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Argument: The infliction of mere pain on an evil-minded terrorist to save millions of innocent lives is an ethical trade-off

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Argument summary

In the ticking time bomb scenario, why should we protect an evil terrorist from pain, if that pain could actually help save millions of lives? The pain of torture is not lasting, and the terrorist suspect will go on to live life. Yet, the million of lives lost if that terrorist is not tortured cannot be retrieved. As such, the terrorist should be tortured.

Supporting evidence

  • Vasko Kohlmayer. "The Case for Waterboarding". FrontPageMagazine.com. September 29, 2006 - "as far as opponents of waterboarding are concerned, I have these questions to ask: Are a few moments of a terrorist’s discomfort more important than the lives of the innocents he seeks to destroy? Are two minutes of Moussaoui’s anguish worth more than the three thousand lives lost on 9/11? Does his momentary pain override a lifetime of hurt of those left behind? If you can’t answer in the affirmative then hold your peace."

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