Dear Torture Apologist Sam Harris,
You rarely cease to amaze. For a man who coldly advocates the brutal physical and psychological torture of others, you demonstrate a remarkable level of cowardice when confronted with the slightest written criticism. As if fully incapable of sensing irony, you describe my critique of your pro-torture stance as “poisonous,” and ramble on for over 2,200 words, hiding behind this disingenuous excuse and that, about why you don’t have the time to effectively respond to such “attacks.” Impressive.
One reason you offer for your inability to defend your position is that I’m a “deeply unserious person who has made no effort to understand [your] arguments.” Guilty as charged. I am a very silly man. And, you’re right, I made no effort to understand your arguments–because understanding your argument requires no effort. Your average Twilight fan would have little difficulty imagining a scenario where using torture may be ethically justified. Your average Twilight fan, however, wasn’t promoting those fictions in books, debates, articles, and on television at the same time our nation was engaged in a shameful debate about medieval intelligence gathering.
The kind of ticking-nuke scenario of which you and Sean Hannity are so fond is a ridiculous proposition for two distinct reasons. 1) In the highly unlikely event that a person in custody was privy to the pertinent details, that person would indeed be tortured, regardless of the law. Meaning, this “debate” served absolutely no function, save for 2) it being a convenient thought experiment used by benighted war hawks, like yourself, to ethically justify a systemic atrocity which fell far outside of the preposterously thin experiment parameters.
Rendering your “argument” entirely indefensible, of course, is the fact that torture simply doesn’t work. People will say anything you want them to when under extreme duress. Even you must know that by now, yet you refuse to acknowledge your mistake, and instead retreat into the convoluted rhetoric of a professional sophist. Outside of the followers of your cult of personality, people can see through your feeble obfuscation to the dishonest wimp behind them.
You’re just clever enough to have convinced yourself of your academic gravity, yet not clever enough to realize how very full of shit you are. Well, Sam, I may be deeply unserious, but at least I don’t pretend to be otherwise. You’re an intellectual joke, and you don’t even seem to know it.