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It is wrong and evil to torture an innocent person. It makes all the difference if the torture has the purpose of changing a person's believe system, or of retaliation against a political enemy whose only crime is to expose the crimes of those in power. These are wrong and evil. But it is not wrong to do to an enemy what we do to our own soldiers in order to help them confess the harm they are actively planning to do. That is pure self defense and no more evil than shooting a man who is busy killing people in a movie theater.
I disagree. Guilt and innocence are essential to the issue of torture. If the concept of self defense is limited to the physical acts of a person ONLY and not to their current plans to do more harm then we have no defense at all. This argument says we should not deal with a mental threat to harm us, only with a physical threat after that threat is manifest. If we know a person is guilty of planning to harm us, we are sure that they have specific and ongoing plans, we are simply using self defense to use uncomfortable methods to weaken that person's mental strength. I am sad that an innocent person died. That was wrong. The question was if those who were dealing harshly with him KNEW he was innocent or if that information only came later after he died. Guilt or innocence are KEY to this argument.
In response to:

WWJT: Who Would Jesus Torture?

Think Freely Wrote: Dec 17, 2014 4:50 AM
Doug misses Romans 13, where Paul specifically says that God has given governments the power of execution to deal with evil doers. As Christians we can avoid the threat of government retaliation by loving our neighbor as ourself. But if I am a Christian in government, I have the responsibility to punish evil. That includes execution, which was not pleasant in Roman times. I think Jesus was executed on a cross….
I have no problem with fracking or with using methane. I do have a problem with the renewable portfolio mandates that require wind and solar to be installed. They must be backed up with natural gas turbines since nothing else, currently, spins up fast enough to keep the power flowing smoothly to homes and factories. A wind turbine is a lost leader for Natural Gas. I do oppose using Natural gas to avoid building Nuclear Power plants for electricity, or for Process Heat. Long term, Nuclear power is much much cheaper than natural gas. Natural gas is excellent for fertilizer, transportation, chemical stock, but is a poor long term base load electricity producer.
The sad part about this is the real way to reduce fertility is to make a family wealthy. The more wealthy a family and society are the fewer children they have. This was documented by Adam Smith in "The Wealth of Nations" back in 1776. It has been shown true today. Most wealthy nations are in a declining population - such as Korea or Japan or even the USA (apart from immigration). Providing more energy such as Nuclear power to third world nations will enable them to reduce poverty. The basic inputs to an economy are energy and creativity. The basic drags on a economy are corruption and quickly changing laws. Want population to decline? Give people lots of energy (nuclear), freedom, and consistent transparent laws. The population will decline. By the way, actual projections have the world topping out at 9 billion and then declining about mid century.
CS Lewis, "That Hideous Strength"
I totally agree, and the mandatory sentences should reflect those four priorities. We do have far too many people in Jail and there are much better ways to deal with this. The Judges do need some flexibility but the legislators need to give a wider range of "mandatory" sentences that are NOT all incarceration.
This is why we need to start thinking about synfuel using Nuclear heat for the process heat. With the price of fuel as high as it is today synfuels can be produced economically if you have an easy source of carbon - say coal…. and an abundant source of high temperature heat - say Nuclear.
It is practically unlimited. There is enough Uranium to last for thousands of years when you use sea water recovery to burn the easy part (U235). If you burn U238 (wet log) there is enough to last for 10's of thousands of years. If you use Thorium (wet log) you have enough to last until the Sun burns out. We will NOT run out of Nuclear fuel in an ordinary fission reaction.
If you look up a report by Captain Kiefer called 21st century snake oil, you will see that the major reason to NOT use bio fuels is that most of the plant energy comes from natural gas. 40 % of Natural gas use is to make fertilizers which increase crop yields dramatically. To then plant the crops (with fuel), fertilize them with (with natural gas) and harvest them (with fuel) and then turn them into fuel is immoral. It is much better to simply burn the natural gas directly as vehicle fuel. Something that Farmers have known how to do since I was a child, and which is done today all over asia.
Expensive energy is a policy goal of many governments. Expensive energy is also a goal of many fossil fuel companies. It is much more profitable to sell the same product for a higher price in the case of a bidding war. This is why we use auctions. As long as fuel is sold on the global market we are all subject to the same costs - unless there is some type of government subsidy. Increasing the supply in the USA will not lower the price - simply rearrange where the profits are realized. This will be true unless there is a sustained 9 million barrels / day increase. Constraining the supply of a commodity is a known historically used way to drive up the price.
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