Pathos, And Logos In Michael Levin's 'The Case For Torture'

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The idea of torture can scare many people. In today’s world torture is now viewed as a thing of the past; a solution to our ancestor’s problems. Yet in reality, the dilemma whether torture should be used or not is still an issue. Many people would automatically say torture should not be allowed, until they are told millions of lives depend on it. Michael Levin is the person that made many readers second guess their answer to that simple, yet difficult question. The article “The Case For Torture” by Michael Levin effectively uses rhetoric devices to discuss his views on torture with the strong use of ethos, pathos, and logos. With good use of pathos Michael Levin appeals to the audience’s emotions throughout the article. Levin makes us feel …show more content…
Levin also strategically uses logos to appeal to the reader’s sense of logic. Throughout the article the author discusses reasons of when torture is justified. Knowing that many Americans consider torture unconstitutional, Michael tries to reason with the audience saying, “Millions of lives outweigh constitutionality.” Even though torture is barbic, the audiences come to sense that mass murder is even more barbic. The piece makes the audience re-think their opinion torture if it means lives will be saved. Levin makes it clear that torture should not be used as punishment, but as a way to prevent future terror. No terrorist victim should lose his or her life just because America considers torture as unethical. One example Michael provided was when former president Roosevelt faced an ethical dilemma; in 1943 he could have had Hitler killed but did not based on ethical grounds. However, in this time period Americans now see that if he would have had him killed the war would have ended, and many lives would have been saved. A different time Levin also appealed to the audience’s logical reasoning was when he said torture was justified since “unlike his victims, he volunteered for the risks of his deed.” Logos formed another important part of making this article …show more content…
The author used good ethos by not just presenting his point of view, but other views, as well. Levin starts the argument by asking the audience to open their mind for a moment and listen to what needs to be said. Accepting the fact that as Americans fear that by using torture, “WE turn into Them.” However, the audience is assured that the line between “US and THEM” will remain clear if torture is only used to protects and save endangered lives. An example used in the article that also shows fair treatment is how opponents of the death penalty say that by executing the murder will not bring the victim back to life. Michael clears it up saying his point of view; it is intended to prevent future deaths not to punish the murderer. Same thing with torture, torture is not a punishment, but a way to prevent future tragedies. The author also uses ethos when he builds up credibility. Levin informs the audience about a poll where mothers were asked if they would approve of torturing a person who kidnapped their new born baby from a hospital. All mothers agreed to torturing the kidnapper if it meant the baby would come home with them. One of the mothers also added she would even torture the kidnapper

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