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Computer Ethics: Some Dilemmas and Solutions for the Workplace - Research Paper Example

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This paper aims to critically understand computer ethics in theory and in practice. As such, it will be divided into three parts. The first part will investigate the evolving nature of computer from being a tool of communication to being a venue for data generation, processing, and storage…
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Computer Ethics: Some Dilemmas and Solutions for the Workplace
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Download file to see previous pages This research will begin with the statement that the rise of ‘information revolution’ has indeed altered various aspects of human life, from technological to socio-cultural. As highlighted in an online article entitled Computer and Information Ethics, the changes brought about by the Internet on commerce, employment, medicine, security, transportation and popular culture have consequently affected— in both good ways and bad ways — the interpersonal engagements and relations of people. The emergence and continued development of computer ethics as a branch of applied ethics have been viewed as a response to the sociocultural impacts of the Internet. By examining the nature and effects of the use of the Internet in familial relations, business transactions, and cultural formations, computer ethics hopes to provide specific guidelines on the proper utilization of the Internet based on philosophical and ethical tenets. Looking closely at the conceptual foundations of computer ethics, the same online article entitled Computer and Information Ethics stated that computer ethics has been used to refer to “applications by professional philosophers of traditional Western theories like utilitarianism, Kantianism, or virtue ethics, to ethical cases that significantly involve computers and computer networks. In the end, this paper aims to reinforce its thesis that the key to solving computer ethics issues at the workplace lies in a proper understanding of the evolving nature of computer and the characteristics of problems being encountered. A. The Evolving Nature of Computer and Computer Ethics Definitions
1. Evolving Nature of Computer
Studying the nature of computer from a functional perspective is helpful in attaining a holistic understanding of its purpose in human life. In this regard, another online article entitled Reason, Relativity, and Responsibility in Computer Ethics, identified two major characteristics of a computer: logically malleable and ‘informationally’ enriching (Moor 23).
Firstly, computers are deemed logically malleable as they can be “manipulated to do any activity that can be characterized in terms of inputs, outputs, and connecting logical operations (Moor 23)”. Such manipulation, as the same article opined, can come either as syntactic or semantic: syntactically, the actions of a computer can be changed by rectifying its programs; semantically, the various states of a computer can be used to represent any happening (Moor 23).
Secondly, computers are also deemed ‘informationally’ enriching because of the many users that the computer is able to provide to its users. Once in place and fully functional, a computer can be used to enhance the capabilities and improve the performance of a given program (Maner 2). As such, “computerized activities become informationalized, that is, the processing of information becomes a crucial ingredient in performing and understanding the activities themselves” (Moor 24).
Such characteristic of being ‘informationally’ enriching reinforces the idea that the Internet and other computer technologies have indeed transcended its functional properties by being a vital part of performing an ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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