BIBI, Torture For the Cure Edition
It’s been a while since we’ve needlessly argued an impossible hypothetical, no?
Imagine a scientist discovers a cure for cancer. The efficacy of the drug at curing cancer is undeniable: it can quite literally end all deaths from cancer. The only problem is that the scientist has destroyed all notes and records of his research and all samples of the product. The only instructions or formula for the drug exist in the scientist’s brain… and he ain’t sharing. For whatever reason, he has opted not to share his discovery with the world. And there is no way to recreate it absent what he knows in his mind… without it, our cancer research will resume the status quo, making whatever advancements it can, perhaps ultimately achieving a cure on par with the scientists, but deriving zero benefit from his work.
Would you tolerate torturing this scientist to get the information out of him? Would you tolerate water-boarding*? Imprisonment? How far would you be willing to let the government go to get the information out of him?
Inspired by North, how high would you support raising taxes to pay this man to voluntarily give up the cure?
* Personally, I think it is inarguable that water-boarding qualifies as torture. I realize not everyone does so I figured I’d ask about it independently so we were clear on definitions. Please do not take this phrasing as any form of defense of water-boarding or argument that it does not constitute torture.