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Friday, June 03, 2005

Spades are so cliche

I don't write much about morality, because it is not my strong suit. Somehow, I ended up with an interpretation of God's commands that stops me from doing a lot of fun things that, according to HBO, are a necessity.

So who am I to comment on morality, and topics like torture?

Wouldn't you like to know?

First off, in the current conflict, torture is generally counterproductive. This is a propaganda battle, and if we want World Peace we have to kill everyone that wants to fight us, without creating more enemies in the process. Sure, we could reason with and reeducate our enemies, then release them. That would take a lot of time and money we don't want to spend.

The military has done a fair job in dealing with prisoner abuse so far. Guantanamo Bay is practically a spa. I've heard that we've tortured to death about 30 prisoners so far, but I'm sure most of those died from shock or thirst or something.

Waterboarding? Please, that's a sinus remedy. Also, if protestors can burn flags, I don't see a problem with burning the Koran.

Koran abuse is not occuring with any regularity. Maybe 10 times. Maybe less. Maybe more. Oh well.

So, the only question left worthy of pondering is whether torture is ethical and* moral, and under what circumstances. I believe it is ethically acceptable against criminals, enemies, and possibly innocent fuzzy animals. Morally, I'd have to let the animals go free.

Torture is bad. In some cases it's worse than death. Perhaps it's barbaric. But we firebomb entire cities, in the name of military necessity, and I support that. Torture, when it has the possibility of achieving the same results, seems less cruel.

Of course, humans have the natural rights to life and liberty, so torture of little kids or randomly chosen strangers is highly unethical. Criminals forfeit their rights and enemies... well, they're our enemies. Just make sure we're on the right side of the war.

*Oh, yeah, in case you didn't notice, I've created a dichotomy between ethics and morality. Ethics, as I arrogantly define it, is a system of behavioral constraints rationally constructed from a set of premises. Morality is the stuff arbitrarily handed down by God. It's a helpful dichotomy, and I think I've used it to create a compromise position on fetus-murdering. This dichotomy is also based on significant study of philosophical schools, ethical systems, traditions, and the nature of morality, so don't knock it till you've tried it.

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