Of those who deny that it is ever appropriate to torture, even in ticking time bomb scenarios, many appeal to notions like the sacredness of the human person to explain their position. In this article I argue that the sacred does not contribute decisively to resolving the debates about torture in ticking time bomb scenarios. However, the sacred is significant for one important facet of the contemporary problem of torture: the essential role of the populace's attitudes toward torture in ensuring that the prohibition against torture is enforced.

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