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Moral Aspects Of Technology(Case Study: Moral Impact Of Mobile Phone Communication On The Society)

3892 words - 16 pages

HU 341Moral Literacy and Moral ChoicesTerm PaperMoral aspects of TechnologyMotivation:It might appear strange that while our synopsis and the presentation dealt primarily with Communication, especially personal communication as applied to the special case of mobile communication, this term paper deals with the idea of technology as a whole. However, it can be justified on the grounds that what is true for one technology will in essence be true for others as well, hence it is better to deal with the idea of technology in general and then apply the resulting principles to any technology.The motivation for this term paper was a very interesting question which was raised during the presentation. ...view middle of the document...

? He suggested that the manner in which a technology influences us has nothing to do with the manner in which it is used, but only on the nature of this technology. He claimed that for long have we ignored the nature of the medium in our analysis of the impact of technology.In a latter part of our presentation, the ideas of Jean Baudrillard were dealt with. Baudrillard (1929- ) is a postmodern thinker who in his book, ?the Ecstasy of Communication?, deals with the negative aspects of communication. He considers excess of communication to be vulgar in the same sense that overexposure or nudity is obscene. He gives the analogy of something being obscene when depicted in a very raw form, for example a nude human figure, and then extends this analogy to communication. Baudrillard also claims that today all of us live in transparent bubbles which provide us our personal space, but being transparent they have change the idea of privacy. ?To each his own bubble, that is the law today.?Next we went on to explore the aspects of mobile communication itself, and analyzed the various apparent contradictions and paradoxes related to mobile phone usage. At the end of this discussion, it became apparent that even though any technology is expected to work in a particular manner depending on the purpose for which it is designed, it sometimes performs rather ironically. A discussion on the same culminated with the following question being raised that whether it is the technology which is good or bad, or it is the manner in which it is used which defines its moral worth. If both are true, then to what extent, and to what extent should we tolerate the changes in society which arise due to the use of any technology. I would now explore this question in detail, and then apply the results to mobile communication.Morality of an agent:Morality is a human phenomenon. We do not talk of morality of inanimate objects and irrational beings. Hence, some philosophers argue, it is useless to talk of technology as being inherently good or bad morally. Technology is just a tool; the volition behind its use is always human. Thus the value of any technology would be determined by the use it is put to. This actually shifts the burden of morality to the shoulders of the agent, and thus the morality of the agent determines the morality of the technology.For example, consider nuclear technology. We have seen nuclear technology being put to the use of man as a constructive tool, and in the hands of the tyrant as a destructive one. This merely indicates that nuclear technology has the potential of serving a great purpose for man, and also the capability of annihilating life as we know it. It would appear incredulous if we blame nuclear technology itself for the destruction it has caused, rather than the hands which directed it to that use.Thus, the first line of thought merely put all the responsibility for the consequences of using a technology on the agent who uses it. The biggest...

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