Eduardo Padilla

Ensenada, Mexico

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Eduardo Padilla
Posted over 2 years ago
Is an engineer morally responsible for harm caused by their creations?
It perhaps could help to give every villager an assault rifle, but I believe that violence generates violence, in short or long term. What you should be doing is educating people. Instead of giving people guns to protect, educate people to help each other, to find ways to live together. I don't think you should just send teachers, in some places, they would just be ignored, killed, or whatever. But really invest in educating people. What would happen if, as a part of your defense investment, you had a real contribution in education? Everybody wants results today, but sometimes you have to invest today to see results in 20, 30 years. But you have to think in the long term, unfortunately. That's how you make sure what you do sticks, so to speak.
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Eduardo Padilla
Posted over 2 years ago
Is an engineer morally responsible for harm caused by their creations?
Yes, of course you have a responsibility for what your creation causes, specially when it's specifically made for harming. If the damage was caused, say, for a malfunction in the solar concentrators David Hamilton mentioned, you do have a responsibility, but it wasn't your intention at all, so I'd say that's okay. But a gun is especifically designed to harm someone. If you didn't have any other choice, you could say that you had to eat, and it would be less bad, so to speak (you still had the choice not to do it), but you do have choices. again, the solar concentrators sound very good. The thing is that the responsibility is so diluted, it doesn't feel like it. But you have to analize it like this: if you donĀ“t do it, perhaps not much would happen (someone would work extra hours to do what you would be doing); but, if people, as you, don't work on designing them, then the change would be obvious. It's the categorical imperative, i guess. Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law. I used to be an engineer, and worked in places where my job didn't make people's life easy. I provided information to decide if people should be fired, and how many. I made production faster, leaner, but people were laid off. I couldn't handle it, because, even when I was doing an excellent job, and I wasn't firing anyone, my input resulted in harming people, so I made up my mind and, eventually, started studying biology. I do think that the results of your work have a moral weight, however far you can see it. That's why you have to analyze what you do and decide if it harms people, and if you can avoid it. In your case, I think it's simple, given that the harm is so obvious. More specifically, call David Hamilton.