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The Case For and Against Torture

            Remember the terrorist attack on September 11 2001, when al-Qaeda hijacked airplanes to fly into government buildings like the world trade center, or the attack at the Boston marathon when the bombs exploded at the end of the marathon. Who could forget such acts of terror, but should torture be legalized in order to stop attacks like these, the answer is no. First, what is torture? Torture defined by Merriam-Webster.com is "the act of causing severe physical pain as a form of punishment or as a way to force someone to do or say something" (torture). Torture has been around for centuries; furthermore, torture in the United States is illegal. An example of torture is waterboarding, where an individual puts a cloth over a victims face and pours water over the cloth, which simulates the act of drowning. Drowning is a horrible and slow way to die; therefore, to use this method of torture would ruin an individual's morals.
             The essay "The Case for Torture", by Michael Levin, Levin uses pathos to support the argument for torture. Pathos is the use of passion to persuade an audience in a certain direction. There are a few major points in Levin's argument for torture. First, the hypothetical examples Levin uses to help persuade his audience. Levin's scenarios are a nuclear bomb set to go off imminently, with the terrorist in custody refusing to give up the bombs location, and a bomb on a plane again with the terrorist in custody. The next major point in Levin's argument for torture is using an informal poll. Four mothers take the poll that asks if they would allow the use of torture on the kidnapper to acquire their child back. The third major point in Levin's argument is assassination and preemptive attack. In "The Case for Torture", Michael Levin states, "No Allied leader would have flinched at assassinating Hitler, had that been possible" (204). If the president of the United States had a chance to assassinate Hitler, the president would have jumped at the chance to do so.

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