Terrorism and Utilitarianism

Realism views war as a legal and ethical act that can be used to obtain authority or influence, as well as for national security. War, on the other hand, cannot be justified, according to pacifism, since it results in mass killings of innocent civilians. As a result, war is immoral and cannot be justified in the name of national security or self-defense. Pacifism focuses on keeping peace rather than justifying war on ethical grounds. In times of war, just war philosophy stresses a nation’s liability and legal duty, as well as the responsibility of military officials. The theory elucidates the tensions that lead to war. The theory of pacifism hence promotes a non-violent society while realism justifies how internationally tolerable moral privileges determine and control warfare.

Terrorism is the killing, maiming, and coercion of the innocent lives that have no direct connection to the causes of conflict. Simply put, it is a political and psychological weapon that is used against a person’s perpetrators. This is the neutral definition, and it is significant in because each side will always justify why the actions taken are right. The practice of torture inflicts severe pain on an individual by use of force. Terrorism and torture are thus the unlawful use of force that specifically drives killing or injuring the subject. According to Lewis, the act of terrorism attacks the innocent, and it is a threat the civilian who are the targets (Lewis 652). In view of this, the long-term object of fear which terrorist drive to inspire results into a collective and radical destruction. Arguments for terrorism are grounded on national security and self-defense. Here, terrorism is thought to help bring to an end undesirable political system, revenge or even end a given moral or religious issues. Many of those who also agree with the terrorist state that they are primarily discriminated either politically or on religiously. Arguments against terrorism indicate that this is an evil act that victimizes the immediate targets (Lewis 653). It is morally unethical as it culminates in the death of many people. The elements of terrorism are that it has a form of coercion, revolves around the political, social and economic aspects and also the act of terrorism is sponsored by an institution or an organization on political matters. Furthermore, it is rooted in historical and cultural causes, and the perpetrators have long-term, immediate or intermediate goals.

The utilitarian view on the war, terrorism, and torture is consequentialist which holds that the affairs of the state are good or bad to a given degree depending on the virtue of well-being of the lives of citizens (Mill 19). That utilitarian takes into account the opinion of each depending on the good and the bad consequence it has on the society. Consequentialism indicates that it is morally right for a nation to wage war given that there is nothing that could be done to better the results. For the pacifist utilitarian, war is a morally wrong and unethical behavior that should not be propagated in the society while realism is that it acts as a self-defense and state security. The humanitarian actions include the building of international community that calls for peace and creates awareness of how terrorism infringes the rights of individuals. This aims at creating a peaceful coexistence with neighbors and eliminates attacks. Also, military and policing actions establish peace at boundaries while moral imperatives are directed at the pursuing peace with neighbors.

Terrorism is not morally justified as it infringes the rights of people. It violates the rights of people to live and results in mental torture. The victimization of people is also a violation of the rights of people. The severe acts of violence kill and injure innocent people. The bombing was justified as it satisfied the four criteria forms including, a measure of last resort, collect act of self-defense, replies against a genocidal, racist aggressor and chances of success (Khatchadourian 663). Bend over backward states that to prevent harm on the civilians, priority has to be directed at saving the lives of civilians and not military. Avoid targeting civilian places and also avoid the use of inherently indiscriminate weapons. Bend backward means that the civilians are mostly the targets and thus terrorism is not morally justified.

Work Cited

Khatchadourian Haig. The Morality of Terrorism. New York. Wipf and Stock Publishers. 2011

Lewis Vaughn. Doing Ethics: Moral Reasoning and Contemporary Issues. (4th ed). New York. W. W. Norton & Company. 2015

Mill, John Stuart. Utilitarianism. Dover Publications, 2012.

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