PHM 2204 Lecture 19

PHM 2204 Lecture 19 - PHM 2204 David Copp Fall 2007 Lecture 19 MICHAEL WALZER ON TORTURE AND"DIRTY HANDS 1 Three Arguments to Show that Torture is

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PHM 2204 Fall, 2007 David Copp Lecture 19 MICHAEL WALZER ON TORTURE AND “DIRTY HANDS” 1. Three Arguments to Show that Torture is Sometimes Permissible These arguments are intended to apply to the US situation in the “war on terror” A: Argument from Just War Theory . [1] It is morally permissible to kill enemy combatants in war (under certain circumstances specified in Just War theory). [2] It is morally worse to kill someone than to torture that person. Therefore [3] It is morally permissible to torture an enemy combatant (under the corresponding circumstances). Henry Shue’s reply: An enemy combatant must be captured in order to be tortured, and just war theory does not permit killing prisoners of war (much less torturing them). B: Argument from Ticking Bomb Examples [1] There are possible “ticking bomb cases” in which (a) a bomb will kill thousands unless it is defused and we know this; (b) there is no possibility of evacuation and we know this; (c) the suspect knows the location of the bomb and how to defuse it, and we know he knows; (d) we can get the relevant information from the suspect if and only if we torture him, and we know this; (e) those who do the torturing will use the minimum necessary force and will succeed in getting the information, and we know this; etc. [2] It would be morally permissible to torture a suspect in such a case just to the
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This note was uploaded on 05/31/2008 for the course PHM 2204 taught by Professor Copp during the Spring '07 term at University of Florida.

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PHM 2204 Lecture 19 - PHM 2204 David Copp Fall 2007 Lecture 19 MICHAEL WALZER ON TORTURE AND"DIRTY HANDS 1 Three Arguments to Show that Torture is

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