Torture as a Moral Act

This year, the girl I tutor is a high school senior, and her English class is focusing a lot on contemporary literature and persuasive writing. Recently she was assigned a rhetorical analysis paper on an essay of her choice (from the book they’re using in class); she chose a piece titled “The Case for Torture” by Michael Levin.

You can read the essay here.

I’ll leave my thoughts in the comments after you’re kind enough to tell me your opinion, both on the topic itself (is torture justifiable?) and the author’s rhetorical skills (does he convince his readers?).

P.S. Are you surprised to learn that I do actually think about things besides the Romgi, the Bwun, and Mother’s Cookies?

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2 Comments on “Torture as a Moral Act”

  1. KHL says:

    Like I said when you were visiting, in my mind there is never any justification for torture. No matter how many people or things would supposedly be “saved.”

  2. roni says:

    Yeah, I’m just not sure how I feel about saying it’s ok to harm one person because we think they might (or even know they will) kill others. I also hated what the author said about an unwillingness to “dirty one’s hands” being “moral cowardice.” Do we really need to dirty our hands, ever? Isn’t it strength to be committed to your morals in such a situation?


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