I’ve seen the Milgram experiment mentioned a few times recently and I re-posted two excellent articles from Rebecca Gordon yesterday, this one mentions the Milgram.
My opinion is that the problem with saying 35% of the participants in that experiment refused to torture is similar to 1/3 people blaming rape victims for being raped – it’s nowhere near comforting. Especially since some of them refused after already torturing & if they were threatened with it happening to them the figure would be even less! The rhesus monkeys in the Masserman experiment did far better than us on refusing torture and courage by braving it themselves! Even if it is approx 35% of people in general & more in later studies, that means approximately 2/3 would even whilst hearing the agony/screams/pleading and that amount is easy to find and keep doing their jobs as long as it benefits them. That’s bad news for those they’re torturing, including all the ones who aren’t guilty. Remember you don’t need to be guilty of anything to fill a quota for terrorist suspects and potentials, and if you’re born to a family under suspicion or in a detainment site then you’re automatically ‘dangerous’ too, yep the babies are suspects/potentials.
One type of torture that many people actually think is good for the victim and not torture at all, is force feeding. However, if you know about the methods then you realize it’s just a way to further punish for resistance. Force feeding is extremely painful, in the past meant broken teeth and worse, and causes retching/vomiting so doesn’t feed the ‘patient’ at all. It’s the opposite, and medical personnel know that. It starves and weakens the person in turn making them easier to force feed and less likely to disobey ‘authority’ by not eating.
People aren’t educated to proportion their thoughts/feelings to situations, and mix up retribution with revenge. Too many bloodthirsty and power hungry types make it to leading positions and the failures end up in jail. Those in between can be found all throughout society, ever been bullied by people who are not of the ‘show them a little love and friendship and they’ll change’ ‘type’? In school, the workplace, home, social situations and notice how they can or at least try to convince others to go along with them? And how many who do go along with them don’t care if the stories about you are true or not, and if they ever suffer a guilty conscience long lasting enough to stop they want to ‘move on/forwards’ and get away with it, your forgiveness not being a factor? That’s assuming they stop permanently or just seem to temporarily before starting up again, perhaps worse the ‘next’ time or even modulating how much they dish out with your reactions. Either way though, preferring it if nobody else found out, a ‘sorry’/gesture will do if anything at all and please could you keep your mouth shut? A plentiful group on this planet aren’t they.