Evil intent and design responsibility

Science and Engineering Ethics 10 (2):303-309 (2004)
Mass casualty attacks in recent years have demonstrated the need to include “evil intent” as a design consideration. Three recent actual or potential weapons of mass destruction (WMD) attacks did not involve nuclear bombs or other devices designed as weapons, but rather benign objects used with evil intent. Just as unplanned events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, and user misuse have been codified into design requirements based on the likelihood and potential impact of the event, “evil intent” has to become part of the design process for buildings, vehicles, equipment, and other items. The endstate should be reasonable additions to existing codes and standards such that it is clear what is and is not designed for. In the absence of specific design guidance, professionals with appropriate expertise can assess potential for “evil intent” and provide recommendations to design out or warn against this potential harm to public safety, particularly when codified requirements are not present.
Keywords weapons of mass destruction (WMD)  explosion  public safety  disaster  attack  design responsibility
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