Ethics and weapon development

If a given AWS is merely applying a set of preprogrammed instructions, then, presumably its designers and operators are the ones morally responsible for its behavior.

Weapons development pdf

What's more, only a very small minority of engineers is in the business of making weapons or privacy-invading algorithms. Costa Rica actually abolished its military forces for this reason. There is more than one answer to the question of course, but two points are especially pertinent: the common good we engineers see ourselves serving and our relationship to authority. However, we are still essentially producing what industry requires: engineers able to carry out technically complex projects, rather than professionals with an in-depth understanding of the social complexity of technology. The idea of fully autonomous weapons systems raises a host of intersecting philosophical, psychological, and legal issues. There are many advantages to this of course, including more resources at our disposal to do our work. Engineers need the resources of government and industry to do their work, far more than doctors do. Looking at the example of Northrop, a U. The same can be said of justice for practitioners of the law. This also reduces the number of enemy soldiers able to fight since two soldiers are required to carry a single injured soldier and there is a much greater inclination to retrieve a wounded comrade compared to a corpse. Is this intuitive moral perceptiveness on the part of human beings ethically desirable? Author's note: the opinions expressed in this article are his own and not those of the University of Sydney. They help minimise casualties and have applications in both domestic and international conflicts. As a result, engineers who build these devices usually operate at one remove from the consequences of their actions. On the other hand less developed countries that lack the money to buy the most advanced weapons have to defend their territories with more human lives on the line, although cultural differences between territories, especially those controlled by extremist regimes, mean that the political impact on the group in power caused by lives lost in war may vary.

It will be a bright day for our profession when we start producing more engineers who, while just as smart as Rogers, have the will and the intellectual capacity to engage with bigger questions about the ethics, politics and social ramifications of their inventions. But if the AWS in question is a genuine moral discerner in its own right, that appears to shift the locus of responsibility to the automated system itself.

weapon ethics

Lawyers and doctors are expected to act in a particular way and, sometimes, to become the custodians of the social good their respective professions embody.

The same can be said of justice for practitioners of the law.

weapon design ethics

These engineers face a multitude of ethical dilemmas. The two World Wars, the gas chambers, the atomic bombs and agent Orange — the awfully destructive scope of technology — were yet to come.

ethics of weapons research

His answer was: [P]eople should think about it. There is more than one answer to the question of course, but two points are especially pertinent: the common good we engineers see ourselves serving and our relationship to authority.

Ethics and weapon development

Additional questions arise with regard to the very definition of an AWS. The idea of fully autonomous weapons systems raises a host of intersecting philosophical, psychological, and legal issues. In a recent feature article about him in the New Yorker magazine, he was asked whether his invention is for the better or whether it will turn us into soulless robots. However, we are part and parcel of industrial modernity with all its might, advantages and flaws, and we we therefore contribute to human suffering as well as flourishing. As a result, engineers who build these devices usually operate at one remove from the consequences of their actions. The cultural shift has simply not happened. Share via Email Engineering ethics are mostly technical: how to design properly, how to not cut corners, and how to serve our clients well. These arms are usually used for self-defence. And if this is the case, what are the implications for legal liability?

However, the company did not manage to sell a single aircraft.

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Weapon Developments and Ethics