Should Torture be Permissible?
Michael Levin's, The Case for Torture, expresses the opinions that, "There are situations in where torture is not only permissible, but morally mandatory (The Case for Torture, 115). Levin discusses how enlightened societies reject torture, and how other regimes fear the wrath of the United States if they are suspected of using it. However, he does not agree with this attitude. With these mandatory situations for torture, "moving from the realm of imagination to fact (115), we must realize torture is a weapon. It is a weapon meant to help us with the war on terrorism. Levin asks us, "If you caught the terrorist, could you sleep nights, knowing that millions died because you could not bring yourself to apply the electrodes? (115). Most of the population, could not deal with this. As Levin states, "Torturing the terrorist is unconstitutional? Probably. But millions of lives surely outweigh constitutionality. Torture is barbaric? Mass murder is far more barbaric (115). The proper actions must be taken in these situations. After reading Levin's, The Case for Torture, I can concede that torture is justified in extreme cases, and the use of torture is a matter of balancing innocent lives against the means needed to save them.
"Letting millions of innocents die in deference to one who flaunts his guilt is moral cowardice, an unwillingness to dirty one's hands (115). I agree with Levin's statement here. If torture can be used to protect the innocent, then there should be no hesitation in ones decision to use it. The risk of millions of people dying because our government is not willing to use torture as an ally, makes them just as cowardice as the terrorist. In extreme cases, radical measures must be taken to solve the problem. If this includes hurting a terrorist to protect the lives of millions or just one life, then it should be done.