PHIL 201: Reply to classmates discussion post

INSTRUCTIONS: **** For your reply, locate a thread with which you disagree and explain why you disagree (in at least 200 words). The disagreement could be over which view he/she took, or his/her understanding of the other views. Focus on the ethical concepts. Any sources used must be cited, and quotations do not count towards the required word count.****

The Act of Torture

The concept of torture is one that’s deeply disturbing to some, but seemingly necessary to other. Causing physical pain, whether it be as punishment or to make an individual do something, is looked at as inhumane to many. There is a large amount of controversy over the use of torture in the United States towards terrorists who have been places in Guantanamo Bay. Some feel it is necessary to close the operation, while others feel it is imperative to keep it running. 

There are four specific theories that address the topic of torture: Utilitarianism, Kantian duty based ethics, Virtue ethics, and Christian-principles base ethics. Utilitarianism says that torturing an individual is permissible and in the best interest of the country if it benefits the majority. Kantian duty-based ethics focuses on following moral law out of respect and may find torturing permissible if it is for the purpose of serving the country. Virtue ethics looks at the motives of the torture to examine if it is consciously and morally just. Christian-principle based ethics bases their opinion on the laws and teachings set forth by God within the Bible. To those who follow Christian-principle based ethics believe torture is an act that contradicts love and forgiveness which is preached as a teaching throughout the Bible, thus rejecting torture as a means of positive moral action.

Although I do see the reasoning behind each perspective, and can see why people would choose to stand behind them, as a Christian, I must stand behind the Christian-principle based ethics. As Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Because of my declaration in Christ, I have been forgiven for all of my sins of my past, present, and future. It would be hypocritical of me to believe that I have been forgiven if I choose to believe torturing an individual for punishment or any reason could be considered just. The ‘Golden Rule’ or law of Christianity is to treat others the way you wish to be treated. The concept of believing torture is acceptable, whether you’re the one torturing the individual or just someone supporting their actions, goes against that rule in every aspect. For these reasons I cannot agree that torture is an acceptable act in any scenario, and consider myself to follow the Christian-principle based ethics on the topic of torture.

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