The Morality of Torturing Terrorists and Criminals
Webcast Q&A: Sunday, 18 September 2011, Question 1
In the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on 18 September 2011, I answered a question on the morality of torturing terrorists and criminals.
Is it moral to torture criminals and/or terrorists? We supposedly were able to track down Osama Bin Laden with information obtained by torturing captured Al Qaeda prisoners. Is it moral to torture criminals, terrorists or other evildoers to gain useful information to fight crime or help win a war? If so, should there be any limits on when and how torture should be used by the government?
My Answer, In Brief: Torture can be moral, but only in clearly-defined contexts of defending against aggressors. The tricky question is whether it's an effective method or not for extracting information.
- Download: MP3 Segment
- Duration: 21:17
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About Philosophy in Action Radio
I'm Dr. Diana Hsieh. I'm a philosopher specializing the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My dissertation defended moral responsibility and moral judgment against the doubts raised by Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck."
My radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer four meaty questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Wednesday evenings, I interview an expert guest about a topic of practical importance.
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