David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Religious Ethics 40 (1):26-51 (2012)
I offer an argument for why torture, as an act of state-sponsored force to gain information crucial to the well-being of the common good, should be considered as a tactic of war, and therefore scrutinized in terms of just war theory. I argue that, for those committed to the justifiability of the use of force, most of the popular arguments against all acts of torture are unpersuasive because the logic behind them would forbid equally any act of mutilating or killing in battle. I will also argue that looking at torture through the perspective of the just war tradition forces us to place strictures on the practice that make it hard to justify, helps us to see why torture should never be legalized, helps us to clarify when circumstances might justify torture, and suggests what sort of character is required to recognize when those circumstances have occurred
|Keywords||law virtue ethics Christian ethics just war tradition human dignity torture|
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R. M. Hare (1963). Freedom and Reason. Oxford, Clarendon Press.
John McDowell (1979). Virtue and Reason. The Monist 62 (3):331-350.
Barrie Paskins & Michael Walzer (1981). Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations. Philosophical Quarterly 31 (124):285.
David Sussman (2005). What's Wrong with Torture? Philosophy and Public Affairs 33 (1):1–33.
Michael Walzer (1973). Political Action: The Problem of Dirty Hands. Philosophy and Public Affairs 2 (2):160-180.
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