How to be devoted to God. How to respect izzat [family honour and prestige], the elders in the family. How to provide for your parents, worship God. Everything has been written in them. Nivritti is master of Jnanadeva, Mukta which is the abbreviation of Muktabai, Sopa who is the brother of Jnanadeva and Muktabai. I never met Bacche, I only knew that he was an important person.
He was the one who organised the dabbawala association, turned it into a working group. Living on the street. Bacche also had the idea of building the first dharamshala at Bhimashank. They asked for donations, one rupee, two rupees, five rupees. You can still see all the names. The money was collected over a couple of years: the mukadams gave most money because they ran the line and the dabbawala were employees. After he had collected donations, Bacche bought land and built the dharamshala. Over the years, we built the shops alongside. Here at Alandi there are lots of dharamshalas : the immigrants pay for them to be built, for example the fishmongers have one and so do the greengrocers.
But we were the first. I live here, where I have a room with my wife. There is a perception that food delivery constitutes an act of religious devotion that reveals the absence of discrimination toward others. Just as the Varkari Sampradaya devotees consider life to be a pilgrimage, the dabbawalas are constantly on the move for their work and for their faith. Our tradition is really to see work as puja. All of us are Hindus but we bring tiffin to Muslims, Christians, Gujaratis, and any strangers.
If we deliver food to a Hindu, we also deliver to Muslims. Pick up tiffin, deliver tiffin: if we make a mistake and the customer gets angry, we accept it. Hindu workers take off their hats when they go to a Muslim area. Anyone who discriminates is afraid. Dabbawalas work there every day because we have to earn money, but earning can be in different ways. This way, there is hard work. In human relationships, delivering food to another is a kind of job that means you cannot discriminate.
The warrior prince Shivaji is our ancestor, the father of the father of our paternal grandfather; the whole family descends from him. Chattrapati Shivaji was king; Chattrapati Shivaji was an emperor. We were first his soldiers but that is now in the past. Now there is the government. We have to earn money and to do that we have to work. Now we pay service to sadhus [ascetics] and sants. This is devotion. Strength is needed for all work. We learned this from him. To do business, kindness is required. We learned that from them. We learned kindness from the sants and courage from the emperor. We believe in the same Sampradaya as the pilgrims.
Our families believe that providing food is punya, a worthy action that brings religious virtue: work is worship.
Serving food is considered a worthy action. He is considered by his followers to be the founder of the Maratha nation because of his relentless struggle against the hegemony of the Mughal Empire. The response was a Maratha battle against Muslims. Through guerrilla warfare Marathas avoided fighting out in the open, but destroyed enemy lines of communication and assaulted isolated detachments. Contemporary Indians consider Shivaji important for his contribution to the forging of a proud Hindu nationalist spirit in his people. The mythology of Shivaji is crucial to understand the symbolic reconstruction that underpins Indian systems of political rhetoric, in particular those of the Marathas.
According to Ranade, this process of linguistic and symbolic amalgamation may also have led to the development of shared social structures and moral codes. Ranade also attaches great importance to the Maharashtrian Bhakti movement, which is to say the Varkari Sampradaya that promoted a society without castes. This challenge to the Brahmin establishment is always an inspirational presence in the Bhakti movement. The story also gives a new symbolic significance to the pre-Aryan divinities: for instance, legend has it that the goddess Bhavani gave Shivaji her invincible sword.
It appears that the ethical canons chosen by the dabbawalas are also taken from this legendary ancestor, including gender equality, non-discrimination, Hindu religious beliefs, and the idea of work as a source of strength and liberation from poverty. At the beginning there was only one group of dabbawalas , then other groups formed. Then the groups joined together to create the association. If you serve people, God blesses you, and serving people is like serving God.
The spirit is content if a job is done well, if it is performed properly. This is the Varkari Sampradaya way: live correctly, earn correctly, work correctly. Do not take work from others. Do not earn illegally. This is our Varkari Sampradaya law. We Varkaris do not see any differences to do with jati. Many Indian intellectuals are uneasy when they see their society constantly described and interpreted through caste. Rules regarding contamination caused by contact with individuals considered inferior by birth or for frequenting specific places like hospitals are being increasingly ignored.
The connection between caste and professional specialisations, especially in urban contexts, has also lessened considerably. For Inden, this ahistorical and ingrained approach to Indian civilisation and society constitutes the main weakness of many Indological perspectives of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. More recently in India, and particularly in the state of Maharashtra, caste rhetoric has been put to controversial political use, especially by the neo-Hindu movement of which the Bharatiya Janata Party is the leading political player.
Looking for an alleged racial authenticity, the party used Mumbai as its stage for economic and social demands increasingly and explicitly based on linguistic and caste affiliation. A detailed discussion of the political and social life of the city in recent decades does not fall within the remit of this book but, in order to understand the collective dabbawala experience, it is necessary to give a brief overview of the particular cultural-political sphere of which it is part.
The Brahmins, or priests, have the colour white; the Kshatriya or princes and noble warriors are designated with the colour red; the vaishya or the people farmers and traders are symbolically yellow. The first, preferred above all by Max Weber, fuses the institutionalisation of inequality with the concepts of dharma , samsara and karma.
Otherwise, they will be reborn into a lower caste or even inferior life forms like animals, plants, etc. The relationship that links the various castes is thus arranged to comply with principles of complementarity and consequently everyone should be eager to maintain a social order that conforms to a moral order dharma. It includes a number of families and is often, but not always, associated with employment. It is quite significantly characterised by ethnicity and religious or geographical origin and intermarriage.
The behaviour of its members is influenced by precise dietary and shared eating rules. David Mamo writes that this interpretation of castes indicates they are distinct social and cultural entities. As such, they tend to create internal subcultures as a consequence of the intensity and quality of communication within the group, compared to that of the group with others. In fact, such communication is fostered and preferred as it is functional to the strengthening of a sense of caste identity.
Morris D. They are always closely interconnected and interdependent because the social organisation of urban workplaces is linked to neighbourhood and family relationships, as well as regional origins. A document issued by a United Spinning and Weaving Mills manager in prohibited Untouchables from working in these factories. In the early twentieth century, the number of Untouchables rose significantly and stabilised in the s and s, during industrial strikes.
During the general strike, for example, the prominent political Dalit leader Ambedkar strove to provide the workforce needed to continue cotton production. These multi-caste conglomerates often organised whip-rounds to raise funds, and set up a subscription system to ensure welfare and job mediation services for their affiliates. In addition to the prominence given by the internal hierarchies to the Maratha identity and its most important icons starting with Chattrapati Shivaji , there were also the common rural origins of many affiliates and a shared language base.
Then in I started too. Medge explains:. There are also women dabbawalas who do light work. For example, if the husband is ill, the woman goes to work in the fields. Women are given light tasks in the work group. Take Lakshmibai: she works in the Santacruz station and lives in Kandivali.
We often call each other with the names of family members… dada , bhai , bhau. As happens in a family. If the caste associations, of which the NMTBSCT is an example, have been able to act as engines of empowerment for their members, enhancing their contractual position and, of course, that of the associations themselves , it is largely due to the strong symbolic and affective intensity of the relationships among their members. On one hand, the family maintains its significance as the matrix for organising migration plans, marriages between the same jatis , or professional careers.
On the other, it stands as a relationship model in an urban context of social relations shaped by supra-urban and supra-national economic, social and political forces. The metropolitan arena is a place where various caste associations live in close contact and never achieve cultural equality, but simply create a dense fabric of transversal relations that find their identity in the interrelation within these associations. Our caste is Maratha, from Maharashtra. Shivaji was a Maratha Hindu.
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As already seen, however, most of the dabbawalas originate from the western part of the state of Maharashtra, from small rural villages. Although they are not so far away from the city, their areas of origin have a completely different landscape to that of the city, dominated by cultivated fields and hills covered with sparse bushes.
The economy of the home villages is predominantly agricultural and most work derives from this sector: agriculture and dairy farming, with a modest amount of secondary businesses. I live in Goregaon with my family, with the brothers who live here. Two are dabbawalas , one is a BST [local Bombay bus service] bus driver. He used to be a dabbawala , but now he drives buses. I have two daughters and a son, but my son is seventeen and studies. Most dabbawala families do not move to the city as a group. Family members stay in the village, where they continue to farm small plots of land that they own or rent.
The consolidation of migratory movements contributes to the stabilisation of flows because the families of the migrants eventually enjoy an enhanced income and elevation of their social status. Conversely, the families of those who cannot or will not emigrate are the victims of increasing relative poverty. I come from the village and before I was a dabbawala I worked in a paper factory there: Auto Plane Paper.
At home now there are one or two men for the fields. The others all do other work. What can we do? We go to the city to do other work. I have two sons. The other one works in an airline ticket office. You just work while you can and then you go back to the village. Before the fields gave crops, but not anymore.
The new generation has increased. A man has two sons, two sons have four sons, then they have to move away to work, otherwise who would leave their villages and their ways! Our customs are the same as back in the village. We work in the same way. Drought and torrential rain have eroded arable land, rendering it infertile and difficult to work. All this has contributed to increasing emigration towards Mumbai. In this way, they were admitted to the Vaishya varna , and this was when the term Maratha began referring to a caste.
We have great consideration of God and the sadhus. Serving human beings, serving is like rendering service to God, like meeting God. Sampradaya people are all vegetarian and we even take food to young children, to primary and secondary schools, because their parents work in offices and they order food for their children from the dabbawalas. To do hard work, you have to be Kshatriya. In our Sampradaya we revere sadhus deeply, so that our work goes well.
Customer satisfaction, good service, are what a Varkari Sampradaya offers. You need a Kshatriya for hard work. It is significant, however, that most of the dabbawalas come from the same territorial and cultural backgrounds as did most of the Bombay cotton mill workers, which facilitated the development and success of their delivery service. In the same way as other caste associations, the dabbawalas have built their business on the basis of existing linguistic, regional and caste ties, using these common factors as a resource that would generate capital.
The reason is the gradual erosion of the kinship system organised according to the traditional tenets of intermarriage and shared eating habits that underpin the caste concept, following increased rural migration to the city. Brahmins were progressively seen as educated but arrogant, and came to be represented as an effeminate, decadent expression of urban culture. In this way they were a total contrast to the basic Maratha Kshatriya varna values of warfare, rural virtues honesty, frugality, humility, decorum, etc , devotion to the Bhakti movement and emphasis on a regional, suburban background.
These networks were made acceptable and expendable because of shared ideals of rural virtues, economic opportunities, local alliances, and group affinities that emerge on each occasion thanks to common interests and migration processes. Dabbawalas consider their work as performing puja.
Serving food [the speaker used the Sanskrit word anna] is a very important thing. Food in India expresses a multitude of classifications—from satisfying daily biological needs to defining social and family relationships, economic transactions, hierarchical boundaries, and ethical and legal systems.
This turns it into a cluster of moral meanings and expressions that reflect the needs of the body and its aspiration to spiritual liberation. Rather it attempts to define the essence and cultural experience that food evokes among Indians. The Aryan peoples settled on the northern Indian plain in about BC, arriving from central Asia, and their beliefs spread mostly in that part of India.
Food was not only a form of subsistence but also a fundamental part of the great Aryan cosmic moral circle where those who eat—and the food they eat—must be in harmony with the Universe. The food ingested, in relation to this harmony, gives rise to three major transformations: faeces, meat and manas or thought, which is the most precious transformation.
It is possible to create right-goal mixtures that contain some mandatory elements and that therefore seem more like real rights see Brems A right-goal mixture might include some rights-like goals, some mandatory steps to be taken immediately, and duties to realize the rights-like goals as quickly as possible. Equality of rights for historically disadvantaged or subordinated groups is a longstanding concern of the human rights movement. Human rights documents repeatedly emphasize that all people, including women and members of minority ethnic and religious groups, have equal human rights and should be able to enjoy them without discrimination.
The right to freedom from discrimination figures prominently in the Universal Declaration and subsequent treaties. A number of standard individual rights are especially important to ethnic and religious minorities, including rights to freedom of association, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, and freedom from discrimination.
Human rights documents also include rights that refer to minorities explicitly and give them special protections. Feminists have often protested that standard lists of human rights do not sufficiently take into account the different risks faced by women and men. For example, issues like domestic violence, reproductive choice, and trafficking of women and girls for sex work did not have a prominent place in early human rights documents and treaties.
This has meant that governments cannot be seen as the only addressees of human rights and that the right to privacy of home and family needs qualifications to allow police to protect women within the home. The issue of how formulations of human rights should respond to variations in the sorts of risks and dangers that different people face is difficult and arises not just in relation to gender but also in relation to age, profession, political affiliation, religion, and personal interests.
Due process rights, for example, are much more useful to young people and particularly young men than they are to older people since the latter are far less likely to run afoul of the criminal law. Since the United Nations has mainly dealt with the rights of women and minorities through specialized treaties such as the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination ; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women ; the Convention on the Rights of the Child , and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities See also the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Specialized treaties allow international norms to address unique problems of particular groups such as assistance and care during pregnancy and childbearing in the case of women, custody issues in the case of children, and the loss of historic territories by indigenous peoples.
Minority groups are often targets of violence. Human rights norms call upon governments to refrain from such violence and to provide protections against it. This work is partly done by the right to life, which is a standard individual right. It is also done by the right against genocide which protects some groups from attempts to destroy or decimate them.
The right against genocide is clearly a group right. It is held by both individuals and groups and provides protection to groups as groups. It is largely negative in the sense that it requires governments and other agencies to refrain from destroying groups; but it also requires that legal and other protections against genocide be created at the national level.
Can the right against genocide be a human right? More generally, can a group right fit the general idea of human rights proposed earlier? On that conception, human rights are rights of all persons. Perhaps it can, however, if we broaden our conception of who can hold human rights to include important groups that people form and cherish see the entry on group rights. This can be made more palatable, perhaps, by recognizing that the beneficiaries of the right against genocide are individual humans who enjoy greater security against attempts to destroy the group to which they belong Kymlicka In spite of the danger of rights inflation, there are doubtless norms that should be counted as human rights but are not generally recognized as such.
Consider environmental rights, which are often defined to include rights of animals or even of nature itself see the entry on environmental ethics. Alternative formulations are possible, however. A basic environmental human right can be understood as requiring maintenance and restoration of an environment that is safe for human life and health. Many countries have environmental rights of this sort in their constitutional bills of rights Hayward A human right to a safe environment or to environmental protection does not directly address issues such as the claims of animals or biodiversity, although it might do so indirectly using the idea of ecosystem services to humans see Biodiversity and Human Rights.
A justification for a human right to a safe environment should show that environmental problems pose serious threats to fundamental human interests, values, or norms; that governments may appropriately be burdened with the responsibility of protecting people against these threats; and that most governments actually have the ability to do this. One approach, advocated by Steve Vanderheiden accepts the idea of a human right to an environment that is adequate for human life and health and derives from this broad right a more specific right to a stable climate Vanderheiden Another approach, advocated by Simon Caney, does not require introducing a new environmental right.
One could expand this approach by arguing that severe climate change should be reduced and mitigated because it will cause massive human migrations and other crises that will undermine the abilities of many governments to uphold human rights for evaluation of these arguments see Bell Two familiar philosophical worries about human rights are that they are based on moral beliefs that are culturally relative and that their creation and advocacy involves ethnocentrism.
Human rights prescribe universal standards in areas such as security, law enforcement, equality, political participation, and education. The peoples and countries of planet Earth are, however, enormously varied in their practices, traditions, religions, and levels of economic and political development. The anthropologist William G. Relativists sometimes accuse human rights advocates of ethnocentrism, arrogance, and cultural imperialism Talbott Ethnocentrism can lead to arrogance and intolerance in dealings with other countries, ethical systems, and religions.
Finally, cultural imperialism occurs when the economically, technologically, and militarily strongest countries impose their beliefs, values, and institutions on the rest of the world. Relativists often combine these charges with a prescription, namely that tolerance of varied practices and traditions ought to be instilled and practiced through measures that include extended learning about other cultures.
The conflict between relativists and human rights advocates may be partially based on differences in their underlying philosophical beliefs, particularly in metaethics. Relativists are often subjectivists or noncognitivists and think of morality as entirely socially constructed and transmitted.
In contrast, philosophically-inclined human rights advocates are more likely to adhere to or presuppose cognitivism, moral realism , and intuitionism. This is not, of course, the stance of most anthropologists today. Currently the American Anthropological Association has a Committee on Human Rights whose objectives include promoting and protecting human rights and developing an anthropological perspective on human rights. While still emphasizing the importance of cultural differences, anthropologists now often support cultural survival and the protection of vulnerable cultures, non-discrimination, and the rights and land claims of indigenous peoples.
The idea that relativism and exposure to other cultures promote tolerance may be correct from a psychological perspective. People who are sensitive to differences in beliefs, practices, and traditions, and who are suspicious of the grounds for extending norms across borders, may be more inclined to be tolerant of other countries and peoples than those who believe in an objective universal morality.
Still, philosophers have been generally critical of attempts to argue from relativism to a prescription of tolerance Talbott If the culture and religion of one country has long fostered intolerant attitudes and practices, and if its citizens and officials act intolerantly towards people from other countries, they are simply following their own traditions and cultural norms.
They are just doing what relativists think people mostly do. Accordingly, a relativist from a tolerant country will be hard-pressed to find a basis for criticizing the citizens and officials of the intolerant country. To do so the relativist will have to endorse a transcultural principle of tolerance and to advocate as an outsider cultural change in the direction of greater tolerance. Because of this, relativists who are deeply committed to tolerance may find themselves attracted to a qualified commitment to human rights. East Asia is the region of the world that participates least in the international human rights system—even though some important East Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea do participate.
Proponents of the Asian values idea did not wish to abolish all human rights; they rather wanted to deemphasize some families of human rights, particularly the fundamental freedoms and rights of democratic participation and in some cases the rights of women. They also wanted Western governments and NGOs to stop criticizing them for human rights violations in these areas. At the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, countries including Singapore, Malaysia, China, and Iran advocated accommodations within human rights practice for cultural and economic differences.
Western representatives tended to view the position of these countries as excuses for repression and authoritarianism. The Conference responded by approving the Vienna Declaration. The international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing, and with the same emphasis. While the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty of States, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Perhaps the debate about relativism and human rights has become obsolete. In recent decades widespread acceptance of human rights has occurred in most parts of the world. Finally, globalization has diminished the differences among peoples. National and cultural boundaries are breached not just by international trade but also by millions of travelers and migrants, electronic communications, international law covering many areas, and the efforts of international governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Worldwide polls on attitudes towards human rights are now available and they show broad support for human rights and international efforts to promote them. Empirical research can now replace or supplement theoretical speculations about how much disagreement on human rights exists worldwide. Unfortunately, popular acceptance of human rights ideas has not, however, prevented a recent slide in many of these same countries towards authoritarianism.
The General Idea of Human Rights 2. The Existence and Grounds of Human Rights 2. Which Rights are Human Rights? The General Idea of Human Rights This section attempts to explain the general idea of human rights by identifying four defining features. Some representative formulations follow: Everyone has the right to freedom of thought and expression.
American Convention on Human Rights, Article Every citizen shall have the right to participate freely in the government of his country, either directly or through freely chosen representatives in accordance with the provisions of the law. Every citizen shall have the right of equal access to the public service of his country. Every individual shall have the right of access to public property and services in strict equality of all persons before the law African Charter, Article Universal Human Rights in a World of Diverse Beliefs and Practices Two familiar philosophical worries about human rights are that they are based on moral beliefs that are culturally relative and that their creation and advocacy involves ethnocentrism.
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Morsink, J. Moyn, S. Mutua, M. Nickel, J. Langford, et al. Nozick, R. A decision to pursue one technology for an application in one context a military context may well raise ELSI concerns about its use in another context e. One contemporary example is the law enforcement use of surveillance drones developed for military purposes, a use that has raised public concerns about privacy. In many cases, however, the committee found little work at the nexus of ethics, emerging technologies, and military applications.
Nevertheless, some relevant work includes the following:. In addition, a report of the National Research Council, Protecting Individual Privacy in the Struggle Against Terrorists: A Framework for Assessment , 46 developed a framework for the systematic assessment of information-based programs being considered or already in use for counterterrorist purposes. This framework posed a set of questions focused on the effectiveness, lawfulness, and consistency with U.
The committee notes that perspectives on ethical, legal, and societal issues related to science, technology, and military affairs are hardly unitary. Even within a single nation such as the United States, different constituencies are likely to have different ethical stances toward the same issue. Furthermore, perspectives on ethics may vary with military might. A nation that is accustomed to military superiority on the battlefield may well have an ethical perspective different from that of other nations without such power Box 1.
The ethical perspectives of allies, adversaries, and neutral observers may well be different from that of the United States; under some circumstances, the differences may have consequences for U. As a matter of U. DOD Research and Engineering more Addressing differences in ethical perspectives has two aspects, only one of which is covered in any detail in this report. Chapters 2 through 5 of this report address the first aspect, namely, the identification and articulation of possibly competing ethical perspectives. To properly consider ethical, legal, and societal issues, decision makers must begin by understanding the scope and nature of those issues.
Part of that understanding is an explicit decision regarding whose ethical perspectives should be considered and taken into account. The second aspect of addressing differing ethical perspectives is just as important. Once competing ethical perspectives have been identified, how should they be weighed and who should weigh them? Furthermore, on what basis should a party whose ethical perspectives are not adequately included in any policy decision, however inclusive and honest the decision-making process, be expected to trust and acquiesce in that decision?
In both national and international law, legal practitioners and scholars have developed approaches to balancing competing or conflicting interests, even when those conflicting interests are well grounded and legitimate. Examples of such approaches include procedural requirements such as burden-of-proof obligations; criteria to ensure that the impact on the interests that are adversely affected is minimized to the extent feasible given the conflicting interests at stake; and appeal to case law to identify binding or guiding precedents.
Environmental Ethics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy/Summer Edition)
As a broad generalization, approaches to balancing competing ethical claims and to comparing the ethics of different courses of action are considerably less developed. As a practical matter, it is often true that individuals presented with an ethical dilemma in a specific case come to similar conclusions about the appropriate course of action, even if they would disagree vehemently on the underlying reasoning or ethical theories.
And in some cases, examination of similar cases from the past may help to shed some light on ethical matters. In the end, if and when agreement cannot be found in contemplating any given dilemma, participants will usually engage in some ad hoc process that resolves it one way or another. It is not too strong to describe such a process as being political and hence outside the scope of this report , and the political nature of this process serves as a reminder of the very complex milieu in which decision makers operate.
That is, although the report does identify ethical issues that are associated with some of the technologies of interest to DARPA, it does not come to any specific conclusions about the ethical, legal, or societal propriety of any particular research program or project in the DARPA portfolio. Also, this report does not address specific operational programs. While research programs are supported because they might enable important capabilities and thus an ELSI assessment of a given research effort necessarily entails a consideration of applications , it is rarely clear at the outset how those capabilities might be integrated into an operational program.
The reason is that the latter involves many specific decisions about how the program must operate—specific personnel, specific logistics, specific command-and-control configurations, specific rules of engagement, specific mechanisms for oversight, and so on. There are of course ethical, legal, and societal issues associated with these arrangements e. Furthermore, research-supporting agencies have general counsels that are charged with ensuring that all programs and projects by those agencies, both external and internal, are conducted in accordance with all applicable legal requirements.
Processes intended to fulfill this mandate are not addressed in this report, except insofar as they are points of departure as mechanisms for considering ethical, legal, and societal issues more broadly. Thus, any debate over the fundamental ethics of doing military research at all is outside its scope. Other relevant technology domains that the committee could have chosen to address include space technologies, geoengineering technologies, and nanotechnology.
Chapter 2 addresses the first three, which are foundational sciences and technologies that enable progress and applications in a variety of problem domains. Chapter 3 address the last four, which are application domains associated with specific operational military problems. That is, even without large investment, a multitude of state and nonstate actors, friendly or not, can adopt and adapt their results to a multitude of purposes. Without attempting to be comprehensive, it highlights some of the ELSI implications that emerge in each domain.
Chapter 4 describes sources of ELSI insight, including a variety of theoretical and disciplinary approaches to ethics and insights from social sciences such as anthropology and psychology. Chapter 5 uses the sources of Chapter 4 and ELSI commonalities that appear in many of the technologies discussed in Chapters 2 and 3 to articulate questions for various stakeholders that might be used when contemplating the development of a technology or an application.
Chapter 6 considers the limitations of a priori analysis and proposes two additional techniques for augmenting and increasing the value of what such analysis can provide. The chapter explores deliberative processes as a way to expand the scope of ELSI insights that might be relevant, and an adaptive approach to planning that can mitigate some of the ELSI uncertainties that can accompany any given development.
However, this report uses the acronym as an adjective. Harris, Jr. Even scientists conducting the most fundamental research need to be aware that their work can ultimately have a great impact on society … [and] tremendous societal consequences. The occurrence and consequences of discoveries in basic research are virtually impossible to foresee. Nevertheless, the scientific community must recognize the potential for such discoveries and be prepared to address the questions that they raise.
If scientists do find that their discoveries have implications for some important aspect of public affairs, they have a responsibility to call attention to the public issues involved…. Boyer, Stanley N. Cohen, Ronald W. Davis, David S. Watson, Sherman and Norton D. Paul Berg et al. Daniel R. Bernard Brodie and Fawn M.
In the case of both crossbows and submarines, these bans were subsequently ignored as the military value of using these weapons in the forbidden ways became more important. Taylor B. Seybolt, Jay D. Aronson, and Baruch Fischhoff, eds. Other reports and analysts define dual-use technology as technology intended for beneficial purposes that can also be misused for harmful purposes.
For example, military commanders during the first Gulf war realized that they needed the capability to destroy deeply buried Iraqi bunkers, and existing ordnance was inadequate for this task. Texas Instruments and Lockheed mounted an effort that resulted in the first combat use of the GBU laser-guided bomb 17 days after the initiation of the development effort. If the State is not operating within the self-defense or armed conflict paradigms, it must be operating in the human rights paradigm. Simply put, if a State does not meet the legal criteria of self-defense or armed conflict, but uses force without Security Council authorization, it is doing so unlawfully.
Thus, it becomes imperative for a State utilizing military force to justify and legitimize its actions as either a lawful right to self-defense or engagement in an armed conflict. Donald E. Notions of technological malleability and technology interconnectedness are further explored in James H. Predictive analysis seeks to make predictions about significant events in the future based on correlations found in patterns of data.
The Chemical Weapons Convention constrains the use of chemical nonlethal weapons in a military context. However, certain kinds of directed-energy weapons might be developed for the purpose of affecting neurological function in some nonlethal way. The Ottawa Treaty, The United States is not a party to this treaty, although as a matter of policy, it has mostly complied with its main provisions. Although the statement of task mentioned nanotechnology as an illustrative technology for this report, the committee did not examine nanotechnology explicitly.
The reason was that the U. That dedicated effort is well resourced and positioned to make meaningful statements about ethical, legal, and societal issues associated with nanotechnology. Turn recording back on. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Search term. Basic research, however, may include activities with broad applications in mind. However, against the backdrop of an evolving legal context and understanding is the reality that law and ethics are not identical, and even well-established law cannot be the final word on ethical and societal issues for several reasons: Established law may not even address ethical or societal issues that are important in any given instance.
The relationship of legal, ethical, and societal factors is not always straightforward, although they do overlap in some cases. In general, the law is supposed to reflect the ethical, as well as the practical, values of the community to which it applies. Law can thus be an expression of both ethical and societal concerns, but it is not always so. By contrast, ethical and societal considerations are not bounded by their expressions in law; indeed, some are not captured by law at all, perhaps because it may not be possible to condense an ethical or societal concern to a simple expression of black-letter law.
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Most importantly, in many cases the emergence of ethical and societal concerns leads the development of law. In this interval, decision makers have to cope with such concerns and the controversies they may engender in the absence of formal e. The interpretation of established law may depend on the particular facts and circumstances of any research problem. For example, a law may prohibit the use of human subjects under conditions that expose those subjects to significant danger.
Moreover, there is often profound disagreement in many instances about what is ethical, a disagreement often reflected in laws that are ambiguous or incomplete. Law, which is usually designed to withstand rapid changes in popular opinion, may be unclear in its practical application. That is, new circumstances may highlight tensions between ethical and legal constructs that might otherwise be overlooked.
The ethical and societal environment extant at the time a law might be applied could be very different from that at the time the law was formulated. Although some degree of ethical or societal consensus may have to be present when a given law is enacted or otherwise goes into force, that consensus may no longer be operative at the moment policy makers must make a decision about a given research effort.
That is, laws themselves are sometimes overtaken by events that call into question some of their underlying but unstated ethical assumptions. Similar considerations apply for new technological capabilities that may not have been anticipated in the initial formulation of a law. Strategic or tactical concerns also may not line up well with ethical considerations. For example, a decision to develop a new weapon system for use under particularly exigent circumstances might be considered by some to be ethically objectionable e.
In , the postwar Nuremberg trials resulted in the convictions of a number of German physicians and bureaucrats who conducted or facilitated horrific medical experiments on concentration camp prisoners. These trials have become an important point of departure for international discussions on bioethics issues. In , the Belmont report of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research presented three basic ethical principles regarding the conduct of biomedical research involving human subjects: respect for persons e.
These regulations, usually known collectively as the Common Rule, require institutions to establish institutional review boards IRBs that approve, modify, or reject such research. In the late s, the Human Genome Project HGP established a program of research on ethical, legal, and societal issues associated with sequencing the human genome.
Such issues include questions of how genetic information should be interpreted and used, who should have access to it, and how people could be protected from the harm that might result from the improper disclosure or use of such information. The CWC bans the development, production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons, although the CWC acknowledges the benefits of peaceful chemistry and the desire to promote free trade in chemicals and international cooperation in chemical activities not prohibited by the convention.
Some of the issues include how applications of nanotechnology research are introduced into society; how transparent the related decision-making processes are; and how sensitive and responsive policies are to the needs of the full range of stakeholders. In , the Russell-Einstein manifesto addressed the dangers of nuclear war, arguing that the use of nuclear weapons threatened the continued existence of mankind.