TICKING BOMBS AND TORTURE WARRANTS*

JOHN KLEINIG

Abstract


[The ‘ticking bomb’ argument is frequently advanced to justify the use of torture. But its terms can be taken either as setting the bar too high to jus- tify any actual torture or alternatively as opening the door to torture in other cases as well. The paper explores both uses of the argument but sug- gests that any official sanctioning of torture is likely to erode moral con- straints on its use. There are reasons why torture is special and, even if it will continue to occur, it should not be officially countenanced. This in- cludes the use of torture warrants, supposedly intended to limit the fre- quency and severity of torture.] 


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21153/dlr2005vol10no2art295

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