[LINK] RFI: Scroogle

Robert Hart hartr at interweft.com.au
Sat Mar 24 09:08:28 AEDT 2007

Karl Auer wrote:
> On Wed, 2007-03-21 at 22:01 +1100, Roger Clarke wrote:
>> A subscriber on the privacy list (while researching the deservedly 
>> infamous Bagaric, the pro-torture Law Professor at Deakin)
> Wow. I just went and read some of his stuff. 
> And this from a *law* professor! It just goes to show how even the most
> well-trained thinker, can build the most appallingly, embarrassingly
> wrong conclusions at times. That he was prepared to *publish* them is
> almost beyond credibility.
> Actually, are we sure he really exists? He's not a straw man, is he?
Hang on a minute - whilst I find some of this individual's writings 
seriously problematic, I have just spent a few hours reading a number of 
his articles and I have to say that whilst I do not agree with much of 
what he writes, he argues for the most part cogently. I have the feeling 
also that he writes deliberately confronting articles at least in part 
to shine a light on societal views that are too often held without 
thought (I also think that there is perhaps more than an iota of self 
promotion involved, but that's another matter).

For example, he is not pro universal torture - he argues that torture is 
justified where it will (?may) save one or more innocent lives that are 
immediately threatened. It is only by posing such really difficult 
questions that we can establish exactly what we should hold to be 
moral/ethical. His article on torture has made me stop and think - I 
don't like the idea that even limited/* */torture can be justified but I 
have yet to come up with a cogent reason against it other than the ones 
he dismisses in his article. I am still working on it though because any 
torture generates complete repugnance in me (and it may be that those 
dismissed arguments are enough to outlaw any sort of torture).

Robert Hart                                  hartr at interweft.com.au
+61 (0)438 385 533                           http://www.hart.wattle.id.au

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