The inconsistency between their hedonistic act utilitarianism and their commitment to torturing only the guilty only to extract information is magnified by the following consideration.
Perhaps torturing art thieves and innocent relatives (as a deterrent to terrorists) would maximize utility, however, to do so would be inconsistent with the formula (saving art is not saving lives, and to extract information by torture is not necessarily to deter others).
Parts of this essay have also appeared (in some version or other) as: "Three Fallacies of Torture," Free Inquiry 26 (December 2005/ January 2006): 49-50; "The Moral Justifiability of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment," International Journal of Applied Philosophy 19 (2005): 161-178; and "Torturing Profession," Business & Professional Ethics Journal 25 (January 2006, forthcoming).]
(38) What about the example of children torturing insects (mentioned earlier)?
One set of prerequisites is clear, however: the determination of fellow human beings to get the facts of torture out into world consciousness and to press torturing governments to stop it once and for all.
Can any realist reasonably argue from the facts that the Marcos regime in the Philippines or the Botha regime in South Africa is gaining security by torturing more and more people into insanity in their prisons?
Again, Conroy offhandedly mentions numerous examples close to home--including police in New York City and New Orleans, who were convicted of torturing
prisoners in the 1980s, and a systematic pattern of harassment by police K9 units in Los Angeles in the '90s.
prisons "will inevitably encourage prison authorities--including those in torturing
states--to do likewise," says Wood, who believes the chances are very high that the belt will eventually be used for torture.
The officer had no problem with Burge allegedly torturing
guilty suspects; the officer had a problem only when Burge allegedly tortured innocent suspects.