[lit-ideas] Re: Is torture wrong by definition?

  • From: "Andy Amago" <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2006 14:00:37 -0400

> [Original Message]
> From: Paul Stone <pas@xxxxxxxx>
> To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Date: 4/6/2006 1:21:49 PM
> Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Is torture wrong by definition?
> >Or prevented by raising better humans (meaning teaching parenting).  I
> >think if we had humongous numbers of cars that run the way humans do, not
> >starting, stalling, going out of control, catching fire, whatever, we'd
> >in those factories in no time demanding that they improve.
> And... we'd JUNK the ones that were shit.

They aren't to blame for the conditions that made them what they are. 
First I'd make sure they couldn't reproduce, and depending on degree of
severity, I'd put them to work doing something useful.  Worst case
scenario, keep them in jail.  We need license plates anyway.  

>  > Who're "we"? The hypocritical puritan american press?
> >No, you, Lawrence, Eric, me (well, not really me), Joe Average who
> >complains al Jazeera isn't playing fair by showing people what war really
> >looks like.
> Don't include me in the 'we' because I said ON THIS LIST that what we
> is to SHOW all that stuff and that WOULD make those of us who are more 
> civilized even MORE anti-unjust-war. I'll try to find the email if you 
> really want to see it.

Okay, I'll take your word for it and take your name off the list.

> >Revenge is universal because it's a product of the crocodile brain.
> >Revenge is a way to work through emotions that can be worked through in
> >more productive ways.
> Like living a miserable, heartbroken life with no closure for 30 years 
> while your child's murderer sits in jail with free education, free
> free gym, free food. That's WAY more productive.

I think life in prison is overrated.  From I've seen on television and read
about it, it's hell.  I wonder if prisons offer tours.  Maybe people who
think it's so great can see for themselves and let us know, better yet, try
a week as an experimnet.  Also, in a sense, the murderer was once a
soul-murdered child himself.  The original crime(s) against him went
unpunished.  Victims always create victims in one form or another.  

> Put them in solitary forever? Isn't that cruel and unusual? Isn't that,
> you say a fate worse than death? I don't want to torture these terrible 
> people (for very long anyway), I just want them gone from the Earth.

Removing people from the Earth is not the answer.  Stopping the cycle is
the answer.  Removing people is what Stalin did.  Who would do the
removing?  Where would you remove them to?  We need to improve our world,
not institute a reign of terror.

> >In the abstract we agree.  In principle, revenge and taking people out
> >emotional responses.  But, even agreeing in principle is better than
> >nothing.
> Here is something I wrote yesterday but didn't send.
> It just strikes me as rather silly that a lot of people think that an 
> 'near-distant' threat OR a just-past crime is somehow not a valid reason
> strike. You have to react IN the moment or not at all. I think that it's 
> actually backwards and that someone who deliberates and carefully thinks 
> about retribution or preemption has done a much greater service than one 
> who reacts and kills someone out of anger and passion in the heat of the 
> moment. If someone kills my wife, should I really club him over the head 
> with the nearest baseball bat immediately or should I restrain him and
> to him for a few hours to see whether he can give me a good reason why I 
> shouldn't do the same to him?  If I think about that for a couple of
> and decide "yes, I should" I should be commended that at least I THOUGHT 
> about it and still came up with the answer that "yes, it should be done". 
> Premeditated murderers are almost (unless they are psychopathic serial 
> killers) one-off killers and are not 'dangerous' to society other than
> ONE person they want dead. People who react in the moment and fly off the 
> handle with an unmeasured response are the really dangerous ones. Now... 
> what do you say of reason over emotion?

The irony of this is that if everyone reacted in the heat of passion, where
would we be?  Would you like to live in a world like that?  Why would you
need courts if people meted out their own justice?  Most crimes of passion
are of the domestic violence variety anyway.  That's why we need to outlaw
spanking and make crossing of boundaries taboo under ALL circumstances. 
(Except appropriate hugging of course, you know what I mean.)  If EVERYONE
at ALL times kept their hands to themselves, there would be no crimes of

> >All the evidence points to a reduced standard of living for most
> >in the not too distant future.  That's why I say civilization is a
> >Approachable, but then it disappears.  Around 1970 the population of the
> >world was something like 3.5 billion.  Now it's something like 6 billion.
> >The more humans, the more problems.
> Again, I direct you to Pianka. What do you say about his 'theory'?

Don't know who he is.  I'll look him up.  Right now I'm going to do the

> >
> > > "I've got an itching swelling brain and I'm OUT OF CONTROL"
> >
> >Sounds like a quote from a sci fi.  I don't recognize it.  See ya later.
> >Until then, keep watching the skies ...
> It's a 'devo' lyric. They were/are pretty radical new wave musicians. 
> www.clubdevo.com

I'm still trying to catch up with Nirvana or Sex Pistols or whatever that
group was that you had suggested.  I forgot to look for them in the library
and now I can't remember their name.  I listen mostly to interviews and the
like.  More fun.  Now, I'm going to do the lawn.  I'm determined this year
to keep ahead of it.  

> paul
> ------------------------------------------------------------------
> To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off,
> digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html

To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off,
digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html

Other related posts: