Terrorism: some philosophical and ethical dilemmas

Stojanov, Trajce and Unsal, Zeynep (2017) Terrorism: some philosophical and ethical dilemmas. In: V. International Political Science Conference, 08-09 Dec 2016, Istanbul, Turkey.

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Abstract

Philosophers weren`t thinking a lot about terrorism before the terrorist attacks in the United States on 11 September 2001. Or even when they were thinking the main concern was how to deal with terrorism. But after this attack terrorism was high on the philosophical agenda mainly manifested as an ethical problem. The key concern was: can terrorism be morally justified? That is the issue we are dealing in this paper too. But, the answer of this question largely depends on the treatment of terrorism, i.e. from the answer on a previous question: what is terrorism? With regard to the problem of defining terrorism the dominant approach seeks to acknowledge the core meaning “terrorism” has in common use. That is why we are going to give some various definitions of terrorism from which the ethical problem of terrorism arises. Aftermath we will made an overview of the most important theories and philosophers that are dealing with this question. We will consider the two main approaches to this issue. Namely, in ethics there are two main approaches: consequentialist and nonconsequentialists. First ones are judging ethical issues based on the consequences second ones on the inherent moral status of the ideas nevertheless of their consequences. In the case of terrorism that would mean that consequentialists propose to judge terrorism, like everything else, in light of its consequences. Nonconsequentialists argue that its moral status is not simply a matter of what consequences, on balance, terrorism has, but is rather determined, whether solely or largely, by what it is. For the consequentialists, the test of terrorism is what is done, for the nonconsequentialists what the ultimate aim of doing it is. And this distinction is not merely just formal. We are going to advocate the position that the modern definitions on terrorism that implies exclusively negatively perception on terrorism are mostly western definitions and hence can be considered as ideologically charged and in order to protect western neoliberal imperialism and neocolonialism. Almost all of the definitions are focusing on the consequences. Even in the Encyclopedia of Ethics you can find that type of definition: “The tactic of intentionally targeting non-combatants [or non-combatant property, when significantly related to life and security] with lethal or severe violence … meant to produce political results via the creation of fear.” So, maybe the approach is deliberately consequentialistic in order to hide the motives and the true nature of terrorism. That is why we are going to argue that nonconsequentialistic definitions are far more appropriate in order to be more neutral and nonwestern centric in treatment of this modern and nevertheless threatening phenomenon.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Humanities > Philosophy, ethics and religion
Social Sciences > Political Science
Divisions: Faculty of Educational Science
Depositing User: Trajce Stojanov
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2018 10:40
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2018 10:40
URI: http://eprints.ugd.edu.mk/id/eprint/19864

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