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Technology and how it affects ethics Essay

We live in a world where technology is rapidly evolving everyday, where the second you buy a brand new computer it is already obsolete within that same year with something better already being produced. And now gadgets such as google glass which allow people to take pictures and videos just by blinking without the consent of those around the user, how exactly must we as a people adapt and change our views on ethics as technology continues to evolve.

One of the biggest moral issues today is the creation of unmanned drones and their use during violent conflicts. The main issue many people have against them is their ability to take a human life and not experience the horror or conflict of making such a decision. Where does that leave us as humans where we will eventually allow robots to make the decisions of whether or not to kill a certain person based on data it has collected.

On the other side of this argument there is something called the Millian harm principle where many people believe that (“The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”) A very strong statement but one that does make sense in my own opinion. Seeing how technology today is already affecting us and making us as humans look at ethics in a different way and perhaps creating new policies in order to adapt to this ever changing world, what we do now may have a bigger effect on people in the future.

In an essay by Patrick Lin he states that “The introduction of any new technology changes the lives of future people. We know it as the “butterfly effect” or chaos theory: Anything we do could start a chain-reaction of other effects that result in actual harm (or benefit) to some persons somewhere on the planet.” However he also states that even though there will be effects on those in the future we should not worry too much because as humans we have no way of actually predicting the future, its more of a caution sign stating that though a new technology may pose some theoretical danger in the future we should consider the consequences of such technology before moving forward with it.

Lastly how does technology nowadays affect us as individuals and our own personal rights to privacy, security, communication etc… Privacy is one of the biggest issues when it comes to technology and how businesses monitor their employees. Companies can track internet usage, individual movement as well as personal information from their employees and though there are rules and limitations as to what companies can collect where do we draw the line as to what is appropriate behavior.

The issue with this is when does it stop becoming a permissible act within a business and ethical issue when it comes to individual rights. There is a fine line between precautions for a business and invading someone’s personal space and privacy, it is why as technology continues to evolve we must carefully traverse this territory and be cautious when creating new ethical policies as they might have a negative effect on us now as well as the future.

References
Kaufmann, F. (2013, May 9). Technology moves faster than ethics | Washington Times Communities. Retrieved September 8, 2013, from http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/frank-kaufmann-way-forward/2013/may/9/technology-moves-faster-ethics/ Markgraf, B. (n.d.). Ethical Issues With Business Technology | Chron.com. Retrieved September 8, 2013, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/ethical-issues-business-technology-27297.html Thierer, A. (2013, August 1). On the Line between Technology Ethics vs. Technology Policy. Retrieved September 8, 2013, from http://techliberation.com/2013/08/01/on-the-line-between-technology-ethics-vs-technology-policy/


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