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The morality of drones

March 2, 2010

These days I don’t often read a whole newspaper story in depth, but I got caught up in this article in Sunday’s Washington Post about how drones are changing the culture of the Air Force.  I kept waiting (in vain) for someone to talk about the morality of people playing life-and-death video games, blowing up targets thousands of miles away from the safety of their bunker in Nevada.

  1. Ellen N. Duell permalink
    March 3, 2010 9:47 am

    I believe that “drones” are absolutely immoral, evil, and that those who are responsible for even designing them must accept responsibility. Of course, that responsibility is ours, when we don’t do what we can to end the social prestige of the U.S. military establishment as well as its financial support.

    In Haiti, in New Orleans, now in Chile, the military personnel are ordered to go help the beleagured citizens who have been suffering from natural disasters. How about our deciding to turn all the military organizations into a Peace Corps, to go with humanitarian aid and be trained in giving it, but to take no weapons! To go with the idea of empowering the “victims” (wrong word!) to help themselves and each other as much as they can! To disavow hierarchy, as they help, and emphasize cooperation.

  2. Ellen N. Duell permalink
    March 3, 2010 9:49 am

    I already sent a comment. I wonder if something is wrong with your system–I keep getting this page again and again.

  3. Alicia McBride permalink*
    March 3, 2010 9:56 am

    Hi Ellen–Your comment is posted, so I don’t know what’s going on. You can email me (alicia at if you’re have problems with the blog.

  4. Wee Geordie permalink
    March 6, 2010 4:57 pm

    Thank you for raising that concern. It needs to be considered every time a new technology is applied for military purposes. Technology can provide much for the improvement of our daily lives and our civilization, but can also be perverted to malicious uses.

    The use of drones can also be directed at the U.S. by enemies thousands of miles away, in much the same way as rockets directed from Germany to England near the end of WW II.

    We need to be more effective as a country in developing negotiating skills and diplomacy, then applying them assertively.

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