11+Ethics

11+Ethics - SOSC111 Science,Technology& Society...

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    SOSC111  Society Lecture 11 Ethics – Avoiding Failure
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Ethics Why act ethically? Perhaps because you believe there are  normative  standards And you are afraid of punishment… Perhaps because you believe it is part of  social obligation Perhaps because you believe it will  further your  own interest  – utilitarianism  (ethical-egoist)
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Ethics and Culture Different societies have different values –  what is right and what is wrong is generally  not consistent across cultures  Though there are some narrow areas of  commonality: few people can accept murder and  incest as ethical But is a murder carried out by a soldier ethical? As mentioned in the previous class, this  presents interesting problems for the  globalization of technology (which is NOT  culturally neutral).
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Ethics in Science and  Medicine Like any other human activity, science,  technology, and medicine may be  analyzed for  ethical/unethical behavior The standards by which we judge these  things ethical will depend on the culture in  which they are formulated  But there a some  general concepts  that  can usually be applied everywhere
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Ethical Science Issues of  content What areas are  inappropriate  subjects of study? How long can a person  survive  in freezing water? Standards maintained by society at large (often  legally) and sometimes by scientists Issues of  practice  (how scientists conduct  themselves). e.g. Professional honesty Standards maintained primarily by community of  scientists, sometimes by law.
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Ethical Medicine Issues of  content Some areas of study or test are unethical  For example, cloning of human beings for experiment is  considered unethical Standards are usually maintained through the law. Issues of  practice  (how doctors conduct  themselves). What types of behavior are inappropriate (discussing car  purchase on your phone while operating)? Respect for patients rights Standards maintained jointly by community of doctors  and through legal measures such as licensing
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Ethical Engineering Some ethical issues in engineering are related to  content : A safe construction design A computer virus The posting of a computer virus on the web (knowing that  someone will probably use it…) Ethical engineering questions are mostly related  to  practice , such as the behaviour of engineers Corruption: It is unethical for an engineer to accept  personal benefits for ignoring safety. ..
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Engineers’ authority Engineers who decide to include safety  features may ultimately be over-ruled by 
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11+Ethics - SOSC111 Science,Technology& Society...

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