Torture: When the Unthinkable is Morally Permissible

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SUNY Press, May 24, 2007 - Philosophy - 128 pages
The “war on terror” has brought the subject of torture to the forefront of public attention. In contrast to other discussions that focus narrowly on the practice of torture, and condemn it under any and all circumstances, Mirko Bagaric and Julie Clarke argue that to take this position is to live in a moral vacuum. The subject of torture causes our emotions to conflict with our reason. When we have a choice between saving the life of an innocent person, and not harming a terrorist or other wrongdoer, it is indecent to absolutely prefer the interests of the wrongdoer. In contrast, they propose a moral standard where each individual’s interest counts equally. Within this standard, the ostensibly brutal act of torture may be permissible if it has the potential to achieve compassionate outcomes in the form of saving innocent lives.

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User Review  - Pauntley - LibraryThing

The literature on torture is extensive and conflicted over the question whether torture is ever morally or legally justifiable. So far as the law is concerned, torture is forbidden by international ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

At Deakin University in Australia, Mirko Bagaric is Professor of Law and Julie Clarke is Lecturer in Law. Bagaric’s books include How to Live: Being Happy and Dealing with Moral Dilemmas and Clarke’s include (with P. Clarke and N. Courmadias) Butterworths Casebook Companions-Contract Law.

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