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Refuting the support of torture under any circumstances

 
 
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PapaTrio
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02 May 2011 06:58
 

The reason that we shouldn’t torture has little to do with ethics and everything to do with the quality of the resulting information. Sam makes a fundamental logic error when he assumes that the information about the location of a ticking time bomb will be (a) accurate and (b) found in a timely fashion if the perpetrator is tortured. The sad fact of the matter is that tortured individuals often tell their torturers what they want to hear in order to make it stop. The other sad fact of the matter is that people have varying degrees that they can put up with torture. In fact, the knowledge that if you can hold out just long enough for the tick time bomb to go off may be just enough incentive for the tortured to deny you the information. It is called spite.

Surely, I am not the first to point this out. Since I will assume that this is the case, then I must conclude that Sam has some other agenda going on when he maintains his line about torture.

 
 
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toombaru
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02 May 2011 07:38
 
PapaTrio - 02 May 2011 10:58 AM

The reason that we shouldn’t torture has little to do with ethics and everything to do with the quality of the resulting information. Sam makes a fundamental logic error when he assumes that the information about the location of a ticking time bomb will be (a) accurate and (b) found in a timely fashion if the perpetrator is tortured. The sad fact of the matter is that tortured individuals often tell their torturers what they want to hear in order to make it stop. The other sad fact of the matter is that people have varying degrees that they can put up with torture. In fact, the knowledge that if you can hold out just long enough for the tick time bomb to go off may be just enough incentive for the tortured to deny you the information. It is called spite.

Surely, I am not the first to point this out. Since I will assume that this is the case, then I must conclude that Sam has some other agenda going on when he maintains his line about torture.

 


Sam is very smart.
But his opinion about torture is merely that…....... another opinion.
In all questions concerning ethics, there is no answer.

[ Edited: 02 May 2011 08:03 by toombaru]
 
 
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SkepticX
Total Posts:  3255
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02 May 2011 07:52
 
PapaTrio - 02 May 2011 10:58 AM

Sam makes a fundamental logic error when he assumes that the information about the location of a ticking time bomb will be (a) accurate and (b) found in a timely fashion if the perpetrator is tortured.


Or (c) that the information wouldn’t be counterproductive (as in setting up responders to be caught in the trap/blast/whatever as well).

 
 
 
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PapaTrio
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02 May 2011 08:02
 
toombaru - 02 May 2011 11:38 AM

In all questions concerning ethics, the is no answer.

Toombaru, I don’t accept this as an answer. There are answers concerning ethics… we just have to agree on the ethical rules we follow.

PT

 
 
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toombaru
Total Posts:  800
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02 May 2011 08:10
 
PapaTrio - 02 May 2011 12:02 PM
toombaru - 02 May 2011 11:38 AM

In all questions concerning ethics, there is no answer.

Toombaru, I don’t accept this as an answer. There are answers concerning ethics… we just have to agree on the ethical rules we follow.

PT


Ethics ARE opinions.
There can be no common ground found within inference.

 
 
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PapaTrio
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02 May 2011 08:20
 

Au contraire! We must have common ground in order to have a society and culture. It is commonality that produces predictability. In fact, most of us share the same ethics in our society. Perhaps not all of the same ethical guidelines, but many many of them the same. And once you’ve established ethical rules of behavior, you can interpret behavior as having either met them or not.

 
 
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toombaru
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02 May 2011 08:43
 
PapaTrio - 02 May 2011 12:20 PM

Au contraire! We must have common ground in order to have a society and culture. It is commonality that produces predictability. In fact, most of us share the same ethics in our society. Perhaps not all of the same ethical guidelines, but many many of them the same. And once you’ve established ethical rules of behavior, you can interpret behavior as having either met them or not.


Each culture evolves widely different generalized rules concerning actions that are acceptable and not acceptable.
Culture is consensus.
But there in no definitive solution to things like abortion, torture or capital punishment.
“Right” or “wrong” exist only in the conceptual overlay created in the mind of man.

 
 
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PapaTrio
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02 May 2011 18:01
 

Right, there is no definitive answer to right or wrong. They will vary by culture. However, within a culture, there is. And the more coherent and homogeneous the culture the more definitive the answer. That’s my point. There are answers to ethical questions within a culture because the ethical rules guiding behavior and decisions in a situation are known. Therefore, behaviors and decisions can be evaluated against those rules.

 
 
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toombaru
Total Posts:  800
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02 May 2011 18:32
 
PapaTrio - 02 May 2011 10:01 PM

Right, there is no definitive answer to right or wrong. They will vary by culture. However, within a culture, there is. And the more coherent and homogeneous the culture the more definitive the answer. That’s my point. There are answers to ethical questions within a culture because the ethical rules guiding behavior and decisions in a situation are known. Therefore, behaviors and decisions can be evaluated against those rules.


The same can be said of chimpanzees and naked mole rats.
The “rules” and “ethics” are merely highly evolved biological reactions.
They evolved simply because they help the gene pool survive and reproduce.
They have no relevance or val;ue outside of that arena.

 
 
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PapaTrio
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02 May 2011 19:15
 

But the whole point of life is to reproduce, so anything that furthers the likelihood of successful reproduction has tremendous value and relevance to our daily lives. I’m glad to be having this discussion because you make my points so beautifully. Like it or not ethics and values are a fundamental part of our make up, contribute mightily to our lives, and are predictable given the shared rules that society—by necessity—causes us to have. And you’ve made each of these points very clearly and succinctly.

 
 
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toombaru
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02 May 2011 19:29
 
PapaTrio - 02 May 2011 11:15 PM

But the whole point of life is to reproduce, so anything that furthers the likelihood of successful reproduction has tremendous value and relevance to our daily lives. I’m glad to be having this discussion because you make my points so beautifully. Like it or not ethics and values are a fundamental part of our make up, contribute mightily to our lives, and are predictable given the shared rules that society—by necessity—causes us to have. And you’ve made each of these points very clearly and succinctly.

Do chimpanzees have ethics?
Do dogs and cats?
What about naked mole rats?

 
 
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PapaTrio
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02 May 2011 20:25
 

They are not pertinent to the discussion. But, if you insist:
Ethics comes from the interaction of the pre-frontal lobe and the limbic system. Any animal that doesn’t have a pre-frontal cortex developed enough to produce ethics from that interactions won’t have ethics.

Your point about ethics and values contributing to our evolution shows how little pertinence talking about any other mammal has on the subject.

CJ

 
 
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toombaru
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02 May 2011 22:33
 
PapaTrio - 03 May 2011 12:25 AM

They are not pertinent to the discussion. But, if you insist:
Ethics comes from the interaction of the pre-frontal lobe and the limbic system. Any animal that doesn’t have a pre-frontal cortex developed enough to produce ethics from that interactions won’t have ethics.

Your point about ethics and values contributing to our evolution shows how little pertinence talking about any other mammal has on the subject.

CJ


Every society has different standards by which they judge what is good and what is bad behavior.
If there is no morality that pertains to all humans…...the term is meaningless and we are discussing the effects and causes of something that doesn’t exist.

 
 
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PapaTrio
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02 May 2011 22:57
 

No we’re not because none of us exists outside of a society. You don’t. I don’t. No one does. We all have societal influences and pulls on us. You have ethics whether you like it or not, and because we are both from a Western society (judging by the command of English I’d say you were a native speaker), you and I will have similar ethics. Our behavior then can be evaluated based on those social ethical values and the ones we articulate. There is no getting away from this. It is there. It does exist in the same way any other abstract notion exists. And it exerts a force on you life whether you like it or not.

 
 
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toombaru
Total Posts:  800
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03 May 2011 07:09
 
PapaTrio - 03 May 2011 02:57 AM

No we’re not because none of us exists outside of a society. You don’t. I don’t. No one does. We all have societal influences and pulls on us. You have ethics whether you like it or not, and because we are both from a Western society (judging by the command of English I’d say you were a native speaker), you and I will have similar ethics. Our behavior then can be evaluated based on those social ethical values and the ones we articulate. There is no getting away from this. It is there. It does exist in the same way any other abstract notion exists. And it exerts a force on you life whether you like it or not.

Abstract notions have no actual reality.
And all notions are abstract.
There is no such thing as “four”.

 
 
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toombaru
Total Posts:  800
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03 May 2011 09:22
 
toombaru - 03 May 2011 11:09 AM
PapaTrio - 03 May 2011 02:57 AM

No we’re not because none of us exists outside of a society. You don’t. I don’t. No one does. We all have societal influences and pulls on us. You have ethics whether you like it or not, and because we are both from a Western society (judging by the command of English I’d say you were a native speaker), you and I will have similar ethics. Our behavior then can be evaluated based on those social ethical values and the ones we articulate. There is no getting away from this. It is there. It does exist in the same way any other abstract notion exists. And it exerts a force on you life whether you like it or not.

Abstract notions have no actual reality.
And all notions are abstract.
There is no such thing as “four”.


The human mind observes human behavior that lends itself to group cohesion and survival.
It then labels the behavior “ethics”.
Now “ethics” has become an object itself and observed behavior is filed under its name.
There is no such thing as “ethics”.
There is an inclination to name and then mistake the objectified overlay for an actual reality.
This is almost impossible for the mind to see since it is the very origin of the process.


There is no such thing as a mountain.
How far down into the earth does a mountain go?
How far out into the plain does it reach?
Can you draw a line around it?
Are the trees part of the mountain?
When the tide goes out, is a mountain taller?
Where does the “mountain” end and the “valley” begin?

There is no such thing as a wave.
Can you take a wave out of the ocean?
Is the wave just its outer skin?
Where does one wave end and another begin?

There is no such thing as things.
Things have no separate existential reality.


And yet you claim that ethics exist?

 
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