This paper considers the opinion, associated with the philosopher Rousseau but still debated today, that technology is a barrier to human happiness and social justice. Based upon John Rawls’ theory of distributive economic justice, it is argued here on the contrary that engineering promotes social justice. This position is put forth in the context of the urgency generated by the globalized economies of our time. Since engineering addresses problems that define the quality of life it is important to understand that neither technology nor engineering is value free. Engineering education must foster a clear grasp of the cultural, ethical and social issues that proscribe how humans desire and choose to live. In conclusion it is asserted that how human interest as a metric of engineering quality is to be incorporated is perhaps the most important question to be faced in the assessment of engineering methods and methodology.