ETHICS


Ethics is a topic that puts a lot of Professionals in an uneasy situation.Probably once in your lifetime you will be faced with an ethical conundrum.

HISTORY

The term ethics is derived from the Greek word ethikos which itself is derived from the Greek word ethos, meaning custom or character. In philosophy,ethical behavior is that which is “good.” The field of ethics or moral philosophy involves developing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior.

WHAT IS ETHICS

Ethics is defined/can be defined as an area of study that deals with ideas about what is good and bad behavior : a branch of philosophy dealing with what is morally right or wrong.In the same vein then information ethics can therefore be defined as that academic discipline which studies the impact of information technology upon human values. In the past, this [1]eld has generally been known as “computer ethics” (Maner 1980, Johnson 1985); but the word “computer” is losing its meaning, so the name “information ethics” seems more appropriate.

Information ethics can be categorized into two main topics; or aspects namely,the analysis of the social impact of information technology, and the formulation of new policies for the ethical use of such technology.

A few years back a computer meant a stand alone Pc  with a  CPU and various input and output slots,but today’s landscape has changed.For example accessing information has never been easier,you can work on databases across country in a matter of seconds or work on Files from home without having to step foot into a physical office.For that matter then the definition has changed thus,”information ethics”; and the fundamental question is the impact of information technology on human values such as life, health, safety, happiness, freedom, democracy, opportunity, knowledge, justice, and so on.On the contrary, we humans are the ones building the technology and making the decisions, so we must to take responsibility for the applications that are made and the changes that result from them.For example the growth of the internet has resulted in the explosion of information access and dissemination and as such new problems have risen as to how to use and distribute,as such traditional rules of Ethics have appeared not to full comply with current advancements as Ethics seem to be playing catch up(Johnson,1985).

Without the knowledge of Information Ethics you will not be fully equipped to enter the online Society.

 

References

James H. Moor, “What Is Computer Ethics?” in Terrell Ward Bynum, Editor, Computers

and Ethics, Blackwell, 1985. (Published as the October 1985 issue of the journal

Metaphilosophy.)

 

Deborah G. Johnson, Computer Ethics, Prentice Hall, 1985; 2nd Edition 1994.

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