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1 Obdicut  Sun, Nov 14, 2010 5:29:15pm

Oh let me guess, you want to torture him.

2 Steve Dutch  Sun, Nov 14, 2010 6:44:45pm

re: #1 Obdicut

Well, after all the posts dismissing the case for torture as purely imaginary, or made up, now we have a real case. Tell me specifically what you’d do to find those missing people.

Now for all I know he’s talked by now, or the cops have pieced it together. But maybe not. Tell me, in detail, what you’d do in the absence of any other clues.

Or did they teach you in school that a snotty answer constitutes logic?

3 Obdicut  Mon, Nov 15, 2010 4:13:17am

re: #2 SteveDutch

Well, I’d prefer to use effective interrogation techniques, rather than torture.

I’m not sure what you don’t get about that. You apparently hold to the mythical belief that torture really, really, really is an effective way of getting quick, timely, accurate information.

I have no idea why you hold to this belief.

In the case of serial killers and other pathological types, the best way of getting stuff out of them is usually flattery, getting them to brag, leading them down the path of their fantasies. Takes a brave man to flatter a sociopath in order to get at the truth.

Here’s a good article on it:


Or did they teach you in school that a snotty answer constitutes logic?

No, I was pointing out that you didn’t explicitly ask the question you obviously wanted to, and I found that rather cowardly of you.

All you’re doing here is a case of special pleading. It’s neither original or interesting. In your fantasies of what might be the cases of the victims, you leave out the idea that, if tortured, the serial killer might send the rescuing officers into danger, or into a situation where they were likely to kill an innocent— like if this madman named a drug-dealer’s house or just some random house as the place where the victims were being kept. If you’re going to engage in speculation, you have to allow for negative events as well.

4 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Mon, Nov 15, 2010 6:15:06am

I agree with Obdicut, but I must say I don’t have a moral inhibition against torture in such a very specific case, but only if the torturer is guaranteed a long prison sentence (i.e. no jury acquittal etc.) regardless of the outcome. To show that even if this is a lesser evil in some cases, it’s still evil. If this is impossible, no torture.

5 Obdicut  Mon, Nov 15, 2010 6:18:47am

re: #4 Sergey Romanov

Indeed, one of the main problems with torture is that you need torturers in order to do it. And if one thinks that torture is something that’s effective, then you need a torturer who’s skilled at it.

How, exactly, does one become skilled at being a torturer?

6 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Mon, Nov 15, 2010 6:21:28am

Good point.

7 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Mon, Nov 15, 2010 6:23:35am

All in all, in these debates about torture I’m reminded of this exchange that happened during the Beilis trial (my transl.; Karabchevskij was one of Beilis’ lawyers):


Karabchevskij: So in XIth century there were confessions of Jews that they had been consuming blood of infants. How the trials were conducted - with torture?

Pranaitis: Yes, there were severe tortures.

Karabchevskij: Tortures such as used until XVIIIth century?

Pranaitis: Such tortures as were, are, and always will be. One can talk much about these tortures, but, after all, through them the truth was revealed. Of course, it is not good, but if a person does not confess, one should torture. It was bad that torture was used, but, after all, then the places were shown [by those tortured - SR] and even physical evidence was shown.

Gruzenberg: Show me any trial when torture led to discovery of a new real or physical evidence. Show me.

Pranaitis: In 1853 Zhitomir trial Jews confessed and then were convicted.

Karabchevskij: Do you know a trial when one old Jew confessed after torture, saying: “Yes, I did cut and did consume blood, but I beg to burn me as soon as possible, because otherwise you will torture me again”?

Pranaitis: I don’t know.

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