Levin describes a scenario in which he claims torture is morally obligatory (mandatory). Recall that he puts his foot in his mouth in 3 different ways. That is, he makes 3 mistakes in describing this scenario (the terrorist has hidden a nuclear bomb in NYC). Given these mistakes, it does not follow it is morally obligatory to torture the terrorist. HOW WOULD YOU FIX THESE 3 MISTAKES?
1. Torture won’t work out if a terrorist prefers death to failure.
2. One can not distinguish certain pain intensity as “ the most excruciating possible pain”.
3. Levin’s statement that torture is “ the only way to save those lives”.
In my opinion, all these 3 mistakes can be resolved so that this case would still be of great interest.
The first one, about a terrorist preferring own death to the failure of his intended act, holds its power when a terrorist is dedicated to making the bomb explode no matter what. Such radical concept can be easily eluded simply by omitting the abovementioned dedication. For the purpose of the case, it is enough that the terrorist simply won’t confess till the time when the bomb explodes.
The second one, “ the most excruciating possible pain”, the “ most excruciating possible” part can be substituted by the following: intense, powerful, violent or any other expression reflecting not the peak intensity but the fairly high amount of it.
The third problem about torture being the only way to prevent explosion can be fixed if stated that in such situation torture could be a conventional or effective method in dealing with the issue considering the shortage of time and the absence of sharp evidence of where the bomb might be.