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Unformatted text preview: PHM 2204 Fall, 2007 David Copp Lecture 20 TORTURE AND LEGAL REFORM: DERSHOWITZ ON TORTURE WARRANTS 1. The Morality of Torture * The interesting question: Are there circumstances that have actually obtained, or that political leaders reasonably should anticipate and plan for , in which torture would be morally permissible? (a) Benthamite act-consequentialism (AC): Denies there are any moral rights. * The question becomes whether despite the uncertainties and the low probability of success torturing someone would in some cases be the best means to promote good consequences overall. * ISSUE: few people consistently hold that there are no moral rights at all. * AC views torturing an innocent as equivalent to torturing a terrorist (b) Assume that there are some moral rights (human rights) one such right would plausibly be a right not to be tortured. * Two central issues: (i) What is the content of the right is it qualified in various ways? (ii) Is the right overridden morally by consequentialist considerations in certain relevant kinds of circumstances despite the uncertainties and the low probability of success?...
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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.
- Spring '07