The case for Torture



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The case for Torture

Essay selected: Michael Levin’s “The Case for Torture”

Author Background: Michael Levin is a renowned best-selling author who has written more than 100 books. His books have received exceptional reviews from some of the world’s leading publications. His works are diverse, from business to social factors to fiction. They include ‘The Socratic Method’, ‘making Jack Falcone’ and ‘Model Behavior’. He wrote ‘The Case for Torture’ to advocate for the use of torture as a preventive measure against evil; terrorists and those who put the lives of innocent people in danger.

Audience: This article was intended for the American audience. Levin uses life-threatening situations as examples to speak to those who are strongly opinionated. He hopes that, by reading this essay, people will be more likely to support the use of torture to save the lives of innocent people.

Rhetorical analysis:

ContextterrorismMain claimWe need to start considering use of tortureSupporting reasons-Torture will ensure more innocent lives are saved

-western democracies will loose nothing if they choose to inflict pain to preserve order

EvidencePopular authority figuresAppealsEthos: his position as a new York times best-selling author and ghostwriter.

Pathos: reminders about terrorist attacks, information about how ignorant people are about torture

Logos: logical deduction: (“if Roosevelt had assassinated Hitler when he had the chance, he would have shortened the war and saved millions of lives” (2).)

Author’s assumptionsLevin assumes that all people are against torture. Finally, he assumes that people will learn to accept torture if they are provided with the right information.Counter arguments/refutationsAt the beginning of the article he says that torture is impermissible, but towards the end he argues that it is a venture that needs to be considered necessary to save millions of livesExamples of logical fallaciesSlippery slope: he is suggesting that if terrorists and kidnappers are not tortured, the evils they practice will continue to happen.

Response: Levin does a good job of creating a sense of urgency around the context of the topic. He seems quite ardent about his chosen topic and I think he appeals to his audience quite effectively. His methods of trying to convince his audience about torture are quite persuasive.


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