Extracting the Confession from a Confession
July 8, 2008 § 8 Comments
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone in the comboxes of a Catholic blog claim something like the following:
Yes, the Magisterium’s statements on torture make it inescapably clear that torture to extract a confession is always and intrinsically immoral. But that still leaves open the idea that torture to extract life-saving information might be morally licit.
That makes me wonder just what ‘life saving information’ they have in mind, if it isn’t “I confess that we hid the ticking bomb at these coordinates”. Does this mean it is only OK to torture an innocent bystander who happens to know where the bomb is, as long as he wasn’t involved in planting it, because then he isn’t confessing to his own crime?