Essay about Michael Levin's the Case for Torture (Review)

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Pages: 9

Michael Levin’s “The Case for Torture” argues that there are various reasons for allowing torture to exist in the United States of America. Levin would love to see society change its negative views on torture so that, under certain circumstances, torture would be permissible. The article starts off with a very brief description of how he believes society views the subject of torture as a negative thing. He leads on to oppose that way of thinking and provides three cases in which he believes torture must be administered with various reasons attempting to support his thoughts. The hypothetical cases Levin uses range from very extreme situations, to a situation where we may sometimes see on the news. Levin makes it clear to the audience that …show more content…
He does a good job of making it clear exactly what he means. In doing so, he briefly explains an argument he believes people against the death penalty use. The argument is that by killing the murderer, you are not bringing back the victim that was killed. Levin explains that instead of killing after a murder has occurred, he advocates that torturing someone stops the innocent from being dispatched. Levin makes it clear that torture should ONLY be used for the saving of lives. This leads to what he believes is the most powerful argument against torture. People would insist that such practices disregard the rights of the individual. Levin first counter-argument is presented when he says "Well, if the individual is all that important, and he is, it is correspondingly important to protect the rights of individuals threatened by terrorist."(201). It seemed like a very sound argument to me because of the way he used anti-torture line to support his pro-torture argument. Levin later says “Unlike his victims, he (the terrorist) volunteered the risks of his deed. By threatening to kill for profit or idealism, he renounces civilized standards, and he can have no complaint if civilization tries to thwart him by whatever means necessary.”(202). He thinks if a person decides to oppose civilized standards, he should not expect to be treated with the same rights as the people who do follow civilized standards. Although it sounds reasonable, he does make an