Due to recent occurrences in history, the U. S. has found itself in various situations where serious questions have arisen about the way that we treat our prisoners of war. The question has been posed: should we torture someone if it means that we will gain information that will protect a large number of people? A person with a utilitarian view might suggest that because the torture would bring about the right information that would save many people, it would be ok to torture someone.
This view holds that any action is good if it is beneficial to the majority of the people involved in the question. Furthermore, a person who believes in Kantian duty-based ethics might say that the torturing of any individual would be wrong in any circumstance. A person with this type of view would answer this way because they believe that the result of the information being gathered from the torture would not justify the wrong act of torturing someone and that the act of torture is wrong because of the motive of the torturer.
This is because a person who believes in Kantian duty-based ethics contends that right and wrong is not based upon the actions of the one performing the torture but rather the motive behind the action, which would appear to be good but in reality would be wrong because of the desire to hurt another person. In addition, a person who believes in virtue ethics would question the character of the people performing the torture and determine whither the action is right or wrong based on if the person had right or wrong motives.
Lastly, a person who believes in Christian-principle based ethics would argue that it is always wrong to torture people in any situation. I believe that this theory is the strongest and most appropriate. Even thought the act of torturing someone in some cases could potentially help to protect a large number of people, the fact is its wrong. I don’t believe that we should fight evil with evil. Rather, I believe that there are many other options that we can take up in the fight against terror and evil that don’t involve compromising on our values.