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Analysis of the Act of Terrorism as a Philosophical Issue - Research Paper Example

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Analysis of the Act of Terrorism as a Philosophical Issue

And can terrorism ever be morally justified? (Primoratz, 2011) Let us first address the first part. What is terrorism? Despite being notoriously difficult to define, one must identify terrorism as an act of widespread violence. It can be on part of a state or a group or any individual, against another state, group, individual or society, with the ultimate goal of forcing the former’s demands on the latter party. The demands could be socio-economic or political. According to Igor Primoratz, terrorism can be defined as: ‘The deliberate use of violence, or threat of its use, against innocent people, with the aim of intimidating some other people into a course of action they otherwise would not take’ (Primoratz, 2011). These definitions however, form more of a general perspective to this whole idea, are simply unsatisfactory. They don’t delve into the root cause and what the ultimate objectives are behind these motives, but rather focus on what is done. The issue in its entirety is far more subtle. Virtually, in every historical era and society, there have been extremists who have used terror as their tactics to advance their cause. Of thousands of such groups that exist or have existed, the validity of their cause is often questioned. However, one element has remained consistent throughout the time, and that is their belief of being denied all the resources and opportunity to advance their cause through conventional means and that terrorism is the only way to voice their concerns and give them relief (Vague, 2007). Some studies suggest that poverty and one’s perception of unfairness and moral debauchery of Western capitalism play an integral part in forming these terrorists. Not only because they have had no other means to make their opinions heard, but also to show their hopelessness and frustration towards their oppressors. One such example can be found in most of the Arab states that are run by atrocities without the slightest hint of free media; media which can give room to voice people’s concerns such as Russian occupation of Chechnya or American policies in Israel. Louis P. Pojman, Professor of Philosophy at the United States Military Academy at West Point, writes of the causes of terrorism: “Although cultural attitudes, such as religious dogma, may be significant cause of terrorism, despair or a sense of hopelessness rooted in oppression, ignorance, poverty, and perceived injustice may be the contributing causes, the soil in which fundamentalism can grow and flourish.” I can only but agree with Professor’s statement. When two such forces, one of peoples’ bitterness and envy, together with government’s repression, collide, the result can only be violence in the form of terrorism. One must pay attention to the societies from which Al-Qaeda’s operatives, Palestinian suicide-bombers, and even the Taliban come from and look to find their source of desperation. Be it by government repression or international indifference. If we do not give ears to the needs of poor then we must accept terror as a possible outcome. Now the question arises if the act of terrorism really is justifiable? There are many aspects to this. If we look at it with a humanitarian’s eye, then it is completely atrocious and is totally unacceptable no matter what the cause is. No society or religion allows killing of ...Show more


Date This paper discusses whether the act of terrorism is justified or not. The topic is important philosophically because as we know, terrorism remains one of the most important challenges of the 21st century as it threatens the stability of international community…
Author : helenhegmann
Analysis of the Act of Terrorism as a Philosophical Issue essay example
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