The Ethical Dilemma of the Mad Bomber
South Tama High School
This paper will be discussing the classic mad bomber scenario. If you are unfamiliar with it, it goes like this. A man has threatened to detonate several explosives in very populated shopping areas.. He has been taken into custody; however the bombs have already been placed and are scheduled to blow up soon. Because of where these bombs are placed, people will most likely die. The man has not given up the location during interrogation, and is exercising his Fifth Amendment right to refuse to speak until his lawyer arrives.
One of your colleagues has suggested torture, due to the severity of the situation. Torture is, of course, illegal, but your colleague is desperate.
Before we can discuss torture, there are a few things a person must know.
From section 2340 of the penal code of the United States federal government: torture is defined as an act committed by an officer of the law intended to cause severe physical or mental pain and suffering. Severe mental pain and suffering is the protracted mental harm ensuing from
· the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or
· the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;
· the threat of imminent death; or
· the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to any of these
methods. (18 U.S.C § 2340)
On March 5th, 2009, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) voted to open an investigation into the use of torture by the CIA. On December 9th, 2014, the SSCI released 525 of the 6000 pages....
... middle of paper ...
...o idea of what was lurking beneath the surface of him. Does that make it okay to torture her? Does it make it okay to bring harm to an innocent woman, who you have no proof of involvement, not even a suspicion, so long as you are saving other innocent lives?
Is it okay to play God, and decide whose life is worth more than another’s?
Feinstein, D. (2014). The Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture: Committee study of the Central Intelligence Agency 's Detention and Interrogation Program.
Locke, J. (1690). Second treatise of government (10th ed.). London: The Project Gutenberg
Heritage Foundation. (2012, January 9). The Heritage Guide to The Constitution. Retrieved November 4, 2015
U.S. Declaration of Independence, Paragraph 2 (1776).
Virtue. (n.d.). Retrieved November 4, 2015, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/virtue
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