Presentation on theme: "In Computer Science. What is Ethics? Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending."— Presentation transcript:
In Computer Science
What is Ethics?
Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. The term comes from the Greek word ethos, which means "character". In philosophy, ethics studies the moral behavior in humans, and how one should act. Some would say it is the study of morals. ---
What are morals?
Morality (from the Latin moralitas "manner, character, proper behavior") is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are "good" (or right) and those that are "bad" (or wrong). The philosophy of morality is ethics. A moral code is a system of morality (according to a particular philosophy, religion, culture, etc.) and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code. Morality may also be specifically synonymous with "goodness" or "rightness." Immorality is the active opposition to morality (i.e. opposition to that which is good or right), while amorality is variously defined as an unawareness of, indifference toward, or disbelief in any set of moral standards or principles. An example of a moral code is the Golden Rule which states that, "One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself." ---
Morals vs. Ethics Morals are generally seen as conforming to established or accepted ideas of right and wrong, according to society – there is a feeling of “black or white” about them. Ethics, on the other hand, are where the shades of gray come in. Ethics add the notions of fairness and equity to our decisions.
What Would You Do? You find a copy of your upcoming test that your professor has left on the copier.
What Would You Do? You find a copy of your upcoming test that your professor has left on the copier. Do you: Give it back without looking at it? Give it to all your friends? Sell it to all your friends? Give it to a friend who is struggling in the class and in danger of losing their scholarship? Keep it as a “study aid” for yourself?
What Would You Do? Depending on who you talk to, some people could answer the above question in any of the suggested ways. How does THAT happen, if we live in an ethical and moral society? Well, because everyone doesn’t follow the same system of ethics. There are five major systems of ethics.
Systems of Ethics Relativism Divine Command Theory Utilitarianism Virtue Ethics Deontology
Relativism There is no universal moral truth Moral principles are dictated by cultural tastes and customs EXAMPLE: Topless sun-bathing – fine in Europe, frowned on in US
Divine Command Theory God is all knowing and sets moral standards Conforming to God’s law is right, breaking it is wrong EXAMPLE: Ten Commandments should be followed
Ten Commandments New Living Translation Then God gave the people all these instructions: I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. 1. You must not have any other god but me. 2. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected— even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands. 3. You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name. 4. Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy. 5. Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
Ten Commandments New Living Translation Then God gave the people all these instructions: 6. You must not murder. 7. You must not commit adultery. 8. You must not steal. 9. You must not testify falsely against your neighbor. 10. You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.
Utilitarionism Actions are judged solely by consequences Actions that generate greater happiness are judged to be better than actions that lead to unhappiness Individual happiness is not important – consider the greater good EXAMPLE: Using weapons of mass destruction ends a war sooner and saves more lives than conventional fighting
Virtue Ethics Morals are internal Strive to be a person who behaves well spontaneously EXAMPLE: Volunteers are better people than those forced to do a job or duty
Deontology (Duty Based) Focus on adherence to moral duties and rights Morals should apply to everyone equally EXAMPLE: Human rights should be respected for all people; applied universally
Scenario A classmate steals a copy of the mid-term. He’s giving it out to the class. You’re currently averaging a C, but need at least a B to keep your financial aid. You take a copy but haven’t looked at it yet. How would each ethical system that we just discussed respond to this situation? Relativism Divine Command Utilitarianism Virtue Ethics Deontology
What about the Law? Laws are formal written standards designed to apply to everyone and enforced by government agencies and interpreted by the courts. Can we pass laws that cover every behavior? Of course not! So ethics give us unwritten guidelines to follow.
Unethical vs Illegal Some people feel the death penalty is unethical, but it is legal in several states. Meanwhile, civil disobedience (refusal to obey certain laws) is a form of protest used to affect change – while illegal, it is usually not unethical.
Amoral Behavior Unethical behavior – breaking the rules that are accepted as standard behavior Amoral behavior – has no sense of right and wrong and show no interest in moral consequences of one’s actions
Which System is Best? No one will agree! However, our ethical decisions are influenced most by our personal ethics – a set of formal or informal ethical principles you use to make decisions in your life. Some people have a clear path; others are inconsistent. People are also influenced by what the result may be – if they could be poor, people tend to talk themselves into questionable decisions.
Personal Ethics Family greatly influences our ethical behavior and the values you cherish yourself. Religious affiliation and teachers also play a part. Finally, as we mature, our personal experiences affect our ethics – seeing behavior around us, punishment for wrong, etc.
How do You Determine Your Personal Ethics? Describe yourself – how you see yourself and how others see you. List the key principles you believe in. Identify external influences. Consider “why” you believe what you do. Prepare a statement of values – refer to it when you feel you don’t know what to do. Psychological studies have shown that when we live in a way that is consistent with our ethical compass, we are happier, less likely to get depressed.
Professional Ethics Once we enter the work place, our ethics come back into play. Do your personal ethics change when you go to work? For example, if you were a police officer that does not believe in the fairness of a particular law, would you enforce it when you saw others violating it? If you see people behaving unethically at work, do you turn them in? Some people do – they are called “whistle-blowers.” How you behave can get you fired! If you post things your employer doesn’t like online, they can fire you for your behavior. Should your employer have control over your behavior outside of the workplace? Most people, therefore, are respect the ethical requirements of their business, but are ultimately guided by their own personal ethics.
Technology and Ethics TopicEthical DiscussionDebate Issue Social Justice Does the deployment of technology to alter the human brain blur the lines between human and machine? Will brain technology make some humans superior to others? Intellectual PropertyDo entire countries support software piracy? Can we impose our values and intellectual property laws on the world? Privacy Can employers peer into your personal profiles on social media sites? Should personal privacy be protected? E-commerce Do geolocation devices and applications threaten privacy? Do the benefits of geolocation devices and applications outweigh the risks? Electronic CommunicationWhen does big business limit free speech? Should companies allow the Chinese government to dictate when to curtail free speech? Computer AbuseWhose responsibility is it to monitor cyberbullying?Should parents bear all the responsibility of monitoring cyberbullying or should it be in the hands of public officials?
Technology and the Brain The human brain and neurological tissue have a limited ability to heal themselves; this means that after injury, a person can be left with a severe handicap. There are also diseases that attack the central nervous system (Parkinson’s) Research to help these folks are in three areas: Brain-computer interfaces (BCI’s) Neurostimulation Neural Stem Cells
Technology and the Brain These are focused on medical disorders. However, The Military is interested in BCI’s to control fighter aircraft, drones, and other weapons systems. Gaming industry is also interested in BCI, since it could provide the capability for thought-controlled video games. And neurostimulation and neural stem cell research hold the potential for not just treating illnesses but possibly enhancing human brain function to allow humans to progress beyond their normal brain potential. How should technology be allowed to affect brain function? If we can create a smarter or more atheletic human, should we do it? Where is the line? If a smart bomb is guided by computer technology and destroys its target, it’s the machine’s responsibility – if that same bomb is guided by a human through BCI, who’s responsibility is it? Where do we separate the person from the machine?
Technology and the Brain Questions to consider: Who is responsible for controlling the direction and outcomes of brain technology research? When do the benefits of medical research outweigh the risks of the technology being used in illegal, evil, or immoral ways? Does enhancing our brain capabilities with technology make us less human?
Intellectual Property Intellectual property is protected by copyright law; however, the standards of the US are not met in other countries.
Intellectual Property Questions to Ponder: Should a government be penalized for failing to actively enforce the laws it has enacted within its own country? If so, what should the penalties be, and how should they be enforced? Does each government have the right to make its own decision on a stand against piracy? How can other countries respond to international priracy? Does individual piracy have any connection to the enforcement of copyright laws on an international level?
Privacy Privacy is about not being required to explain your behavior to others; but social media sites (Facebook) are all about sharing information with others – so, in today’s society, is there such a thing as personal privacy? Some employers and even the government are asking for your password to Facebook or similar sites before hiring you – is this ok? In May, 2012, legislators proposed the password protection act to prevent employers from demanding passwords on private sites from employees. Currently, employers are prohibited from asking employees information relating to their gender, race, religion, age, and sexual orientation, but this information is available on your Facebook profile. Should you “friend” your company or employers on Facebook? What are the consequences (potentially)?
Privacy Questions to ponder: Should you be able to decide exactly what information on a social networking site you share with others? Would you be willing to pay for the privilege? Do you know what your privacy settings are on the social media sites you use? Is there any information being shared publicly that you weren’t aware was being shared? Should employers be allowed to ask prospective employees for their passwords to social media sites? Is this practice still legal in the US? Is there any information on sites you use that you want to restrict potential employers from seeing? Do these sites allow you to restrict the information you wish to protect?
E-Commerce Where are you? If you let the GPS in your phone do the talking and “check-in” at Foursquare or some similar business, businesses can promote their products, offer rewards, etc. when you “check-in” at their location. When you sign up, you can choose what information to share publically; it’s supposed to make it convenient for you to find your friends and who might be near you when you “check-in”. What if another app you know nothing about is using your information in a way never intended by the social media sites you joined? Question – when you leave home and publically announce on Facebook, Foursquare, or Tweets your location and constant whereabouts, do you lose your privacy in exchange for “fun” and “convenience”? No matter your personal settings, hackers can still follow your updates. And do you understand how much of this information is getting grabbed by other apps? What if you’re a stalker – want your location information used against you in court? Should it be? Not long ago, people wouldn’t even use their real name online – now we’re shouting all our private information. Society has accepted open sharing of private information – has technology moved too fast?
E-Commerce Questions to Ponder: Do the benefits of geolocation outweigh the risks? What other devices besides cell phones trak and record our movements/locations as digital records? How have social networks increased the risks of geolocation? What risks do geolocation pose for college students? How can users mitigate those risks?
Electronic Communication Does free speech have a price? In 2006, Google went to China and agreed to censor results of searches according to Chinese law. However, in 2010, after Google discovered a cyberattack they believed was done to gather information on Chinese human rights activists, Google announced they would no longer censor searches and moved to Hong Kong, where they hoped for less censorship. They had 35% of the market share. Now, they have only 18%. Microsoft partnered with Baidu.com (the Chinese leading search engine), to provide filtered English results of searches. They now have 78% of the market share. Is the financial result worth the cost?
Electronic Communication Questions to Ponder: Is there anything else that Google could do that would have a major impact on Chinese censorship laws? Has Microsoft’s compliance with censorship laws furthered the Chinese government’s cooperation in combating software piracy in China? Are Microsoft’s financial incentives even deeper than Internet marketshare? Can the US Government compel technology companies to take a firmer stance on free speech in China and elsewhere by instituting criminal charges if US Companies do not take responsible steps to protect human rights?
Computer Abuse - Cyberbullying What is cyberbullying? It’s bullying using technology; using the Internet, cell phones, or video to hurt, harass, or humiliate another person. Some examples are: Many harassing texts or IM’s Stealing a password to the victim’s account to embarrass them by sending lewd, threatening, or harassing messages while pretending to be them Spreading rumors or lies on social networking sites Posting embarrassing pictures or videos on the web Infecting the victim’s computer with malware, usually to spy on them.
Computer Abuse - Cyberbullying How do you know if someone is being cyberbullied? Similar signs as depression: Loss of interest in normal activities Reluctant to go to school/work Loss of appetite Trouble sleeping Appear upset after Internet use Unusual mood swings
Computer Abuse - Cyberbullying How do you know if someone is a cyberbully? Using the Internet excessively Sending large volumes of text messages Clearing the screen when others enter the room Refusing to tell what they are doing online
Computer Abuse - Cyberbullying Questions to Ponder: Who’s responsible for protecting the victim? The parent? The school? What level of responsibility should school employees have for protecting children from cyberbullying? Should there be federal laws that make cyberbullying a crime? If so, how do we enforce these? What types of education for children would be beneficial in preventing cyberbullying? When should these programs begin, and how often should children be required to participate?
Technology and Ethics Many charitable organizations use the Internet and other technology tools for fundraising. The Internet is also a tool for organizing aid to areas in crisis. The level of personal interaction the Web supports and the speed at which information can be exchanged is allowing computer technology to support ethical conduct in powerful new ways.