This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.


← Why I’d Rather Not Speak About Torture

Steven Mading's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Steven Mading

Comment 11 by Blondin :


My problem with Sam's position is that I don't understand how you can ever be sure that you actually have a genuine 'ticking bomb' situation where the victim of the torture really does have information that needs to be revealed immediately to prevent an atrocity yadda yadda... until after the fact.

It is entirely possible to use non-torture information to find out that you have the right person in custody - the person who planted the bomb, and find this out prior to your decision to start using torture on them. This is not likely but stop acting like it's impossible. If it was impossible, then the entire science of forensic investigation would be useless.

I'm not sure whether or not I agree with Sam Harris even about THIS scenario - the one he actually was talking about. I might still not agree with him as it's a very thorny issue. BUT, at least let's be honest and stop blatantly lying about what the scenario was that he was talking about. (Which, in a nutshell, is what this article was about - stop trying to get Sam Harris to defend a dishonestly constructed strawman of what he said.)

Fri, 29 Apr 2011 19:07:34 UTC | #620775