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Monday, December 15, 2014

A Cautionary Word About Torture

Torture - or any other atrocity--can always find its defenders.  I know I always have a ready defense for any wrong I commit--rationalization is an elemental aspect of my nature--of human nature. The greater the wrong, the greater the drive to legitimize it.  America is based on the theory of human dignity and this theory is underwritten by belief and commitment--so long as that theory is vitalized in each generation.  I agree with you that theories will always appear  weak when contrasted to no-nonsense arguments of practicality. Contrast the theory of passive resistance advocated by MLK with the no-nonsense prescription of violence advocated by black militants.  Surely the torture inflicted by the KKK in a practical sense when reinforced by retaliatory rage (and personal demons always standing ready in the wings) could justify tit-for-tat torture.  Based upon our own individual behavior and experience, we should learn to beware of compelling  practical arguments especially when those arguments are undergirded by retributive emotion.

Personal note: I saw America at its best when I was imprisoned--never once did prison authorities (many with military backgrounds) show any less than Constitutionally  sanctioned human respect for me; never once trying to eviscerate my soul or to penetrate my anus.  I am thankful for this but am only too well aware--as has recently been chillingly demonstrated--that such behavior is readily defendable.

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