Debate:Is "Coercive Interrogation" consistent with Christian Values?

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"Coercive Interrogation" can refer to a number of methods currently being used in the War Against Terror. Some are "minor"(e.g. sleep deprivation), others "major" (e.g. waterboarding, physical abuse). Sometimes they are used to extract immediately vital information, sometimes for less immediate needs. Where do Christian values intersect with these practices?

"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." Matthew 7:12. Not consistent with waterboarding unless ye would that men should waterboard you. No exceptions made for hypothetical situations in which waterboarding someone would prevent a greater evil. Dpbsmith 21:33, 14 April 2007 (EDT)

It's all done with mind control through brain chip implants and nowadays. We've come along way since old fashioned waterboarding. And that stuff was never needed, anyway. Heroin in your breakfast Cornflakes does the trick, they'll sell their own mother for another bowl of Cornflakes. Most of this stuff you read about waterboarding is just disinformation. RobS 15:49, 19 April 2007 (EDT)
Is this a joke? Underscoreb 21:08, 12 November 2007 (EST)


I just can't picture Jesus beating someone up to make them confess, or piling up naked prisoners and take a picture of it.

Middle Man

All I could think of when I read the question was... "forty lashes". Although, I guess, they weren't asking questions, they were trying to get away with not executing him for the Pharisees purposes of silencing him. How can anyone even mildly versed in the stories about Jesus even think this could be a debate? Human 02:49, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

Get people scared enough, and they can rationalize ANYTHING, as long as it's being done to someone outside their Monkeysphere. --Gulik2 02:54, 25 April 2007 (EDT)


This is not even relevant for argument. Christian values are inapplicable with coercive interrogation. As unrelated to Christian values as using a bayonet on someone or flying a civilian airliner into a building full of civilians. What is being attempted here is just another attempt to attribute coercive interrogation with Christian values. Maybe we can give the Christian value attribute to ritualized decapitation, mutalization, use of human shields (non-combatants). But tell me honestly, which values did you use when someone came to murder you and your family because their leaders ordered them too? Of course there weren't any exept the value of your life over your would be killers. It is only those that hold a hatred for Christianity who will use a war that someone else is waging to devalue it. It is absolutely just another way to make political rants about two things that someone has absolutely no knowledge about. This propaganda technique is known as TRANSFER (Institute for Propaganda Analysis, 1938). This technique of trying to attribute something negative to an apposing religious view is only too common in the religion debate category and usually with all of the usual suspects.--Roopilots6 11:09, 9 October 2007 (EDT)

I do not see anyone arguing "Christian values support torture" or even "Christians torture".... seems to me that the question under discussion is "ought Christians support torture" -- and the answer immediately presents itself, Thou shalt not!! for "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:40.... it is better that we should allow ourselves to be the recipients of torture than to inflict it upon another, better that we should allow ourselves to be murdered than murder another.... for the torture of another is a sin that will not be washed off our hands, and those that condone it, in their hearts, words, or acts, are as guilty and as condemned as those who beat, burn, and humiliate, no matter the "value" of the information sought!! Pandeism 12:06, 9 October 2007 (EDT)
The debate question is whether coercive interrogation is consistent with a certain ideology. Meaning are the two compatible with each other? Nothing about torture is being mentioned here, by the way. Let's not misdirect on the topic of discussion. Also that Matthew 25:40 has nothing to do with the application of coercive interrogation techniques used to save lives during a time of war is only proving one of my points perfectly. Make sure that your not wanting to sin isn't an act of sedition that causes others to suffer for it. I hope you'll see the value of this information and to apply it accordingly.--Roopilots6 19:41, 9 October 2007 (EDT)
What you call "coercive interrogation techniques used to save lives during a time of war" are nonetheless "coercive interrogation techniques" (and if we are not talking about torture, then what do we mean?).... if someone were to demand that you renounce your faith and blaspheme against the name of God, and threatened to kill your entire family if you refused to do so, what would you do? Pandeism 21:04, 9 October 2007 (EDT)
I would've declared a war against terror on them. Oh, darn it, someone already beat me too it. I hate it when I have to make the same point over and over again. Look up 'coercive interrogation techniques' so that you will be able to tell the difference between coercion and torture. Also the differences between military combatants and religious marterdym would also be something to make a distinction between. Historically we haven't reach the point where we don't have to learn war no more.--Roopilots6 10:19, 10 October 2007 (EDT)
Besides, in that line Jesus was reffering to the poor. Not Terrorists who want to kill us. Besides who is really at fault The inhuman terrorist who desires the destruction of all that we Americans hold dear (and/or Americans), or the Intelligence Officer who seeks to prevent Terrorist attacks by any means necessary. I believe that in this case, the Ends surely justify the means. --User:Capercorn Talk contribs 21:45, 7 February 2008 (EST)
You're presuming guilt, Capercorn, and the only reason anyone is even pretending it's a legitimate argument is because noone has any idea what detainees' legal status actually is. If they're criminals, then they must be presumed innocent and be given due process (a fair and public trial) - this means no 'coercive interrogation'. If they're prisoners of war, they have to be treated in accord with the Geneva convention - again, no 'coercive interrogation'. Honestly, this shouldn't even be an issue. And to return to the original topic, Jesus said to turn the other cheek - or perhaps it's just that part of the Bible which isn't meant literally?Underscoreb 22:08, 18 February 2008 (EST)
Is going against the very ideals of america to protect americans okay. What if you were put in jail for some perceived crime and had habeus corpus suspended so you had no trial, and no hope of getting out? Is that okay with you I mean there is a chance you could be a threat and there is no way to know unless you perform some crime. The reason the Salem witch trials are perceived as being bad is not only that they were listening to hysterical children, but the accused were presumed guilty until proven innocent. Perhaps if Americans treated the world as we love to be treated our international standing may be much better. Rellik 00:01, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
The record of the 'worlds' standing when compared to that of the United States of America is simply pathetic. Those who love to bash the U.S. do so only because of their hatred for it. No other country has ever contributed more to the 'world' in recent history then the U.S. There is no other country that protects the rights of people better with its legal system then the United States. The United States legal system presumes innocence before guilt. Not like most of the 'world' that presumes a person guilty until they prove or buy their innocence. Such has always been the 'world'. The United States of Americas international standing is what it has always been of that shining light and bastion of freedom and liberty that sets it apart from the darkness of the rest of the 'world'.--Roopilots6 09:45, 31 March 2008 (EDT)
You can't possibly be serious, Roo. The United States leaves plenty to be desired in terms of legal protection, especially since the introduction of the Patriot Act. There are very few checks and balances to ensure individuals have the same legal standing as corporations, short of class action suits. And I'm afraid that habeas corpus and the presumption of innocence is not so unique to the US - it's been embraced in pretty much every country in the first world since the 19th century. And if we want to talk international relations, there's the Bay of Pigs, Iran/Contra, the destabilisation and overthrow of the Sandanista government, arms sales to Israel and Iraq... I don't dispute for a moment that America has had a huge effect on the events of the 20th century, but it's not quite the "shining light and bastion of freedom and liberty" that you describe. Underscoreb 20:03, 31 March 2008 (EDT)
You have to understand that whatever you have been taught about how great america was in the first half of the 20th century the rest of the world has either equalled or exceeded the accomplishments of America while we have either remained stagnant or regressed in some areas. I hope you understand that I am grateful that I live in America, but to just stand back and not say anything is the most unpatriotic thing you can do. Rellik 23:39, 1 April 2008 (EDT)
So that my statement still stands from the standpoint of the rest of the world. The myopic vision of merely focusing on a single entity with ignorance to the whole seems the popular approach these days. This isn't jingoistic but just a reality check. If you know of a better country in todays world please tell us so that we may move there. Oh, but that's right, there aren't any.--Roopilots6 11:49, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
First I would like to know your concept of good in a nation. Is it plenty of food, plenty of water, easily affordable housing, or is it a functioning government with a court system that convicts the guilty. Or could it be all of these things and more. Now we could argue forever on what makes one nation better than another, but it is a combination of things not one single thing. Secondly you failed to understand what I was saying. I personally feel that settling for what we have is dumb and unamerican. That is the American dream, to always strive to be better, and if the nation as a whole forgets that then I don't want to live here anymore. Rellik 18:23, 17 April 2008 (EDT)

Rebuttal to RobS

Disinformation? The CIA admit do doing it. In a similar manner they violated Italy's soverignity by kidnapping an Imam instead of extradition being requested.AlephNull 19:03, 16 March 2008 (EDT)

Also, the CIA which is the acronym for Central Intelligence Agency, has nothing to do with Christian values. This just in case anyone is confused with techniques of interrogation and Christian values. I'm afraid someone might be thinking of fighting a war based on Christian values. You must forgive me if I've burst someone's bubble. This might be another instance of the sheepdogs having to explain themselves to the sheep. You should read what Dave Grossman had to say on that.--Roopilots6 09:59, 31 March 2008 (EDT)

Ethical argument against

After joining the army, I chose not to pursue a special forces career. I didn't want to put in an ethical double bind where a superior would insist that a captive had actionable intelligence which only torture could elicit. I would either have to disobey an order, or violate my conscience.

In general, military success comes about more from sapping the enemy's will to resist than from any other factor. Treating enemy POWs and civilian noncombatants well can turn the tide. Our failure in Vietnam stemmed from a lack of appreciation of the need to win the "hearts and minds" of the Vietnamese.

The ethical issue over coercive interrogation is no longer important, because the Bush administration banned it. There remains only the political issue of whether they were "right" or not to have done it. This is being used to bring legal and PR pressure, as well as to distract the public from the success of the "surge".

A more important issue is whether America's bipartisan decision to invade Iraq was ethically correct, or even effective on a military or political level. For Democrats, it may even have been a ploy to lure President Bush into a hasty decision that would erode his political capital. But he managed to get a 2-term presidency anyway.

I would have preferred to see the U.S. host a conference of religious leaders to discuss Middle East Peace, because military and political actions generally don't make much progress. Peace thrives in an atmosphere of voluntary cooperation. You can't make people be peaceful. --Ed Poor Talk 11:59, 17 April 2008 (EDT)