Torture is one among the most debated issues; there are several thoughts and views on intentionally infliction of mental or physical pain. There are many queries related to necessity of torment and its ethical-moral convictions. Is it human or inhuman? Looking ahead… Opposing Positions (Torture) Johnson vs. Bagaric 2 Torture- Derived from the Latin word ‘tortus’, literary meaning of word ‘torture’ explains ‘the act of imposing pain to punish somebody or to settle down the score, to get information or to declaration of guilt by the suspect’. Act of inflicting pain to show the cruelty is considered as the nastiest torturous act.
United Nations of Convention defines torture as ‘any act that is intentionally done to inflict severe pain or suffering on a person, whether mental or physical, for purses such as obtaining information, confession from suspects or to show absolute brutality’. Many times, torture becomes a dangerous deed as it can result in psychological or physical harm to its survivors. Torture victims are mostly seen with physical injury such as broken bones and neurological damages while depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disturbances, feelings of powerlessness, fear, shame and guilt are often visible as post torture psychological disorder.
This is the reason why many nations have decided their own limitation of torture in custody; in accordance with an article published in The Washington Post, Justice Department of USA has revised and published an extensive definition of torture. In the revision statement published on the website of the department, the chief of Legal Counsel affirmed that ‘torture is detestable for both to national law and values and international norms’. European Court of Human Rights has also decided its limits of torture in imprisonment. Torture attacks on the moral values of the particular region or country.
It has always been an issue of hot debate. In 2004, the Bush Government was highly criticized for its conducts to legalize torture and behavior of American army with Iraqi and Afghani prisoners. Opposing Positions (Torture) Johnson vs. Bagaric 3 Introduction of Kermit D. Johnson- Kermit d. Johnson is a chaplain and a retired officer of major general grade in the U. S. army. He served in the Washington Office of The Presbyterian Church (USA). He has drafted his thought about torture in his famed article ‘Inhuman Behavior’. He has written books on war and its religious context.
His main books are ‘Realism and hope in a Nuclear age’. His next book ‘Lines in Sand: Justice and the gulf war’ is a joint literary work with Alan Geyer and Barbara G Green. This book is based on the debates of church councils, bishops and scholars who had reflected policy alternatives and moral perspectives on the gulf crisis. It also presents a case custody of foreign and military policy, ethical argument and religious conversations. Introduction of Mirko Bagaric – Mirko Bagarik is a professor and head of law at Deakin High School.
He has written many articles on inflecting pain to a human intentionally. He is author of numerous books on the issue of ‘how to live’. He has served part time for the Refugee Review Tribunal and the Migration Review Tribunal also. ‘Moral Dilemma’ is his famous book. His other book ‘Torture: When the Unthinkable Is Morally Permissible ‘, which is a joint publication with Julie Clarke discusses that there are moral grounds to use torture where the lives of the innocent are at stake. His thesis related to torture has been a scorching issue.
Opposing Positions (Torture) Johnson vs. Bagaric 4 Debate on Torture, Kermit D Johnson vs. Mirko Bagaric Johnson’s view- Kermit d. Johnson has linked his thoughts with religious aspects. He follows famous historian Arnold Toynbee’s quote who said ‘war is an act of religious worship’. He mentions in his article ‘Inhuman Behavior’ that one must react when moral constraints and historic values contained in treaties are broken by nations. He/she should also react to individuals who engage in alleged ‘authorized’ inhuman treatment.
Johnson clarifies his point and delivers a straightforward negation of torture or abuse. In his accordance, mostly torture is taken as a Hollywood drama or a hypothetical set-up to mark a time bomb and it is supposed to torture someone to discover the bomb and to defuse it just in seconds. Real torture is much different, this takes place on an everyday basis in interchanges between guards, interrogators and prisoners. It is a part of intelligence collecting jobs. There should be clear distinction between ‘the cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment’ to prisoners.
He is forcing that mistreating prisoners is morally surrendering to the enemy. The objective of physical and mental torment should be very clear, as it should be only to terrify suspects and prisoners, so, they will give up and come with information. Johnson also forces that America should take proper steps for rejecting torture and inhuman treatment and a full protection for prisoners. Kermit d Johnson is clear with his opinion that torture should not be ill-treatment. It should be just a terrifying task for prisoners to get the important information. D.
Johnson also point outs the role of chaplain while a torture or abuse takes place. He highlights the point of moral and ethical convictions. Opposing Positions (Torture) Johnson vs. Bagaric 5 Bagaric’s view- Putting a clear rejection to Johnson’s views on torture Mariko Bagarik advocates in for torture. In his widely read article ‘A Case for Torture`, he says that instead of a clear rebuff ‘torture’ needs to be well-recognized. It will help it in becoming a moral means to save lives. He says that the belief that torture is always wrong is entirely misguided.
He comments, it is a reflex denial of thoughtless absolutists. He says, torture is very much allowed when evidence suggests that this is the only mean due to immediacy of the circumstances, to save an innocent life. In such situation, torture is justified, as it is supported by the right of self-defense. In a critical condition, the right of self-protection also extends to the protection of other people. He makes his logic powerful by providing options of both inflicting harm to an offender and saving an innocent life or saving the culprit without thinking about other innocent lives.
He says that if an offender has a serious violence record, he is more likely to bear the same. Bagaric clearly says that if it is clear that a person is a social threat and there are enough evidences against him/her, torture is no misdeed there. He makes it very plain that torturing in terms of protecting innocent lives never deprives the society, as it chooses guiltless life over guilty. Regarding ethical and moral conviction, Mariko Bagaric is very comprehensible with his views. He says it needs a serious ethical rewiring.
Contrary to Johnson, Bagaric supports intentional impose of pain on offender. He says that saving life of a guiltless person is more important. Johnson checks the moral and religious aspects too but Mariko Bagaric advocates the practical portion. Opposing Positions (Torture) Johnson vs. Bagaric 6 Citation 1. The Washington Post 2. articles- Inhuman Behavior: A Chaplains View of Torture by Kermit S Johnson www. religion-online. org A Case for Torture` by Mirko Bagaric www. theage. com. auSample Essay of StudyFaq.com