Torture…When is it acceptable?


  • Noun

The action or practice of inflicting severe pain on someone as a punishment or in order to force them to do or say something.

  • Verb

Inflict severe pain on.

  • Synonyms

noun:   torment – anguish – agony – pain – excruciation

verb:     torment – excruciate – agonize – tantalize – plague


All these words used in varying contexts in the English language all have strong connotations, to torture is to cause pain and suffering to someone for an end goal or purpose. To torture someone requires someone to disregard their own consciences, values and morals, to do harm to someone. What drives people to torture?  If anything happened to those who you care most, would you go to such extremes to get what you want/need?


I always believed an eye for an eye, those who live by the sword die by the sword quoted by Michael Rowe or do unto others as you want done unto you. I don’t believe in torture but I surely know that if anything should happen to my loved ones I wouldn’t think twice to go to those extremes. Placing me in those shoes also brings to mind the fight and struggle I would have to have with my own conscience, as it is not in my nature to do harm to others. All my life I have been taught by various people I interact with, to love my neighbour as I love myself, but what if my neighbour does not treat me with the same love I give them and in turn would want to do harm to me.. Does that make torture acceptable then?


Many movies show torture in various forms such as in Law Abiding Citizen whereby Gerard Butler seeks vengeance on the people who killed his family and on the lawyer who does not bring the perpetrators to justice. I totally would go to the ends of the earth for my family so I definitely understand the motive behind his actions; this does not excuse the actions though. Torture is not only physical actions but can also be harmful words that can break a person’s spirit and lower their self-esteem, where they at the end of the day don’t feel worthy as a person. This may be as simple as calling them fat every day or stupid or ugly. Torture arises in all forms without people realizing it

Many people won’t perform torture to another human being as they have a conscience, a sense of right and wrong. Those who perform torture for their own amusement and excitement deserve immediate help and need to be institutionalized whereby they receive psychiatric help.

Amie said it the best in her blog and I quote “The healthy man does not torture others – generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers”-Carl Jung



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