Sleep Deprivation: War Interrogation – Francesca, Raiyan, Frances

  1. The text’s central argumentative point is that sleep deprivation is an immoral and torturous practice that goes against the ethical aim of war interrogation (to combat terrorism and enable world peace). The text is a combination of both factual and evaluative arguments. McPhedran passes judgement on the morality of the practice of sleep deprivation and the opinions put forward by members of the Australian Government and other significant figures. At the same time, factual claims such as the scientific facts about the physical harm caused by sleep deprivation were used by McPhedran to further generate his evaluations and arguments on Ruddock’s unwarranted opinion, and the immorality of sleep deprivation itself.
  2. The author puts forward more of an argumentation rather than general, personal opinion. This is evident through the author’s factual claims and evaluations of these significant figures that are followed by a causal link/statement that seeks to prove or make judgement. McPhedran uses these claims put forward by these figures, to generate debate on the topic (argumentative debates) and thus express the main claim. However, the author’s opinion is slightly echoed in the following sentence “Australian Federal Police boss Mick Keelty provided a better informed response.”
  3. The author does not explicitly state his central argument throughout the text, as he uses different personalities’ comments on the interrogation method to generate these arguments and underlying thoughts within the reader. However, the final paragraph can be seen as a summary of his central claim, and the underlying argument.
  4. I agree with the reading and believe that the author tries to give a stipulative definition of torture by including sleep deprivation within that definition to solidify his point. The central claim revolves around the understanding that sleep deprivation causes pain and pain is torture. Another contentious term with a stipulative definition is interrogation, McPhedran tries to construct the term’s definition to exclude torture in order justify his claim.
  5. Article’s primary claim here:Sleep deprivation is an immoral war interrogation method and form of torture that should not be usedJustification 1: (type: appeal to social norms)[because] it goes against the purpose of war interrogation which is to combat terrorism and promote world peace.

    Justification 2: (type: appeal to authority)

    And claims by those in favour of it lack the personal experience/authority to place such immoral judgement.

  6. Article’s primary claim here: Sleep deprivation is an immoral war interrogation method and form of torture that should not be used during warJustification 1: [because] it goes against the purpose of war interrogation which is to combat terrorism and promote world peace.Warrant for Justification 1: Sleep deprivation does not aid the quest for world peace, it shares common values with the enemy we are fighting.

    Justification 2: And claims by those in favour of it lack the personal experience/authority to place such immoral judgement.

    Warrant for Justification 2: Only those with credibility and authority can truly place opinion on the ethics of sleep deprivation.

  7. “Exactly what Attorney- General Philip Ruddock was doing even commenting is unclear, let alone supporting the practice as a means of getting information out of terrorist suspects. Ruddock has been a Liberal member of Parliament since 1973. Before that he was a Sydney solicitor. He has presumably enjoyed a comfortable night’s sleep, many of them at taxpayer expense, most nights for the past 33 years.”There is no textual correspondence or justification between Ruddock’s comments supporting sleep deprivation and the following retaliating paragraph. It is solely the author’s sarcastic and demeaning opinion on Ruddock’s ethical mindset. This can be seen as an example of Ad Hominem.

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