Sunday, February 17, 2008

Do Two "Wrongs" Ever Make a "Right"?

Two wrongs make a right? I don't think so. Now, shooting someone who is in the act of committing a real crime (not just violating a counterfeit "law" that has no victim) is obviously not wrong to begin with. That is simply correcting -stopping- a wrong. But is torturing one person in an attempt to catch someone else who is a bad person, or torturing one person because another person did something terrible, "right"? I don't believe so.

Is torture a reliable way to get acurate information? I doubt it. I'd probably confess to being Obama bin Clinton under torture. I think that torture, physical or phychological, is always wrong. Any group that embraces the use of torture of any kind has lost any moral high-ground it may have once held.

No one is denying that there are really bad people doing horrible things to innocent people in Iraq and elsewhere. It would be stupid to claim otherwise. But it is also stupid to claim that since "our" torture isn't as bad as their torture, that "ours" isn't really torture. I want to judge my actions against good actions, not against other evil actions. You can always find someone somewhere who is doing something worse if you want to play that game.

I think that torture is a lazy person's shortcut to try to get "results". Kind of like the police crime labs that fake evidence in order to get a conviction at any cost. In some cases it may be the frustration at not being able to really do anything effective to stop terrible acts that drives the abuses. That frustration could take the form of an evil act on the part of the basically good person who desperately wants to do something. It still doesn't make it right.

If I am to err, I will err on the side of decency. I am personally glad that I still possess a conscience. How about you?