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  • Sadistic literature is not only inhumane. It is anti-human.

  • The use of torture is contrary to sound judgment and common sense. Humanity itself cries out against it, and demands it to be utterly abolished.

  • What right can give anyone authority to inflict torture upon a citizen when it is still unknown whether he is innocent or guilty?

  • All punishments by which the human body might be maimed are barbarbarism.

  • In more than half the nations of our world, torture certifies that the form of government is tyranny. Only tyranny, no matter how camouflaged, needs and employs torturers. Torture has no ideology.

  • If our cause is just, it will be best supported by justice and righteousness. Though we have many other crimes to answer for, that of cruelty to our enemies is not chargeable upon Americans, and I hope never will be.

    • Abigail Adams,
    • 1777, in Frank Shuffelton, ed., The Letters of John and Abigail Adams ()
  • The origin of torture and execution in the name of religion is the certainty that your religion is true, and therefore any other religion must be false. This being so, you must regard people who profess a different religion than your own as heretics, and as inevitably damned (as Saint Augustine did). It is your religious duty to persecute them; and because their crime is against God, no cruelty is too great to use towards them. Indeed, anyone who urges mercy towards heretics is suspect himself. The evidence of history shows overwhelmingly that witches were persecuted, not because they had done harm, but because their crime was heresy. Hence the heavy involvement, from the beginning, of the Church in witchcraft trials.

    • Doreen Valiente,
    • "Torture used on witches," An ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present ()
  • During the ages of faith the Church argued, not illogically, that any degree of cruelty towards sinners and heretics was justified, if there was a chance that it could save them, or others, from the eternal torments of hell. Thus, in the name of the religion of love, hundreds of thousands of people were not merely killed but atrociously tortured ...