Katz (9) states that most engineers and architects are concerned with designing and building items that will improve the human condition. They are convinced that their inventions will be used for good and blinded from the fact that they can be improvised for evil too. The most compelling idea from the article by Kant is the dismantling of the notion that technology is neutral as far as morals and ethics are concerned. The excuse of moral neutrality was given by the engineers who invented the technologies that were used by the Nazis for mass murder in the concentration camps. Katz delves deep into the psyche of the Nazi engineers in a bid to uncover how they reconciled their actions with their morals. He concludes that the Nazi engineers were exposed to an absolute ideology which formed the foundation of their morals and consequently, ethics.
Given that the neutrality of technology has been discounted, it becomes imperative for the engineer to determine whether his or her ideologies are ethically sound. There is no separating the uses and application of a technology from the moral standing of the engineer who invented it (Loi 205). Engineers are faced by problems in their environment and use their knowledge and skills to innovate and resolve it. The innovators for Hitler’s regime designed the concentration camps and the crematoriums to cater for the needs of the regime (Katz 7). Despite their actions contributing to the suffering and deaths of millions, they still felt justified. Their ideology presented their actions as noble means of achieving the goal of purifying their race. For the modern technology experts, they need not focus on the application of their inventions. Instead, they need to evaluate their ideologies and how they affect those around them. Having healthy morals will contribute to ethical technology.
Katz, Eric. “The Nazi Engineers: Reflections On Technological Ethics In Hell.” Science and Engineering Ethics 17.3 (2010): 571-582.
Loi, Michele. “Technological Unemployment And Human Disenhancement.” Ethics and Information Technology 17.3 (2015): 201-210.