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Terrorism, Ticking Time-Bombs, and TortureA Philosophical Analysis$
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Fritz Allhoff

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226014838

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226014821.001.0001

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Should We Torture in Ticking-Time-Bomb Cases?

Should We Torture in Ticking-Time-Bomb Cases?

(p.113) 6 Should We Torture in Ticking-Time-Bomb Cases?
Terrorism, Ticking Time-Bombs, and Torture

Fritz Allhoff

University of Chicago Press

This chapter contains a normative reply to the question: Is it morally permissible to torture in ticking-time-bomb cases? This question is trickier than it looks for the simple reason that there is a myriad of moral theories, and different theories may yield different answers. An ineffective strategy of amelioration in this regard would be to try to defend one moral theory against its rivals, both because that would take us too far afield and because such a defense would not be very convincing. No matter how well utilitarianism is defended by the author against deontologist friends—or vice versa—none of the parties ever seems swayed. Rather than staking the chances on those prospects, he proposes something else.

Keywords:   moral theories, utilitarianism, deontologist, normative reply, ticking-time-bomb cases

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