compunction - noun
A feeling of anxiety or discomfort caused by regret for doing wrong or causing pain; contrition; remorse; any uneasiness or hesitation about the rightness of an action.
Torture, presented with gusto and almost no moral compunction, is an increasingly popular way of gathering intelligence on [the TV show] 24. If anything, the new season seems even more intent on hammering home the message that torture is necessary in the war against terror, and that despite what some experts claim, torture works.
—Alessandra Stanley “Suicide Bombers Strike, and America Is in Turmoil. It's Just Another Day in the Life of Jack Bauer” New York Times, January 12, 2007
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