The Caritas in Veritate Foundation is grounded in Christian values and the social teaching of the Catholic Church. The latter is predicated upon the ethical foundation of natural law and the complementarity of faith and reason. Drawing upon collaboration with international experts, the foundation promotes and disseminates the contributions of Christian social teaching in the international arena.
The foundation aims to provide the representatives of the Holy See, the Order of Malta and Catholic NGOs in Geneva with practical knowledge and with the rich experience of experts searching for an effective attainment of truth and justice.
The aim is to make the positions of the Catholic Church more understandable and visible, thus increasing their impact on the elaboration of international culture and law.
Catholic presence at the UN
Special Event -- Mutual Contributions and Benefits: Integrating Migrants in Host Societies
Geneva 30 November 2017, 1 PM - 3 PM, Room XVII, Palais des Nations
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Side Event -- The Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation
Geneva 14 September 2017, 1 PM - 3 PM, Room XXIV, Palais des Nations
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Side Event -- The Right to International Solidarity
Geneva 8 June 2017, 1 PM - 2:30 PM, Room IX, Palais des Nations
The Humanization of Robots and the Robotization of the Human Person
The Caritas in Veritate Foundation is pleased to present our nineth working paper. Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) are a relatively new subject of discussion at the United Nations. In this working paper we differentiate four types of robots: controlled, supervised, autonomous and innovative robots, thus making it possible to move forward by further restricting and clarifying what the usual terminology describes as âappropriateâ or âmeaningfulâ human supervision. In particular, innovative LAWS raise a variety of perplexing legal and ethical issues, since a machine is a complex set of circuits that can never become a truly morally responsible agent. Technical progress in the military field is advancing at a rapid pace. It has not been accompanied, however, by an ethical and legal framework capable of successfully facing the challenges of todayâs world. Vital decisions, which must be taken by human persons, cannot be delegated to objects. From this point of view, LAWS and any form of highly innovative armed robots are a contradiction to this requirement.
While ways of intrusively augmenting the performance of soldiers have existed for a long time, it is the elimination of an absolute reference to the human nature that is once again problematic. Our overarching ethical criticism rests fundamentally on a dehumanization and de-responsibilization of the action of the human agent. Eventually, the difference between soldiers and their equipment is erased and they become equipment themselves. Effectively, they lose their freedom of decision. We need to be careful that augmentation does not transform soldiers into unconscientious âcyber puppetsâ.
One of the objectives of this publication is to provoke a debate to develop an informed position in order to establish a common understanding of LAWS and augmented soldiers since they have implications and consequences on the entire human family. Therefore, the âethical check listâ outlined in this paper could be food for thought. This profound attention to the human person, this respect for his/her own limitations, considered as assets, could lead to the establishment of a framework underpinning future discussions concerning the evaluation of these new military technologies, without disregarding those advances in science and technology that could guarantee health, well-being and peace.