Torture and Sin: Are They Familiar?

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The following essay will address a theological theme that made itself prominent while attending the conference “Torture, Human Rights, War on Terror.” The theme to be considered will be sin. That is, what are the connections between torture and sin? Further, can a sinful person be justly tortured? This essay will address these questions and more. This paper is comprised of thoughts inspired by attending said event.

First, to understand the connections between torture and sin, one must have explicit definitions of each. Torture, in the most general sense, is restraining an individual against their will and pursuing any action to cause them to collaborate with your personal intentions. “Sin is seen as a transgression of a divine command, rebellion against God and God’s authority” (Sachs, p.60). In other words, sin is going against God’s will.

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Now, a question that seems to be most interesting pertaining to this theme: Is torture a result of sin, or is sin a result of torture? For example, does a person who spends their life sinning deserve to be tortured (namely, in Hell)? Dr. Mark Allman believes that it is against God’s will to torture because it erases human dignity insofar as one who tortures is doing an injustice to humanity. However, it seems that this cannot be the case due to one outstanding fact: God condemns torturing. For it seems to be the case that if God were to believe that torturing can be justified it would only be for the sinner. Think about how God had a bet with Satan over one man’s life; think about how God allowed Job to be tortured simply to show his own power. Further, God does show through the dichotomy of Heaven and Hell that the most extreme sinners deserve to be tortured for eternity. Thus, it seems to be the case that torture is a result of sinning.

However, seeming rarely indicates reality. Given the retrospective assumption that sin is a result of torture, one begins to look to sin in the torturer their self. That is, the person who applies the torture must be sinning due the fact that they are violating human dignity and inevitably God’s will. Of course, it does not seem that in the case God has a hand in torturing; however, it does seem that torture is given fuel by Christians due to many torture related themes in the Bible. Moreover, a sinful person can never be justly tortured. This is due to the fact that they are being tortured by an unjust person; a sinner.

Thus, the result arrived at is such: Torture in itself is a vicious circle of sin, yet it seems to be an act used by God. This is obviously blasphemous and does not mesh well with the common conception of God. This view is not my own, however. It seems to me that God does not have a direct hand in torturing. That is, God in no way does condemn torturing, but he does have a decision in who gets to live the good life. Thus, God looks at those who torture and prescribes them an afterlife that is congruent with their living life. In other words, grave sinners are rewarded with an afterlife of sinning impeded on them; while on the other hand, just people are rewarded with heaven. Further, torture must be a result of sinning due to this inspection because sin rewards itself with sin.

All things considered, sinning is a large scale issue that can only be given sin in return. It seems to be the case that torture is a result of sinful living. Moreover, Dr. Allman pointed out that there are better ways to get answer. He even mentioned that torturing can give adverse effects. That is, more problems. That being said, do not allow yourself to join this circle of sin and torture, for it is one that is quite difficult to escape

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