Ethical Arguments Against Torture

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My opposition to torture fall under the beliefs of the absolutist Kant, who states that no matter what the circumstance is, something that is wrong will always be wrong (Boothe 2006, 12). Therefore, concerning the issue of torture, in this world or any other world, torture is immoral. In this paper, I will employ the ethical frameworks of virtue, rights, and fairness to argue against torture when viewed from the perspective of the victim, the torturer, and any outside source. Furthermore, I will dismantle the ticking-bomb scenario by deducing the incapability to achieve full certainty deeming these scenarios unrealistic.
The first ethical framework corresponds to virtue, which focuses on the cultivation of traits to develop a moral person
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2016). Using this ethical framework to argue against torture, one needs to consider the violation of the terrorist’s rights. Utilitarians argue that under a scenario where thousands of people are in danger, the well-being of the larger community is more important than neglecting the rights of a single individual (Krauthammer 2005). The simple idea of taking away a person’s autonomy for the sake of others violates rights ethics. To comprehend the violation upon the victim’s rights, it is important to understand how torture feels, “Brian describes his body as having become an object… pain is the central reality; it dominates experience and expression (Wisnewski 2010, 81).” Some may argue the terrorist is responsible for putting himself in a situation where torture would be the only answer (Mayerfeld 2008). This argument undermines the terrorist’s perspective. Ultimately, the terrorists believe what they are doing is right and have concrete reasoning for their actions (Mayerfeld…show more content…
2016). Similar to the arguments applied for the rights ethical framework, every human deserves equal treatment, whether it is the victim or the torturer. It is easy to minimize the direct effect that torturing someone has on the interrogator. In various cases, the torturer becomes the tortured as well (Boothe 2006, 25-26). The interrogator is mentally changed forever; the mental burden and imagery will be a constant reminder of his actions and will be detrimental to his life. Under fairness ethics, it is not fair for the torturer to deal with these consequences. To better understand fairness turn the tables around and determine if the same treatment is justifiable. Think about the invasion in Iraq, what if an Iraqis capture an American? Should Iraqis torture the American in efforts to learn which areas in Iraq need evacuation to save lives (Mayerfeld 2008)? Individuals would not be hesitant to defend the American’s rights and oppose torturing him This biased opinion develops only the basis of who is the victim. Hence, emphasizing the lack of equality when evaluating the morality of using torture. Krauthammer’s main arguments to justify torture centers on the ticking-bomb scenario, which occurs when the interrogator only has a few minutes to find out the location of an attack or the place of the bomb (Moser et al. 2016). Krauthammer argues that there is no
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