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The Ethics Institute of Utrecht University’s department of Philosophy and Religious Studies seeks a researcher for a four-year, full-time PhD project “Disrupting ageing: Personhood, meaning, an

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Located on a beautiful farm, surrounded by nature and like-minded PhD students, the writing retreat is the perfect occasion to get some nice writing done, bond with others, and learn from each othe

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Statement 4TU.Ethics against use of technology for violence

The 4TU Centre for Ethics and Technology is distraught by the brutal violence against innocent people in Iran, Ukraine, and many other places in the world. In our mission we state that we envision  “..a world in which technology is developed and used for benefit of humanity and the preservation of our planet. It is a world in which ethical considerations concerning human rights, well-being, global and inter-generational justice, the social good are systematically included in practices of technology and engineering.”

This is an ideal vision indeed. Throughout human history, technology has been applied to suppress and to attack innocent people, either in warfare or by violent regimes towards their own people. Notwithstanding this repeating history, we are always shocked again, for example now in the ways how the Iranian regime is suppressing Iranian citizens by means of digital technologies (including tracking protesters with spyware on their mobile phones and using facial recognition technologies to identify protesters) and in the drone attacks by the Russian army on Ukrainian technological infrastructures, necessary for all citizens to survive. We cannot but reject such violence. Human rights should be served by technological developments, not violated. We call on all governments and engineers to resist such use of technology.