Moral and Ethical Issues in Technology

Individuals and organizations use technology to enhance their daily operations, be it business, learning, construction, or medical activities. Advancement in technology does not elicit ethical or moral issues, but it is the use of technological inventions that raises these issues.

Nuclear technology, biotechnology, and information technology (IT) are the major technological innovations raising ethical and moral issues. The major ethical or moral issues raised by the use of technology include ethical dilemmas, health issues, job displacement, and gender.

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Ethical dilemmas arise when there are competing goods and competing evils. In regard to IT, the sharing of private information within an organization raises the question of whether the action is moral or immoral. Companies can collect information about individuals using computer programs and even use the information for their own benefit.

Information systems enable people to manipulate records within a short period, thus raising questions on whether the information is genuine or vague. In addition, will genetic engineering improve the quality of life or destroy it? These are some of ethical dilemmas that are yet to be solved.

Furthermore, biotechnology raises some moral issues. It is difficult to justify the use of living organisms during research and other technological discoveries. For instance, vitro fertilization enables women who are not in a position to have their own children to undergo the process. Religious groups are opposed to such practices because their beliefs do not agree with them.

Similarly, the uses of technology have the capability of making many innocent people to suffer; this is a moral concern. For example, nuclear technology has the potential of killing many people, and consequently destroying the environment. This raises some health problems.

People affected by nuclear emissions, such as those witnessed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, are deemed to be genetically impaired. Such effects can affect the next generations of affected individuals. The use of computers also raises health issues. Even though computer makes our work easier, it is evident that prolonged use of computers results to repetitive stress injuries.

In regard to job displacement, machines have enabled companies to cut down their labor force. Many companies use technological tools and knowledge, such as robots and computer to run their business operations. Some people are forced to take different roles other than their qualification requirements and others are faced with stress related to work difficulties.

More weight is placed on information, knowledge, and I.T than ever before. This still raises ethical and moral issues. Should those replaced be compensated? Should machines and humans be evaluated by the same criteria?

Another important aspect that raises ethical or moral issues is gender. Women are in most cases discriminated in various ways due to the advancement in technology. For instance in manufacturing systems, men are considered to be more productive than women. Many technological innovations were and still are discovered by men who in turn design the systems in favor of their gender.

For example, the computer field is more male-dominated since females tend to rely on the easy subjects. Many females tend to avoid subjects such as engineering, mathematics, and computers, or if they do, many are frightened by the environmental set up and thy eventually leave.

Therefore, the aspects that pose ethical and moral issues need to be outlined and controlled with consideration of all the parties involved. Ethical dilemmas, health issues, job displacement, and gender are the situations which require ethical thinking through analysis and application of ethical principles. Both people and environment must be considered in any technological advancement.


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