Over the past couple of weeks the torture debate has been coming to my mind. I have been rethinking my beliefs, intuitions, arguments, and feelings on the issue of the use of torture (enhanced interrogation techniques) in the defense of our nation and after much thought I have come to the conclusion that 1) enhanced interrogation techniques are in fact torture, 2) that their use to gain information to ensure our country’s safety is morally illicit and that 3) these techniques which are considered torture are evil.
Kyle and I used to go head-to-head on the matter of torture and whether the enhanced interrogated techniques (EIT’s) constituted torture. I insisted that EIT’s were not torture. I would argue very passionately in favor of the use of EIT’s because I thought the safety of the United States was the most important thing and that even if it was evil or immoral these techniques were being used for the sake of our lives and our country’s protection. I think my human weakness of fear, the fear for our safety and even fear of dying played a role in my being for these techniques. Even though I knew in my heart that violating the enemies’ human dignity to protect this nation was wrong I justified it at every turn just because I wanted to be safe. But it is contrary to human dignity to use force to compel a person by breaking down their will through pain. It reduces them to a mere animal level.
As of the present, even if the whole world was threatened and at stake I would not justify committing a moral evil in order to save it. We are not called to be of this world, we’re called to be of another world. Our souls are called to be ready for the next world, for the afterlife. We should not put our souls in peril during this life. This world is temporary. The afterlife is for all of eternity.
Kevin says that God has been working on me the past couple of weeks. I agree. God has touched my heart and has guided me to admit, accept, believe, and know that we shouldn’t do anything which violates the dignity of the human person, even if it would save our lives. Our flesh is temporary in this life but our souls will live on for all of eternity.
Citizen Tom has a very well thought out post where he asks Is Waterboarding a Terrorist with Vital Information Torture?