Analysis of the Ethical Side of Espionage

The article “The virtuous spy: privacy as an ethical limit” (2008), authored by Allen, is devoted to studying the ethical limits of spying on other people when the reasons for spying are reliable. The article analyzes the philosophical concept of the ethnicity of espionage, highlighting three main interrelated ideas. Having formulated the basic principles of the ethics of spying, the author of the article concludes that a highly moral spy will violate the norms of morality but, as far as possible, will do it with respect.

This article has value for readers, as it corresponds to the subject of the study, has an analysis of reliable literary sources, and qualitatively presents the problem and its solution. The article has a clear position and is accessible for understanding and assimilation. According to Allen, the principle of combating espionage is one of the main ideas of the philosophy of ethics of spying (Allen). This principle is that spying on people is unethical and wrong.

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I agree with the statement that the second idea that espionage is ethically permissible when it is necessary is an exception to the principle of combating espionage. In some cases, espionage tasks are too important to ignore because they include, for example, informational and offensive missions. In critical situations, spying allows getting a lot of helpful information and assessing the intentions of a potential enemy. People’s lives and the fate of countries may depend on the data obtained in espionage, so in such cases, it can be considered ethically correct.

I also agree with the author’s statement that the third idea is to limit exceptions to the principle of combating espionage. This idea implies ethical restrictions on espionage methods where it is allowed or necessary (Allen). No matter how stalemate the situation may be, a spy should not forget about the moral code and morality, especially regarding human life and safety. Certainly, there are situations when the reasons for espionage are valid, especially when it comes to state security, but there should always be moral restrictions on the methods used.

Work Cited

Allen, Anita L. “The virtuous spy: privacy as an ethical limit.” The Monist 91.1 (2008): 3-22. Web.

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