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

How can you or your society decide ethically which knowledge should or should not be pursued?

Extracts from this document...


TOK Essay J�rgen Reiten IB-1 May 2003 Ms. Davis Essay Title 3: How can you or your society decide ethically which knowledge should or should not be pursued? Before I begin discussing the real question of this assignment, I would like to explain why we should decide ethically which knowledge should or should not be pursued. As Massad Ayoob, a leading American expert on firearms and self-defence, once said, "You are born with intelligence, but not with ethics."1 History has shown over and over again how mankind has crossed lines, especially in scientific research, where there are conflicts whether you should continue the research, or not. Leonardo DaVinci did anatomic experiments with human bodies, dissected them and tested their features. During the 1790, the Italian physician Luigi Galvani, and other scientists, experimented with human bodies as well. He found what we today know as the electrical basis of nerve impulses. He also found the Galvanometer, which measures how electricity flows inside objects. Luigi Galvani made his own 'circus', where he held performances using bodies from dead criminals. With lots of people watching, he showed how the human eye behaved when conducting electricity. Mary Shelley wrote the novel of Frankenstein in the beginning of the 19th century, well aware of these experiments. ...read more.


As the earth itself is the society, there are lots of problems - culture, traditions, religion, faith, beliefs, economic systems, and so on. All people are different, and we share different values and opinions. 'Clonaid', for example, keeps a sub-heading on their Internet page saying, "Yes to human cloning"6. They claim they are descendants of aliens - this is their faith. Islam practises many traditions, in fact, keeping up with the traditions is one of the most important things in the Muslim religion. They don't eat pork meat, Hindus don't eat cow meat. Many Africans are for circumcision, while Western countries are against. Then, if we in the 'Earth-society' share so many different opinions, how can we make an ethical decision together without agreeing on what is right and wrong behaviour? "When it comes to practicing good ethics, saying no to a vice is not good enough. A quality life is never achieved by focusing on the elimination of what is wrong. True success requires you to focus your mental, emotional, and spiritual energies on pursuing that which is right and good. Trying to become virtuous merely by excluding vice is as unrealistic as trying to cultivate roses simply by eliminating weeds."7 Culture and religion are so important to human beings - we are willing to die for them! ...read more.


Someone has to be in charge and make sure everything is going all right, which by the definition is a government. I think it is impossible ever for a society to make an ethical decision together. Even inside the body, some cells want sugar and harmful substances, while other cells say "No!", it's too harmful. As I've mentioned, "You are born with intelligence, but not with ethics".9 We evolve our own ethics, and in my opinion, we should vote democratically on which knowledge should or should not be pursued. As knowledge is experience, we would only have to sit back, experience, and vote for further ethical decisions. I agree with The Beatles, who sing "There will be an answer - let it be!" Bibliography - http://brainyquote.com - http://www.clonaid.com - http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/croce.htm - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/frankenstein/frank_birth.html - "Frankenstein - The Modern Prometheus" by Mary Shelley (1818) - http://web.quipo.it/frankenstein/thenewreality.htm - The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/e/ethics.htm - http://www.backwoodshome.com/store/files/cd-ayoob.html - International Baccalaureate Economics HL coursework on supply, demand, market forces and economic systems. - "Kafka - for en mindre litteratur", written by Gilles Deleuze and F�lix Guattari. Pax Forlag A/S, Oslo 1994. Translated into Norwegian by Knut Stene-Johansen. (Title of book in English, own translation, "Kafka, for a smaller literature")' - "Anti-oedipus - Capitalism and Schizophrenia", by Gilles Deleuze and F�lix Guattari. Translated by Robert Hurley, Mark Seem, Helen R. Lane. Preface by Michel Foucault. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 2000. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Ethics 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 GCSE Ethics essays

  1. Euthanasia can never be justified

    as part of God's plan for that person, and Christ will be present to share the suffering of the believer.

  2. Ethics Coursework

    This is still conceived as immoral. Many people believe that the Sanctity of Life contains many complications and debate is rife among in religious groups such as The Church of England. It maintains its opposition against practices of active Euthanasia, but is for the act of passive Euthanasia.

  1. which are the best ways to achieve knowledge?

    Some philosophers argue that thoughts cannot be contained in formulas, but they can only be achieved with questions; which shows how reasoning is basic in the process of getting to know the truth, because just by experience we might not be unable to know it, it might me a lie what we are perceiving.

  2. RE crousework topic 9

    an orphan or even become a volunteer working for the charity in many disaster struck areas such as the Gaza Strip. They make regular appeals to the public to donate open heartedly to help their fellow Muslims suffering in the Muslim world.

  1. "Describe and evaluate Emotivism, showing knowledge of its key thinkers and critics?"

    Emotivism is followed by many philosophers; despite their varying views on the subject it has meaning to them in different ways. However why do people adopt Emotivism? The Philosopher "Thomson" sees two reasons why people adopt Emotivism. The first is that they are lead to it by Moral right.

  2. With the growth of the Internet, concerns have arisen over the legal and ethical ...

    either by the technical means, or by self-regulation, or partially at least by the law" (Berleur, Duquenoy and Whitehouse, 1999). Among those issues that should be regulated we find such things as privacy; protection for copyrights and trademarks; and the right to free speech (Berleur, Duquenoy and Whitehouse, 1999).

  1. Clarify and explain the key concepts of situational ethics

    Situation ethics does not aim at what is good or right, but at what is fitting. For a situationist, all moral decisions are hypothetical. They depend on what best serves love. For example, lying is justified if love is better served by it.

  2. "Medical research in the U.K. is being suffocated by excessive governance and ethical review".

    bid to take advantage of the talents of researchers and their potential research material to encourage commercial gain and possible improvements of the NHS.25 The increased legal issues of using human subjects or human materials for research means that this vast commercial potential in the NHS goes unused.

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