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Can Terrorist Acts Of Violence Be Morally Justified?

The human mind is a reflection of what goes around it. According to Sigmund F. the actions taken by human being are normally guided by three factors id, Ego and Super ego. The id is the inborn tract that specially identifies an individual ways of behaving, the Ego is made up of the immediate environmental influence that goes on to control the life style of an individual, this ego influence usually comes from parents, blood relatives, close friends etc. The super ego is the larger societal influence that directly or indirectly influences how an individual behaves.

Thus, with the above three sources of influence on individual behaviour, a terrorist is not born a terror; he or she is influenced by certain factors within his or her immediate environments. This may stem from the brutally that the terrorist have experienced within his immediate family or community. Terrorism in its definition has to do with violence that is directed to instil fright in public at large. The violence in terrorism is different from other violence as it creates public intimidation (Bassiouni, 1980, cited in Bandura 1990, pg 2).

For instance, when a boy in his prime age sees his father killed as a result of standing by what he believed, when the boy latter in his adulthood become a terrorists by committing suicide taking with him hundreds of lives, normally there is a connection here between the cause of action. Even with the above illustration there is no justification for unleashing terror to pay back justice. For one, the religious books, for instance, the Bible has it that judgement and justice should be of God.

Also, the laws of our land, no matter the country one comes from, have mechanism for disseminating justice. Thus, it becomes immoral to unleash terror and take human lives as a way to protests injustices done to us or those around us. Violence in all sense of the matter is not a way to get justice. There is the popular maxim that says ‘two wrongs can not make a right’. Morality sometimes is seen as a subjective virtue when it comes to defining violence, but generally the societal agreement to what is right or wrong goes a long way in making a thing moral or immoral.

Moral standard attach to an action would not normally deter one from the act of violence or terror. In this view, Bandura (1990, pg 2) argued that “moral standard do not function as fixed internal regulators of conduct. Self-regulatory mechanisms do not operate unless they are activated, and there are many psychological processes by which moral reactions can be disengaged from inhumane conduct”. People normally interpret moral support to their actions before embarking on it. Same is the case with terrorists.

In this view, Honderich (2003) argues that “not using violence, when violence is the only means to stop a greater injustice, is immoral”. Some terrorist draw their moral support from the honour and a kind of legendary they assume when an act of violence is carried out. This Badura (1990, pg 2) refers to as “…honourable through cognitive reconstrual”. This normally does not justice terror as the end to addressing injustice. Violence, as Honderich had argued cannot be an end to the means of addressing injustice.

There would always be a means of dialoguing in addressing injustices than through violence. Morality is viewed differently by different people; this is where the moral underlying violence may spring from. As “one group’s terroristic activity constitute another group’s liberation movement fought by heroic freedom fighter” (Bandura 1990, pg 30) so is the subjectivity attached to moral behind violence from terrorism. Though, Honderich (2003) argued that political violence can be jusfiably deployed as a means of extending values of equity, democracy, and justice..

” however, the larger society condemns terror, so any individual or group morality attached to the act of terrorism is null and void and holds no water for the act to be moral. Political jaw-jaws and peace resolutions are means that can not be substituted for acts of terror. With the above argument, violence from the acts of terrorism should not be seen in any circumstance as being moral; though bases for self righteousness would normally be used to back up these acts; their repressive fear and dehumanising destructions make them immoral.

References Bandura, Albert (1990) “Mechanisms Of Moral Disengagement In Terrorism” In W. Reich (Ed. ), Origins Of Terrorism: Psychologies, Ideologies, Theologies, States Of Mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bandura, Albert (1990) “Selective Activation And Disengagement Of Moral Control” Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 46, No1. Honderich, Ted (2003) Terrorism for Humanity: Inquiries in Political Philosophy (London: Sterling, VA: Pluto Press)

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