Ethics Of Torture Essay

1408 words - 6 pages

Torture is permissible?
Torture is an unorthodox method that has been used often during the war, and it is a controversial subject about whether torture is permissible or not since 911 (“Counterterrorism Since 9/11: Evaluating the Efficacy of Controversial Tactics”). The exercise of torture tends to begin with acquiring information to prevent opponents to start the attack, and there are many critics that believe that torture is permissible at least during extreme situations (“Torture and the Necessity Doctrine”). According to a BCC survey of views on torturing prisoners in October 2006, more than one out of three people in nine countries considered that torture is somewhat permissible if it can save lives (“Is torture ever justified?”). Moreover, two ethical theories have been used under the debate of whether torture is right or wrong: deontology and utilitarianism (“Torture and the Necessity Doctrine”). In this paper, I will prove that Kantian theory does offer a compelling argument to prove the use of torture, in that Bentham and Mill agree that torture is permissible during certain situations.
Utilitarianism is a theory based on utilizing moral rules to measure the amount of happiness and unhappiness in order to decide whether the action is considered good or bad (Birsch 77). According to Birsch, Jeremy Bentham is a philosopher that focuses his ethical theory on act utilitarianism, and he believes that good actions are when the amount of pleasure is more than the amount of pain that is affected by others (Birsch 77). In addition, Mill believes that it is ethical to have a bad intention of doing certain things with good consequences, but it is unethical to have good intentions with bad consequences (Ethics Lecture on February 18 2014). I do not agree with utilitarianism because I think it is unethical to torture terrorists. It is important to save others lives, but the government can use alternate methods to obtain the information. I think it is unethical to hurt others just to accomplish goals, even if the outcome is positive.
Torture is acceptable when utilizing utilitarianism to defend the argument, because torture generates the most amount of pleasure than pain when used under certain situations. In addition, torturing a terrorist to acquire useful information to save hundreds of people’s lives is considered ethical because the consequences are good. Torturing another person who has no blood relationship is unethical because it is not right to hurt others. However, it is ethical when torturing one person to save hundreds of people, even though the action itself has a bad intention.
On the other hand, Kant believes that we should act on duty based on the moral laws or the moral rules (Birsch 104). In other words, Kant believes that every moral agent is obligated to follow moral rules and laws because it is a required duty. He also believes the requirements to decide whether an action is good or bad is based on the duty of the person, and...

Find Another Essay On Ethics of Torture

torture Essay

2191 words - 9 pages detention facilities. This action by the president marked what many people thought to be the end of a long debate of torture. Six years later, the debate on torture is still unresolved. Works Cited Bellany, Alex J. "No pain, no gain? Torture and ethics in the war on terror." International Affairs 82, no. 1 (January 2006): 121-148. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed February 21, 2014). Bennoune, Karima. "Terror/Torture." Berkeley

The Morality of Torture Essay

1348 words - 5 pages , any behavior is acceptable. It has been proven by organizations such as Human Rights Watch, United States Institute of Peace and The Crimes of War Project that legitimizing torture, even on a small scale, or any form of cruel treatment brings the principles and ethics that society is based on down. Especially if the U.S. uses it because to the rest of the world we are looked up to as the most law-biding nation, yet we bend the rules to fit each

Michael Levin's The Case for Torture

1165 words - 5 pages correct thing to do, because it ensures the good of the people. While his argument would be plausible in a utilitarian society, it is formidable within the cultural ideals of America as democratic societies typically tend to obscure techniques that violate natural rights and or ethics. Hence, Levin works excessively in order to convince his audience of his position. He uses three extreme, hypothetical examples in which torture may be necessary

Torture in Abu Ghraib

1599 words - 6 pages supervise and approved the use of torture on prison detainees. Maintaining that psychologists have a professional obligation to abhor violence and espouse the fundamental premise of medical ethics. Conclusion Finally, after the tragedy of 9/11 the use of torture has remained one of ongoing debate in both the academia field and political field. In recent years proposals to amend the use of torture was proposed by Senator McCain, however the bill was

The Issue of Ethical Torture

2102 words - 8 pages job to train its people, and, by the nature of mankind, this training may only be accomplished through punishment. Should criminals be subjected to torture for the gathering of information? Thomas Hickey, author of Clashing Views in Criminal Justice, explains that this view would answer “yes”. Man can be persuaded to give information through means of pain (375-381). Rebecca Evans, author of The Ethics of Torture, gives light to the view that

Torturing For a Confession

1176 words - 5 pages it is by torturing the perpetrator, is seen as a violation of the human rights. Another speculation is that torture is morally wrong and does not comply with the ethics that our parents taught us as children. Also, it is difficult to resolve this dilemma since it affects us in many ways. It is left to the public to decide whether it is the right thing to do in life or death situations. Throughout history, torture has been present since the

What is the Right Response to Terrorism?

1997 words - 8 pages and defence policies after 9/11, which became very aggressive, proves that citizens simply wanted to avenge. Since it is evident that emotionality is not the right path, torture cannot be justified because of other threats. It has to be addressed in a rational way. Ethics Most value systems evaluate torture immoral because of the sufferance that inflicts to other human beings. For example, European countries, and their fundamental philosophical

Guantanamo Bay: A Place of Pain

1009 words - 5 pages One of the few things we are supposed to be able to trust in is our government. However, as the years go by, we are faced with more ethical debates than ever on the actions led by our government. After 9/11, President Bush started the campaign for ‘The War on Terror’ and sanctioned the use of torture at Guantanamo Bay, calling it necessary in the time of terror and war (citation). Even though President Obama’s most promising campaign goals for

Medieval torture and inquisition

1849 words - 7 pages Running head: MEDIEVAL HERESY AND INQUISITION TORTURE 1MEDIEVAL HERESY AND INQUISITION TORTUREMedieval Heresy and Inquisition TortureThe Catholic Church was worried. Was the devil stealing people's souls? How would you know? So, to fight the devil the church founded a new court. The Inquisition. The Inquisition were those priests whose job it was to find and punish anyone who was against the church or working with the devil. When the sins of the

Analysis of Michael Levin´s Article The Case of Torture

1087 words - 5 pages Michael Levin's article on "The Case for Torture." is an article which mainly discusess the use of torture as necessary and important in order to safeguard the lives of the many innocents and society and, is justifiable. In one of his examples, he verbally states that the mass murder of millions of an innocent crowd by a terrorist justifies the use an act of torture to stop such a brutal and barbaric act. This is a question of ethics

Ethics

1163 words - 5 pages are condemned in others, such as polygamy, sexism, racism, torture, etc. These differences can cause us to question if there are any universal ethical principles or if morality is a matter of cultural taste. Across societies, the differences in moral practices can raise very important issues in international business ethics (relativism). An example of two differences would be India and the West based on informality and family members

Similar Essays

The Ethics Of Torture Essay

1439 words - 6 pages conditional. In addition, by saying that torture is ethical when x y and z happen, means that the consequences of torture are being used to judge torture’s morality. However, this is problematic because it goes against Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative; and therefore by definition, it is irrational. Ethics must be absolutes; if they are conditional then returning justice is impossible. In order to see this irrationality the notion of Good Will and the

The Ethics Of Torture Essay

1607 words - 6 pages have all been inconclusive. With two perspectives left, the case either for or against torture regarding morals and ethics both are looking grim. The theory of Virtue Ethics states that an action is morally right if a completely virtuous person would do said action. (Jason 6.7; 1) Because we do not have a list of all virtues we cannot say specifically how a completely virtuous person would act. Let us therefore assume that said person has all

Torture Or Not To Torture Essay

899 words - 4 pages 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 imprisoned terrorist based off the amount of benefits for the given amount of people. Since utilitarianism “is concerned with maximizing the benefits for the maximum number of people” (Holmes, 2007

The Torture Myth, By Anne Applebaum

1009 words - 4 pages person. I have been unable to deliberate on the appropriate alternative method for this particular dilemma. When it comes to the topic of torture, the popular attitude is that it is sometimes required. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of ethics and efficiency. Whereas some are convinced that it is an effective policy, others maintain that it is not successful practice. To further support the stance that the torture