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Computer Ethics PHILOSOPHICAL BELIEF SYSTEMS Chapter 1 Computer Ethics PHILOSOPHICAL BELIEF SYSTEMS Chapter 1 Hassan Ismail.

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Presentation on theme: "Computer Ethics PHILOSOPHICAL BELIEF SYSTEMS Chapter 1 Computer Ethics PHILOSOPHICAL BELIEF SYSTEMS Chapter 1 Hassan Ismail."— Presentation transcript:

1 Computer Ethics PHILOSOPHICAL BELIEF SYSTEMS Chapter 1 Computer Ethics PHILOSOPHICAL BELIEF SYSTEMS Chapter 1 Hassan Ismail

2 6.2 PHILOSOPHICAL BELIEF SYSTEMS n The concept of a system 4 A "system" is a unified whole made up of interdependent parts 4 No single part can perform the total functions of the whole 4 Parts must depend on each other 4 The parts must be compatible

3 6.3 Philosophic Systems n There are four philosophy systems: H Idealism, Naturalism, Pragmatism, and Existentialism H Philosophy systems, are composed of interdependent parts H These are: metaphysics, epistemology, and axiology

4 6.4 Metaphysics 4 Metaphysics is the theory of the ultimate nature of reality 4 It asks the question: what is real? 4 It is simply a belief held by a person as to what is the best explanation of reality 4 Or what reality means, in that person's view

5 6.5 Epistemology and Axiology 4 Epistemology is the theory of truth or knowledge 4 It asks the question:what is true, and how do we come to know that truth? 4 Axiology is the theory of value or worth 4 It asks the question: what is good and bad? 4 It is made up of two sub-parts: ethics and aesthetics

6 6.6 Compatibility of Parts 4 The parts of philosophic system must be compatible with one another 4 Metaphysics is the controlling element of philosophy 4 Metaphysics determines epistemology andaxiology 4 We will be concerned mainly with how different metaphysical views influence different ethical views

7 6.7 Idealism n Idealistic Reality: H The Idealist believes that reality is basically spirit, rather than matter H He believes that The world of spirit or idea is static and absolute. n Idealistic Ethics: 4 For the Idealist, goodness is found in the ideal 4 Perfect goodness is never to be found in the material world (imperatives stated in always, never) 4 Evil, for the Idealist, consists of the absence or distortion of the ideal

8 6.8Idealism 4 Idealists judge solely on the action itself and not on the results of the action 4 There are some exceptions (lesser of two evils)

9 6.9Naturalism n Naturalistic Reality: 4 The Naturalist believes that reality is basically matter (i.e., the physical universe), rather than spirit 4 For the Naturalist, the thing is more real than the idea. 4 Whatever exists is therefore primarily material, natural, and physical 4 The universe, according to the Naturalist, is one of natural design and order

10 6.10Naturalism n Naturalistic Ethics: 4 For the Naturalist, the baseline of value is that which is natural 4 Nature is good. We need not look beyond nature to some immaterial ideal for a standard of right and wrong. 4 Goodness will be found by living in harmony with nature 4 Evil is a departure from this natural norm either in the direction of excess or defect 4 It is a breaking of the natural law

11 6.11 Pragmatism n Pragmatic Reality: 4 For the Pragmatist, reality is not so easily pinpointed as it is for the Idealist and Naturalist 4 Reality is neither an idea nor is it matter (i.e. neither a spiritual nor physical "something.”) 4 Pragmatist believes that reality is a process. It is a dynamic thing 4 It is change, happening, activity, short, it is experience 4 For the Pragmatist, everything is essentially relative. The only constant is change

12 6.12Pragmatism n Pragmatic Ethics: 4 The Pragmatist believes that value claims must be tested and proven in practice 4 There is nothing that is always good, nor is there anything that is always bad 4 Pragmatist believes that moral judgments should not be based on the action that is done, but rather on the results of that action 4 The value of anything is determined solely in terms of its usefulness in achieving some end …is it good? 4 Thus, the Pragmatist believes that the end justifies the means

13 6.13 Pragmatism 4 A a means is not valued for its own sake, but only in relation to its usefulness for achieving some end (Results or Consequences are the measure). 4 For the Pragmatist, there can be no assurance that something is good until it is tried 4 There can be a dispute about which means are more effective for achieving an end 4 So there can be a dispute about which ends should, in fact, be pursued 4 Pragmatist looks for guidance from the group 4 Reality is experience, but it is the experience of the whole (the group)

14 6.14 Existentialism n Existentialistic Reality: 4 The Existentialist joins with the Pragmatist in rejecting the belief that reality is fixed and static 4 Existentialist believes that reality must be defined by each independent individual 4 Existentialist would say that the world is literally without meaning 4 Any meaning that gets into the world must be put into it by the individual, and will hold only for that individual 4 A person's world is what that person chooses it to be 4 Thus, reality is different for each individual

15 6.15 Existentialism n Existentialistic Ethics: 4 As with knowledge, the individual must create his/her own value (no escape) 4 the individual must express his own preferences about things 4 In making choices, or defining values, the individual becomes responsible for those choices 4 If the choices were freely made, then responsibility for them must be accepted 4 Evil, for the Existentialist, is being false to self 4 It is a breaking of one's personal law

16 6.16 Conclusion H An Idealist, a Naturalist, a Pragmatist, and an Existentialist may all agree upon the morality of a particular action, but for different reasons: 4 the Idealist because it conforms to some ideal 4 the Naturalist because it is natural 4 the Pragmatist because it is socially useful 4 the Existentialist because he has decided that it is good


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