Monday, January 24, 2011

Moscow airport bombing

Hey all,

I'm not an author for this week, but I just was interested in gathering some thoughts on the unfortunate terrorist bombing in the Moscow airport on Monday.

Apparently, surveillance tapes recorded a person bearing the bomb sneaking past rather "restful" security administrators. Additionally, the airport authorities had been tipped that  an attack may in fact take place, however no arrests were made and no searches were conducted. Furthermore, no public warnings were issued (,8599,2044207,00.html). Because of this, I wonder if the authorities are not just as responsible for this attack as the bomber.  It is believed that the bomber came from a heavily Islamic region in Russia that has been under intense and perceived oppressive Moscovian governance for decades.

In The Social Contract, Jean-Jacques Rousseau states that "To renounce one's liberty is to renounce one's quality as a man, the rights and also the duties of humanity." Is it the pursuit of liberty and the duties of humanity that may drive people to demonstrate such violence? Is it ever moral or just to pursue liberty at the expense of others, specifically innocent civilians? In the wake of tragedy, I'm hoping to open up dialogue on this topic.

Thanks guys,

1 comment:

  1. In response to your question, "Is it ever moral or just to pursue liberty at the expense of others, specifically innocent civilians?," Kant would argue that such an act is never morally justified since it treats human beings as means to an end. Kant would also add that it doesn't matter whether the people sacrificed are innocent civilians or convicted terrorists. Using any human being in such a way invariably goes against moral law. On the other hand, if you ask a strict utilitarian, you may get a different response. If, for the common good, the benefits of pursuing liberty in this fashion outweighs the cost of sacrificing a certain number of lives, then the action could be morally justified. However, I think the expected benefits would have to be so immense to balance out the cost of pain, that it's highly unlikely any utilitarian would find this situation morally justifiable.


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