So my repurposing project is taking an academic paper I wrote last year and trying to turn it into a short story. The paper was an ethical analysis of the ticking time-bomb scenario, whether it could be considered ethical to torture a suspect given that a nuclear bomb is known to be loose in a major city. I first lay out the con argument – that torture is unethical always even in the most extreme of scenarios. I then proceed to give the pro argument, rebutting every point of the first one. I conclude that torture, in the situation, could be considered ethical, as it is the least unethical option. The consequences of not torturing (bomb goes boom) are far greater than of torturing one individual. Sorry if you’re really bored by this, but I’ve laid out a somewhat in-depth summary because my main challenge in the project is to somehow retain this fundamental argument in a fictional short story.
Here is part of the abstract from my original paper and what I expect to become the main plot of the story:
“A nuclear bomb is loose in New York City. CIA Agents do not know the location of the bomb; however they have just captured a leader of the organization planning the attack. Furthermore, they have strong reason to believe this man has knowledge of the bomb’s location. They offer deals of money and immunity, but the man is not swayed; he will not talk. As it stands, a nuclear bomb will go off in the heart of New York – killing millions of Americans in the process. The question: what’s their next move?”
As far as how far along I am, I’ll be honest and admit I haven’t even started writing yet. When I’m writing fiction, I kind of like to just get in the zone and write as much as I can in one sitting. Since this is only a short story, I think I’ll just go to the library or lock myself in my room one day and knock it out, however long that might take. Questions…I’ve played around with the idea of not naming the characters. I’m thinking this might highlight the ethical dilemma more and not make it about the characters, which is something I definitely want. What do you guys think of this idea? Anyway, I think it’ll come out pretty well but I guess we’ll just have to wait and find out.