending your civilization in a similar fassion. The only difference I see there is scale, but you apparently believe there is a difference of kind. On that we'll simply have to disagree.G "Dear Buddha: Please bring me a pony and a plastic rocket."- Malcolm Reynolds, Serenity
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