As I seem to be getting quite a few hits, from Neurophilosophy, I expect that it would behoove me to write a post on torture. I have been rather considering doing so anyways, in the context of the discussion about morality that seems to be floating about the blogosphere for more than a week now. I am going to go beyond the parameters of morality, but I am curious about your thoughts;
Is objection to torture, a universal moral axiom? Is there such a thing as universal moral axioms?
I tend to think that there isn't, but my views on the nature of morality seem to be rather minority. Personally, I have an extreme objection to violence of any sort. The few times in my life that situations have forced me to use it, I have literally gotten sick to my stomach, as a response to inflicting pain on other people. Mind, each of the three times I have used violence, it was inflicting pain on others to stop them from inflicting it on someone else. I just seem to have a pathological response to using violence. I know a lot of people who have a similar response. So it seems to me that while I don't think that morality is ever universal, it is likely that there can be a deep seated cognitive response, that makes it extremely hard for some to commit any acts of violence.
This makes me curious about whether most people have this response as a baseline, requiring fairly serious conditioning to defeat it - such as training soldiers, or if response itself conditioned into us. Or is it possible that people who do not have this response are suffering some cognitive malfunction? I am going to do some reading and ask some questions, to try to find a reasonable answer to some or all of these questions. If you have an idea or suggested reading, please feel free to drop them in comments or send me an email. Any and all help would be appreciated.
By and by, I have a lot of ideas for posts in the works. Many will go up, soem may fall to the wayside. I apologize, but that is the way it goes with ADHD, especially when it's coupled with bipolar disorder (however mild it's expression) and parenting.