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Unformatted text preview: 4-19-11
Do we have a right not to be tortured?
• United nations universal Declaration of Human Rights – Article 5
o No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment
• US Constitution – Amendment 8
o Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor
cruel and unusual punishments inflicted
Are there any limits to the amount of force that can be used in times of war?
• “War is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfill our will.”
(Von Clausewitz, 400)
• There are no limits to the amount of force that can be used in war
• Restraint and concerns about cruelty place unnecessary limitations on states
What is torture?
• “Torture… is where a person is made to suffer any violent pain of body in order to
compel him to do something or to desist from doing something.” (Bentham, 405)
• What are forms of torture that are commonly used?
• Are sleep deprivation and water-boarding torture? Solitary confinement?
When is torture justified?
• When the person tortured definitely has the power to act in a way that is in the
public interest, so that as long as he suffers he is sure not to be innocent.
• When the person tortured likely, but not definitely has the power to act in the
public interest, and therefore, may be innocent, but the threat is great enough to
justify the suffering of even an innocent person
• Are there any other cases in which we think torture is justified?
How far can torture go?
• Is there anything that is off limits? Anyone?
What are some drawbacks of torture?
• Violates the categorical imperative
• Torturing the innocent
• Would a virtuous person torture others?
• What kind of person would torture others?
• What kind of person would torture others? If torturing someone were your job, do
you think there would be any harmful effect? ...
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- Spring '12