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A further adverse consequence of allowing torture in some cases is the impact it would have upon the judicial system. Just as the corners of a triangle tell us all there is to know about its shape, so extreme cases help us read our moral compass.
This intuition may help you decide but, even after integrating the moral relevance of family, it still violates the deontological constraint of treating torture as a universal moral wrong: after all, your intuition might be quite different if the "bastard" were your son and the captive girl the past killer of your daughter.
These arguments lead me to believe that torture is unjustifiable, even in extreme cases. It is beyond dispute that an ethical code that advises us to lie to the dying child can be sound.
We have lots of happy customers from all over the world, including the UK! The kidnapping story is identical except in one key aspect: the temptation of a code. It stems from a confusion between morals and ethical codes, ie, between moral principles and the decision processes by which we make moral choices.
Torture is defined as the intentional use of pain or abuse to gain an advantage over an individual. If, indeed, our only choice is between two acts that are immoral, these two rules alone won't tell us what to do. In particular, the assumption that torture will produce accurate information is deeply flawed as it can provide no measure for truth and cannot distinguish the guilty from the innocent.
Sophie is given a choice: to kill one of her two children or have both of them killed. My rejection of an ethical code appeals to an existentialist intuition. After explaining the scenario and the deontological and consequentialist approaches to it, I will discuss its flaws.