One problem of the argument is that the “higher good” promoted by terrorism is more often than not defined in ideological terms rather than from settled preferences or interests of actual people. For example, if the result of terrorism is the administration of Islamic law in a country, those with an Islamic ideology would consider the consequence as good contrary to others who would deem this consequence as bad because it restricts the freedom and liberty of people.
Additionally, consequentialism requires the treatment of victims as objects to be used by terrorists. As Arthur Koestler once wrote, “twice two are not four when the mathematical units are human beings.” The arithmetic calculation of net benefits by consequentialists disregards this fact. Every human being is an individual, a person separate from other persons with a unique value that is not commensurable with anything else. In this sense, terrorism is never justified.