The ‘ticking time bomb’ scenario poses a good argument that solidifies the merit of hedonic act utilitarianism and how it plays at our understanding of what could be morally permissible given the circumstances. …
Many proponents against torture focus on the absolutist requirement that it should not be permitted under any circumstance and that enforcing torture given the possibility that the person to be tortured is innocent or that he does not have the information needed fails to give a concrete argument on the other side of the what if question. Deductively, what if he is not totally innocent or that he truly does have the information and there are others whose lives are at risk. Founding on the singular basis of Kantian formula of humanity undermines the correlation of impending critical decisions at crossroads in favor of moral predispositions. The “ticking time bomb thought experiment” presents a direct and unfaltering inquiry on our appreciation of utilitarianism and thus supposes that the second premise, “it is not morally permissible to torture the terrorist” is false. Sussman presents a perceptive description on the effect of torture and the existing relationship between the victims of torture and the tormentor as being one of passivity as the suffering and its inherent pain brings the person to a state where he no longer has control of his body and emotions brought about by sheer pain and fear. In the book, “Torture: When the Unthinkable is Morally Permissible,” suggests what the very title given by the authors mean. Bagaric, Mirko and Clarke provided for five variables that must be present to make torture morally permissible....
Additionally, if there are little to no other means to acquire information as discussed in the third variable, harm may be brought upon him in any form but maintaining the lowest possible degree of torture and pain towards him (Bagaric, Mirko and Clarke 34-35). In contradiction to this stance, Jeff McMahan maintains that torture must be prohibited without classification. That the use of torture is more abused by those who proliferate unjust means and that even the government cannot be trusted to be cautious in their use of torture, however noble their intentions are. McMahan affirms that to think that any government, no matter how civilized or democratic, could be trustworthy enough to be tasked to carry out torture to prevent terrorist activities and other such threats is nothing short of delusional. In this discussion, the author does not fail to mention notorious and well-known incidents such as the Guantamo Bay and Abu Ghraib torture controversies where the prisoners were subjected to inhumane acts of torture. “Throughout human history, torture has been very extensively employed, but the proportion of cases in which the use appears to have been morally justified seems almost negligible” (McMahan 125). This argument illustrates realistic and current predilection toward the abolishment of torture as guaranteed by international and local laws but it does not address in any material way the ticking bomb predicament. McMahan deviates from negating the permissible morality aspect of hedonic act utilitarianism by raising contentions founded on barbarism and human dignity (McMahan 111) and instead focuses on torture abolition base on factual relevance of its ineffectiveness but it nevertheless falls short on concluding how ...
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