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Here is the central part of florman's argument from analogy quoted from his article, "moral blueprints" (harper's, october 1978, pp. 0-33):

If each person is entitled to medical care and legal representation, is it not equally important that each legitimate business entity, government agency, and citizens' group should have access to expert engineering advice? If so, then it follows that engineers (within the limits of conscience) will sometimes labor on behalf of causes in which they do not believe. Such a tolerant view also makes it easier for engineers to make a living.

What do you think florman means by "within the limits of conscience"?

Nathaniel Borenstein a widely respected expert on intelligent systems found himself under just this kind of situation. A committed pacifist, he assiduously avoided getting involved in military projects, even when asked repeatedly by representives of the military. But something said to him by one of these military representatives led him to reassess his position. Borenstein was asked to develop a training simulation to teach individuals how to work with the nuclear missile launching system. When he found that it involved "embedded training" he became very concerned. To appreciate the full extent of his concern and the reasons that persuaded him to get involved in this project, it is best to turn to his own words:

Borenstein on embedded training

Embedded training, in particular, struck me as a very poor idea. Training by computer simulation has been around for a long time. Embedded training takes this one step further: it does the simulation and training on the actual command and control computer. To exaggerate slightly, whether or not anyone actually dies when you press the "launch missiles" button depends on whether or not there is a little line at the top of the screen that says "SIMULATION."

Borenstein continues

Such a system seems almost designed to promote an accidental nuclear war, and this thought was what persuaded me to attend the workshop in the first place. One can all too easily imagine human error--"I could have sworn it was in the 'simulation' mode--as well as frightening technical possibilities. Perhaps, due to some minor programming bug, the word "SIMULATION" might fail to disappear when it was supposed to. Someone approaching the computer would get the wrong idea of what it was safe to type.

These quotes are taken from: nathaniel s. borenstein, "my life as a nato collaborator" in the bulletin of the atomic scientists, april 1989: 13-20.

    A thought exercise

  • Think of Borenstein's concerns and eventual actions in light of Florman's analogy.
  • Does Borenstein have the obligation to set aside his pacifism to work on correcting this training problem?
  • Does Florman's analogy provide the justification for this? Or is Borenstein acting on the basis of a very different set of arguments?
  • Assume that you are a committed pacifist. Was Borenstein right to set aside his beliefs to work on this project? Did he really set aside his beliefs?

Questions & Answers

how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
yeah
Joseph
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
Lohitha
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
Ali
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Google
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
hey
Giriraj
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
Kamaluddeen
yes
narayan
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
Bhagvanji
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
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Source:  OpenStax, Business ethics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 04, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10491/1.11
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