The Technological Imperative of Ethical Evolution

March 2, 2020

Video Seminar: Took place on February 17, 2020, at CNS of MIIS in Monterey

Rethinking National Security with Martin E. Hellman

Almost overnight, the Manhattan Project transformed ethical decision making from a purely moral concern into one that is essential for the survival of civilization. In the words of Albert Einstein, “The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.”

Environmental crises such as climate change, along with recent technological breakthroughs in genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and cyber technology are adding to the technological imperative for accelerating humanity’s ethical evolution.

Professor Martin E. Hellman of Stanford University visited CNS to discuss what he identified as eight lessons for accelerating that process, often using examples where we either failed to behave ethically or encountered great difficulty in doing so. He hopes that by doing so it adds, however meagerly, to humanity’s odds of avoiding Einstein’s “unparalleled catastrophe” and, instead, to building a world that we can be proud to pass on to future generations.

The video presentation is a more detailed, written version of an address Professor Hellman gave on July 3, 2019, at the Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates. Portions are adapted from Dorothie and Martin Hellman, A New Map for Relationships: Creating True Love at Home & Peace on the Planet. Reprinted with permission. A PDF is freely available online.


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