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Criminology (Essay Sample)

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Torture: Explaining two Opposing Opinions

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Torture: Explaining Opposing Opinions
Writers can have similar or divergence views on a particular subject. Indeed, this is true on the controversial subject of torture. Several issues arise in day-to-day lives, which touch individuals in different perspectives. Accordingly, people will have the same attitude or they might react differently on a given aspect. This is because people think differently or have different motivating factors on any given subject. The purpose of this essay is to explore this proposition as far as the subject of torture is concerned. In doing so, the paper will focus on two authors. Points of agreements as well as opposing ones will be highlighted. However, a greater emphasis will be placed on finding a common ground on their arguments.
Torture has been prevalent since the earliest civilizations among the Romans and the Greeks. People in these cultures practiced torture to get crucial information from criminals (Lang and Beattie 42). The Romans had a firm conviction that witnesses could not give the truth on their own volition. Therefore, some form of pain was necessary to extract the required information or get the whole truth. On the other hand, the Catholic Church as well as Protestants used torture on nonbelievers and the heretics (Lang and Beattie 41). During the Second World War, Hitler was notorious in the use of torture in the concentration camps (Dickerson 173). In the recent past, American has been on the limelight because of the use of torture in getting information from suspects. Such actions are prohibited under the international law. In addition, the American Constitution, under the Eighth Amendment, prohibits any form of torture. By definition, torture is an act of inflicting pain for the purposes of killing, intimidating or gathering of information from a person (Boczek 198). Indeed, since the history of torture is long and multifaceted, various deliberations have emerged with some people arguing that it is an effective way of obtaining the necessary information. However, others see it as inhuman and a threat to the Constitutional rights of people. The main issues by those who have written on the subject revolve around ethical considerations as well as morality of the practice.
Professor Mirko, a law professor at Deakin Law School in Melbourne, Australia, provides an interesting argument on the use of torture in his essay “A Case for Torture.” Bagaric posits that those who wholly oppose torture are not honest, and to some extent are under illusion (Bagaric par 5). He concludes as invalid arguments that torture cannot save lives. He makes a strong case that torture is effective in saving innocent lives. Accordingly, Bagaric says that torture should be used in limited cases only such as in safeguarding the lives of innocent people (Bagaric par 4). The author observes that torture is justified in cases where the life of an innocent person is in danger. However, he says that it is immoral to use torture as a means of gathering information from a suspect. Bagaric believes people have rights, which must be protected, and that those rights are not absolute. Accordingly, rights must always yield to consequences, which is the criterion on which the soundness of a decision is gauged (Bagaric par 6). It is the authors’ conviction that people s...
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