Spying - An Ethical Profession

  • David Holmes
Keywords: Spying, consequentialist, utilitarian, morality, intelligence


In this essay, I will discuss the ethics and morality of spying. I will examine the dilemmas facing governments who choose to cross moral boundaries for the sake of national security. In discussing the morality of spying I will justify spying from a consequentialist and utilitarian perspective. The spy-game stretches the moral boundaries and the end often justifies the means. An example of this dilemma would be torturing a suspect to save a large number of people. Events involving the assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud al- Mabhouh made headlines worldwide and prompted this discussion. The question asked is how far can intelligence agencies stretch these boundaries?

Crossing the Border: International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies Vol.4(1) 2016: 39-44


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Author Biography

David Holmes

David Holmes is an English language teacher in Nepal. Starting his career as a policeman in Wellington, New Zealand, he moved into the C.I.B (Criminal Investigation Branch) in Auckland where he worked in the fraud squad and later in the burglaries squad. In his late teens he then moved to Australia and at the age of 40 he enrolled at James Cook University, Cairns Campus, graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in English literature, journalism and some philosophy subjects. In 2004, he gained his TEFL Certificate from ITTO in Guadalajara, Mexico. This enabled him to travel the world teaching English as a second language; in such places as Mexico, Canada, Turkey, Switzerland, Oman, UAE, China, Kuwait, Hong Kong and now Beni, Nepal (with my Nepali wife “Mero Sita”) where he prepares students for the IELTS exam and teaches general English.

How to Cite
Holmes, D. (2017). Spying - An Ethical Profession. Crossing the Border: International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 4(1), 39-44. https://doi.org/10.3126/ctbijis.v4i1.18428