Schuldlos schuldig im Zeitalter technischer Fernwirkungen. Über die Generalisierbarkeit des Falles Eatherly

Christian Alexander Bauer


The following contribution analyzes the generalizability of the Eatherly case. The starting point of my account is a reconstruction of Anders’ thesis that this case is a pars pro toto for the fate of modern man given the domination of technology. The central motif is that of becoming guiltlessly guilty in the age of distant effect technology. Eatherly who had given the go ahead-signal for dropping the bomb over Hiroshima exemplifies the tragedy of an epoch in which man can become a mass murderer by doing routine jobs. Triggering signal chains man causes effects for that he cannot assume responsibility. The correspondence is to be read as an exemplum that such generalizable problems are in need of a public discussion.