"The Case for Torture" - Toulmin Diagram

cl.m      "There are situations in which torture is not merely permissible but morally mandatory [to save lives]."    

grm1  / cl1a       torture is justified in example 1 (the A-bomber).

   gr1a   millions would die.

               w1a   the lives of millions are more important than the "rights" of one criminal.


grm2 /  cl2b       torture is justified in examples 2 (jumbo jet) and 3 (mothers).

   gr2b   only difference from example 1 is the numbers involved are smaller.

   w2b   "we should balance the innocent lives against the means needed to save them."  [ OR comparison warrant ]


w.m /  w1a and w2b      =  the needs of the many outweigh the "rights" of the few [deduction/value].  OR

 [ example warrant - These are representative, relevant examples.]


q.  [ "There are situations "]  i.e. in some cases.



r.  torture should not be used for punishment or to gain confessions (and only if the torture subject is known to hold lives in his hands).


b.   b1a            [The reader's feelings in response to example 1]       OR

utilitarian ethics - The good of the many outweighs the good of the few.

b2b       the mothers poll which supports the w. that the good of the young outweighs the good of the criminal.

bm1      "... if the individual is all that important ... it is correspondingly important to protect the rights of [many] individuals threatened by terrorists."

bm2      "... precedents are assassination and preemptive attack." *



  • Depending on how you look at the article you could consider bm2 another ground for the main claim.


 Last updated 10/6/2005