Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A neuroscientist on torture and the brain

This piece from the Baptist website ethicsdaily.com goes beyond moral and ethical arguments against torture. According to a neuroscientist, torture is unreliable because it damages the brain and degrades the ability to distinguish truth from unreality. An interesting argument against the "ticking time bomb" case for torture which advocates the use of torture to advance the greater good. MP+

Why Have Americans Been So Quick to Justify Torture?

By: Mark Johnson
Posted: Friday, September 25, 2009 5:52 am
Section: EthicsDaily.com's Latest Articles

Torture is not only cruel. It is also ineffective and unreliable, according to a leading neuroscientist studying the effects of the brain under conditions of extreme, repeated and prolonged stress.

Writing in the journal Trends in Cognitive Science, Shane O'Mara of the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience in Dublin points to studies showing that changes in brain chemistry from torture actually lead to more confusion and an increasing inability to separate reality from fantasy. In short, torture does not lead to truth-finding, but to a compromise of "the normal functioning of the brain."

Read the complete text here.

No comments:

Mad Padre

Mad Padre
Opinions expressed within are in no way the responsibility of anyone's employers or facilitating agencies and should by rights be taken as nothing more than one person's notional musings, attempted witticisms, and prayerful posturings.


Blog Archive