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Saturday, January 22, 2005

A Question of Balance

You'll never know the answers unless you ask the questions Michael Levin comments here in answer to the question, "Is it ever right to torture someone?" Here is just one of the provocative answers he got:
"Here are the results of an informal poll about a third, hypothetical, case. Suppose a terrorist group kidnapped a newborn baby from a hospital. I asked four mothers if they would approve of torturing kidnappers if that were necessary to get their own newborns back. All said yes, the most "liberal" adding that she would like to administer it herself."
You'd have to wonder what kind of mother would come up with a different answer... Of course, in a society where "mothers–in–waiting" kill their unborn babies, and their co-belligerants in the war against civilization rail against the execution of convicted murderers, there might be some "mothers" who would answer differently. Just read Levin's whole argument in "The Case for Torture". (ht Instapundit for the link to Stalking the Wild Taboo, whence came the link to Levin's article.)