Write a 2 pages paper on arguments of Charles Krauthammer on utilitarianism. “Arguments of Charles Krauthammer on Utilitarianism” Introduction In relation to the study of ethics, Utilitarianism is very much focused on classifying an action to be either right or wrong action depending on the end-result or the consequences of the act (California Baptist University). For many years, Charles Krauthammer – a well-known critique and a Washington Post columnist, remained focused on discussing issues related to foreign and domestic policy and politics. (Washingtonpost)
Upon examining Krauthammer’s personal view on sensitive issues like torture. Krauthammer’s arguments on torture in relation to utilitarianism will be thoroughly discussed. Eventually, whether or not the student agree with Krauthammer’s argument will be explained.
Krauthammer’s Argument on Torture
With regards to the issue on ‘torture’, Charles Krauthammer argues that utilitarianism behind torturing a person highly depends on the situation. For instance, torturing a person for no reason at all can be considered as something that is wrong or immoral. However, given that the situation is to choose between torturing a terrorist person who intentionally implanted a bomb with the purpose of killing thousands of people, Krauthammer argued that torturing the terrorist is the best thing to do in order to save the lives of the majority who are innocent individuals. For this reason, he concludes that “torture is not always impermissible” (Shelly).
Upon evaluating and equally judging the overall welfare of the people who are directly involved or affected with the action of whether or not to legally accept the act of torturing a terrorist person who has implanted a bomb, I agree with Krauthammer’s argument on the issue of torture in the sense that it would be best to torture one person who has a negative intention to hurt thousands of people by implanting a bomb than to let go of the bad person in exchange of losing thousands of life.
Upon weighing pleasure and pain of allowing the implanted bomb to explode and kill thousands of people with the pleasure and pain of torturing the terrorist who implanted the bomb, the amount of pain will be so much greater than the pain that will result out of torturing the terrorist man who implanted the bomb.
When we talk about utility, we are actually referring to an act which could result to ‘greatest happiness’. Based on the greatest happiness principle, it is right to do action that will promote happiness as a consequence of the act and wrong if the action could cause unhappiness (The University of Adelaide Library). Happiness means people should enjoy the benefit of having pleasure rather than feeling pain.
Considering this point-of-view, utilitarianism argues that torturing the person who has a bad intention to hurt thousands of people as a way to protect the lives of thousands of people could temporarily raise mixed emotions among the people but is more likely to bring them happiness and relief from a possible pain as compared with a situation wherein the man with a negative intention was left to be free and untortured.
Utilitarianism on the issue of torture acknowledges the act of torturing a terrorist man who implanted a bomb to kill thousands of people as something that is morally right but not the act of torturing someone without a reason at all.
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“California Baptist University.” 2008. Utilitarianism. 25 September 2008 .
Shelly, Dane. “Institute for Global Engagement.” 19 April 2006. Why Torture is Naturally Wrong. 25 September 2008 .
“The University of Adelaide Library.” 2008. Chapter 2 – What Utilitarianism Is. 25 September 2008 .
“Washington post.” 2008a. Charles Krauthammer. 25 September 2008 .