Filosofia Unisinos 21 (3):240-250 (2020)

Delamar Dutra
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
The text aims to explore legal and moral aspects of torture. Under the legal aspect the text compares three definitions of torture: UN definition, Brazilian definition, and Spanish definition. In this regard, neither the UN formulation nor the Brazilian formulation are ideal, because the Brazilian legal definition restricts the element of action by the part of the perpetrator of torture, and the UN convention restricts the effect on the victim, given that pain or suffering should be severe. The hypothesis is that a better proposal could be linked to the Spanish Penal Code, which in its art. 174 defines torture as the submission of someone “to conditions or procedures that, due to their nature, duration or other circumstances, involve physical or mental suffering, the suppression or decrease of their faculties of knowledge, discernment or decision, or that otherwise undermine their moral integrity”. Concerning the moral meaning of the repulse to torture it is intended to defend the paradigmatic character of the human right to not be tortured in at least two respects. The first aspect refers to its universalizing vocation in the full sense, since it can be extended to all sentient beings. In this regard, the prohibition of torture goes beyond the dominium of personality to advance in the direction of a domain of suffering not determined by the mask of personality. The second aspect is that the prohibition stands for an absolute right with no exceptions, precisely because of its deeper moral content.Keywords:radical evil, torture, perpetrator.
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DOI 10.4013/fsu.2020.213.01
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Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785/2002 - Oxford University Press.
The Life of the Mind.Hannah Arendt - 1978 - Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

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