Terrorism: A Critique Of Excuses

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In the Ethical Life, by Russ Shafer-Landau, chapters written by Michael Walzer and Alan Dershowitz express their knowledge and opinions on the topics of terrorism and torture. Is it possible to justify and defend such acts? In the chapter “Terrorism: A Critique of Excuses”, author Michael Walzer shuts down four excuses that attempt to justify terrorism. In the chapter, “Should the Ticking Bomb Terrorist Be Tortured?”, Alan Dershowitz defends his theory that it is necessary to torture a terrorist if that means saving the lives of innocent people while protecting their civil liberties and human rights at the same time. Terrorism can never be moral because it violates all “excuses” and torture is an acceptable tactic to save lives. The four excuses that attempt to justify terrorism are as follows: terrorism is a last resort that is only used when all else fails, terrorism is the only possibility for weak movements, whatever works for a good cause, such as terrorism, is morally acceptable, and that all politics involves terrorism. In the first excuse of terrorism being the last resort, Walzer explains that in order for this to be a legitimate excuse, one must have exhausted all political and military possibilities to resolve their issue. However, there is no way to interview the terrorist to prove that they have …show more content…

Dershowitz argues that there are two ways to deal with a ticking bomb terrorist, besides doing nothing and letting innocent people die. These options include continuing to torture behind closed door or to utilize torture and make this information open to the

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