Re: Ethics of Torture II
Nobody asked but …
A torture scenario such as that in a movie is an exercise in begging the question. It presumes that there is a circumstance under which torture can be justified. Torture may be explained, but it is never justified. Any situation that might be considered as justification of torture is already bankrupt in terms of philosophical supposition. “What ifs” do not make a sound foundation for principle. Also, even if you could justify torture based on a presumed good person being faced with sufficient evil, that justification will not stay in a tight philosophical box. The real problem with torture would be its general use by amoral and immoral persons, precisely the people who would proceed to torture on any flimsy attempt at justification or far-fetched speculation on justification. The last point I would make is that any case of torture must be examined on its own merit, with the presumption that it has no merit. If an exception were discovered so be it, it would still not be a precedent.