Should Torture Be Used to Get Information?


If someone has information that could save lives but is unwilling to reveal that information, it may be necessary to resort to torture.

Q1 Analysis

This could be a Q1 violation if:

Q2 Analysis

This is a Q2 violation if you would blame someone for torturing you if they thought it would save lives.


The torture of a terrorist to compel him to reveal the location of a bomb that will soon go off has become the stereotypical image used to argue for the use of torture in certain circumstances. Unfortunately, this relatively cut-and-dried (and highly unlikely) situation is not the only one in which torture is sometimes considered as a method of extracting information, so even those who believe that torture is sometimes justified may have difficulty rigorously defining their position.

If you believe that torture is sometimes justified, do you think it would be justified in these situations?

You also need to consider what methods of torture are moral. Are there any rules? Which (if any) of these would be allowable methods of torture? Does the reason for the torture make a difference to what methods are allowable?

You are encouraged to leave your answers to the questions posed in this post in the comments section. This post is based on an excerpt from Ask Yourself to be Moral, by D. Cancilla, available at and See the 2Q system page for details of the philosophical system mentioned in this post.

Posted on December 21, 2010 at 9:50 pm by ideclare · Permalink
In: 2Q

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