What Eye in the Sky teaches us about terrorism and moral dilemmas

eyeinthesky_article_image (1)This week the Joint Committee on Human Rights asked the UK government for ‘urgent clarification’ on the legal position of using lethal force overseas for counter-terrorism.

The question arose from their consideration of the use of an RAF drone to kill Reyaad Khan, a UK citizen, in Syria last year. This not only raises the issue in parliament but also among the media and general public. It poses a challenge for us all to consider the deeper spiritual and moral questions beneath this technical legal question.

How do we address such issues? For thousands of years, philosophers have considered such questions through the use of ‘thought experiments’. These are short stories that raise ethical dilemmas, causing us to think about what we would do in such a situation, and what underlying ethical norms or moral laws this reveals.

In recent years, feature films have provided excellent thought experiments. And now, as parliament considers the questions raised by the Joint Committee on Human Rights, the excellent film Eye in the Sky is running in cinemas across the country….

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