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Suppose Torture “Works . . .”

February 3, 2017

John Schwenkler argues that torture is anti-Christian whether it works or not. Read the essay at First Things.

It is a central principle of the Christian ethic that one must not do evil that good may come. That ethic does not require us to ignore the consequences of our actions, since it allows that some generally bad things—such as root canals—may in some cases be made good by their consequences. Yet it does require us to accept that there are some ways of acting that we can identify as evil no matter their consequences, and must bravely eschew even when bad consequences threaten. Torture is one of these. Calling it by its name should be a first step toward demanding that it not be done.

 

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