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Obligation to help society

I was slightly disturbed by Randy Hertzman's column in Friday's Tech ["Consider effects your actions have," Sept. 20]. It argued that people have "an obligation to avoid harming the rest of the world with the byproducts of their work..."

It is not sufficient to merely avoid harming the rest of the world with the byproducts of one's work; rather, one has an obligation as a member of society to contribute positively to the ad[el-12p6]vancement of society. In fact, the motivation behind one's work should be the ultimate benefit of human kind.

Thus the reason for turning down "a $33K job building missile guidance systems for a $16K job teaching high school physics" should be because there is a critical need for good high school math and science teachers, and not "just in the absurd hope that such an action might help end the arms race," as Hertzman states.

Mark Kantrowitz '89->