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Week 2 Notes

by: Hannah Notetaker

Week 2 Notes Philosophy 252

Hannah Notetaker

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About this Document

These notes cover the torture discussions for the second week of class.
Contemporary Moral Problems
Adam Cureton
Class Notes
Torture, laws, Government, Morals, ethics, Deontology, Utilitarian
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hannah Notetaker on Sunday September 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Philosophy 252 at University of Tennessee - Knoxville taught by Adam Cureton in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Contemporary Moral Problems in Philosophy at University of Tennessee - Knoxville.

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Date Created: 09/04/16
Torture What is Torture? -pain: torture involves inflicting some form of it whether it is shown by creating a stressful state, imposing fear, shame, disgust etc. -intentional: you can’t accidentally torture someone -aim is not mutual: when you torture someone in that situation they do not share your same end goal -social setting: the victim must be at the complete and total mercy of the person tormenting them Types -Terroristic: intimidating -Sadistic: create a feeling of dominance -Interrogational: trying to make someone betray their loyalties Is it Right? -categorical imperative: unconditional way of reasoning that we must always follow Reasons why it is wrong 1. When we participate in torture we disregard the victim’s rational capacities 2. It takes away their ability to act according to their own free will Sussman believes that torture is worse than killing. What about pain? -Utilitarian view= torture is bad because of the pain -Sussman argues that causing pain is wrong because of the following: Rational capabilities are distorted by pain It no longer lets us decide for ourselves Forces someone to give up their own views due to the pain they feel Kant’s formula for humanity -respect people’s dignity When a person is tortured in effects their rational capacities It puts them in a situation of complete powerlessness and they detach from their emotions -absolute deontology: never torture Utilitarian’s view= Maximize happiness Ex: person is going to be tortured Happiness=5.8 billion Unhappiness=1.2 billion Utilitarian view says to in this case torture -Leaves people feeling uneasy -under this thought sadist could torture people, because the torturer’s happiness might be greater Ticking time bomb -Leader of a country and the only way to stop a bomb from going off somewhere in Manhattan according to phycologists is to torture the person responsible Do you do it? Problem with absolute Deontology -“Never ever” seems too definite -There are certain situations that might arise where any “morally sane” person would have to agree that torture is the way to go and violate this principle Restricted could be the answer -this might be our way to find the exceptions to the rule -seems like a good in between -The problem is…the slippery slope What is you took your minimum number of people that you would need for it to be ok in your mind and subtracted 1? Would you allow that person to be tortured? When do we draw the line? Our moral Journey & ticking time bomb -Utilitarianism: allows torture too often -absolute deontology: seems childish and simplistic (can’t torture 1 even to save 10,000,000 lives) -restricted deontology: allows for some exceptions with no definite end Could abandon our principles entirely This thinking in relation to laws -rules, policies, and laws have to be adjusted according to the info a normal person would have Ex: using deadly force (you don’t have to watch the person be killed before taking out the threat you only have to know that they are fully intent upon killing them and that there is no other way. -What if we used the ticking time bomb example and changed it to where you only patricianly were sure that the suspect in custody was the right one? What type of rules/guidelines would you want if torture was made legal? -must be certified to be a torturer -Professionals/doctors have to be present during the torture -notify families -age>18 -Non-lethal -last resort -not able to be evidence


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