Imagine that someone close to you was in imminent danger and the only solution involved having police use torture to extract information from someone in custody. Would you agree or not?
While torture remains a divisive topic with many countries around the world authorizing its use, international human rights codes and the legal codes of most countries provide comprehensive legal protections against torture under any circumstances. Public opinion polls tend to be consistent in showing that only 34 percent of people worldwide actual endorse the use of torture though the numbers vary from country to country. Still, despite the consensus that torture is both immoral and ineffective, both as a means of punishment and as a way of gaining information, controversy surrounding the use of rendition, waterboarding, and the very definition of torture continues to influence international relations, especially given the current "War on Terror" that shows no sign of ending.
To read more, check out my new Psychology Today blog post.