Intention, Collateral Damage and Indifference to Human Life
In this paper, I discuss a possible moral difference between terrorism and war. The standard approach to this question relies on the doctrine of double effect (DDE). The DDE advocates believe that it matters morally whether certain harm is intentionally caused or whether it merely occurs as a foreseen but unintended side effect. I suggest that the DDE does not answer the question and that the moral difference between terrorism and war cannot be adequately captured as long as one focuses on moral justification or permissibility. The critical difference, it is claimed, is not that war is sometimes morally right or permissible, but that terrorism and war do not display the same attitude toward innocent people. The distinction between permissibility and blameworthiness also enables us to see why some wars, such as those covered by the name “war on terror”, should be morally distinguished from terrorism.
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Matej Sušnik, "Intention, Collateral Damage and Indifference to Human Life" in: "Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2020) XXII/3", EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, Trieste, 2021, pp. 817-832
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