What should we do if we suspect that our questions may be contributing to a culture of viciousness? Do we imagine that we could run parallel to viciousness while retaining an innocence? All around me I witness displays of psychic violence in the guise of seeking truth. What would an honest refusal to participate in brutal methods of interrogation require? Is there any limit to the refusal to participate in brutality? How would we recognize a commitment to nonbrutality in ourselves?
It should bother us that Deuce Martinez is an educated man. It should also bother us that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is an educated man, but we, those of us who enjoy asking questions, can allow ourselves to concentrate on inquiring after our culture of questioning. In all probability the gentleman from Virginia participated in peculiar methods of interrogationI think it's reasonable to conclude that he was in fact a participant in the peculiar interrogations of Mr. Mohammednot because he was born to do so, but rather because he was educated to do so. Here it would be naive to think that education and brutality are diametrically opposed, or that brutality must be innate. We should want to put questioning on trial without employing falsehoods or stupidities. The questioning of questioning represents a necessary intermediary stepa step made necessary by the coming to light of certain brutalitieson the path to a questioning of brutality, a questioning which I am presuming must take place if we are to live without becoming brutality's other victims. To undertake this questioning prompted by a brutality that must be questioned means stepping into an aporia with real felt consequences. Must we definitively remove all doubts by this process in order to avoid being brutalized? If there are right ways and wrong ways of asking questions, are we learning to question brutality in the right way? What should we be asking of our educators?
Should our education prepare us for trauma? How?
Let's ask whether questioning and ethics are truly compatible. Do they suffer together? So far a culture of questioning is just a hypothesis. Does committing to a nonbrutal way of questioning in any way lead to a verification of the hypothesis? How would we assess the reliability of our verifications while refusing to participate in brutal methods of interrogation? I would like to be able to articulate a decent philosophical response to the situation of people having poisoned the well of questioning.