Military Cyborgs

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Military cyborgs are systems that use advanced technology to survive and kill in hostile environments. They may be manned remotely be teleoperation, or a human may fit inside them, as in the case of robotic exoskeletons. The central ethical concern of military cyborgs is that they take the human element out of war. It is much easier to kill someone on a screen than shoot them at point-blank range. Of course this general dynamic has been progressing throughout the history of war. In ancient times, one usually had to be very close to the enemy to kill them. With the advent of artillery and bombers, the distance grew even larger. We now have robots that can be controlled thousands of miles away, making killing people as easy as playing your favorite video game. The other major concern is on the home front. There were very few protests to the Vietnam war before the draft was instituted. Once people's lives were put into peril through the draft, widespread protests erupted. If you get machines to fight wars, it takes a lot of human elements out of wars. If you provide remote killing, it removes the human impulse to protest them in the first place. Displacing pain and the spectacle of destruction is an efficient way of increasing it's productivity. Ender's Game was a science fiction book that dove further into this concept.

Related Reading

PW Singer on military robots and the future of war