Essay on Technology and Ethics Essay on Technology and Ethics As the technological advancements are taking place day by day concerns are growing among the various religious and ethical groups about the ethics involved in the kind of technology. As we know that there are pros and cons of using any technology but sometimes many protest that the technologies are more of used for the selfish purposes to fulfill human needs than to be beneficial for the mankind. Lets take the most common example of Internet known as the fastest medium to communicate and research, even advancing in the section of distance learning.
As everyone in any part of the world are well aware of the advantages which the mankind has for using the internet which can now be used for reporting theft on websites like www. reporttheft. com, for distance learning, online air ticket booking like www. southwest. com, online buying and bidding for example on www. ebay. com or www. amazon. com but the cons of the technology is the fact that now it is used for attacking computerized snooping, stealing, and lying while trying to show the way to moral behavior in the on-line world.
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Concerns are growing among some Internet users as they see how easy it might be for governments or individuals to pry into supposedly private material. Hackers can easily crack the hotmail passwords and get access to the e-mail accounts and sometimes most sensitive information like that of credit cards but naturally no one can get sued in court for this unethical behavior. Other most controversial issue concerning the technological advancement is the stem cell research.
The hot topic under this, which is under debate, is whether human embryos should be destroyed for stem cell research when there are other possible sources of stem cells, although with potentially different properties. Another facet of the debate is about which types of embryos should be made available for such research. Technology and Ethics Technology is a powerful force in our world, and the question of whether technology is a liberating or destructive force should be asked. This question calls us to consider where technology fits in our lives and, more precisely, what do we want from it?
We seem to live by the motto “It’s not good enough; make it better. ” Technology is with us and cannot be ignored. Moreover, ethical issues for business and for society have arisen as a result of technological advances. Many would argue that technology has developed at a speed significantly outpacing society’s, government’s and business’s thinking about the consequences of technology. Maybe we are trying to do, or have too much before we can handle such responsibility. The question of ethics has come to the forefront in technological issues in recent years.
We are a country with advanced technological capabilities, and we are in some areas constrained only by our own ethical sense of what is right and wrong. Unfortunately, the issue of where to draw the line has become painfully difficult in a society awash in the murky confusion of situational ethics. The absolutes of clear right and wrong are no longer upheld in many `arenas of modern life, making ethical decisions problematical, especially with regard to technology an arena that has grown much faster than our attempt to regulate it.
We can already do many things that we know are wrong, and many more that we are not sure about. One of the most compelling events to summon ethics questions was the attack of 9/11. Being attacked on native soil was the greatest threat America has sustained in hundreds of years. What is the right response to such an attack? Santa Clara University’s ethics publication, Outlook, asks these questions: What does due process look like in fighting terrorists? How far should the circle of suspicion be drawn, and are there limits to the rights of citizens suspected of terrorist connections?
What about non-citizens? (1). Is the government ethically right to wiretap private citizens conversations? We have the technology to do that. We have the technology to invade the lives of private citizens via the internet, over the telephone, thro Information Technology And Ethics Working Together As a student studying the Information Technology industry I have never given much thought to the ethical concerns in the industry. The definition of Ethics: The rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession.
Ethics to me means that I should perform my work in a professional manner, respect others and what they do. Meaning that software/music that someone else worked hard to create does not mean that I can download it for free. Nor does it mean that I should be able to search through somebody’s personal files on their home pc. It also means that I may not attack companies via the internet because I do not like what they do or what they stand for. Ethics in the IT industry can mean many different things and have many different Technology and Ethics as Depicted in Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five
After a cursory examination of present day world politics, it seems there exist no sterling examples of society’s progression towards utopia, or even a higher state of tolerance or knowledge. It is not that humanity does not seek knowledge or improvement. It is not a fault that curiosity drives society’s scientists to explain and improve the world beyond the realm of the philosophers. The fault lies in how easily this motive can be manipulated by the vices of greed, the propaganda of the mass media, the centuries-old, unwavering human thirst for power.
It is this desire for power and profit, not the journey in creating new technologies and deducing the mechanisms of life and the universe, which becomes convoluted and thus halts the growth process, just as a biologist can halt or suspend the process of life, of dividing cells, by a simple chemical treatment of colchicine. Though the treatment of cells with a solution of colchicine is meant to preserve the cells in a state that can be studied, after this treatment they are no longer viable.
They cannot continue their mitotic or meiotic divisions; they cannot continue to reproduce, to be continually studied. Theirs is a one-time-only offer. Even with this simple example some say that moral questions arise. Is it really right for humans to kill other living things, no matter how small, to further their own “understanding”? Or is this simply the price, or penance, humanity pays to be able to explain, in somewhat greater detail than was previously possible, the processes, functions, and malfunctions of life? This example, being defined only in terms of dividing cells, their origin ndisclosed, seems fairly straightforward in its ability to answer this conflicting question. If the research is being done to improve the quality of life for humanity in general, then there can be no quarrel with it. But then where can humanity draw the line, for there are always those fanatics with whom every country has had at least one ghastly experience, who have argued that their use of technology, perhaps in extermination of another race, was really for the good of humanity, that the people they extinguished were the scourge of the earth and of God, whoever God might be.
Thus the battleground between the two opposing sides, science and technology on one side and morality and humanitarianism on the other, is established, and a peaceful resolution is seemingly nowhere in sight. Unless, that is, humanity can learn to view the two sides not as separate opposing forces, but as two dependent variables in the equation to create a combination of their components. As such, greater emphasis on one side can only create a hazardous effect.
Samuel Beckett and Kurt Vonnegut are authors who demonstrate the necessity of a careful balance between technology and ethical principles, highlighting the need for humanity to turn its focus on the intuitive core and values or risk despair and utimately, destruction. Beckett’s play, Waiting for Godot, is a melancholy, depressing work which underscores the demise of those who, in no relation to their possession or lack of technology, refuse to take charge of their own well-being. His two characters, Estragon and Vladmir, can find nothing constructive to do with themselves.
They wait in the filth and squalor of a ravaged landscape for someone to save them from their agonizingly boring and meaningless lives – the only problem is that he never comes. They suffer from boots that don’t fit and therefore cause terrible sores, they have no tasty food to eat, no fire to recline by (I. 7-13). But this does not mean that Vladimir and Estragon have absolutely no power to alter the course of their lives. They have the tools to incite change, the tools of reasoning and bodies that are still in working order, but they lack the willpower to follow through.
Didi and Gogo, as they call each other, contemplate several courses of action to modify their situation, one of which is that they leave each other and go their separate ways to seek what fortune they may, realizing that they might actually do something without their counterpart there to hold them back and argue the pros and cons (I. 11). They also consider the more morbid option of suicide by hanging, but stall because they can’t come up with a suitable method to ensure they both die and neither is left alone.
Also convenient in perpetuating this cycle is the fact that they are waiting for their savior, a man by the name of Godot, a man who can tell them what best to do (I. 12). Instead of making the best of their somewhat limited opportunities, Vladimir and Estragon revel in diversions, little changes in emotional scenery which for their duration lend the illusion that life is bearable after all. The largest and most significant diversion of this type is their encounter with Pozzo and Lucky, a strange little man and his slave.
During their conversation with Pozzo and Lucky, instead of seeing how much better off they are than the slave of this odd couple, Didi and Gogo merely remark that it passed the time more swiftly than usual (I. 31). It is not technology which they must rely upon to rectify their woes and wrongs, but their own inner core of strength to believe that change can actually be achieved. Therefore, Beckett’s work does not cry out against the evils of technology, but rather against the undeniable importance of being in touch with one’s own self-will and motivation.
The problem lies not in the fact that they are poor loathsome buggers without food, antibiotics, transportation, etc. , the so-called “comforts of modern life,” but that they will not retrieve their inner initiative to find something better for themselves – they’d rather sit by a tree and wait for Godot. Although Billy Pilgrim, the main character of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, also displays this passivism toward life, the reasons for it are directly related to technology and its failures in the hands of humanity.
Billy was a chaplain’s assistant during World War II, the bloodiest war anyone had witnessed up to that date. During the course of the war Billy witnessed many atrocities, most notably the bombing of Dresden. The bombing of Dresden was accomplished with traditional tactics, but the death toll of 135,000 was significantly greater than that of Hiroshima where 71,379 were killed with the dropping of the atomic bomb (179). His reaction to these events, rather than try to fight them, was to go back in time, relive old, happy memories.
At one point, Vonnegut gives a detailed description of what Billy really thought would be the best use of the wonderful technology which the Allies employed to win the war: “the steel cylinders were taken from the rack and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. . . The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody again” (71-72).
The dismantling of weapons and reversion of war proving impossible, Billy focused on other things. Billy came to believe in an imaginary planet called Tralfamadore, where the people were green and got around in flying saucers. But the cool scenery and amazing technology weren’t what made Billy most excited, it was his discovery that time was continuous, that the good times in his memories were still happening and could be visited over and over again (25). The doctrine of Tralfamadore was simple “‘Ignore the awful times and concentrate on the good ones'” (112).
So Billy did just that; he tried to educate those around him to this wonderful new concept to which he had been introduced, not unlike “prescribing corrective lenses for Earthling souls” (27). But alas, Billy was judged crazy (128), and no one would believe him. Thus, life for Billy appeared fruitless, because “Among the things which Billy Pilgrim could not change were the past, the present, and the future” (58). Billy’s seemingly worthless life does not imply that life is actually meaningless because humans have even greater capacities for annihilation.
Instead, once again the approach to finding meaning and making improvement was too passive. Billy correctly identified that technology was part of the world’s nasty predicament, but he failed to notice that his tactic of shutting out reality allowed absolutely no chance for improvement, just as Gogo and Didi’s refusal to move from their spot was exactly contrary to their mutual wish for something better. The solution for these people, and humanity in general, is not to blame technology or the lack of it, but to improve life through clearly defining the uses of technology and realizing that humans are not just machines, but emotional beings.
This can only be achieved if the human side of technology, what future consequences it will have not only on people’s physical lives, but their emotional lives as well, is first taken into careful consideration. What does “careful consideration” entail? Prioritizing. If humanity waited for the perfect methods to come up as it went about making technological and scientific advancements, then nothing would ever happen: i. e. if early physicians hadn’t had the gall to go out and dig up corpses from the graveyard, the intricacies of human anatomy might have remained a mystery indefinitely.
But although perfection can’t be expected, high standards are a different thing and can be anticipated. Instead of devoting all time and energy to developing viable treatments for cancer and AIDS, we have scientists who are at the mercy of huge biotech and pharmaceutical companies. We’ve got scientists developing “The New Pill That Can End Aging” (Reader’s Digest, November 2003) along with Viagra and Propecia, pills for impotent and balding men. Do we see a little misdirection of effort? Yes. Aging, impotence, and hair loss are not threatening an entire population with imminent death, like the AIDS epidemic in Africa.
Aging and impotence have not stricken the child population like leukemia. We must start to care about what’s really important, we must consider all of the body and mind as we improve technology, and we must think about its implications for future generations. At that time, technology will have been put to its fullest use and will easily go hand in hand with human values. This paper discusses how moral reasoning and ethics responsibilities for the ethical use of computers vary among individuals based on their basic principles of moral reasoning.
It looks at how, in the computer world, the lines of moral and ethical behavior can become somewhat fuzzy and how activity on a computer can seem to be detached from another person, who may be harmed by its activities. It also explores how the issues of ethics in business practices in the age of increasing computer technology and the importance of managing information have come to the forefront of organizational management issues. From the Paper “In order to protect the company information, the science of data protection and data encryption has evolved to include some of the most sophisticated specifications.
Ultimately the ability of an organization to protect its informational assets is a more accurately a function of the ethics of the workers, and organization? s management than of encryptions devices and electronic data-protection sub-processes. An organization? s ability to protect its data will be only as successful as the individual? s commitment to the same goals. In today? s electronic age when a flash 128 meg hard drive can fit in the palm of a person hand, or the bottom of a shoe, the ability to download data for remote retrieval is a very real threat to the organization? survival. ” Abstract Computers cannot completely replace the human abilities but they do stand to change the ways in which computer users view the world, what is possible and what is not, what is of interest and how days are spent both in the workplace and the home. This paper discusses computer ethics, and how technological change has forced some of us to think on how we want to be developing and using our minds. Abstract This paper will uncover the ethical arguments that are now being processed in the world of computer science.
By understanding the ever changing fields of this way of thinking, we can see how laws and other aspects of computer usage are becoming more powerfully organized with the coming of new ethical systems that are part of the Internet, and other sources of information and contractual agreements that are part of the computer world. The main emphasis in this study will be to understand what some of the policies are, and how they being dealt with by lawmakers and other professionals who are changing the face of ethics in the computer world. Nuclear Ethics: Weapons Perspectives
Ethical and political reflection on nuclear power was initially stimulated by the dangers of nuclear weapons. Even as the possibility of the atomic bomb began to be imagined in the 1930s, physicists became worried about its social, political, and ethical implications. By the time the first bomb was exploded in 1945, and even more as the nuclear arms race took hold in the 1950s, scientists, engineers, military professionals, politicians, and the attentive public became increasingly concerned about nuclear research and development, testing, and deterrence policy.
As much as any other science and technology during the twentieth century,….. Ethics of technology is a subfield of ethics addressing the ethical questions specific to the Technology Age. Some prominent works of philosopher Hans Jonas are devoted to ethics of technology. Technology itself is incapable of possessing moral or ethical qualities, since “technology” is merely tool making. Thus, “ethics of technology” refers instead to two basic subdivisions. ???The ethics involved in the development of new technology — whether it is always, never, or contextually right or wrong to invent and implement a technological innovation. The ethical questions that are exacerbated by the ways in which technology extends or curtails the power of individuals — how standard ethical questions are changed by the new powers. In the former case, ethics of such things as computer security and computer viruses asks whether the very act of innovation is an ethically right or wrong act. Similarly, does a scientist have an ethical obligation to produce or fail to produce a nuclear weapon? What are the ethical questions surrounding the production of technologies that waste or conserve energy and resources?
What are the ethical questions surrounding the production of new manufacturing processes that might inhibit employment, or might inflict suffering in the third world? In the latter case, the ethics of technology quickly break down into the ethics of various human endeavors as they are altered by new technologies. For example, bioethics is now largely consumed with questions that have been exacerbated by the new life-preserving technologies, new cloning technologies, and new technologies for implantation. In law, the right of privacy is being continually attenuated by the emergence of new forms of surveillance and anonymity.
The old ethical questions of privacy and free speech are given new shape and urgency in an Internet age. Such tracing devices as RFID, biometric analysis and identification, genetic screening, all take old ethical questions and amplify their import. Computer security is a branch of technology known as information security as applied to computers. The objective of computer security varies and can include protection of information from theft or corruption, or the preservation of availability, as defined in the security policy.
Computer security imposes requirements on computers that are different from most system requirements because they often take the form of constraints on what computers are not supposed to do. This makes computer security particularly challenging because it is hard enough just to make computer programs do everything they are designed to do correctly. Furthermore, negative requirements are deceptively complicated to satisfy and require exhaustive testing to verify, which is impractical for most computer programs. Computer security provides a technical strategy to convert negative requirements to positive enforceable rules.
For this reason, computer security is often more technical and mathematical than some computer science fields.  Typical approaches to improving computer security (in approximate order of strength) can include the following: ???Physically limit access to computers to only those who will not compromise security. ???Hardware mechanisms that impose rules on computer programs, thus avoiding depending on computer programs for computer security. ???Operating system mechanisms that impose rules on programs to avoid trusting computer programs. ???Programming strategies to make computer programs dependable and resist subversion.
A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user. The term “virus” is also commonly used, albeit erroneously, to refer to many different types of malware and adware programs. The original virus may modify the copies, or the copies may modify themselves, as occurs in a metamorphic virus. A virus can only spread from one computer to another when its host is taken to the uninfected computer, for instance by a user sending it over a network or the Internet, or by carrying it on a removable medium such as a floppy disk, CD, or USB drive.
Meanwhile viruses can spread to other computers by infecting files on a network file system or a file system that is accessed by another computer. Viruses are sometimes confused with computer worms and Trojan horses. A worm can spread itself to other computers without needing to be transferred as part of a host, and a Trojan horse is a file that appears harmless. Worms and Trojans may cause harm to either a computer system’s hosted data, functional performance, or networking throughput, when executed.
In general, a worm does not actually harm either the system’s hardware or software, while at least in theory, a Trojan’s payload may be capable of almost any type of harm if executed. Some can’t be seen when the program is not running, but as soon as the infected code is run, the Trojan horse kicks in. That is why it is so hard for people to find viruses and other malware themselves and why they have to use spyware programs and registry processors. Most personal computers are now connected to the Internet and to local area networks, facilitating the spread of malicious code.
Today’s viruses may also take advantage of network services such as the World Wide Web, e-mail, Instant Messaging and file sharing systems to spread, blurring the line between viruses and worms. Furthermore, some sources use an alternative terminology in which a virus is any form of self-replicating malware. Some malware is programmed to damage the computer by damaging programs, deleting files, or reformatting the hard disk. Other malware programs are not designed to do any damage, but simply replicate themselves and perhaps make their presence known by presenting text, video, or audio messages.
Even these less sinister malware programs can create problems for the computer user. They typically take up computer memory used by legitimate programs. As a result, they often cause erratic behavior and can result in system crashes. In addition, much malware is bug-ridden, and these bugs may lead to system crashes and data loss. Many CiD programs are programs that have been downloaded by the user and pop up every so often. This results in slowing down of the computer, but it is also very difficult to find and stop the problem.
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter; a modern thermonuclear weapon weighing little more than a thousand kilograms can produce an explosion comparable to the detonation of more than a billion kilograms of conventional high explosive.  Even small nuclear devices with yields equivalent to only a few thousand tons of TNT can devastate a city.
Nuclear weapons are considered weapons of mass destruction, and their use and control has been a major aspect of international policy since their debut. In the History of warfare, only two nuclear weapons have been detonated offensively; both by the during the closing days of World War II. The first was detonated on the morning of 6 August 1945, when the United States dropped a uranium gun-type device code-named “Little Boy” on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The second was detonated three days later when the United States dropped a plutonium implosion-type device code-named “Fat Man” on the city of Nagasaki, Japan.
These bombings resulted in the immediate deaths of around 120,000 people (mostly civilians) from injuries sustained from the explosion and acute radiation sickness, and even more deaths from long-term effects of (ionising) radiation. The use of these weapons was and remains controversial. (See Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for a full discussion. ) Since the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, nuclear weapons have been detonated on over two thousand occasions for testing purposes and demonstration purposes.
The only countries known to have detonated nuclear weapons ??? and that acknowledge possessing such weapons ??? are (chronologically) the United States, the Soviet Union (succeeded as a nuclear power by Russia), the United Kingdom, France, the People’s Republic of China, India, Pakistan, and North Korea. Israel is also widely believed to possess nuclear weapons, though it does not acknowledge having them. For more information on these states’ nuclear programs, as well as other states that formerly possessed nuclear weapons or are suspected of seeking nuclear weapons, see List of states with nuclear weapons.
Cloning in biology is the process of producing populations of genetically-identical individuals that occurs in nature when organisms such as bacteria, insects or plants reproduce asexually. Cloning in biotechnology refers to processes used to create copies of DNA fragments (molecular cloning), cells (cell cloning), or organisms. More generally, the term refers to the production of multiple copies of a product such as digital media or software. The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that interchange data by packet switching using the standardized Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP).
It is a “network of networks” that consists of millions of private and public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope that are linked by copper wires, fiber-optic cables, wireless connections, and other technologies. The Internet carries various information resources and services, such as electronic mail, online chat, file transfer and file sharing, online gaming, and the inter-linked hypertext documents and other resources of the World Wide Web (WWW).
Genetic testing allows the genetic diagnosis of vulnerabilities to inherited diseases, and can also be used to determine a person’s ancestry. Normally, every person carries two copies of every gene, one inherited from their mother, one inherited from their father. The human genome is believed to contain around 20,000 – 25,000 genes. In addition to studying chromosomes to the level of individual genes, genetic testing in a broader sense includes biochemical tests for the possible presence of genetic diseases, or mutant forms of genes associated with increased risk of developing genetic disorders.
Genetic testing identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins.  Most of the time, testing is used to find changes that are associated with inherited disorders. The results of a genetic test can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a person’s chance developing or passing on a genetic disorder. Several hundred genetic tests are currently in use, and more are being developed.  Since genetic testing may open up ethical or psychological problems, genetic testing is often accompanied by genetic counseling.