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Does the Possession of Knowledge Carry an Ethical Responsibility

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Introduction

?The possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility.? In the course of one?s life they are plagued with the burden of making many decisions. Decisions that will ultimately define you as the person you will grow up to be. One?s decisions will most likely affect themselves and others around them. Some may ask themselves what profession would I like to pursue or maybe more simply what should I have for lunch. These decisions not only impact us but everyone around us directly and indirectly. When a person has information that could help mankind, I believe it is their duty to share it so that everyone can benefit from it not just themselves. Some people in the world believe that if they are the first to discover something they should have the right themselves to either withheld it or share it. Let?s take for example cancer if a person were to find a cure they could withhold the cure and wait for someone to pay them trillions of dollars or they could distribute the cure and save many innocent lives that would have perished in the time when negotiations was occurring. ...read more.

Middle

The idea of money in this issue and what role it plays in this debate of ethical responsibility is a very important factor in this whole debate. Money influences a person greatly when he or she is faced with making a decision. Businessman are faced with this decision every day, which decision will make me more money in the long run or strategically will be most beneficial to my particular needs. So in the case of a scientist who conjured up a new idea that everyone wants; money will probably be the sole decider on who he shares the knowledge with. We can take into account the use and discovery of fission and fusion which lead to the creation of the atomic bomb. It was responsible for the end of World War II and the deaths of over 200,000 Japanese civilians in the dropping over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There were economic and financial benefits in winning the war so as a result the bomb was made for the allies to drop on Japan to end the war as it was becoming loathsome to have to keep spending billions of dollars on a war that was seeing no progress. ...read more.

Conclusion

While offering the student aide beforehand in preparation for the test is an acceptable form of sharing knowledge and ethically proper in assuring that everyone is given a fair chance at making a good grade on the test. This logic can also be applied to everyone?s life in that in that the decisions you make in life are clear representations on what ethically someone felt the need to tell you or to withhold from you. A teacher chooses to teach you it is up to the student if he wishes to learn from the teacher. The teacher knows that it is her responsibility to teach the students that?s why she is receiving the money she makes which motivates them even more to accomplish the task they have been set forth to accomplish. In closing though we can clearly see how the decisions of one individual affect the masses and not only himself. There are some instances where it is okay to withhold information and others where you must share the knowledge for the common good. How this is determined id by morally analyzing the situation and ethically making a decision that is right not just beneficial to you. ...read more.

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