Ethics and Technology


According to utilitarianism, т€œintegrity is not an absolute that must be adhered to at all costs. Some alienation may be necessary for the moral life, and the utilitarian can take this into account in devising strategies of action.т€ Therefore, if the action in question goes against the integrity of an individual, but the results are for the benefit of many people then it is right to act negatively. Utilitarianism is all about doing the lesser evil, when all actions that are taken are evil. Therefore, it also considers the sacrifice of a few innocent individuals if at all the result will bring benefits to more people.

Utilitarianism views negative acts as acceptable when nothing else could have been done to bring about positive results. т€œIf the utilitarian doctrine of negative responsibility is correct, we need to realize that we are responsible for the evil that we knowingly allow, as well as for the evil we commit.т€ From this quote, utilitarianт€™s view themselves as still being responsible for evil acts that they simply watched as they unfolded. Therefore, there will not be any difference in the mode of action when a few innocents are sacrificed. However, if the act of lesser evil is considered, the result will be more benefits for the remaining members of the society. Basically, the act will be assumed as not evil.

Fortunately, there is the presence of the rule-utilitarian which offers protection of the innocents against utilitarianism. т€œThe sophisticated rule-utilitarian insists it makes good sense to have a principle of justice to which we generally adhereт€ІJustice should not be overridden by current utility concerns because human rights themselves are outcomes of utility consideration and should not be lightly violated.т€ This rule ensures that the innocents will not be sacrificed as the action is also prohibited.

The Nature of Virtue Ethics

According to the concept of virtue ethics, т€œIt is important not only to do the right thing but also to have the proper dispositions, motivations, and emotions in being good and doing right.т€ Therefore, this concept not only focuses on good actions but on an individualт€™s moral character. This is when one feels the right thing at the right time, hence prompting the right actions. Virtues are not inborn, but rather they are achieved through practice.

Virtue ethics is about the whole character of an individual and not simply the actions taken. т€œAlthough most virtue systems recognize that there are principles of action that serve as action guides (at least as rules of thumb), these entities are not the essence of morality.т€ A person may carry out an act of morality, but this does not make him a morally good person. The factors that will determine this include the dispositions, motivations, and emotions.

Ethics in an AGE of Advanced Technology

Since 2000, advancements in technology with relation to stem cell use have been made. In 2002, beating heart cells were discovered, followed closely by the discovery of the heart stem cells in 2003. Today, stem cells can also be used to generate new red blood cells. Considering the type of research behind these discoveries, several ethical issues have risen. First, there are many objections regarding the production of embryos specifically for research. This is because, by destroying them, it shows that no respect is give4n to nascent human life. Second, there are objections regarding the use of Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer for human reproduction as the products rarely result in human like genes. Third, the use of human oocytes also raises concern as there is the fear of creation of mythical beasts.