Police officers have to promote security and ensure the safety of the populations they serve. A threat to the public such as a bomb planted somewhere in downtown Vancouver is a critical security threat. Responding to such a scenario will require a tactical approach to facilitate an outcome that will resolve the dilemma. Torturing the individual to disclose the location of the bomb is an infringement of rights. However, the decision is logic as it will enable police officers to enhance individuals’ safety.
Selecting between upholding morality by acknowledging the perpetrators’ rights and violating them is a challenge. However, according to Aristotle …“ virtue is a state of character concerned with a choice; the mean relative to us, this being determined by a rational principle, and by that principle by which the man of practical wisdom would determine it (6)”. Thus, the action of planting an explosive undermines the social contract ideology of agreement to coexist with others freely. Given the number of lives at risk, it is acceptable to “strongly encourage” the terrorist to divulge the bomb’s location.
Deciding to torture the perpetrator is on the basis that a tough choice is necessary to enable law enforcement agents to locate and diffuse the explosive on time. Aristotle asserts that … “he who stands his ground against things that are terrible and delights in this or at least is not pained is brave, while the pained man is a coward (3).” Therefore, inflicting punishment by means that bring suffering is a kind of cure. Hence, while the action may not qualify as right, it is a means to an end.
Overall, a police officer has to make difficult choices when faced with a dilemma. The bomb planted in Vancouver city is a critical security threat. Although torturing the man violates an individual’s rights, the action will enable the officers to safeguards public safety. Thus, it is justified to interrogate the terrorist for crucial information.
Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics Book II. Translated by W. D. Ross (1998), The Internet Classics Archive, 2009.