The Scenario doesn't force the issue for me. It assumes that the person I would be torturing was responsible for the danger to my family member(s) . This is not enough. There would have to be some chance that the person knows information that would lead to my family being brought out of danger.
In those circumstances, where there is no doubt, and everything is black and white, I would torture. But life is NEVER like that. So the example cannot really tell us anything about the morality of torture.
A real life scenario would be more like this:
Your family is being held in a secret location, and it is known that they are probably in great danger for their lives. The chances of finding them alive is low. The FBI has in their custody a person they strongly suspect knows your family's location. Having this information might increase the chances for the successful rescue of your family members. An FBI officer tells you that this person certainly has the information you need, and he seems like he wouldn't be saying it lightly, and he offers some convincing facts. They have offered to leave you alone with the individual (who is securely tied down) and various torture devices. You agree, and find yourself alone with the person. You've threatened to torture the person, but it has yielded nothing of value. What do you do now?Reducing moral questions down to nice clean questions, and then pretending that somehow those questions tell us something about life is a means to absolve yourself from wrestling with the true moral questions that real life raises.
Suppose you do severely torture the person, and end up finding out nothing that is of any value. It turns out that the person you tortured was probably just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and really didn't know anything. What should your punishment be, if any?