Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Computer Ethics

Is there a standard of morality for people using computers? Obviously, moral standards apply to all areas of life. There are ways in which we can be scrupulous or unscrupulous in whatever we do (whether people see it or not). A more appropriate question, therefore, may be to ask whether or not there is a unique or special standard of morality for computer users. My opinion is that there is not. I highlighted before the idea that morals are morals whether people see them in action or not, and vices are vices in darkness and in light. The world of computers provides an easy way for people to practice what would normally be considered immoral acts without ever being caught, simply because there are just too many people, with too many private computers, to keep track of. While a lack of integrity in the computer world may make moral standards seem lower, there is no logical way in which one could consciously describe the standards as such. There is no need for a "moral code for computer users," because the same standard of morality that applies to all of mankind applies to computer users, but the level of integrity required to measure up to this standard is higher than in most areas.

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It has been said that the legal system is not what defines right and wrong, and I believe that this is partially true. It is true in the sense that created laws may not totally cover acts that we inherently know to be wrong. Therefore, just because we're not "breaking the law" does not mean we are not committing an act of general wrongdoing. It is false, however, in the sense that what the law establishes as wrong is, in fact, wrong. As a Christian, I believe we are always to obey the law of the land insofar as it does not prohibit obedience to the Word of God. Music piracy may not seem wrong to us or bother us, but if the law says that it is wrong, then it is wrong, and according to our moral standard we should not engage in music piracy.

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