Torture: weber vs. Durkheim
Torture: some recent examples
o US military intelligence in Iraq (red cross report)
o philipines authorities mid 90s
Extracting important information from torture
Torture as a concept
o inflicting excruciating pain, can be done by individuals or states (mooks interested w/ pain inflicted
by states.. not individuals)
o private individuals can torture other people (criminal torture by ind.)
o Israelis and US will torture
o A book written by Vargas Llosa
describe corruption in the capital of the ruler
certain military man want to overthrow the power holder, they failed and they were tortured.
Can torture be justified?
o are the circumstances under liberal democratic states justify torture?
some believe torture is wrong in all circumstances
amnesty international is against al for of torture
o loop's example of ticking time bomb problem
consider: authority suspects a person in custody, they ahve their reason to believe that
there might be an attack and the suspect knows when, leading to the possibility of
disabling the bomb
would in this situation, torture be justified? since getting those information are
crucial in savings a lot of life.
A weberian argument
o State is an association that has a monopoly over the legitimatize use of violence. the use of
vioence is central t o our definition of state
o a tragic view of politic: he believes that people who becomes involved in politics, sometimes in
practice, had to accept that in order to achieve/nudge society/you have to adopt unsavoury means
for good purposes
o Loop's summarization:
anyone who chooses to be involved politics, let himself in for the diabolic forces working
It is not true that good only comes from good, but good can also comes from evil.(political
infant is someone can't see it)
No ethics in the world that numerous instances that in the good end, one must willing to
pay the price for using morally dubious means, who must also face the possibility and
probability of evil consequences, it cant be possible to justify ethically the ethically
dangerous means and ramifications
If one is a serious politician, one has to be prepared to use dirty means to achieve its end
If a grown up politican needs to be prepared to use dirty means of achieving good ends
that means torture can be justified in certain circumstances.
A durkheimian counter-argument
o Lukes: counter argument in Durkheimian view
1894: Jewsih captive found guilty (Dreyfus)
was found to be passing secrets to the enemy 1896: new evidence emerges, a major general in the army
1898: a new trial held, the new general gets off the hook
people in the right wing, people believed in the authority in the church
traditional view: people who believes in the military
dreyfus was found innocent and freed, and also promoted
Individualism is the new authority. "violating civil rights of individuals cannot rest
unpunished without putting national___ in jeopardy. It is impossible that the infringement
on individual rights can freely occur. The common sentimetns will suffer.
A religion that abdicates an individual mind
Thus in the individualist defends the rights of the individual that defends the right of the
individual defends on the interest of society
o Lukes argues against Weber, he applied a durkheimian argument, the right of the ind. have to be
respected. In US, the fear of terrorism is corrosive to the rule of the individualism
US is undermining its own mora lcohesion by violating rights on individual
it is losing the war on terror because losing respect for individual rights..
o Zola: he accused the authority of a cover up(pointed to the judges, because they believe they
helped the authority[to frame Dreyfus])
Fleed to UK to escape jail
o Durkheims counter argument:
In fact the anti dreyfus had it all wrong when talking about the importance of french unity.
Those days are gone, the new ciil religion is one of individualism (increasingly in modern
societies, they don't have the same moral authority from before)
Does this means there are no moral glue/authority that bond people together?
However there is a new religion emerges called Religion of individualism(shared
by individuals, not really a religion)
In fact the problem is this that in disrespecting the rights of Dreyfus, showing a lack of
respect for individualism, that in fact is harmful to french society. He thinks its necessary