David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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American Journal of Bioethics 8 (2):28 – 38 (2008)
New scientific advances have created previously unheard of possibilities for enhancing combatants' performance. Future war fighters may be smarter, stronger, and braver than ever before. If these technologies are safe, is there any reason to reject their use? In this article, I argue that the use of enhancements is constrained by the importance of maintaining the moral responsibility of military personnel. This is crucial for two reasons: the military's ethical commitments require military personnel to be morally responsible agents, and moral responsibility is necessary for integrity and the moral emotions of guilt and remorse, both of which are important for moral growth and psychological well-being. Enhancements that undermined combatants' moral responsibility would therefore undermine the military's moral standing and would harm combatants' well-being. A genuine commitment to maintaining the military's ethical standards and the well-being of combatants therefore requires a careful analysis of performance-enhancing technologies before they are implemented.
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References found in this work BETA
Bernard Arthur Owen Williams (1981). Moral Luck: Philosophical Papers, 1973-1980. Cambridge University Press.
R. Jay Wallace (1996). Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments. Harvard University Press.
John Jamieson Carswell Smart & Bernard Williams (1973). Utilitarianism: For and Against. Cambridge University Press.
Allen E. Buchanan, Dan W. Brock, Norman Daniels & Daniel Wikler (2000). From Chance to Choice: Genetics and Justice. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Patrick Lin (2010). Ethical Blowback From Emerging Technologies. Journal of Military Ethics 9 (4):313-331.
Andrew Fenton & Timothy Krahn (2008). Who's to Regret, What's to Regret? American Journal of Bioethics 8 (2):42 – 43.
Richard H. Dees (2008). Soldiers as Agents. American Journal of Bioethics 8 (2):46 – 47.
Richard Edmund Ashcroft (2008). Regulating Biomedical Enhancements in the Military. American Journal of Bioethics 8 (2):47 – 49.
Ori Lev (2008). Assessing the Importance of Maintaining Soldiers' Moral Responsibility—Possible Trade-Offs. American Journal of Bioethics 8 (2):44 – 45.
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