Ethics of Weapons Engineering

  • #1
I am currently doing my Physics BSc and I'm thinking about my future job. So far, I've decided that I would like to go to the U.S. and do a Masters in Mechanical Engineering, and then become a weapons engineer.

Generally, this is met by people telling me I would be a killer, and shouldn't follow this career path. I personally feel that this is not ethically wrong. I feel this way due to a number of reasons. Firstly, I'm sure someone else would take my place if I didn't get this job. Furthermore, I feel as though my presence could only improve what already exists, whereas my absence (or perhaps the absence of all weapons engineers) could only lead to what already exists remaining, which includes missiles, bombs and firearms.

I would really appreciate hearing from other people with an opinion on this, with perhaps some other arguments for each side.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
russ_watters
Mentor
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Welcome to PF.

The argument that someone else would do it if you didn't has nothing to do with ethics. The ethics comes from your personal beliefs about what the weapons are used for, ie, defense of your country.
 
  • #3
S_Happens
Gold Member
305
3
Generally, this is met by people telling me I would be a killer, and shouldn't follow this career path.
Does this bother you (It appears that it does, or that you're wondering if it should)? If so, why are you concerned with what other people think?

Firstly, I'm sure someone else would take my place if I didn't get this job.
Weak sauce. As stated by Russ, it has nothing to do with ethics.

Furthermore, I feel as though my presence could only improve what already exists, whereas my absence (or perhaps the absence of all weapons engineers) could only lead to what already exists remaining, which includes missiles, bombs and firearms.
OK. So why are you concerned with advancement of weapons technology?

You haven't stated anything you really think about weapons/weapons technology yet, much less made an ethical argument. Try stating what you think before asking for others to tell you what you want to hear.
 

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