The Catholic Church teaches, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the following:
"2297 Kidnapping and hostage taking bring on a reign of terror; by means of threats they subject their victims to intolerable pressures. They are morally wrong. Terrorism threatens, wounds, and kills indiscriminately; it is gravely against justice and charity. Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity. Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law."If you believe that the use of torture by the State is not gravely evil, but instead, a property of the State's authority to defend its citizens, to punish the guilty, etc., how do you read the Catechism passage above, and other, similar Church statements, and how does the notion that torture is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity fit with your view that torture nonetheless remains a morally valid option to be used by State authorities?
As arguments are posted, I will do my best to collect from the best responses by Zippy, Mark Shea, and others that address each argument. In the event that someone proposes a truly innovative and new argument, I will highlight that argument and ask for responses from Coalition members.