Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Living Spiritual Rhythms – December 16

One of the major problems with the support of torture  is what I’ll blatantly call a utilitarian ethic. In short, this view holds that good is the best for the most. Thus, on these grounds, torturing one person to preserve the lives of others will always be put forward as the logic for torture. Once this ethic is embedded in the orientation of what is supposed to be right, there will be little ability to understand that torture is wrong, no matter how many people it might be assumed to benefit. A utilitarian ethic operates on its own and therefore aims to resist all critique. This means we’re facing the ongoing battle, with lives at stake, between the individual and the collective. The latter is elevated over the former. Unfortunately, nothing will change this perversion as long as the perception that good is the best for the most remains unchallenged. For that to happen, there’ll have to be a new balanced ethic that re-positions good, and promotes a fresh dialogue between rights and responsibilities.