Torture: Morality and Terrorist

Topics: Morality, Ethics, Human Pages: 2 (757 words) Published: December 9, 2010
In the article “The Truth about Torture”, Charles Krauthammer considers the ticking time bomb problem and argues that torture is sometimes not only morally permissible, but morally necessary. Krauthammer uses the example of terrorists in his example, what if we captured a terrorist with knowledge of an attack and the knowledge of future attacks; do we torture him for his information? Or simply just have him locked up? (Krauthammer 2). Utilitarian considerations are sufficient to justify using cruel actions against terrorists to extract confessions. Even though is cruel to torture one to extract information, it is our duty as citizens to maintain the happiness as a whole and do what is necessary to save lives. Utilitarianism is a consequential normative moral theory, which state the moral value of an action is determined by the most happiness or utility it creates (Mill 461). If we use this definition to analyze the case, then yes it is sufficient to use cruel actions such as waterboarding and sodium pentathol injections on terrorists to extract information. Waterboarding is a terrifying and deeply shocking torture technique in which the prisoner has his face exposed to water in a way that gives the feeling of drowning (Krauthammer 3). Sodium pentathol injection is a sedative drug; its purpose is to disinhibit the higher brain centres to make someone more likely to share their information (Krauthammer 3). In parts of Asia, torture is embedded in the criminal justice system (Wong 1). So there is no concern as to why torture can’t be used in the example of the terrorist. By torturing the terrorist, we are able to extract information from him, thus doing what is morally right and save lives. Maintaining and creating happiness among the whole is more important just the happiness of a person. If that is the case then wouldn’t torturing the terrorist be the right thing to do? Torturing him would make the world a more peaceful place and also letting...

Bibliography: -Wong Kai-shing. “The Problem of Torture in China 's Criminal Justice System”
- Krauthammer, Charles. “The Truth about Torture”
-Mill, John Stuart. Utilitarianism. In Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings, Fifth Edition.Eds JohnPerry, Michael Bratman and John Martin Fischer. New York, NY: Oxford University press, 2010. Pp. 457-476.
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