In the course of one’s life they are plagued with the burden of making many decisions. Decisions that will ultimately define you as the person you will grow up to be. One’s decisions will most likely affect themselves and others around them. Some may ask themselves what profession would I like to pursue or maybe more simply what should I have for lunch. These decisions not only impact us but everyone around us directly and indirectly.
When a person has information that could help mankind, I believe it is their duty to share it so that everyone can benefit from it not just themselves. Some people in the world believe that if they are the first to discover something they should have the right themselves to either withheld it or share it. Let’s take for example cancer if a person were to find a cure they could withhold the cure and wait for someone to pay them trillions of dollars or they could distribute the cure and save many innocent lives that would have perished in the time when negotiations was occurring.
In a perfect world the instance where the cure is distributed would be the alternative that would arise out of this situation. However this is not a perfect world and most likely there could be a cure for a cancer available at this present moment that no one except a select few has knowledge of. It is just waiting on the right price to be offered for its purchase. From an ethical standpoint to you would agree with the previous statement also of the free release of the cure to the people.
This however is a decision that the creators of the cure will have to deal with for the duration of their lives. This however can be flipped around to the vice versa. What if the ethical thing to do in a situation is to withhold knowledge and keep it to oneself? There are many instances where this validation of reasoning holds true and can be upheld as logic for the making of one’s decision. What if the knowledge being withheld is more harmful than it will be helpful than it should be retained.
An example can be found in the Barry Bonds steroids scandal that began the cascade of athletes falling because of the failures to pass random drug tests. This scarred the great name of baseball forever and spoiled the great reputation it had as the American pastime. This was a personal matter that could have been handled privately, this knowledge did not and not and should not have been publicized for the whole world to see and develop new thoughts of what American baseball is.
It just represents a bunch of men who would do whatever it takes to make money rather than play a game for the fun of it and the enjoyment of others. However a recurring theme constantly keeps popping up in this conversation. The idea of money in this issue and what role it plays in this debate of ethical responsibility is a very important factor in this whole debate. Money influences a person greatly when he or she is faced with making a decision.
Businessman are faced with this decision every day, which decision will make me more money in the long run or strategically will be most beneficial to my particular needs. So in the case of a scientist who conjured up a new idea that everyone wants; money will probably be the sole decider on who he shares the knowledge with. We can take into account the use and discovery of fission and fusion which lead to the creation of the atomic bomb. It was responsible for the end of World War II and the deaths of over 200,000 Japanese civilians in the dropping over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
There were economic and financial benefits in winning the war so as a result the bomb was made for the allies to drop on Japan to end the war as it was becoming loathsome to have to keep spending billions of dollars on a war that was seeing no progress. So in the end you can say that money at the end of it all was the motive for the dropping of the bomb in affect to end the war which was taking so much out of America such as lives, supplies and most importantly to the upper-class of society which was and still is making most of these decisions was the money.
So the nuclear bomb was created knowing that it would be the spark of a new era of warfare. Nuclear warfare which I believe will one day be our means to and end when the world is dissolved in a nuclear war. Moving forward we can clearly see however the sense for reasoning in this whole process of the retention or distribution of knowledge is very important. If you happen to be the person that can help somebody wouldn’t you. There are certain instances that it is acceptable to do so and other times when it is not.