The history of terrorism probably dates back to the era of political violence. However, the term terrorism has been in use for relatively short duration, since the late 18th century. The topic of terrorism has become very controversial, more so, with increasing cases of abuse of human rights by some states. Those who support terrorism question why the society considers their activities illegitimate while violence by such governments is regarded as legitimate. This write up discusses justification of terrorism. It examines whether terrorists acts are healthy or not in our society today.
According to Waller (2007), terrorism can be defined as the use of violence or force against people or their properties in order to intimidate, coerce, or ransom them. Terrorists often resort to threats and violence to cause fear among the people. They also aim at convincing people that their government is incapable of preventing terrorism. Terrorist activities may range from kidnappings, bomb scares to the use of weapons of mass destruction.
Waller (2007) considers terrorism as unjustified practice with regard to morality, since the consequences are usually bad and dehumanizing. It is unfortunate that innocent civilians are always treated as objects by terrorists. The act involves a violation of human rights; an unacceptable behavior, which should be condemned. Conversely, terrorists insist that they sacrifice precious human beings in order to have a higher good in return. They argue that they have no alternative to achieve the purported good other than taking away lives of innocent people. However, it would be morally better for them to settle on establishing military operation aimed at the government officials, whose deeds they object to as an alternative, rather than attack innocent civilians.
Considering the utilitarian ethics as described by Zalta (2011), terrorism can be justified by their positive effects in the political realm and their moral consequences. These ethics allow terrorist acts to be justified if they are effective political weapons in the struggle for revolution. Second, the theory justifies their activities when, after making all considerations, there is a reasonable ground to believe that the use of violence would result in less injustice and suffering in the world than if there were no violence. In both the two instances, the resulting benefits outweigh the expected loss, which is the ultimate goal of the theory.
In conclusion, no matter what reason the terrorists may have, I feel that terrorists should respect the fundamental human rights. Their reasoning of picking on human beings so as to cause terror with the aim of justifying their name is morally wrong, since human beings have value and, under no moral ground, should they be treated as objects. Moreover, most terrorist acts are a result of selfishness of a small sect of the society.