How to Justify Torture: Inside the Ticking Bomb Scenario

How to Justify Torture: Inside the Ticking Bomb Scenario

by Alex Adams


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From Batman Begins to Tom Clancy, How to Justify Torture shows how contemporary culture creates simplified narratives about good guy torturers and bad guy victims, how dangerous this is politically, and what we can do to challenge it.

The ticking bomb scenario is a thought experiment designed to demonstrate that torture can be justified in emergency conditions. If there was a bomb hidden somewhere in a major city, would it be justified to torture a captured informant in order to obtain the critical information that could prevent a devastating terrorist attack?

In How to Justify Torture, cultural critic Alex Adams examines this thought experiment in depth by exploring the wide range of cultural productions—from military thrillers, through superhero movies, to home-invasion narratives—which repeatedly ask us this question about torture. By critiquing the argument step by step, this short, provocative book reminds us why torture can never be justified.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781912248582
Publisher: Watkins Media
Publication date: 09/10/2019
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 5.14(w) x 7.76(h) x 0.48(d)

About the Author

Alex Adams is a literary and cultural critic and novelist based in northeast England. He was awarded his PhD from Newcastle University in 2014 and has published widely on the subject of torture and popular culture. He likes real ale and dogs.

Antony Ferguson, Earphones Award–winning narrator, was born in London. He has performed successfully on both sides of the Atlantic and has played many leading roles in theater, film, and television.

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