Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Torture

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Currently there is a debate on the topic of torture going on in Germany. This was caused by policemen threatening a kidnapper last year and – with this coming out – people commenting on it, many in favour of torture 'to protect lives' etc. This is quite shocking, consiedering that a ban of torture as a matter of principle is probably one of the great achievements of civilisation.

Seeing people to give up on civilisational advancements that easily is a bit sad (and although this one may be a bit subtle as people may think that being law-abiding citizens allowing torture won't affect them people should know better, particularly in Germany – having seen that things can go out of control easily) but probably not surprising. After all discussions on whether or not it's OK to torture terrorists emerged pretty soon after the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the idea of 'sqeezing the truth out of those bastards' seemed to appeal to many.

Having touched the subject of the Alias TV series yesterday, I have to mention that the topic of torture is among the most disturbing things in that series. It simply seems to be considered part of the daily business in that series. Similarly, in the TV series 24 torture is applied – the authors made more of an effort to hint at the moral problem of this but still it's done.

The other disturbing thing about these series is that they take for granted that certain agencies can and should gather whatever data they are interested in on anybody at will. One might start to think that the public is supposed to get used to that kind of thing. Cue conspiracy theory....

February 28, 2003, 0:58

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