• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Does the possession of knowledge carry an ethical responsibility?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Ting Yuen Lai ?The possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility?. Evaluate this claim. Knowledge is known as information and skills acquired through experience or education, or even the theoretical and practical understanding of the subject. Knowledge is all around us. It can be obtained in an instant, yet may have positive and negative consequences on the person who possesses it and on the environment around him/her. Other times, knowledge may even be hazardous. Either way, the possession of knowledge has a role to play in our society, and pushes us to act. We are often troubled and worried about the course of our actions, and the ethics associated with those actions. Ethics are known to be the fundamental principles or beliefs associated with morally acceptable and morally unacceptable behavior, seen in a person?s eyes. Now according to moral relativism, an area of ethics, our values are determined by the society we grow up in and there are no universal values. Hence, a person?s ethics can have originated from a variety of different sources. An ethical responsibility is known to be our responsibility to act upon our beliefs based on what we consider as ethical. ...read more.

Middle

Now according to moral absolutism, certain moral principles should always be followed irrespective of context. In this case, adhering to moral absolutism, Oppenheimer would not be expected to his utilize and abuse his knowledge of the atomic to possess destructive power, despite the fact that America was under attack by the Japanese. This is because he has an obligation to stick to his moral principles, regardless of the situation he is in. Therefore from a moral absolutist standpoint, acting upon his knowledge of science to create the ultimate weapon of mass destruction, as a means of justice and protection, can still be considered unethical. Often scientists are so obstinate in their pursuit of scientific knowledge and ultimately status, that often they can neglect their ?ethical responsibilities?, and in this case, Oppenheimer?s chose power and fame over his ethical responsibility, becoming the ?destroyer of worlds?. Ultimately, it can be questioned whether scientists should have an ethical responsibility in the pursuit of knowledge, or whether the knowledge itself they acquire equips them with an ethical responsibility. Similarly to the role of the scientist, the role of a doctor can be another example of the natural sciences as a way of knowing. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hence, there are often situations where attaining knowledge places the person at an inescapable position, where his/her decisions will inevitably be considered as unethical. A counter claim in the human sciences would involve me witnessing two people holding hands, in which through sense perception, caused me to assume that they were a couple. It was until later that I found out that the male was in fact in a relationship with another female. My knowledge of them holding hands did not hold me at any obligation, as I was oblivious to the full truth and was unaware that the male was cheating on his girlfriend. Hence in this case, knowledge here did not possess any ethical responsibility whatsoever. In conclusion, most often full knowledge to a particular issue does indeed possess an ethical responsibility. Gaining full knowledge immediately involves the person in the situation, and he/she is often judged through his/her actions based on his/her newly attained knowledge. However, only possessing partial knowledge of a certain subject is insufficient to subject one to take ethical actions and decisions, as he/she is unaware of the full situation and shouldn?t be required to ?correct? the ?wrong?. It can almost be said that the person who is oblivious to the whole situation is considered ?innocent?, while the person fully aware must fulfill his/her ethical responsibility to remain ?innocent?. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge essays

  1. Free essay

    How is knowledge gained? What are the sources? To what extent might these vary ...

    For instance, someone who doesn't go to school may have to work to support their family full time. Therefore they know about certain tools and may have skills than an educated person may not. Cultural backgrounds also play a big part in knowing how and skills.

  2. Abortion: Ethical or Not?

    the futures of adult human beings and are identical with the futures of young children. Since the reason that is sufficient to explain why it is wrong to kill human beings after the time of birth is a reason that also applies to feotuses, it follows that abortion is prima

  1. Does the possession of knowledge carry ethical responsibility?

    However, the possession of knowledge does in fact carry an ethical responsibility for various reasons. For instance, when one witnesses a murder or observes a crime occurring, the individual must decide whether they you are going to be

  2. The possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility. Evaluate this claim.

    Some books have a theme of the censorship of knowledge. In Brave New World, the government is the sole possessor of knowledge. They control everything, even human life. Everything is left up to the government to decide. Social classes are created by the government even before conception and humans are

  1. The Possession of Knowledge Carries an Ethical Responsibility (TOK essay)

    Both keeping knowledge to the individual and sharing knowledge can be dangerous, as proven above. To make this decision ? to tell or not to tell ? first we must examine the weight of the decision being made. Using the previous examples, we can also claim that with our temporary

  2. TOK speech - Knowledge Issue: To what extent is the use of a dead ...

    Catholics believe in God, and that God is all knowing, omniscient, all powerful, omnipotent and all good, omnibenevolent. Jehovah?s Witnesses believe in the Old Testament of the Bible, For religion through emotion: Yes- The egyptians believe that the person who dies will have a better sense of mind if they

  1. The Possession of Knowledge carries an Ethical Responsibility. Evaluate this claim.

    Rational reasoning suggests that I did not possess knowledge of whether she was guilty. The knowledge claim, ?seeing is believing,? derived from the eye witness testimony, was not established. Emotion affected my rational reasoning because having known her well; I did not expect her to be guilty.

  2. We want to investigate on whether the development of computer technology brings more positive ...

    Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.?, protecting the privacy of all people on earth. 4. Web Advertisements Advertisements have been around for a long time. Nowadays in the 21st century, we see advertisements everywhere around us ? even on the Internet.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work