Monday, October 29, 2007

The math of torture

Torture and math – they don’t seem to go together unless you’re an unprepared student taking a final exam.

Mathematician Vladimir Lefebvre developed Reflexive Theory, which shows that in societies that accept the compromise of good with evil, individuals were more confrontational.

Lefebvre uses his Reflexive Theory to explain the fall of the Soviet Empire. In one Cold War study, when asked if a doctor should conceal a cancer diagnosis from a patient to diminish patient suffering, Americans said no, and Soviets said yes. Soviets said it’s OK to compromise good with evil. Americans did not.

Is it OK to use torture, which nearly everyone would consider evil especially if they were the recipient of it, if good can result? Before answering, the US may first consider what happened to the Soviet Union.

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