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Torture Or Not To Torture Essay

899 words - 4 pages

There are many ethical choices that do not have clear-cut answers that we will need to make in our lives. Such ethical problems are whether one should lie to not hurt another’s feelings or, in extreme conditions, lying would save another’s life. One such ethical choice that most of us will never have to make but would have to if there was going to be a major, imminent attack on U.S. soil and many lives are going to be lost unless an imprisoned terrorist is tortured. There are many theories that might help to answer the question to torture such as utilitarianism, Kantian duty-based ethics, virtue ethics, and Christian-principle based ethics.
Utilitarianism would answer whether to torture the ...view middle of the document...

63). The imprisoned terrorist is a person and not a thing, thus the terrorist must be treated as such. Therefore, in a Kantian duty-based ethic, the imprisoned terrorist should not be tortured for the reasons that torture does not respect moral law and the consequences do not matter in choosing one path over another.

Virtue ethics, in contrast to the two others, looks at the torturer’s virtues to answer the question whether to torture or not. Virtue ethics are the “inner habits of heart and mind” (Holmes, 2007, p. 132) which makes a person think and act in certain ways. Virtue ethics focuses solely on the virtues of the torturer and the consequences to the torturer’s virtues. Thus, one must look at the virtues of a person that is willing to torture another human being. Someone with virtues of justice, love, and compassion are not going to be willing to torture another human. Secondly, virtues are developed over time. Acts, such as torture would diminish or even destroy some virtues such as love, temperance, and justice. Therefore, virtue ethics would be against torture for the sake of the torturer.
Lastly, Christian ethics looks at the question whether to torture from a Biblical perspective. One would need to first study scripture to find out if torture is prohibited or is the Bible silent on torture itself. This would be best if carried out with a pastor as guidance would be necessary. Nevertheless, one way that Christian ethics would answer this question would be to prohibit torture but in extreme cases, allow torture to be carried out. This is a Christian...

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