What would a philosopher think of the current situation with terrorism?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a very deep question that could be answered from  political, social, emotional, idiosyncratic, and cultural perspectiveS, all of which carry a philosophical perspective of their own.

I would use the tangent of civility, and how humanity applies to the concept of killing for the sake of a religious belief. In this case, if I were the philosopher, it would be very hard for me to find any positive in the actions of those who declare a Jihad even if there was a remote reason for it. A philosopher would probably declare these people in human because their actions are the complete oppositional of human. Therefore, he would probably conclude that inhumanity is a trait not belonging to civilized beings, and that as a result a terrorist should be altogether excluded in pain and punishment from the ways of lives and freedoms of anyone surrouding them.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Much of this answer is contingent on which philosopher answers the question or addresses the current predicament with terrorism.  I think that a rights based thinker like a Locke or Mill might express discomfort with the idea of how the state is allowed certain latitude with negotiating specific rights in exchange for security.  I would think that thinkers like them would express some level of dissatisfaction with said policy.  Other more materialist thinkers like Marx would argue that the battle over terrorism is more driven by economic interests of the ruling class.  For example, the conflict with terrorists and states that "harbor" terrorists might have more to do with interests in the region over anything else, confirming the belief that government and its policy are extensions of the ruling class.