Revilo P. Oliver (an evolutionist) published this take on torture:
It is also noteworthy that the Christianizing kings introduced the practice of torture, which was and is so repugnant to our racial instincts. There is a long and bloody record of men who were forced by physical torture to become “converted” or who obstinately refused that humiliation and honorably perished amid abominable torments inflicted on them by the monarch’s real or assumed piety: even more moving are the records of men who became Christians to save their sons from being blinded, mutilated, or killed. When one remembers that the pagan hero kills, but never tortures, one has a certain measure of the corruption of morality wrought by the Oriental superstition.
But that doesn’t line up with the research of R.J. Rushdoony:
For the Romans, torture was a basic part of the legal process in questioning prisoners. Because Christianity condemned the legal rise of torture, “torture as a legal device to obtain information or a confession virtually disappeared in Europe for nearly a thousand years.” Its revival came with the Renaissance and the rise of humanism, so that torture and a disregard for Christian morality became synonymous with civil government.
This is a fact of very great importance, one which we can neglect only at the cost of warping our views of the Reformation.
- Oliver, R. (1980). Afterthoughts on Afterlife. Available http://www.revilo-oliver.com/news/2012/06/afterthoughts-on-afterlife/. Last accessed 2nd Apr 2015.
- Rushdoony, R.J. (2007). Sovereignty. Ross House Books, Vallecito, pp. 256-257.