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Possession Of Knowledge: Ethical Responsibility

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 1292 words Published: 19th May 2017

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What is ethical responsibility? Ethical responsibility means fulfilling obligations in all ethical areas, or as many areas as possible. When an ethical dilemma occurs, involved individuals must choose between wide varieties of ethical principles and weigh which ones should be emphasized. Possession of knowledge does carry an ethical responsibility because there are certain kinds of knowledge that inflict a compulsion or a challenge on the person who carries that knowledge. For example if someone discovers a murder scene or even a robbery the person will choose whether he should reveal the information as he knows that if he reveals the information he’ll potentially harm the person. Or keep it inside by not revealing the incident to anyone. We can say that basically when you are helping a person without harming any other person, which is when you possess knowledge that carries an ethical responsibility and if you disclose that knowledge it should help someone. If you see that in some situations it doesn’t carry an ethical situation when it doesn’t affect any person or the piece of information is worthless but in today’s world no piece of information can have an ethical responsibility as it can be used in different ways. You can see that there is a conflict of interest in any of these situations. The ethical responsibility consists in the decision the person must make, being each person’s moral values and sense of what is right and what is wrong, what finally changes this decision. We can see that the decision of the person depends on how many person are getting affected it’s also the affection or the bond which you share with the person affects the decision of the person. We know that possession of knowledge carries ethical responsibility but why? And When? If you see, when you are helping people in an ethical way or an unethical way possession of knowledge carries responsibility and we know that at some places it doesn’t carry ethical responsibility that is when it causes harm to anyone for example destruction as I have mentioned an example of Albert Einstein .

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You must have heard the famous quote said by Peter Parker that “With great powers comes great responsibility”. I’m using this claim as you can see that with possession of great knowledge comes great responsibility. For example if the doctor knows about the genetic disposition of a child should he tell the parent or the guardian about it. In some cases you are obligated to act upon it in case of a crime you are forced to say your views and tell the person or people what you saw, sometimes it is ethical to disclose it but still you can’t thinking about the consequences, emotions etc. For example you have a friend whom you know since many years and you’ll are very close to each other and he commits some crime you’ll have to say false as he is friend and you’ll support him which is unethical. Same thing like telling the parent whether they have a male child or female child is ethically wrong so you can see that possession of knowledge does carry ethical responsibility. During the World War 2 Albert Einstein gave Franklin D. Roosevelt the president of United States of America the idea of creating an atomic bomb. They also came to know that Germany was planning to make atomic bombs. When Roosevelt got to know about this he started the Manhattan Project- In this project the government of United States of America were planning to make atomic bombs before Germany could. At the time he thought what he was doing was right but after seeing the negative effects he had, he ended up regretting it. Knowing what he knew carried an ethical responsibility and his morals were questioned. Knowledge can be stopped to generate in fear of unethical use, when there is a piece of knowledge which can potentially harm people care should be taken when releasing this information. If there is an obvious application which will potentially harm people, they will be apprehensive towards it. For example if you have an information about some murder you would rather think twice before disclosing the piece of news or knowledge you possess as it will generate fear in you and you may start thinking about your own safety.

“Sometime Holding Back of knowledge by groups such as government can be ethical. “Some groups like a government hold back a particular piece of knowledge for mainly 2 causes. If the piece of knowledge when disclosed could cause chaos or panic in the country or surroundings. Government generally do this to maintain the chaos in the country, the forcefully hold back the piece of knowledge. “The source of knowledge holds a strong ethical stance”

The other day in my school when all the students and teachers were discussing about the rape case which recently happened in delhi, place in india a top came and the our juniors showed us the video of a man who was president’s son he made a statement saying that boys and girls who go to discos shouldn’t take part in any movement.

The person who invented the nuclear bomb was later regretting of his invention as it caused so much destruction in the world. He was so pressurized that he made a comment saying that he was rather ashamed of the invention and wasn’t a successful invention for him. His invention was later used as a tool of mass destruction by the countries in the world war, as you can see that how Hiroshima and Nagasaki were in ashes. The 2 bombs used were little boy and fat man. The bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima was code-named ‘Little Boy’. The amount of energy ‘Little Boy’ generated when it exploded was the equivalent of a 15 kiloton TNT explosion. Half of that energy was consumed when the explosion generated an ultra-high air pressure which resulted in a very strong bomb blast.

“Sometimes holding back of knowledge or news can be unethical” if you take an example of an individual holding back a piece of news can be unethical, for example hiding the truth of 9/11 was unethical as the people didn’t know and they were misled by the media so here you can see that holding back of knowledge was unethical and let to various problems.

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“Some people or group of people have the power to decide whether the piece of knowledge is ethical or unethical”? When you receive a particular piece of knowledge who judges whether the knowledge is ethical or unethical. There are many people, group of people that judge whether the knowledge is ethical or unethical or example your parents used to tell you some piece of knowledge when you were young and used to decide whether it is ethical or unethical. Even religious leaders make decisions and say whether a particular piece of knowledge is ethical or unethical. Some organizations like a government also have the power to decide whether a piece of knowledge is ethical or unethical.

“People or Groups of people don’t have the power to judge whether the piece of knowledge is ethical or unethical.” If you think logically a person who judges whether a piece of knowledge is ethical or unethical is a bit biased while making their decision for example when a piece of knowledge is judged by the government they are a bit biased in their side.

According to me possession of knowledge does carry an ethical responsibility as I have mentioned some claims and example proving my point but there were some limitations which I have written as my counter claims. But at certain situations we can see that the possession of knowledge carries no ethical responsibility


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