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Engineering Ethics of Nanotechnology - Essay Example

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At first, nuclear fission was regarded as the best alternative for hydroelectric energy. Its intended purposes were meant to address future energy needs in an increasingly industrialized population. However, Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki became victims when nuclear technology was used for military purposes. In this context, nanotechnology is still at its development stages, and there is a high possibility of it becoming successful. Despite imminent breakthrough in this nanotech field, stakeholders are increasingly becoming worried on the unintended consequences of continuing with such an uncertain engineering technology (Baillie 62). i. Global Security Concerned stakeholders are quick to admit the fact that potential benefits of developing machines with atomic and molecular specifications are immense. However, such benefits come with invariably restrictive dangers. Researchers behind these nanotech projects assert that nanotech units will possess technical attributes similar to biological cells. This means that machines made from this technology can undergo self-repair as well as growth. Consequently, nanotech devices will improve energy production, storage as well as conversion of energies within weaponry systems. Current trends in global security show that terrorism features a major vice that undermines political and social harmony. Production of nanotech machines and weapons may significantly compromise on fights against terror groups (Baillie 84). These machines can be used

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by terrorists in carrying out violent attacks on innocent civilians. This technology will provide an avenue through which lethal weapons of chemical and biological nature can be...
This essay stresses that Japan experienced an earthquake that interfered with some of its nuclear production plants. This was an isolated case of nuclear accidents which threatened human lives. Similarly, biological and chemical weapons produced from nanotechnology may compromise on safety of human lives. In this context, one can imagine a case where a biological weapon developed using this technology is effective enough to carry extremely miniature units capable of infecting 40 billion people with a deadly virus. Such imminent possibility can be worse whenever such miniature units are self-guided and can reach human targets across vast distances. In case of an accident like an earthquake or accidental drop of such weapons, it is possible that the entire human population on earth will be affected. In this case, nanotech weapons and medical products on lethal biological systems could be extremely dangerous.
This paper makes a conclusion that it is undeniable that every professional undertaking should be guided by strict ethical guidelines. These ethical guidelines are meant to safeguard interest of stakeholders like the public. In this case, the ethical issue of unintended consequences of nanotechnology serves as an illustration of current ethical issues surrounding engineering technology. In order to ensure objectivity, this ethical issue should be addressed prior to making any significant progress in developing nanotech machines.
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Summary

In this essay, a comprehensive understanding on nanotechnology will be developed. In addition, subsequent sections will involve detailed extrapolation into the depth and breadth of ethical issues surrounding nanotechnology as a branch of engineering. …
Engineering Ethics of Nanotechnology
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