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Some of you, who have been with us for a long time

  Forum Editor 19:52 01 Feb 2016

may remember that, years ago, I ran a thread about ethical/moral dilemmas. I posed questions about some tricky situations and invited you to say what you would do.

Prompted by something someone said to me today, I thought it might be interesting to try the same thing again.

See what you think about this:-

A man who has threatened to explode several bombs in trains and office buildings has been apprehended. He says he has already planted the bombs and they are scheduled to go off in a short time. It is possible that hundreds of people may die. The authorities cannot make him divulge the location of the bombs by conventional methods. He refuses to say anything because his lawyer has told him he has the right to make no comment.

In desperation, a senior police officer suggests getting the information by the use of violence. This would be illegal, of course, but the officer thinks that it is nevertheless the right thing to do in this desperate situation. You are the Home Secretary, and the problem is dumped in your lap over the phone. You are told that the man has a wife and two young children and that the wife had no idea what her husband was doing.

You have to make a decision and make it quickly. What would your answer be?

  morddwyd 20:04 01 Feb 2016

Many times in history it has been necessary to sacrifice the few to save the many, a simple example being the rearguard at Dunkirk.

No reason why moral principles should be any different.

I wouldn't torture the wife (as long as she was incontrovertibly innocent) and children, but I would definitely use torture or drugs or whatever on him.

As I've said here before, if you're fighting a war, them fight it. If you were fighting for your life an hnocked your opponent down, would you stand back and let him get up again?

  john bunyan 20:08 01 Feb 2016

A thought might be to call the US Ambassador to say that it may be that the US Embassy is a target; deliver the man to the Embassy (US Territory) and maybe they would use means available to them on their "soil".

A difficult issue indeed but if so many innocent lives are at stake, maybe their "rights" are greater than his.

  csqwared 21:07 01 Feb 2016

I'd entirely agree with morddwyd on this one. The offender has chosen to do what he is doing with thought for his wife and family. Prevention of loss of life is the paramount consideration here so, yes, use violence.

  csqwared 21:08 01 Feb 2016

That should read

....with no thought....

  bumpkin 21:12 01 Feb 2016

his lawyer has told him he has the right to make no comment.

He has no rights in my opinion irrespective of the law.

if you're fighting a war, then fight it. You can,t fight with your hands tied.

  wee eddie 21:21 01 Feb 2016

I think that I might torture his Lawyer

  Quiller47 21:23 01 Feb 2016

The first thing would be to stop every train in a 50 mile radius, at the next station and evacuate. The same with all government buildings.

  TopCat® 21:26 01 Feb 2016

If I was the senior officer involved then I would ensure that guy did not get to see any lawyer before he was 'made' to come clean on his alleged offence(s). No doubt there would be a huge 'hue and cry' in the papers if it leaked out to them, but the satisfaction felt by that senior officer, and most of the general public, would certainly override all else.

  Quiller47 21:44 01 Feb 2016

Then I would , if time allowed, take him and his family to a deserted building. Wire up the family, individually,with bombs. Place each family member in separate sealed rooms with a mobile phone. Let him know if a bomb does go off, it will activate one of the bombs by a telephone call to the mobile. If there is 3 calls, 3 bombs would go off.

If the worsdt happened and loss of life occurred. I would invite a select, vetted few relative's down to interview the terrorist in complete secretcy.

  bumpkin 22:11 01 Feb 2016

A posting meant to cause controversy of course but a refreshing change from Scottish issues. Most of us so far seem to much of the same opinion and I readily await others views to the contrary.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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