Torturing in Self Defense

Discussion in 'Politics' started by steaver, May 15, 2009.

  1. steaver

    steaver
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    Torture....

    1.the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty.2.a method of inflicting such pain.3.Often, tortures. the pain or suffering caused or undergone.4.extreme anguish of body or mind; agony.5.a cause of severe pain or anguish.

    Can we honestly call waterboarding "torture" according to the definition of "torture"?

    Does waterboarding cause "excruciating pain"? I was under the impression that it caused a fear of drowning rather than "excruciating pain". I may be ignorant of this, does anyone have a reliable source they could post? Thank You!

    1.extremely painful; causing intense suffering; unbearably distressing; torturing: an excruciating noise; excruciating pain. 2.exceedingly elaborate or intense; extreme: done with excruciating care.


    Let's assume waterboarding does cause "excruciating pain" and IS "torture".

    Does having a leg blown off by a bomb cause "excruciating pain"?

    Was the bomb dropped knowing that innocent children would suffer "excruciating pain"?

    Was the bomb dropped in "self defense"? Does "self defense" annul "torture"?

    A woman is five months pregnant. Doctor says he has found a life threatening problem. If the woman continues futher into the pregnancy she will surely die but the baby will live.

    Does the woman choose to kill the child in self defense? "It's either the child or me".

    Does the abortionist "torture" the child as he kills it, tearing the child apart in pieces until it is dead? Pulling it out of the womb one arm and one leg at a time. Or is the abortionist excused of "torture" because he is saving the woman's life? "The end justifying the means". Like war.

    A soldier throws a granade at an enemy knowing the granade may not kill the person but may take a leg off causing "excruciating pain". Is the soldier considered a "torturer"?

    The government says that they waterboarded to gain information of enemy plans of attacks. Is this self defense? Why or why not?

    Personaly, if waterboarding causes "excruciating pain" then I believe it is torture for that is the definition of torture. I also believe that if the military done the waterboarding to known enemy combatants then they done it not for pleasure or revenge but for "self defense".

    Therefore, the military use of waterboarding on enemy combatants is both "torture" and "self defense". Just as dropping bombs on cities is both "torture" and "self defense". Just as a woman killing her child in the womb is both "torture" and "self defense" (in her mind)

    Did Jesus justify either? Does the NT teach we should defend ourselves when our enemies come at us (self defense)?

    :jesus:
     
  2. LadyEagle

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    Well, steaver, thanks for starting a new thread. What is your opinion about the questions you posed, and why?
     
  3. BigBossman

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    The truth is when you are at war, you tend to do things that you hope & pray you never have to do. There is no way to fight a clean war. When you fight a war, you are supposed to fight to win.


    The people that work for the CIA have to also be waterboarded before they can interrogate. They get an idea of what it feels like when they are doing it to someone else.
     
    #3 BigBossman, May 16, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2009
  4. steaver

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    I gave some opinion....

    I am not certain how I should believe on some of these questions I posed and this is why I presented them. I want to learn and understand.

    There are some here who seem to have strong convictions as to waterboarding being torture and thus should be condemned. But then some of these same people say dropping bombs is ok, it's just part of war to torture innocent lives in the process, the "end justfying the means". Like some kinds of torture is ok while other kinds is not. Some say that some kinds of abortion is ok (rape, incest, life threatening) and other kinds is not.

    I am asking these questions so I may learn why these people believe this way and that I may develope a sound biblical opinion myself as to what my position should be, and it would be very helpful if they could use some scripture to justify their beliefs. This is a Christian debate board afterall and we should base our beliefs and positions/opinions on God's word don't you think?

    I want to debate this so I may learn. I am not presenting any agenda to persuade any fixed postion of my own.

    :wavey:
     
    #4 steaver, May 16, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2009
  5. targus

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    Rather than taking a definition of torture from a dictionary it may be more useful to look at how U.S. law defines torture.

    "The 1994 law was passed pursuant to an international treaty, the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment. The law's definition of torture is circular. Torture under that law means "severe physical or mental pain or suffering," which in turn means "prolonged mental harm," which must be caused by one of four prohibited acts. The only relevant one to the CIA inquiry was threatening or inflicting "severe physical pain or suffering." What is "prolonged mental suffering"? The term appears nowhere else in the U.S. Code.

    Congress required, in order for there to be a violation of the law, that an interrogator specifically intend that the detainee suffer prolonged physical or mental suffering as a result of the prohibited conduct. Just knowing a person could be injured from the interrogation method is not a violation under Supreme Court rulings interpreting "specific intent" in other criminal statutes."

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124243020964825531.html
     
  6. Dale-c

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    There is no such thing as torture in self defense.

    It is amazing that some americans will now justify some of the things that the nazis did.

    Well, not so amazing. AMericans are no less depraved than anyone else in the world.
    The only difference is God's grace to us.
     
  7. steaver

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    Well, we have to form our opinions/positions based on hard definitions or else there is no truth to base an opinion on. Any man-made law does not nullify God's law, like man saying it is ok to kill a baby in the womb while God says killing an innocent life is murder. Just because man has made it "legal" does not make it "ok" with God. We are Christians here and cannot/should not try to divorce ourselves from God's law because man has come up with his own law.

    Torture is what it is, inflicting excruciating pain. There is no justfying this from God's precepts, at least I haven't found scripture to support any kind of torture. I am open for teaching otherwise, if scripture can be presented of course.

    Some want to justify torture because man has defined it his own way and as long as we follow the "rules" that man has come up with for torture then it is A-ok! We are Christians. We must not fall into this way of reasoning for it is a snare of the devil's to destroy God's holy, just and moral ways.

    :jesus:
     
  8. steaver

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    What about the soldier who causes torture in battle to protect himself and others. Or the abortionist who causes torture to save the woman's life? Are these not examples of torture being unleashed in the name of self-defense? If "no", why not?

    :jesus:
     
  9. steaver

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    Then my question for you would be, is a Christian justified going to war? Is self-defense taught us by Jesus? It seems to go against every fiber in my being to just sit by and let a man such as the likes of Hitler go on killing innocent people at will without myself taking up a sword and rushing towards him to slay him in hopes of stopping the murder.

    You see, some here want to paint the whole matter with a very wide brush. Saying torture is ALWAYS wrong and the end does not justify the means. But then they kinda hedge when situations are presented that also cause, by intention, great excruciating pain (torture) on the preceived enemy and yet they find no problem in them.

    These are the people I would like to engage here in hopes that they can enlighten me with some solid biblical truth as to why they believe as they do. I myself am searching for these answers, what better place to learn than here, where those who have solid convictions about these matters can share with us who are not so sure it is so black and white.

    :jesus:
     
  10. targus

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    This is too simplistic and does nothing to define torture.

    For instance there are those who say that sleep deprivation is torture - but that is not excruciating pain.

    Same thing with bright lights, blaring music, standing in one place for a long time, etc.

    Our military inflicts excruciating pain on soldiers in training - is that torture?

    For that matter football coaches push players to the point of excruciating pain in training too. Torture?

    Hopefully you get the idea.
     
  11. windcatcher

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    steaver I hope this is of some help.
    Killing a person as an act of self defense when one's life is threatened is neither torture nor murder. Murder does mean to kill, but not all killing is murder. Killing a person accidentally because the axe head came off while chopping wood..... when you didn't know the axe head was loose, is not murder though they are just as dead as though it were deliberate. Bombing an enemy target to disable their attacks on you is not murder....it is self defense. If there are civilians or innocents or enemy killed and maimed, yes, it is horric, and as Christians we mourn over their loss of life particularly when we think of their soul... but it was the natural outcome of self-defense. When we think of the first atomic bomb being dropped.... we often think of the innocents.... but we don't realized that it was dropped over the war industry and community of workers which supported it.... as a choice between that and other less involved populations.

    As for the 5 month baby being removed from the Mother..... I can think of no instance which would medically justify such late term abortion unless the mother was in an accident and terribly torn up or hemorrhaging.... in which case the baby is probably already lost anyway. Even in cases of tumors and cancer, there so many various delivery systems of beginning treatment, or a brief delay of a month or two to give the baby more time to mature before taking prematurely can often be an option, without significant changes to the mother's prognosis.

    I'm against torture and, as you say, causing deliberate and unnecessary excruciating pain just to extract confessions is torture. Using one's fears or telling lies may not be ethical or morally sound for Christians to use.... but I wouldn't place that in quite the same category as torture. Even if pain were avoided by numbing before deliberate and permanant injury or maiming.... I would classify that as torture and unnecessary if used to extract information and not connected to any medical emergency needed by the victim. I would also consider letting a detainee go without medical treatment when such is available and he has obvious need as being in the same category as 'torture'.

    I do think there are some methods of waterboarding .... like keel hauling.... which are torture.... and some methods which are scary and play on the fears of the detainee which are not torture..... but scares the daylights out of some. I beleve there can be no certainty regarding useful information being extracted. I think some would break and others would become either more resistant or tell lies. In some cases, polygraph might work to distinguish the difference by rechecking the information..... but even that requires a degree of voluntary cooperation which cannot be forced.

    All this business is dirty, and if a Christian doesn't wish to see war or its horrors, he should avoid military service or other involvements.... Even as a missionary, if one goes where God leads.... they might find themselves in the thick of civil unrest and persecution and either witness to or victims themselves..... or torn between self defense or attempting to flee.
     
  12. steaver

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    I do get the idea!

    At the end of this discussion, will the answer be "to each their own opinion"? Is there no word from God that we may know just what constitutes "torture"?

    It seems that what we have here is "good torture" verses "bad torture". Or maybe we should not call something "torture" at all unless it involves an "evil" motive.

    Our military waterboarded a few enemy combatants. Their motive was not punishment or revenge, but was for self-defense, hoping to prevent further attacks on our civilian population.

    We can debate whether or not the info received would be any good or worthless but that is another issue. The issue is did they torture an enemy out of self defense or just simply break God's second greatest commandment?

    Secondly, does the motive of good justify the torture? Like in the case of training military and athletes? It could be argued that a coach who pushes his players to a point of excruciating pain is not serving any good but rather causing potential long term damage. So in this case it could be called torture in the "bad" sense of the word. A "good" coach would understand and be sensitive to knowing when to stop before torture has been inflicted.

    Again, "good torture" verses "bad torture"? Or some things should not be labeled as "torture" in the first place?

    :jesus:
     
  13. steaver

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    As Christians, how do you think we should harmonize this "self-defense" analysis with Jesus telling us to turn the other cheek? And with Stephen accepting his stoning to death without striking back or defending himself from death?

    You may be correct, but this is why some argue we must not refuse all abortions no matter what. And does the age of the baby really make any difference? What if she is two months pregnant? It is still a baby.

    Do you feel it is a personal choice and as Christians we have no clear teaching from Jesus as to whether or not we should involve ourselves in self-defense?

    :jesus:
     
  14. poncho

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    Everyone has a right to defend themselves, their family and their community imho. Unless of course you are terrorist and a terrorist is anybody the state and the corporate media says is a terrorist.

    Right now the state says we're terrorists (or possible terrorists) for being anti abortion or pro second amendment or pro first amendment or tenth amendment etc, or for being a Ron Paul supporter among other things and the list keeps growing. I think maybe that at this point we should be very careful what we "wish" on others because we ourselves are getting very close to being the "others". Remember Waco and Ruby Ridge?
     
    #14 poncho, May 16, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2009
  15. windcatcher

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    All the Jews were living in an occupation by Rome. The rule was Roman. What freedoms and peace they enjoyed was dependant on submission to the forces of occupation. There were some in that day who were revolutionarys, determined to revolt and throw Rome out. Many thought the Messiah would come and break the Roman bondage and sit on David's throne. Jesus knew he was the Messiah.... but he knew this was not his time as king. He came first as a lamb to the slaughter. He died for us all.

    Being occupied is different then having an opportunity to fight and win a war and prevent occupation.

    What we have right now forming in Washington DC...... if it comes to controled fascists rule..... we just might find ourselves in the position of either submitting in hopes of enjoying what peace and freedoms are left.... along with much uncertainty..... or deciding to oppose and withstand... and if treated violently .... return it as viciously as given. How each may differ in answering the question 'what would you do?' is between each person and their God.

    It is vainful to dwell on such matters. We don't know the future ..... but we do know, when it is now.... and no longer 'future' then we chose what to do and how we are led. The future may prove to be much different from anything we could imagine or prepare for. We have sufficient concerns to take care of today to waste energy dreaming.
     
  16. billwald

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    Doesn't matter what the enemy does. We should do what is right. Don't you all trust God?
     
  17. steaver

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    I'm not sure how all of this is an answer to the posted question, but the part I put in bold is actually answered for us Christians who all follow the same "God". It is found in God's Word. What I find in scripture is examples of Christians not resisting and Jesus telling His followers to turn the other cheek. I haven't found any NT teaching to take up arms and fight. So I'm not certain we Christians are not dabbling into things we ought nought dabble in.

    However, After I say such things I then think of an intruder coming into my house and violating my family, should I not step up and fight this enemy? Why did Jesus say turn the other cheek? Why didn't Jesus teach us that we may sometimes need to NOT turn the other cheek, but rather fight injustice and evil? These things trouble me. I pray someone will give me scripture that would settle this. I rely upon scripture for all my positions in life and politics.

    :jesus:
     
  18. righteousdude2

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    Well Put, Steaver

    aver
    :applause:I applaud your post. I have said in several of my posts, that if we are going to fight an enenmy that wants us killed, then we need to use every tool at hand to make sure we win this fight.

    I find it so interesting that a lot of those who support 'Abprtion" are hands-down against water-boarding, or any other force of EIT.

    Thank you for this well thought our post.:thumbs:

    Shalom,

    Pastor Paul
    Remove the Haze Ministries
    Author of Prodigal Daze
    and Thorn Daze
     
  19. poncho

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    I find it interesting that those who claim to cherish innocent human life the most never even stop to consider the possiblity of waterboarding a whole lot of innocent human beings to get information from a handful that may might maybe have some useful information.

    But then I guess if everyone who is waterboarded confesses to a crime that it can only mean they are guilty. Right? I might think different about the use of "EIT's" if only the guilty were subjected to them but the way it works now is that we waterboard hundreds or maybe even thousands to find a handful of real honest to goodness bonafide "bad guys".

    Guilty until proven innocent? Is that how we're to treat others now. Is this the new American way of truth and justice?

    Looks to me like we're all being conditioned to accept the practice of waterboarding today so that it will be easier to get us to accept an even more extreme form of ___________ (insert friendly sounding euphemism) tomorrow.

    And it looks to me as though it's working. You for example seem to have already accepted that "they" are guilty until proven innocent. Oh and I am anti abortion, even if that does make me the latest extremist threat to the state.
     
    #19 poncho, May 16, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2009
  20. steaver

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    I thought it was revealed that waterboarding was only used on three combatants, whom were definitely proven to be guilty of muder. Not true?

    :godisgood:
     

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