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Thinking about how to think … wants and inclinations

From the University of Leeds Professional Ethics Network

In a recent TED talk Damon Horowitz calls for a “moral operating system” for technologists.  He states that the “new technologists” have considerable amounts of power, which comes with being able to determine what could happen to large amounts of people’s data.  He then claims that, to a certain extent, technologists are in the dark when it comes to deciding what the right and wrong kinds of technologies to build are, and that this is a major problem facing the new techonologists and the new world that they will help to create.

Horowitz takes his audience through a whistle-stop tour of Aristotelian, Millian and Kantian ethics before concluding that there is no simple answer to the kinds of moral decisions that technologists are likely to face.  Ethics is hard.  But we must think about ethics nonetheless.  Horowitz quotes Hannah Arendt, who said “The sad truth is that most evil done in this world is not done by people who choose to be evil.  It arises from not thinking.”  In the remainder of the talk, Horowitz makes a plea for “the execise of thinking from every sane person” when it comes to moral issues.

Follow this link to continue reading : think

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