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Reflections on harming the innocent
Thomas Pogge

The countries of the developed West are fighting a war on terror. Public attention to terrorism serves important domestic constituencies. Public attention to terrorism also serves the interests of politicians, especially incumbents. The only question that needs to be asked, from terrorist's point of view, is whether the attacks serve or set back the general cause on whose behalf they are launched. The moral reflection looks at relevant empirical evidence and also at other, less difficult moral questions or decisions that may be analogous or related in some way to the problem at hand. Thomas Pogge argues that the terrorists have made no serious attempt to engage in religious discourse about what God commands in relation to killing and harming innocent human beings. Most of the harm the terrorists inflicted on innocent people was not necessary for promoting the alleged good they sought and quite possibly even counter-productive.

in ‘War on terror’