Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 685-700

First online:

Applying the rules of just war theory to engineers in the arms industry

  • Aaron FichtelbergAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology and Criminal Justice, University of Delaware Email author 

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Given the close relationship between the modern arms industry and the military, engineers and other professionals who work in the arms industry should be held accountable to the principles of just war theory. While they do not deploy weapons on the battlefield and are not in the military chain of command, technical professionals nonetheless have a moral duty to abide by principles of jus ad bellum and jus in bello. They are morally responsible both for choosing the companies that employ them (and to whom these companies sell arms) and a well as what types of arms they develop.

Key Words

Engineering Ethics Just War Theory