We are entering into a new age, one that will give rise to advancement in technologies that have only graced the pages of science fiction. Yet, with advancement comes the terrible price paid in war. This is evidenced by the increase in carnage that firearms have brought about, and is especially true of the dangers that the nuclear age has demonstrated. We are now in the time of unmanned drones that drop bombs on villages in remote corners of the globe in much the same way that a teenager does so in video games. Logic dictates that we are not so far away from a time where soldiers are robots, and or cyborgs, with capabilities as dangerous as a nuclear weapons. Dr. Patrick Lin, director of the Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group, based in the philosophy department at California Polytechnic State, wrote a lengthy article on the ethical concerns of human enhancement. There is no way for me to do any sort of justice to his work. Instead of a brief summary, per usual, I have opted to propose the questions that Dr. Lin raises ( and answers quite well mind you), as a primer for those brave souls who would spend some time reading his work. I can tell you that simply considering the questions are a worthwhile venture as these ethical concerns will move from science fiction to everyday occurrences sooner than one would think.
1. Would human enhancements count as weapons under the Geneva Conventions? 2. Would human enhancement count as a biological weapon under the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention? 3. Could human enhancement violate international humanitarian law because they are “repugnant to the conscience of mankind”? 4. How will human enhancement redefine the ethical limits on how combatants may be treated?
I enjoyed the article, and it scared me to death. happy reading!