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← Why I’d Rather Not Speak About Torture

BaltimoreOriole's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by BaltimoreOriole

With respect to stevehill and Red Dog, I think your visceral reactions to torture, which I share, and which Sam Harris clearly also shares, are preventing you from dispassionately reading his argument. It is really important to courageously probe our intuition on such matters, even if the results make us uncomfortable.

In his reply to Harris, Red Dog makes perfectly valid practical arguments against torture which do not in any way address Harris's position. Harris says here, and has repeatedly said, that torture should certainly be illegal. So unless you're saying that we're not even allowed to think about the question, your reply is irrelevant. stevehill simply sits atop his moral summit and looks down on the unworthy Sam Harris without even bothering to construct any sort of argument.

Is this the way we rational atheist folks want to engage in argumentation? If you think Harris's arguments are wrong, why don't you address them? Do you think "collateral damage" resulting in suffering and death are okay, but torture is not okay? If you reject both, I congratulate you on the consistency of your position, but I wonder if you can really maintain it in the real world without being overrun by fanatical hordes. But if you make this distinction which Harris criticizes, how can you justify it?

Fri, 29 Apr 2011 17:53:55 UTC | #620732