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Ethics and terrorism

I have to write 3 more of these short papers. I have already written 2 and did very poorly on them. Can you help me with them?

This one is on terrorism:

Consider the question that Waller uses as the title for Chapter 20 of his book: "Can Terrorism Ever Be Justified?" Summarize the main arguments for why terrorism CANNOT be justified, as discussed in the textbook, the posts in the discussion forum, and/or any other sources you may choose to reference. Be sure you discuss one of the following three arguments: from religious ethics, Kant, or moral realism.

Then summarize the main arguments for why terrorism CAN sometimes be justified, as discussed in the textbook, the posts in the discussion forum, and/or any other sources you may choose to reference. Be sure you discuss one of the following three arguments: relativism, non-objectivism, or utilitarian ethics.

Another one is same sex marriage which has to be in the same format.

Thanks!

Solution Preview

OK. Check out what I have.

I used both moral realism and utilitarianism, and used plenty of examples. It seems that the justification FOR terrorism under specific circumstances wins every time, but that's just my view. You have both views expressed coherently.

Again, please let me know if I can add to or clarify anything. I certainly don't mind with a topic like this.

Justification of Terror

Consider the question that Waller uses as the title for Chapter 20 of his book: "Can Terrorism Ever Be Justified?" Summarize the main arguments for why terrorism CANNOT be justified, as discussed in the textbook, the posts in the discussion forum, and/or any other sources you may choose to reference. Be sure you discuss one of the following three arguments: from religious ethics, Kant, or moral realism.

Then summarize the main arguments for why terrorism CAN sometimes be justified, as discussed in the textbook, the posts in the discussion forum, and/or any other sources you may choose to reference. Be sure you discuss one of the following three arguments: relativism, non-objectivism, or utilitarian ethics.

That terror can never be justified:
Waller cites CAJ Coady, who argues that terrorism is always wrong.
Problems with definition, some ideas:

The use of force with a specifically political agenda
The deliberate attacking of civilian targets for the sake of causing confusion, fright and general mayhem.
Unlawful use of violence against any target (this one is useless, since it already contains a value judgment. If it is "unlawful" then it is a priori condemned. It implies that the state alone may physically harm people).

Coady, basic just war doctrine:

Authority to declare must be "legitimate", the cause must be just, must be a last resort, reasonable expectation of success, violence must always be proportional. Both the quality and quality of violence must be in proportion to the wrong that is being rectified.
If you accept the above, then terrorism can never be justified for the following reasons:

1. It is not a legitimate authority, that is, it is not a state or government.
2. In most cases, no reasonable chance of success, though there are exceptions.
3. Deliberate targeting of the innocent, or infrastructure that would radically disrupt the broader society is not proportional to the evil being challenged.

In this particular case, moral realism might be the more appropriate justification. Terror is always wrong. This is because the human being is free. This is a fact. The free person has infinite value (as Kant would argue). Killing them without clear cause or knowledge cannot be justified. One can assume that a terrorist act does not know specifically which civilians are being killed. Many of them might have nothing to do with the policies under attack, or even attack them themselves. There is a radical disconnect between the act of violence and who it affects.

The assumption is therefore that states alone have the right to declare war. This is because the state (let's say the US or UK) is democratically elected and hence, representative of the population. Terror cells are not elected, are not public, and are subject to no popular control whatsoever. Hence, it never has the right to "declare" war on anyone. The Walmart down the street cannot declare war either, for the same reason.

States that do not have democracies might also ...

Solution Summary

The ethics and terrorism is examined. The main arguments for why terrorism cannot be justified is determined.

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