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TOK: Knowledge & Ethics

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Lindsay West

on 20 November 2012

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Transcript of TOK: Knowledge & Ethics

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Images from Shutterstock.com Conclusion Connection to WikiLeaks: Looking through a utilitarian perspective, as long as the majority of the population is happy with the exposure of the "leak", WikiLeaks is justified in continuing their operation.
What is important in the revealing of an event, is the individual leak, as they expand over varies fields, and cannot be labeled individually. There is not a definitive answer for whether someone who holds knowledge has the ethical responsibility to share it or not. A Government With Secrecy But going back to our world.... Deontologicalism: rightness of an action depends on the exterior factors other than the consequences.
Intent of the action
Respect of the audience
The level of justice Consequentialist: rightness of a action determined by the type of good consequence. "A non-profit media organization whose goal is to bring important news and information to the public. One of our most important activities is to publish original source material alongside our news stories so readers and historians alike can see evidence of the truth". -wikileaks.org "WikiLeaks has combined high-end security with journalism and ethical principals." This allows for transparency which "creates a better society for all people." -wikileaks.org Strengths >Keeps the common people informed when those holding knowledge are not willing to share the information
>Exposes information individually
>Alleviates secrecy in an attempt to avoid suppression Weaknesses >Defining
>Have to rely on those have the knowledge to make sure that they are informed Moral Theories "The end justifies the means." Utilitarianism: connected to consequentialism because rightness of the event measured through the result. In this case the reaction by the majority of the population. "Maximizes overall happiness." It is not the consequences of the actions that makes them right or wrong, but the motives for those actions that determine whether they are right or wrong. Do governments need secrecy in order to function? Consequentialism Applied Conspiracy Theories >"Big Brother"
>Assassination of President John F. Kennedy
>The death of Diana Princess of Wales
>Catholicism as a veiled continuation of Babylonian paganism >Along with the public's right to know, there is the public's right not to know.
>Government takes actions against its enemies. Does not reveal their plan; only results.
>It can also be a breeding ground for corruption
like the case of Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who used classified [funding] earmarks to enrich his friends. A Government without Secrecy >The government trusts its people with all of their information
>There is no room for corruption from government officials
>Other governments would have access to our government's information
>There would be no need for WikiLeaks (for the government) Looking at a hypothetical world... Is it ethical to inform the public about the truth? What consequences are good consequences? For the government, public, and/or the informants? Patient to Doctor >A second form of secrecy is the patient-doctor relationship
>Doctors are required to have ethical practices by law and by oath Is it ethical for a patient to share all information with their doctor? Or is it ethical for patients to not have to share everything? Consequentialism
Applied Hippocratic Oath An oath that is taken by physicians and other healthcare professionals to swear to practice medicine ethically and honestly. Parent to Child Another form of censorship or secrecy, is the relationship between a parent and a child.
The parent is seen as the authority and the one with the power:

"Adult" matter, as bills and troubles a family might be facing.
What the parent believes the child is ill equipped for. "What or who tells the parent that the child is ready to be informed?" When using the moral theories in application to the relationship of a parent and child, just like in the situation with WikiLeaks, one must reason with every event rather than the overall relationship.
As in the other forms of censorship, one must observe the individual events using the moral theories to decide on the ethical right or wrongness of the parent's actions towards a child. In this sense, the overall goal of WikiLeaks is supported by the fact that it gives the greater mass of the population a benefit.
As long as the outcome is preferable the cause can be disregarded. Looking through a utilitarian perspective, as long as the majority of the population is happy with the exposure of the "leak" WikiLeaks is justified in continuing their operation.
What is important in the revealing of an event, is the individual leak as they expand over various fields, and cannot be labeled individually. Kantian Ethics is based on the idea of moral duty. It asserts that good will is the only good thing and that an action is only good if performed out of duty, rather than out of practical need or desire. Real Life Situation: WikiLeaks Purpose of WikiLeaks Kantian Ethics What ethically binds a patient? Aristotle's starting point Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) known for moral philosophy- consequentialist utilitarianism.
Way of Knowing = Emotion
Opposition psychological egoism W. D. Ross
(1877- 1971) Seven exterior factors to take into consideration:
self improvement Do you think that the government should have a parental hold on the public, as a parent has the hold on their child? Application of power/authority:
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