Aristotle's View Of Torture

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The act of torture is deeply rooted in justice as it can serve as an either a means or an end, so in order us to draw a conclusion by both philosopher thoughts on the matter. We must first focus our attention to the concept of justice. Once we have determined each philosopher outlook justice we can then properly assess whether torture is just or unjust and if is condemned or accepted by either philosopher.
We can begin by looking at Aristotle views which as describe in Book II of Nicomachean Ethics, are centered on the idea that being “happy” is the ultimate end and that in this, ultimate end is brought up by virtuous acts. Aristotle then goes on to state that a persons’ life would essentially be meaningless unless there was not a constant
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Aristotle devotes Book V in the Nicomachean Ethics to the topic of Justice, he states that “Moreover, justice is a complete virtue to the highest degree because it is the complete exercise of complete virtue… the person who has justice is able to exercise virtue in relation to another not only in what concerns himself” (V.1, p. 69). With this, we can see that Aristotle holds justice as one of the highest virtues, because in considers not only oneself but others, which can help us begin to form a conclusion on how Aristotle would view torture in general. However, there could be different reasons in which torture could be used, so we will examine those instances as well. The first instance in which we could examine is, if a person were to torture another without reason. On this Aristotle, “But whenever his decision is the cause, he is unjust and vicious” (V.8, p. 80). Since the torturer is doing this as just a means to inflict harm, Aristotle would consider it an extreme act of malice causing it to be wicked and vicious based on the fact the one is willingly inflicting injustice on to someone else. Next we could look at in terms of torture being as a means of punishment for unjust behavior then it becomes more complicated. Aristotle raises the idea that being law-abiding might not …show more content…
That is would it be right to use to torture in order to better the community, whether that be to exploit a potential threat through information gathering or anything of that nature. Both Mill and Aristotle hold community in very regard, especially utilitarianism where the good of the many out weights the good the one. In chapter V of Utilitarianism Mill view of justice suggest that it is, in fact, connected to a particular kind of utility, which is security, he states, “…security no human being can possibly do without” (V, p. 54). With that in it would be correct to say that an end to could justify a mean if that end had a higher overall utility, then its mean. In this cases the utility of security, which again Mill mention is very important, of the community and the happiness associated with that would greatly out weight the disutility of the one being tortured, and Mill would have to accept that. However, even though Aristotle believes that in order to be happy one must be a functioning member of society and do right by it. The act of torture would still lean on the side of an extreme act which for Aristotle are the main cause of viscous character, meaning that Aristotle would still condemn the use of