Indeed, my friend Andrew Sullivan's moral absolutism has led him to make sweeping comparisons between captured al Qaeda terrorists and dissidents in totalitarian regimes. As if one Solzhenitsyn equals one Zarqawi. He writes, "You cannot raise or lower the moral status of mass murderers with respect to torture." This strikes me as nonsense. It is a moral crime of a very high order to throw a man in prison simply because of what he believes. It is a moral necessity of a very high order to throw a man in prison if what he does involves mass murder. Death or lifetime imprisonment for writing a novel is surely torture for the novelist. But society cannot call these measures "torture," for then they would be unavailable for mass murderers and the like.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Jonah at The Corner on torture and false relativism: