Argument: Torture is always wrong

The ends (possibly saving lives) should not justify heinous means (torture)

Torture is morally repugnant and wrong. Inflicting severe pain on another human is “cruel and unusual”. A boundary, therefore, must be drawn against this heinous act, in which the ends (the possibility of saving lives) cannot justify the means (torture).

The notion of it being wrong for the ends to justify heinous means is a sound principal in society. Governments commonly set limits on the extent to which utilitarian ends can be sought through certain means. This is the basis of laws regulating government actions. The problem is that if a government was able to justify all of its actions by assuring its countrymen that those actions were in the best interests of their country, than a slippery slope would be created toward tyranny; almost any action being justified on the mere speculation that it would be good for the country ultimately. On the extreme, the holocaust was justified by Hitler to the German public on the basis that it would be good for the country overall. This is why certain morale boundaries must be established in laws that regulate government action. Torture is one of these acts, and is considered worldwide to be a heinous crime. A moral boundary must be established that prohibits it in all circumstances, or a slippery slope to unfettered, tyrannical government will be openned.

Laws should not be broken for the sake of expediency

  • German philosopher Immanuel Kant wrote about the human tendency to find exceptions to moral rules when the rules constrain us in certain undesirable ways: “Hence there arises a natural … disposition to argue against these strict laws of duty and to question their validity, or at least their purity and strictness, and, if possible, to make them more accordant with our wishes and inclinations, that is to say, to corrupt them at their very source, and to entirely destroy their worth.”[1]

If you tortured someone you would have to ask for forgiveness because it's wrong