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Fighting Hurt – Rule and Exception in Torture and War - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Fighting Hurt: Rule and Exception in Torture and War

Henry Shue


Some of our most fundamental moral rules are violated by the practices of torture and war. If one considers the concrete forms these practices take, torture can never be justified in any actual circumstances whatsoever. The practice of torture has nothing significant in common with the ticking bomb scenario often used in its defence, and weak US statutes have loop-holes for psychological torture of the kind favoured by CIA in the ‘war against terrorism’. For as long as wars are in fact fought, it is morally urgent to limit specific destructive practices that cannot be prohibited. Two possible ... More

Keywords: torture, war, ticking bomb scenario, International Humanitarian Law, Jeff McMahan, Michael Walzer, weapons of mass destruction

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780198767626
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198767626.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Henry Shue, author
Senior Research Fellow, Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford; and Senior Research Fellow Emeritus, Merton College, Oxford

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