Terrorism, war, and the killing of the innocent

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (4):353 - 372 (2007)
Abstract
Commonsense moral thought holds that what makes terrorism particularly abhorrent is the fact that it tends to be directed toward innocent victims. Yet contemporary philosophers tend to doubt that the concept of innocence plays any significant role here, and to deny that prohibitions against targeting noncombatants can be justified through appeal to their moral innocence. I argue, however, that the arguments used to support these doubts are ultimately unsuccessful. Indeed, the philosophical positions in question tend to misunderstand the justification of both the prohibition against targeting noncombatants, and that of the permission to attack combatants, for which the paper offers a new account. Such misunderstandings make it all too easy to justify both terrorist actions and morally objectionable actions on the part of nations at war. Taking proper account of the role of innocence in the context of armed conflict will alter our ordinary ways of thinking about the ethics of war, with respect to both jus in bello and jus ad bellum.
Keywords collective responsibility  Fullinwider, Robert  individualism  innocence  Mavrodes, George  noncombatant immunity  proportionality  Primoratz, Igor  responsibility  terrorism  war
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,825
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

47 ( #37,553 of 1,100,077 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #190,060 of 1,100,077 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.