Wednesday, July 4, 2007

My yearly post

Nobody said you have to write your blog every week, or even every month. Let's try once a year, and go from there.
He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of the Head of a civilized nation.

Attempts to justify torture with scenarios like that of a bombmaker who refuses to divulge where he hid a bomb in a school full of children is a morally bankrupt defense of a morally indefensible act. Not even Hobbes' Greatest Good for the Greatest Number will suffice to justify attacking another person. The reason is simple, yet profound: Every person is sacred.

Say it with me: Every. Person. Is. Sacred.

We have no right to harm other people. Yes, I reluctantly concede that defending one person from an attack from another can be justified, even if the defense harms the attacker. But torturing someone for information is not a defense. It is a fishing expedition. Besides, there is no guarantee that it will even yield anything useful. And then the torturer has lost his humanity. Along with the society that condones his actions, or looks the other way. That society is doomed to descent from civilization into the domain of beasts, where respect for people's lives take second place to other urges and agendas.

Oh, and happy Independence Day.