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

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´╗┐Courtney Chin IB Theory of Knowledge Puryear 1 TOK Essay Prompt: The possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility. Evaluate this claim. Knowledge is something that this world cherishes. The possession of knowledge can lead to power. But the possession of said knowledge carries with it an ethical responsibility of how to handle the knowledge. Knowledge cannot be simply tossed around to anybody yet it also can?t be withheld from everybody. Ethical responsibilities will always arise from the possession of knowledge and must be dealt with carefully in order to create a functioning society. There are a few things that first need to be defined before moving on. These are ?ethical responsibility?, ?knowledge? and ?possession of knowledge?. Ethical responsibility can be derived from a number of things. A person?s own beliefs about what they think is ethical can contribute to how a person feels they are ethically responsible. Their personal ethics as well as their past experiences can lead a person to have a certain perspective about what is ethically correct. Culture or religion can play a major role in what a person believes is ethical. Depending on what a culture or religion teaches, that person may take on those beliefs as their own and live their life according to what the religion says. ...read more.


Cloning and genetically modifying the people to fit a standard carry an ethical responsibility are crucial examples of how this kind of knowledge ? the ability to create a ?perfect? person ? is dangerous to a society and therefore does carry an ethical responsibility. The book Fahrenheit 451 is similar to Brave New World in that the government is the sole possessor of knowledge. There is strict censorship of any knowledge and the government controls everything that the people see, hear, breathe, touch, smell, everything. They had all books burned and then they created a world where books were bad and any knowledge that could come from them was harmful and dangerous to the people. In this book we see an ethical responsibility to share the knowledge because the restriction of knowledge to the public can lead to a lesser society. It also means that there isn?t a possibility of improvement or innovation because only the government knows the whole truth and therefore it takes away the chance of the brilliant minds creating a new gadget that could better the society. However, it can also be said that the censorship of knowledge is for the better of the people and that without said knowledge, the people could be happier and live freer; that sometimes knowledge is what hinders the world and that there isn?t an ethical responsibility that people must hold if they are in possession of knowledge. ...read more.


There are some counter-arguments to the idea that the possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility. Some have been said previously. Some people say that there is no ethical responsibility with the possession of knowledge and that it is not the responsibility of the knowledge holder to share the information they know. Not all information has to be shared to the public. And it is completely up to the individual as to whether or not certain information should be shared. Many say that they should not be ethically bound to share or not share the knowledge they have obtained but rather they should be able to do with it what they like. Overall, even when considering the counter-arguments, it always leads back to the idea that the possession of knowledge does carry an ethical responsibility. In all of the examples explained above, some type of action is required of the knowledge acquired and when dealing with what the action should be, people will always look to ethics as a way of justifying their actions. No matter what situations may bring, any type of knowledge can be used and it is up to the knowledge possessor to be ethically responsible and handle the knowledge in the correct way. And while there is no single solution in dealing with the knowledge, there are many different components that affect the right solution for the situation. ...read more.

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