'The Case For Torture's Terrible Toll'

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“The Case for Torture”, by Michael Levin and “Torture’s Terrible Toll”, by John McCain are two pieces of writing that argue the pros and cons of using torture as a means to receive information from terrorists. Although the use of torture to secure information is viewed differently by each author, the moral and human rights of every individual is agreed upon by both Levin and McCain. While Levin views torture as necessary in extreme life threatening circumstances, McCain views it as unconstitutional and believes that it is inhumane and goes against individual human rights. In the world today, where terrorist threats seem to be a normal occurrence, there is no doubt that the country must be ready and willing to do whatever is necessary to keep…show more content…
In “The Case for Torture”, Levin uses another hypothetical example where he asks four mothers of newborn children that if their newborn were to be kidnapped by a terrorist group, would they approve of torturing of the kidnappers to get their child back (1)? Now the answer is pretty obvious, of course a majority of mothers, even fathers, would go to any extent to get their child back. But the fact that he only asked the mothers, who undoubtedly have a different emotional connection to their child then a father would, and also stated it be a newborn, is an argument easily debunked. Another example he uses when explaining that assassination or pre-emptive attack could be a better alternative to torture, is when he says “American’s would be angered to learn that Roosevelt could have had Hitler killed in 1943, thereby shortening the war and saving millions of lives, but refused on moral grounds (2).” This is also a fallacy. Sure there were probably many people that had plenty of opportunities to kill Hitler at many times, but who’s to say that had he been assassinated or killed for any reason, that the events of the Holocaust would not have happened? How does one know that had Hitler been killed that another Nazi would not try to pick up where he left off and possibly cause even more casualties? Or seek retribution and launch an attack on America for assassinating their leader? Obviously, these points are easily arguable and do not support a strong case. Levin also could have made a stronger point if he had simply included some facts or evidence about why torture could be a useful tactic instead of just giving hypotheticals. In the same way Levin could have added some evidence into his writing, McCain could have done the same by giving an alternative to torture. These are the two weakest aspects in both
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