After the Terror

After the Terror

Copyright Date: 2003
Pages: 176
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  • Book Info
    After the Terror
    Book Description:

    After the Terror asks why the events of September 11th were wrong and what terrorism tells us about ourselves and our moral obligations. This philosophical and moral reflection by Ted Honderich - truly described by CounterPunch in America as Britain's outstanding radical philosopher - is moral philosophy that engages with reality. It reaches to the moral core of our lives. Ted Honderich does not respect the moral confidence of our leaders and others. He defends a morality of humanity that requires us to think about our lives, and to act up against our democratic governments.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-7203-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. 1 Good lives, bad lives
    (pp. 1-29)

    What is a good life? For a start, a good life is one that goes on long enough. A short life may be good while it lasts, may be a sweet thing in the memory of others. But if it is only half the length it should have been, if it is cut down to that, it is not a good life. A good life might be as long as one you know that comes back to mind, maybe like the life of my father, who departed during his afternoon nap. It might be seventy-five years.

    Lasting seventy-five years, of...

  5. 2 Natural and other morality
    (pp. 30-57)

    Could there be good lives and bad lives in a world without morality? Certainly there could be long-enough lives, say seventy-five years, and other great goods. Long-enough lives and other great goods presumably could exist and be valued without any question arising of who in particular ought to have what, who has a moral right to keep or get what. If this is not the case in our world as it is, something of the sort is certainly possible or conceivable.

    It is true that something good would be missing from a world without right and wrong actions and moral...

  6. 3 Did we wrong them? Do we wrong them?
    (pp. 58-88)

    Thinking about our own actions past and present is often made easier and not much good by sliding away from the grim facts that raise the question. It is made easier by avoiding the enormity of the facts, the numbers. It is also made easier by taking humanity out of the numbers, losing sight of the people, each as real as that nice girl who brings the paper to Fountain House before school, or the small daughter of our Chancellor of the Exchequer who was in the paper during her brief life.

    Let us try to keep the world of...

  7. 4 The twin towers, and democracy
    (pp. 89-120)

    To be on an airliner and look around and see the people and be able to stick to the plan of flying it into a skyscraper is to be hideous, and to persist if they come to know the plan is to be monstrous. Nothing can be thought that will take away from such judgements. What else can be said will not reduce them. The terms ‘hideous’ and ‘monstrous’, by their use in connection with the killers of September 11, are recalled from metaphor and loose talk to original meanings having to do with being repulsive and being inhuman.


  8. 5 Our responsibility, and what to do
    (pp. 121-154)

    My moral confidence, my confidence in my moral feelings and judgements, is not so firm now as it was back at the beginning of these reflections. Is your confidence made of sterner stuff? Maybe it shouldn’t be. Maybe there are things that should give us both pause. Looking back, there they are, or there they seem to be, marking our route, maybe calling us back.

    Take the bad lives of very many people. The lives cut off at ages when you and I had futures, or the lives lacking any material comfort, or lives not free but invaded and oppressed,...

  9. 6 Later thoughts on terrorism for humanity
    (pp. 155-186)

    That idea about keeping your hand in your pocket with Mr Blair, like all that you have read so far, was put on paper in the spring of 2002. So what you have read so far dates from before the second war on Iraq, the one in the spring of 2003. This invasion and occupation owed to September 11, following on from the invasion of Afghanistan, was said with the inane assertiveness to which we have become accustomed to have been carried out by acoalitionof numerous partners rather than by the United States and Britain, the latter being...

  10. Unrueful postscript
    (pp. 187-188)

    This book comes to you with a little history, about which you may be owed a word or two.

    Some of the history attaches to the paragraph on page 151 in which the moral right of the Palestinians to their resistance against the Israeli state is first asserted.

    When this book was first published in September 2002, this paragraph and the following one got attention from new Zionists in America, Canada and elsewhere. I do not mean simply Zionists, of course, people who supported and support the founding of the state of Israel, of whom I am one. Rather, I...

  11. Index
    (pp. 189-195)