PHIL 2429 Lecture Notes - Lecture 31: Severe Torture, False Dilemma, Potassium Sulfate

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26 Dec 2016
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Torture:
1) suffering: physical/mental/long term
2) Defenseless
3) Particular aims: interrogation, confession
1) Torture can be morally justified according to steinhoff
Positive reason
Permitted
Permitted - means it's allowable - there's no reason not to do it
Justified - means there's reasons. You should do it
Excusing - it's not permitted to do it
Steinhoff says they're no difference between defensive killing and torture
A) Henry shues argument - if you can justify killing them surely you can justify torture
Says that torture is actually worse than killing
Torture requires different justification
Shue says that in defensive killing you're protecting against attack
But in torture I en duo torturing someone who's defensiveness
Steinhoff answers that he
2) sussman
Subverts agency and autonomy
Collusive against oneself
Steinhoff objects with robber example
Steinhoff says gun and torture are the same in extent
Sussman says that they're not because the way it undermines agency and
autonomy is worse in torture than robbery
Ex. Rape @ + @; robbery @ + .
3) worst than death
4) still posing a threat
Dirty Harry example
5) it doesn't work
Even if it doesn't work it's still justified in trying
6) slippery slope
Torture is prima facia bad
But there are exceptions of self defense
Against legalizing torture but that's not an absolute claim for him unlike others
No torture warrants
Prisoners/people are being tortured by police and such anyways so we should
get torture warrants so that it can be regulated and transparent - Dershowitz
Thus says we'd get less frequent and less severe torture
1) Steinhoff says an absolute ban on torture would have an overall projection on
us that brutality is bad
2) Steinhoff also says that it's already happening if it's not permitted so even if
warrants don't get it who's to say that they won't still torture
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