25 July 2005

Torture, again

The discussion came up today: other countries' mistreatment of American prisoners justifies our mistreatment of foreign prisoners as long as we don't go as far as they did. I've avoided considering this position because, to me, it means the end of civilization. To think that we have to be only slightly more moral than the next guy in order to say that we've led a conscientious existence is simply too depressing. How can we support a double-standard of morality and define a double-standard of what we would label, too simplistically, as "evil"? I've avoided considering this, maybe, to avoid realizing that for many it's a generally accepted truth.

And Biden's compelling observation that we act morallly to protect American troops (I commented on favorably here and here) is a cop out. Should the choice of a moral life be simply insurance, protection money paid, so that others will treat you justly? Those who will act with malice will act that way no matter your morals.

[ posted by sstrader on 25 July 2005 at 9:23:38 PM in Culture & Society ]