Contemporary Moral Problems of Nanotechnologies - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
1. Explain how Kurzweill's recasting of Moore's law in and through the notion of “singularity” brings forth the revolutionary nature of nanotechnology. Moore's law, which predicts the exponential growth of computer power every 24 months, has been used by Kurzweil to explain nanotechnologies' own potential…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER91.8% of users find it useful
Contemporary Moral Problems of Nanotechnologies
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Contemporary Moral Problems of Nanotechnologies"

Explain how Kurzweill's recasting of Moore's law in and through the notion of “singularity” brings forth the revolutionary nature of na chnology. Moore's law, which predicts the exponential growth of computer power every 24 months, has been used by Kurzweil to explain nanotechnologies' own potential. His interpretation of the law was demonstrated in his own Law of Accelerating Returns. One of his important claims in this principle is that "a specific paradigm provides exponential growth until the method exhausts its potential," and that, "when this happens, a paradigm shift (i.e., a fundamental change in approach) occurs, which enables exponential growth to continue (Kurzweil 2001). In keeping with Moore's Law, this model supports the idea that technology progress at a speed that goes beyond our perception or faster than we intuitively realize. This formed part of Kurzweil’s concept of Singularity wherein man and machine cooperate and combine together to form part a greater human intelligence propelled by the rapid technological progress. The concept of nanotechnology provides an effective paradigm that perpetuates the law. The technology "assembles structures from the ground up, molecule by molecule, or atom by atom" eliminating many challenges in the process that limits or exhausts a particular paradigm as cited previously (Alhoff, Lin and Moore 2010, 65) The implication of this is significant. Nanotechnology claims self-perpetuating characteristics such as self-assembly, independence from external control and manipulation and materials that far exceed most of its counterparts. In addition, nanotechnologies can also reject old law’s accelerating price-performance growth variable. As computing chips, for instance, get smaller and smaller, computing speed would come at lower cost. By using and recasting Moore’s Law, Kurzweil was able to demonstrate how nanotechnology will revolutionize not just computing but many other aspects of our lives such as medicine. According to Freitas, in this early stages “nanotechnology-based biomedical systems may be used to help resolve many difficult scientific questions,” and establish, in the future, nanomedicine that would eventually be consists of control, construction, repair, defense, and improvement of all human biological system (Alhoff, Lin and Moore, 66). Moore’s law provided a specific period of exponential growth. Kurzweill’s own law shattered the record of such growth by underscoring how nanotechnologies eclipse the current computing power. The principle at work, however, is the same. There is an exponential growth happening and that it transpires at an unexpected speed at a lesser cost. 2. Discuss how Schrodinger’s cat and Einstein’s claim that “God does not play dice” exemplify the challenges that face nanoscience. Nanoscience is a relatively new discipline. It has only recently emerged owing to the ideas of some scientists in the previous century and the invention of advanced tools such as the carbon nanotubes and the discovery of the quantum dots, among others. What this means is that much of the benefits and technologies that are conceived to be revolutionary and groundbreaking still remain in the realm of expectations and potentialities. This is the gist of the argument using Schrodinger’s cat and Einstein’s claim that “God does not play dice” with regards to nanoscience and nanotechnologies. Schrodinger’s cat was a reference to a famous experiment in 1935. Here, a cat was placed in a sealed steel chamber along with a tiny radioactive material that is so small that one of its atoms could decay within an hour. In such event, through a Geiger counter - a trigger would be set that would then release a hammer that would break a poison flask, killing the animal (Alhoff, Lin and Moore, 31). The question posed is whether the cat lives or dies because an atom can decay or not decay. This is analogous to the circumstance of nanoscience because we are left with no knowledge about what is happening because, as with the cat, the information and knowledge about the field are still sealed within the “chamber” so to speak. Since the probabilities, as with the cat’s case of either being dead or alive, are uncertain – the fact that the cat may be alive or dead exists simultaneously for us as mere probabilities. This is the point raised by Einstein in his own doubts about quantum mechanics. Such probability prompted the scientist to declare: “an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the ‘old one’” (Alhoff, Lin and Moore, 31-32). When Einstein quipped that God does not play dice, he is impressing on us that one should not merely leave everything to chance. Nanoscience will not be anything but pure field of probabilities if it does not demonstrate solid and quantified evidences that would prove its claims and potentials as truth. According to Schroeder, a “blurred model” cannot represent reality (31-32). Works Cited Allhoff, Fritz, Lin, Patrick and Moore, Daniel. What is nanotechnology and why does it matter?: from science to ethics. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons, 2010. Kurzweil, Ray. "The Law of Accelerating Returns," KurzweilAI. March 7, 2001. Web. 2 June 2011. Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Contemporary Moral Problems of Nanotechnologies Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(Contemporary Moral Problems of Nanotechnologies Essay)
“Contemporary Moral Problems of Nanotechnologies Essay”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Contemporary Moral Problems of Nanotechnologies

Abortion - Today's Contemporary Moral Issue

...?"Abortion: A contemporary Moral Issue" Introduction Abortion, as the suggests, means abort of finish, miscarriage. An act of instantaneous slaughter of a human before the baby is born. It is becoming the most contemporary issues in the present day scenario. For the past two decades, the issue has been debated regarding the ethical and moral concerns. To date no convincing results could be procured rather it emerged as the most contentious of all the existing contemporary societal concerns of the present century (Ethics of Abortion: Is it Moral or Immoral to Have an Abortion). Abortion poses a ethical, societal, and therapeutic...
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay

Contemporary Moral Problems of Nanotechnologies

... to treat nanotechnology as a discipline and how to judge it in ethical and moral terms. Part II: Use the conceptual apparatus you reconstructed in Part I to evaluate the ethical and social implications of one of the applications of nanotechnology we engaged in Unit III. In determining the ethical and social implications of nanotechnology based on the conceptual apparatus in Unit II, two important but opposing issues are prominent. First is that nanotechnology offers tremendous benefits to the point that it could solve many problems that result in human sufferings such as poverty, energy, health and food, among others. On the other hand, the technology also poses incalculable risks that could equal if not surpass the magnitude... . 103) Other...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Contemporary Social Problems

...Contemporary Social Problems Q. How do different values, beliefs and norms affect the definition of social problems Societal induced conditions that harm the different aspects of the society and violate the rules, regulations and values of a society cover the definition of social problem. There are objective social realities like poverty, racism, sexism etc that cause social problems of material or psychological anguish to the people and they form part of such a definition. However, subjective factors always occupy a position in the definition of social problems. The myths, stereotypes and official dogma that exist at the time also affect the definition. The study of social problems is never value-free. We cannot just accept... the...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Contemporary social problems questions

...include economic development, family-planning programs, and social change. The main reason for the high rate of population growth is the poverty and related issues, which could be checked by the increase in the development. Industrial and urban development along with literacy and good standard of living can be of great help in this regard. The rapid growth of population in developing nations can be reduced by the industrialization and its benefits. Q. What kinds of aid programs could help impoverished nations fight malnutrition and disease A. There are various ways in which impoverished nations can be assisted in fighting the problems of malnutrition disease. The underdeveloped and the developing nations struggle due...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Contemporary social problems paper

...Contemporary Social Problems Paper One of the most serious problems that the world is facing today is that of demographic explosion. In the particular case of the US, there are various social changes that are related to the changes in population it is experiencing today. The symposium held in Washington, DC, on Oct 5, 2006 highlighted the various challenges and the prospects of this milestone in America's history. As opposed to the earlier view that the population growth was beneficial to the cultural advancement, progress, invention and high growth of the society, there are numerous concerns now about whether it will elevate or reduce the standard of living, economy, environment,...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Contemporary Social Problems on Homosexuality

...Contemporary Social Problems on Homosexuality Homosexuality: Evolution of the human race Nowadays homosexuality issues have become one of the central topics for discussion in American society: the society which was one of the first societies to accept the protection of human and civil rights now discusses the social and civil problems and aspects of homosexuality. These issues are not only limited to legalization of same sex marriage but moreover they are widening to the set of other serious issues which include child-birth in gay and lesbian couples and creation of alternative family type. Gay and lesbian rights movement has splited the society: those who tolerate and support the right on self-determination of sexual minorities... , not the...
12 Pages(3000 words)Essay

Contemporary international problems

...for gender mainstreaming is a horrible idea. We appear to be in the midst of an organic process among western democracies. Understanding of the differences between the sexes is increasing, as is the appreciation for the strengths of each. Many peaceful solutions to international problems as well as some effective militaristic interventions have occurred because of this understanding Many people would argue that intervention in Darfur would be a mistake. There are several reasons for these beliefs. One is the recent intervention record of western democracies has not been exactly positive. Many would argue that interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Rwanda have been catastrophes. The argument is made that the...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Contemporary Moral Issue (Philosophy)

...There is much debate about whether, or not the War on Terrorism is a morally correct war. When one debate the morality of the War on Terrorism one must ask many questions, some of the question’s one needs to ask to determine the morality of the War on Terrorism such as, how many lives were lost on September 11, 2001? Have the governments of Afghanistan, and Iraq been harboring terrorists? This paper will discuss the debate over the morality of the War on Terrorism. In discussing the factual questions relating to whether, or not the War on Terrorism is a morally correct war one would first determine the number of lives lost on September 11, 2001. This is...
2 Pages(500 words)Assignment

Philosophy Contemporary Moral Problems

...from arbitrary persecution. As per the Greek tradition enunciated by Plato and Socrates, natural rights are the rights that originate from the natural laws of the universe, and which essentially express the will of the gods that exercise a control over the nature and the universe (Barker 4). Many scholars do tend to hold that the idea of natural rights was inextricably inherent in the early Judeo-Christian doctrines, which delved on the moral autonomy and the dignity of each and every human being (Tierney 46). However, in a contemporary context, the idea of natural rights has to some extent been severed from its Judeo-Christian origins and is explained and talked about in more of a secular context....
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay

Contemporary Moral Problems

...PRACTICAL ETHICS Here Here Chapter Review 9 Book Identification This paper is a review of chapter nine of PracticalEthics book written by Peter Singer. It is a third edition revised in 2011. The book is published by Cambridge University Press in New York, America. Summary of the Content Chapter nine talks about the ethical effects of climate change and challenges encountered. The author regards this chapter as the one with the greatest practical significance. From a social standpoint, the writer selects the issues connected with what a fair sharing of the problem is, historical concern, and equivalent shares.1 He also talks about the question of what persons should do. The scientific proof for humans is responsible for...
3 Pages(750 words)Book Report/Review
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Contemporary Moral Problems of Nanotechnologies for FREE!

Contact Us