The follow are two of my replies in regard to their decision to torture (I have changed their names):
There are precedents that have proven this way of thinking is wrong. History is full of examples of people who believed they were serving the greater good, and some of these believed it with strong moral conviction. A primary example is Adolph Hitler. He truly convinced himself that he had a moral obligation for the greater good to rid the world of the Jewish Nation. The early Roman Catholic Church felt it had a moral obligation to persecute and kill the small number of Christians present at that time in order to save mankind (the greater good) from what it believed as blaspheme.
Again, this has been a great discussion and I appreciate your thoughtful insight. May God bless your home, your health, and your studies.
I do though agree that there is no easy answer to this or most situational ethics questions. Howbeit, at the same time, I believe there resides a deeper moral issue here. That is, should an innocent person be tortured so that other innocent people are allowed to live. This is not a simple matter of numbers but it addresses the of value of all human life. How valuable is one life in the eyes of God?
In closing, you stated that though the act of torturing her would haunt you for the rest of your life, you would torture her nevertheless. I believe the reason you know you would be haunted by such an act is the same reason I believe it is morally wrong- because a seven year old girl is an innocent victim. Myself, I would not want her life whether by torture or death to be required at my hands.
To all who read this blog...
One last thought on this subject of greater good (the ends justifies the means.) When faced with any moral dilemma, before you act, ask yourself..."Just what would Jesus do?"