Ashen Advocates Victorious!

In the first of a series of debates facing off against Ashtan’s Sophists of the Seat, the Ashen Advocates of Targossas takes the win, read on for the full display…

Ashen Advocates vs Sophists of the Seat – Use of torture as an acceptable interrogation technique.

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “The floor is yours, Advocates.”

Sothantos says, “The ends justify the means.”

Sothantos says, “We live in a world of trying times. Myriad forces seek to subvert or destroy the world we live in. To combat those forces, we must rise to meet them and do what must be done, no matter what that entails. Torture is one such necessity.”

Sothantos says, “Regardless of what set of morals or beliefs you subscribe to, every one of us lives by this belief. Every one of you has hunted to gain experience and, in doing so, has weighed the potential value to you above the pain and harm you cause to others. Each city has waged war for its ideals and sent soldiers into battle.”

Sothantos says, “If we accept violence in battle as an acceptable means to pursue our goals, then it follows that torture should be similarly condoned in order to maintain a consistent ethical position. How can depriving a person of his life entirely be condoned over causing one pain, particularly in an age when pain can be rectified with a simple health elixir, or a mending salve?”

Sothantos says, “We can observe this principles throughout the world at large. We all have goals that supersede the insignificant inconvenience that is pain.”

Sothantos says, “In Targossas, for example, we are sworn to follow the Axioms of Righteousness. If a law prevents you from your task, rewrite it. If a moral gives you pause, expunge it. If a man stands in your way, cut him down. Any obstacle that impedes you is your foe, and the foe of all Creation.”

Sothantos says, “The necessity of this Axiom is apparent in these times. Nothing else matters if Creation is not safeguarded.”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, “And… time, Advocates!”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “Thank you, Sothantos. Sophists, you now have the floor.”

Lii says in a cool, smoky voice, “Greetings, Archivist, guests, and other notables present. Also Sothantos for his statement.”

Lii says in a cool, smoky voice, “I would like to proposition that torture is not an acceptable way of getting information. One. People will do whatever is required to end the agony of torture. This includes saying anything,including false information because they simply do not have the information required. Therefore it stands to reason that the information gained from torture is susceptible at best, non-existent at worst. Therefore the information is not to be trusted. Also, torture as a way to make a statement is ineffectual. In a world where pain and dying are a commonality, where people harm themselves whether by experimentation or training, then the pain involved in torture is fairly insignificant.”

Lii says in a cool, smoky voice, “Now, the issue itself is about whether torture is an acceptable form of interrogation, not about necessity, et cetera. Yes, we do what must be done. This is a certainty. However, stating that the ends justify the means is inaccurate. We cannot merely focus upon the present but rather the future also. The actions of today and the gains inherent within it do not deal with the effects they will have on the future. This previous Black Wave as well as the alliances formed and the respect gained shows.”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, “Time’s up, Sophists!”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “Excellent first round, teams.”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum beams broadly.

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “Farrah of the Advocates, as the secondary speaker, the floor is yours.”

Farrah says, “Your primary arguments go only to the effectiveness of torture, and not its acceptability. Indeed, if it is merely ineffective, there is an implication that it is acceptable. It is simply a matter of how much may be gained from it.”

Farrah says, “If there is no or very little to be lost, then even if the gain is minor, it is worthwhile to pursue.”

Farrah says, “However, regarding the usefulness of pain, and its ability to pressure. The fact that death is commonplace is precisely what makes torture effective.”

Farrah says, “We are accustomed to quick deaths. Quick bouts of pain, easily come, and easily gone.”

Farrah says, “We are accustomed to visits with Ugrach.”

Farrah says, “But to lie, at one’s mercy, for endless time? Never allowed to escape, never allowed any reprieve?”

Farrah says, “Most are not built for such, and all will cave in.”

Farrah says, “In the moment, a person only cares about his own convenience, or her own comfort.”

Farrah says, “The reliability of the information obtained, further, may be verified and explored after the fact.”

Farrah says, “As for your remarks about the importance of the future, the information we gain in the present shapes the future.”

Farrah says, “It is unsurprising that you provide no examples to support your claims. No data. You cite the Black Wave, as if what happened supports your argument. Those who did what must be done prevailed. Those who did, lie at the others’ feets, bereft of the power of their fonts.”

Farrah says, “Those who did not, rather.”

Farrah says, “Those who choose to use whatever means will best accomplish their end will always prevail over those who will not.”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, “And that’s time, Advocates!”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “Truax of the Sophists, you may now have the floor, when you’re ready.”

Truax steps forward and smiles warmly as she touches her fist to her chest in a solemn greeting.

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, “Thank you, Nissa, for organizing this series of debates. Thank you too to all those who came to observe. May our words fall meaningfully upon everyone’s ears.”

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, “Our opponents in this debate have propose that torture as an acceptable interrogation technique.”

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, “But torture fails in that specific respect, that is acceptability, because we’d need to define acceptability of an interrogation technique as something that will get you the information you’re looking for. I shall explain why it does not and actually yield information this wholly unreliable.”

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, “A point must first be addressed though. Torture as described thus far by our opponents ruins the educational value of this honourable debate because the arguments given thus far are truly extratopical in nature. The topic is the use torture as an interrogation technique. Not the pain and violence caused by hunting, warfare, or the like. The topic is also not the salvation of Creation, which all cities do not equally agree on anyway. It is about torture as an acceptable means of gaining information.”

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, “When someone is tortured, their body is put through such extremes that it assumes death is imminent. The suffering experienced overcomes the will of the individual. This extreme stress and pain creates an unreliable narrator, who will do anything to make the experience end. Any information gained is therefore corrupted by the experience of enduring torture. Coercive interrogation methods disrupt the quality and quantity of any information that might be forthcoming.”

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, “There are other, non-coercive, interrogation techniques which can garner more reliable intelligence. If the goal of an interrogation is to garner information, then the chief objective is to wear down a resistance to sharing it. Guilty, confusion and trickery can be employedto make a detainee more open to suggestion and more likely to comply with demands for information. These alternative tactics will yield more reliable information on the whole than torture.”

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, “Inflicting such stress only to ‘need to verify’ it afterward shows how inefficient torture truly is. There are so many different, and more reliable, sources to get that info. Telepathy, eavesdropping, mindreading, etc. Torture is truly not needed and not acceptable by any standards of open Warfare today. The effectiveness of torture is directly relevant to its acceptability, because it will overshadow and make much less efficient other torture methods . Nobody will want to help someone inflicting pain on them., There have been no examples of data stated by our opposition to the contrary.”

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, “War is an ineluctable force througout Creation. But it is widely held by all the cities of Sapience that the violence of its conflicts should be maintained at a certain level of intensity and go no further. For example, persons taking no active part in hostilities as army members are deemed untouchable. This criteria is what distinguishes war from lower forms of violence. Brutality has its place on the battlefield. Mercy is a stranger there. But civilized warfare is not without its protections of those who participate and those who do not. In the sameway, the willful torture or inhumane treatment of prisoners of conflict must be disallowed.”

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, “War perpetuates war, and as such torture perpetuates torture. It propagates itself in this way, yielding only the very minor gains of compliance, animosity, and unreliability of information. The information gained, regardless of its reliability will shape the future, but it will be a much more grim horizon than hoped for.”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, “And time. Well done on the second round!”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “We have made it to the find round of this debate, the rebuttal.”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “Mathonwy, you will be the final speaker for the Sophists. Whenever you’re ready, you may begin.”

Mathonwy nods to Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum.

Mathonwy says, “Thank you to our judge, to all gathered, and our opposing team for the challenge.”

Mathonwy turns to face the crowd, a pensive look upon his face.

Mathonwy says, “We’ve heard a lot here today about whether torture is acceptable or not. But at the end of the day, the central theme here is: is it acceptable? Of the arguments offered by the propositional team, very few actually are capable of being rebutted without detracting from the subject at hand, which, we needn’t remind, is about the acceptability of torture as an -interrogative- technique.”

Mathonwy says, “Should we be penalized for not addressing every wild thought that crosses their minds, relevant or not?”

Mathonwy frowns and says, “I would say that would be grossly unfair.”

Mathonwy points accusingly at Sothantos.

Mathonwy says, “We’ve heard of ends justifying means. Do they? I can only leave it to you to decide, but if the end is to acquire information capable of proving victorious, does the frailty of mortality at all lend credence to this claim? The Advocates say so. I think someone will say something, anything, to save themselves.”

Mathonwy says, “Torture as a necessity: toward what end? In our time of mindreading, angels, baalzadeens, serpents who can phase, and telepathy, not to speak of astralform and blackwind, -is- it necessary? Or is it gratuitous?”

Mathonwy says, “In fact, every culture has some kind of prohibition upon gratuitous violence for its own sake. Absent a purpose, that’s exactly what it is, and we’ve outlined there -is- no good purpose for torture. The Advocates have not.”

Mathonwy says, “Torture, by the Advocates’ own admission, is different to what we might term ‘regular’ violence.”

Mathonwy frowns and says, “Although that we call it such speaks volumes of the mindset of our opponents.”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, “And time is over for our first rebuttal. Thank you Sophists for your excellent case!”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “Jiraishin of the Advocates, the floor is yours, when ready.”

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, “Mathonwy is correct on one count. This debate is on torture as an interrogation technique, not an -information gathering- technique. However, those ‘alternatives’ he listed –phase spying, mind listening, telepathy– are not, in fact, interrogation techniques.”

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, “Interrogation is a form of active information gathering, in fact.”

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, “Torture may be considered one of several subtypes, one way among many to conduct in interrogation.”

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, “Is it appropriate to every situation? Of course not. Not all individuals have the same handles.”

Jiraishin says grimly with a harsh Western accent, “But for some individuals, that handle is indeed extreme and prolonged pain.”

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, “Interrogation, in this era of Serpents and Baalzadeens, remains a necessity, and we will conduct it as we must. Torture is not wholly effective, but neither is any other method.”

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, “Ask any spymaster what method is -wholly- reliable, for interrogation. If he or she is competent, you will get no answer.”

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, “There is little more to say. The Ashtani are not above torture. No one is, because it is how we get what we need, when we must.”

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, “It is not gratuity, but grim necessity.”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “And…time! Well said, Advocates. Well said.”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “With the end of that rebuttal, I will now go over my notes and tally up the final scores of our first debate. But before I do, please give our wonderful teams here a worthy round of applause! They both were excellent today.”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “Thank you for all waiting. After calculating the scores, a winner has been selected.”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “For use of strong argument, excellent clarity, and consistency among speakers, I have decided that…”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, “The Ashen Advocates have won this debate round!”

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