Torture Against Prisoners Of The United States Essay

1119 Words Nov 16th, 2015 null Page
The Useless Brute Historically, States have used torture for everything from fear-mongering to legal punishments. In the modern United States, debate on the usage of torture by the State has focused on the morality of using torture to extract information, generally from terrorists or suspected terrorists held in US, or allied, custody. However, there are no realistic scenarios in which the application of torture against prisoners of the United States is ethically permissible. One of the more common scenarios devised by proponents of the usage of torture is the Ticking Time Bomb, which posits that there is a time bomb which a terrorist in US custody has the information necessary to defuse. From a Utilitarian perspective, it might look like this would be a good case for the use of torture. If torturing a prisoner saved any number of people then because more people are being helped then harmed it would be moral. Indeed, in an article arguing for the use of torture, Krauthammer remarks that it is a moral duty to torture to save innocents and, moreover, that this is a realistic scenario that the Israelis have faced (Krauthammer 20005). However, two poor assumptions are made in this scenario. First, that the prisoner who is about to be tortured is, in fact, the terrorist or at least has the necessary information, and second, that the prisoner will give up the information within whatever time limit there is on the bomb. The first is a poor assumption, because, unfortunately,…

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