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Poll shows support for torture among Southern evangelicals

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  • Poll shows support for torture among Southern evangelicals

    WASHINGTON — A new poll finds that nearly six in 10 white Southern evangelicals believe torture is justified, but their views can shift when they consider the Christian principle of the golden rule.

    The poll released Thursday, commissioned by Faith in Public Life and Mercer University, found that 57% of respondents said torture can be often or sometimes justified to gain important information from suspected terrorists. Thirty-eight percent said it was never or rarely justified.

    ... (Source: http://www.usatoday.com/news/religio...baptists_N.htm)
    Is torturing a suspected terrorist justifiable?
    39
    Often it is justifiable
    2.56%
    1
    Sometimes it is justifiable
    20.51%
    8
    It is never justifiable
    76.92%
    30
    "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." - Revelation 20:6

  • #2
    The problem is the poll plays the game of equivocation. It equivocates torture with interrogation. Likewise, it assumes certain interrogation methods are torture when they really aren't. The term is slippery.

    Do I believe we can use sleep depravation and psychological manipulation to gain information? Absolutely, this isn't torture. Do I think we can cause permanent physical harm - or physical harm directly inflicted - in order to gain information? No, I don't.

    Comment


    • #3
      Is torturing a suspected terrorist justifiable?

      Allow me to point out that one very small, bold word: "suspected". You can "suspect" whoever you want.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Rufus_1611 View Post
        Is torturing a suspected terrorist justifiable?
        It depends.

        Does this person have knowledge of an imminent terrorist attack? If the answer is 'yes', then I think it's immoral not to torture him.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Fenris View Post
          Does this person have knowledge of an imminent terrorist attack? If the answer is 'yes', then I think it's immoral not to torture him.
          It does change the ballgame a little. My problem is, "how do we know if they know"? Traditionally, the answer is usually "well lets torture them and find out".

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by HisLeast View Post
            It does change the ballgame a little. My problem is, "how do we know if they know"? Traditionally, the answer is usually "well lets torture them and find out".
            Nah, that's not good criteria. Let's say we use the legal standard for arrests: probable cause. If it's more likely than not that the guy knows, have at it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Nowadays in the U.S., the mere possession of over $5,000 in cash singlehandedly constitutes "probable cause" for drug dealing--and justifies the government to confiscate it. We continue on down this slippery slope, what constitutes "probable cause" then? That they look Arab?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by IPet2_9 View Post
                Nowadays in the U.S., the mere possession of over $5,000 in cash singlehandedly constitutes "probable cause" for drug dealing--and justifies the government to confiscate it.
                Really? Do you have a source for this 'fact'?

                Comment


                • #9
                  It's rooted in the 1984 Drug Forfeiture Law. It has since been limited in some ways, but expanded in others. And oh, it gets better: if you hire an attorney (with the money you don't have) to get your confiscated money back, the attorney is also subject to having everything they have confiscated! Unless, of course, they violate attorney-client privilege and "fully cooperate" with their client's "drug investigation":

                  http://www.law.cornell.edu/background/forfeiture/
                  http://www.fff.org/freedom/1093c.asp

                  I have more sources in the "Anything Goes" forum, but that thread is really old.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Categories of Property Subject to Forfeiture--Bennis v. Michigan 517 U.S. 1163 (1996) (Stevens, J., dissenting)
                    1. Contraband
                    Property for which ownership by itself constitutes a crime, including smuggled goods, narcotics, and automatic weapons. The government's mandate in protecting the public forms the justification for seizure in this case.
                    2. Proceeds from Illegal Activity
                    Property directly resulting from, or that can be traced to, an illegal activity. Once a crime is identified, the government may seize any property flowing from the activity. In some cases, the government may seize property in lieu of provable criminal proceeds. Statutory innocent owner defenses provide a check on the seizure power, although this burden lies with the owner, not the government.
                    3. Tools or Instrumentalities Used in Commission of a Crime
                    Property used in the commission of a crime, including vehicles and real estate. By being associated with the crime, the property is "guilty" of the offense, and subject to seizure. In some cases, the innocence of the owner may not be a defense, although Constitution limitations, such as the Eighth Amendment's Excessive Fines Clause, may apply.
                    I don't have a problem with this.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Fenris View Post
                      I don't have a problem with this.
                      You don't have a problem with the term "in some cases the innocence of the owner may not be a defense"?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I don't have a problem with the 3 categories of material being seized.

                        The specific paragraph

                        "Property used in the commission of a crime, including vehicles and real estate. By being associated with the crime, the property is "guilty" of the offense, and subject to seizure. In some cases, the innocence of the owner may not be a defense, although Constitution limitations, such as the Eighth Amendment's Excessive Fines Clause, may apply.
                        "

                        Says that if you buy an object that was used in commission of a crime, it may be seized from you. You may not have used it, but the object itself is associated with the offense.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rufus_1611 View Post
                          Is torturing a suspected terrorist justifiable?
                          No, it is also ineffective on the whole.
                          The minstrel boy to the war is gone,
                          In the ranks of death ye will find him;
                          His father's sword he hath girded on,
                          And his wild harp slung behind him;
                          "Land of Song!" said the warrior bard,
                          "Tho' all the world betray thee,
                          One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
                          One faithful harp shall praise thee!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Rufus_1611 View Post
                            Is torturing a suspected terrorist justifiable?
                            Let us look at it this way. If I knew that a terrorist I had in custody knew the location of a nuclear suitcase bomb that was in our country and about to be detonated, I would obtain the knowledge of its location BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by IPet2_9 View Post
                              Nowadays in the U.S., the mere possession of over $5,000 in cash singlehandedly constitutes "probable cause" for drug dealing--and justifies the government to confiscate it. We continue on down this slippery slope, what constitutes "probable cause" then? That they look Arab?
                              I just happen to be a Police Office who worked Narcotics division for many years, and that claim is simply not based in fact. In the "real world" many people possess $5000. There are times I have more money than that on my person. Cash is still the official medium of exchange in the United States. If I choose to, I can go to the car dealership and count out "green money" for the car or truck I want to buy. Nothing illegal about having cash. There are cases in which Several Hundred thousand dollars have been found and not seized.

                              Comment

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