Ethical Blowback from Emerging Technologies

Journal of Military Ethics 9 (4):313-331 (2010)
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The military is a major driver of technological, world-changing innovations which, like the Internet, often have unpredictable dual uses and widespread civilian impact (?blowback?). Ethical and policy concerns arising from such technologies, therefore, are not limited to military affairs, but can have great implications for society at large as well. This paper will focus on two technology areas making headlines at present: human enhancement technologies and robotics, representing both biological and technological upgrades to the military. The concerns we will raise are about (1) the unintended effects that these technologies could have on society and (2) the possibly self-defeating nature of these military programs in making war itself more, rather than less likely to occur. Given that society also can influence military programs (e.g., through civil protests) it is important for the military to attend to such concerns



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Author's Profile

Patrick Lin
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

References found in this work

Leviathan.Thomas Hobbes - 1651 - New York: Harmondsworth, Penguin.
Killer robots.Robert Sparrow - 2007 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 24 (1):62–77.
Human Enhancement.Nick Bostrom & Julian Savulescu (eds.) - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
Science and Human Behavior.Burrhus F. Skinner - 1953 - Free Press Collier-Macmillan.

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