Why terrorism is morally problematic

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  • Publicado : 1 de febrero de 2011
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Why Terrorism is Morally Problematic*
How does the author define terrorism, and why does she reject any sharp conceptual difference between terrorist and a freedom fighter? She defines terrorism asa formative force, and she said that terrorism is a practice of terrorization in which terror is a means to an end other than itself; she rejects any sharp conceptual difference between terrorist anda freedom fighter because she said that the ordinary-language distinction between the two terms is not strong enough to be able to claim that the two are conceptually distinct. The ordinary-usagedistinction between terrorism and freedom fighting presupposes that the ends of a practice are the necessary and sufficient criteria to distinguish among practices, and that is just not so. “Terrorism “asa negative term was coined in 1795 by the French Directory to refer specially to the repressive measures practiced by Robespierre’s government. It later was used to describe the activities of thenineteenth-century clandestine oppositional groups in Russia, and because these groups were considered revolutionary, “terrorism” retained its negative connotations in the dictionaries of the time eventhough these groups were different from the French revolutionaries, and their ends differed also. Terrorists can be freedom fighters and freedom fighters can be terrorists.
What do terrorism,“seasoning,” and torture have in common as a “formative process? Like seasoning, terrorism places its victims in a life-threating situation in which one feels both a need to do something to save oneself andhelplessness; another way to understand terrorism as a formative process is by comparing it with torture, which, like seasoning, is also a practice in which brutalization is used as a means to break aperson down.
Why is cruelty immoral? Cruelty is immoral because is bombing a city, shooting indiscriminately in an airport, abducting and killing people. What morally problematizes terrorism is...
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