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Should knowledge be defined as being free of ethical judgment?

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Ramy Alani 2/7/2004 Dr. Lewis Examples: First Draft Should knowledge be defined as being free of ethical judgment? Knowledge. The term "knowledge" is one of the few in the English language that requires the reader to pause and think about the power if its meaning. Knowledge is an experience, or an understanding of a concept. Experience is achieved through studying, whether formal in construction such as that the English z101 course, or informal such as understanding where to find limited parking on the USC campus. The statements derived from experiences must be accepted as truthful. Statements such as "Essays do not require thought" or "Parking is readily available" are not knowledge since most people know in respect to the English language or parking availability that these statements are false. Listening to a lecturing parent, studying mathematics, or indulging in the twenty-plus nightspots at five points, are all various ways of gaining knowledge. Knowledge resembles a figurative double-edged sword in that it can both aide and encumber humanity. Knowledge is often created with a beneficial purpose yet has the potential to cause pain and suffering. The science of chemistry aims to study the structure of behavior and structure of matter. ...read more.


Scientists such as Enrico Fermi were appointed with the task to arrive at such a weapon (Truman Library). The concepts of nuclear fission were later refined and applied to non-destructive uses. Under correct maintenance, nuclear power plants are a cost-effective and ecologically friendly source of power. Nuclear medicine is "a safe, painless, and cost-effective way of gathering information that may otherwise be unavailable or require more expensive and risky diagnostic test" (About Nuclear Medicine.) The science of physics has seen new formulae and advances due to studies in nuclear fission. Advances in nuclear fission have provided more help then harm. The moral use of any knowledge does not depend on properties such as the system of knowledge used (i.e. mathematics or science) the knowledge type (i.e. emotion or reason) or its nature. The moral use depends upon the people who exert control on a certain form of knowledge. Since knowledge can be used towards any potential, it would be absurd to apply moral judgment upon it. All knowledge regardless of category has equal potential benefit or harm humankind. There is no category of knowledge that should be avoided due to a human-perceived association with harm. As stated earlier, the meaning of knowledge is vast and has numerous possible meanings, but moral judgment is not included in those meanings. ...read more.


Even though the risk of knowledge causing harm does exist, it does not overcome the potential to benefit humankind. If nuclear research was abandoned because of the risk of a meltdown, then nuclear propulsion would be not be discovered. People control both new and old knowledge. Any new knowledge is no different than pre-existing knowledge. Each new concept or experience uncovered leads to a decision: helpful or harmful. Seeking new knowledge opens possibility for further harm and further benefit. Alone, knowledge cannot help nor harm. The manipulation of knowledge is done by human beings; it is only people with knowledge that use it to benefit or hinder others. The person, not the knowledge itself, is responsible for the harm done by his interpretation and manipulation. Every type of knowledge has the ability to either aid or hinder humanity, and therefore should be pursued. Knowledge does not conform to man's system of moral judgment. Gianessi, Leonard P. "The Uses and Benefits of Organophosphate and Carbamate Insecticides in U.S. Crop Production" National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy. December. 1997. < http://www.croplifeamerica.org/public/issues/fqpa/uboocci.pdf > "Fathers in Radiation History" The Health Physics Society. < http://www.orcbs.msu.edu/radiation/radhistory/enricofermi.html> Stormfront. Zyklon B. <http://www.stormfront.org/revision/ff5zyklonb.html> Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Zyklon B. 1 August 2003. <http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zyklon_B> "The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb: Post War Use of Atomic Energy" Truman Presidential Museum and Library. <http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/bomb/large/post_war.htm> "About Nuclear Medicine" Society of Nuclear Medicine. <http://www.snm.org/nuclear/benefits.html> ...read more.

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