The possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility. ” Evaluate this claim. In this ToK essay, I will exploring the idea of to what extent does knowledge carry an ethical responsibility. With radical studies and media creations happening globally, new knowledge about our world is being acquired and because of this phenomenon, issues of knowledge arise. Do scientists have an ethical responsibility when they acquire new knowledge?
Also, to what extent do artists and creators of media have an moral obligation tied in the creation of their material? With new and often exciting research results appearing every so often, do the scientist who do this research and acquire new knowledge from this have an ethical responsibility? In some perspectives, when world issues occur and they are connected with a research done by research team, some say that it is the ethical responsibility of the scientist to withhold the knowledge.
For example, research opportunities from the Large Hadron Collider have experienced the same dilemma such as nuclear studies. In some perspectives, nuclear research can benefit many people but this research can lead to nuclear weapons proliferation. Do the scientist who acquired this knowledge have the ethical responsibility to indirectly cause a bigger, nuclear problem? Some would say that since the problem began with the research of nuclear energy, it would be the scientists’ ethical responsibility to consider if the research can benefit humanity.
This side of the argument is stating their ideals on an ethical code which dictates that a person should strive for happiness not only for himself but also for society. Also, because of this idea, scientists would therefore have an ethical responsibility to bring about happiness by withholding information that can potentially cause a huge problem. Another exciting research that is the development of human tissue. Some say the knowledge from this research is priceless but this may be because of their own emotional attachments.
Christians believe that life begins with birth and ends with death. To them this research is a defiance to their ideals. So, to what extent do these scientist have the ethical obligation to acquire this knowledge as it cause dispute amongst different groups? This side of the argument is arguing against moral relativism in which that despite different people have different ethical codes, there are some core moral values that are common worldwide. They are assuming that these scientist want to bring happiness not only to themselves but also to others.
By acquiring this knowledge, which causes dispute and unhappiness, scientists do have an ethical responsibility when acquiring new knowledge. On the other hand, some say and in my opinion, despite the repercussions of the acquisition of new knowledge, scientist do not have any ethical responsibility with the acquisition of knowledge because of the definition of a scientist – one who studies a certain scientific discipline and acquires knowledge. These people are arguing in an utilitarianism standpoint, in which that it is the action that matter rather than the intentions.