The morality of Torture according to Kant’s and Utilitarianism Theories

The morality of Torture according to Kant’s and Utilitarianism Theories

From many definitions given in different dictionaries across the world, torture refers becomes narrower and narrow. But the main point under each description is the concept of inflicting great pain and inducing severe mental anxiety and fear. Water-boarding according to critics is considered by the second definition, but it is not clear why it is given the first definition. But the question, in this case, is whether torture must be considered legal/right or illegal/wrong in the United States of America. Below is an illustration using two different from proving why it is crazy or tight to introduce torture when a crime occurs.

According to Kant, people should never have treated as mere instruments. They should not be treated merely just because you needed only to accomplish your goals. Kant puts it clear each human being is free beings and each of them has their goals to achieve. He gave a clear example of a tape recorder and a person. According to his argument, if one fails to get a piece of information stored in a tape recorder, they are pound to kick (Resnik, David 54). Kicking the tape my not very active or moral but at least but the tape recorder is yours.

On the other hand, if you need information from a person, you have first to connect your desire for the information they have with their goals. You need to come up with a scheme of convincing them to give you the info. From the above illustration, it is clear that torture is not right since it oppresses the person being tortured without considering their goals in life.

On the contrary, the pragmatic theory supports the concept of torture in the USA. According to the Utilitarian approach, an act is considered to be right if it brings about great good for the significant number. Take for instance an individual who has kidnapped a kid, and they leave the child alone to die, and it is essential for you to retrieve information from the individual. It could be recommended that such an individual is tortured for them to give out the information that could save the child in question (Harris, Lyndsey, and Rachel Monaghan 487). Another good example is torture that is aimed at uncovering a terrorist plot. Such torture is meant to save many lives something that Utilitarian doctrine supports.

The above remarks only work with Utilitarian acts. To ensure that the theory is effectively applied, some set laws and regulations must use to ensure that the people being exposed to torture meets the threshold of being subjected to torture. According to research, if the rules are adopted and applied effectively, the use of the Utilitarian theory will be useful and will result in the greatest good for the most significant number. If laws are not implemented against torture, it might be limiting the number of kidnapping and terrorism something that still supports torture.

In conclusion, utilitarian and Kantians do meet at one point. They end up supporting the same idea. According to observation, utilitarian also looks at the highest good of society. That is why it has stood up to come up with strict rules to ensure that torture is not the only option. The rules are set forth to ensure that not everyone who is a criminal is subjected to torture. At this point Utilitarianism directly supports the Kant’s theory that argues that none should be treated as a mere instrument or device, each one has a right to their goals, and the retrieve of the information will be in such a way that the individual’s goals are protected from violation.



Works Citing

Resnik, David B. “Moral Theory.” The Ethics of Research with Human Subjects. Springer,                     Cham, 2018. 53-85.

Harris, Lyndsey, and Rachel Monaghan. “Ethics and human rights in counterterrorism.”      Routledge Handbook of Terrorism and Counterterrorism (2018): 483-492