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social isolation as torture


lemur
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Imagine you are a planner for a government agency with the mission of torturing someone but you are not allowed to arrest them or use illegal means to do so, but you have a practically unlimited budget. Could you pay people to avoid contact with them thus isolating them as much as possible from social contact? Would this be legal and/or ethical?

Edited by lemur
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If you can get yourself a nearly unlimited budget that you can use to give away to everyone so frivolously, then you can also hire someone to simply torture them on your behalf. To socially isolate someone completely via that method you'd have to bribe 6 billion people, good luck with that.

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If you can get yourself a nearly unlimited budget that you can use to give away to everyone so frivolously, then you can also hire someone to simply torture them on your behalf. To socially isolate someone completely via that method you'd have to bribe 6 billion people, good luck with that.

I think you could wait until they start to become friends with someone they like and then bribe that person to avoid them. You wouldn't have to bribe EVERYONE, just people they got close to. Hired torture goes against the legality/ethical rule.

 

 

 

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It depends on the country. Many nations have a 'freedom of association' provision in their constitution which would make state action which effectively robbed you of effective exercise of that right unconstitutional. But otherwise paying people not to have any contact with someone would not be unconstitutional or criminal, though it might amount to the tort of deprivation of company. Just as the surviving relatives of someone killed by another person's negligence can sue that injurer for loss of companionship of the lost relative, so too the person being isolated by the government's action could sue the government for the intentional tort of deprivation of companionship. If the government were then to pay the damages due but still persist in causing the injury, it would be in contempt of court and the legal system could take more serious steps against the government.

 

An interesting legal hypothetical, however.

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Save you money. Just quietly comment to a few people down at the local shopping centre "Don't you think he pays a lot of attention to children?" Local gossip will finish the job.

 

Note that I never said or implied anything, I simply asked someone elses opinion. Unethical as hell, but not illegal.

Edited by JohnB
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It strikes me as a silly question.

If you set out to do anything to torture anyone then you are not acting ethically.

The legality would depend on whether the local law is an ass on the subject but, since most countries officially don't condone torture, it would probably be illegal.

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Save you money. Just quietly comment to a few people down at the local shopping centre "Don't you think he pays a lot of attention to children?" Local gossip will finish the job.

Good point. Is gossip (without due process and positive conviction) a form of cruel and unusual punishment?

 

It strikes me as a silly question.

If you set out to do anything to torture anyone then you are not acting ethically.

In principle I agree, but it comes down to the issue of whether not-acting can constitute a active-action. When giving someone "the silent treatment," for example, you can say that you're not doing anything to them because you are literally DOING NOTHING to them. In reality, I think this is a rampant form of social-power in modern life because it allows any response to provocation to be labelled a hostile act of aggression. If I pay someone to ignore you until you get frustrated and yell at them or otherwise react to the "provocation," is my paying them unethical because it constitutes true intent to provoke? If that person ignores you unintentionally (or intentionally just because they don't want to respond to you), is that less unethical?

 

The legality would depend on whether the local law is an ass on the subject but, since most countries officially don't condone torture, it would probably be illegal.

This could get back into the horrible discussion about defining torture. Technically, isn't any social-effect that causes suffering "torture?" Yet, if you define torture that broadly, wouldn't torture be common everyday practice among almost everyone for all sorts of purposes, many unintentional and some intentional? If you got ten random people to make a list each day of all the ways in which they suffered to some degree, however minimal, how long would the lists be at the end of 1 year? (I say a year because there are different ways to suffer in every season, I think)

 

 

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I think you could wait until they start to become friends with someone they like and then bribe that person to avoid them. You wouldn't have to bribe EVERYONE, just people they got close to.

 

Sounds like I could make all my friends and "friends" and perhaps also myself very rich. I think I wouldn't mind the government trying that on me. "Hey buddy, if you befriend me the government will give you tons of money. I'll go along with this if you give me my 50% cut."

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  • 3 months later...

shunning or false witness toward someone......isnt that bullying and what goes on a schools and on jobs to destroy that person or child or family...........but geeze.....to get paid to destroy someone with tax payer dollars or to provoke that person into something......isnt that illegal. Even if this or these people are medical or goverment case studies.......i would think its illegal without consent...... its got to be illegal......cruel and unusual punishment one can sue for????

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You would have to track a lot of people for it. His family members, nursery teachers, high school teachers, shopkeepers, friends, and all those in service sector of whom he might or have taken service of.

This would lead to a situation of tumbling economy. Wouldn't it. It would, if the number of people whom you torture this way increases rapidly and to a large number. The economy won't have any advantage. Money incoming would be hampered from service sector.

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You would have to track a lot of people for it. His family members, nursery teachers, high school teachers, shopkeepers, friends, and all those in service sector of whom he might or have taken service of.

This would lead to a situation of tumbling economy. Wouldn't it. It would, if the number of people whom you torture this way increases rapidly and to a large number. The economy won't have any advantage. Money incoming would be hampered from service sector.

 

 

lived: well I guess thats a way to destroy a country, slowly, depressing humans for many years......and I would guess is what..... was done during World war one and two.....maybe causing the depression era.....

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