Is the repugnance about betting on terrorist attacks misguided?
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- Weijers, D. & Richardson, J. Ethics Inf Technol (2014) 16: 251. doi:10.1007/s10676-014-9350-9
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Prediction markets designed to predict terrorism through traders’ investments on the likelihood of specific terrorist attacks are, strictly speaking, enabling those traders to bet on terrorism. Betting on terrorist attacks, like some other forms of betting on death, has been accused of being repugnant. In this paper, it is argued that while government-backed effective intelligence-gathering prediction markets on terrorism (PMsoT) might elicit feelings of repugnance, those feelings are likely to be misguided. The feelings of repugnance arise because PMsoT are assumed to be associated with terrorism in encouraging and endorsing ways and with human death in a disrespectful way. However, it is argued that these feelings of repugnance are misguided in the case of government-backed effective intelligence-gathering PMsoT because the purpose and effect of such prediction markets, and (on balance) the trading they encourage, is to prevent and renounce terrorism and show respect for matters of life and death.