Some of our most influential public intellectuals are debating whether the United States should torture or not — and it’s a fascinating and important argument, because so much is at stake for the principles of our nation. Here’s a series of arguments for those wanting a more in-depth, philosophical debate about the issue.
Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer recently wrote in the Weekly Standard that torture is sometimes useful and might be necessary in extreme situations (the ticking time bomb scenario) and we should therefore regulate it in our laws; fellow conservative Andrew Sullivan â€” one of the blogosphere’s severest critics of the administration’s torture policy â€” responds here.
And Slate magazine founder Michael Kinsley weighs in with another rejoinder to Krauthammer. He argues that “morality does not require us to build a general policy on torture around a situation that is not merely unlikely in real life, but different in kind from the situations we are likely to face in real life. What we would do or should do if this situation actually arose is an interesting question for bull sessions in the dorm, but not a pressing issue for the nation.”
Posted by Randy Scholfield
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