One of the hottest topics in business today is competitive intelligence, the effort by a company to obtain enough information about its competitors to give it a strategic edge over them in the marketplace. During the past decade, a number of books have been written in this country advising business managers on how to mine various sources of public information for this purpose: trade shows, public speeches by company executives, articles in obscure journals, and government agencies like the Food (...) and Drug Administration (1). Some large companies have even hired former FBI and CIA personnel to help them develop more effective in-house intelligence-gathering capabilities (2). (shrink)
The word "ethics" is often used as a synonym for morality or values or ideals. But ethics is also sometimes defined as critical reflection on moral claims and moral beliefs, which themselves pertain to ideas about right and wrong conduct, good and bad motives and intentions, and so on. The scope of ethics is therefore enormous, and the problems and dilemmas theoretically subject to ethical scrutiny are endlessly varied and fascinating. This is no less the case in medicine; it often (...) seems that a new ethical issue arises every time there is a breakthrough in medical technology that gives us powers we didn't have before. (shrink)
In this essay I intend to highlight a wide range of ethical views on killing and war in the world's major religious traditions. I've found that one can learn a lot about a tradition by paying attention to how it answers the question, Is it ever right to kill? What we find when we survey world religions are teachings that are at least paradoxical, and in some cases downright contradictory. Every major religious tradition regards life and especially human life as (...) sacred in some sense, and affirms mercy and compassion as basic human obligations. But influential religious authorities have also taught that it's sometimes right to kill other human beings. Some have gone so far as to rationalize wars of annihilation against heretics and infidels. (shrink)
The ability to keep someone alive by replacing one or more of their major organs is an astounding achievement of 20th-century medicine. Unfortunately, the current supply of transplant organs is much lower than the need or demand for them, which means that thousands of people die every year in the U.S. alone for lack of a replacement organ.
Strict pacifists say that killing is always wrong. Jewish and Christian pacifists often appeal to the claim in Genesis that all people are made in the image of God, suggesting that killing them represents a kind of sacrilege as well as a violation of human dignity. Christian pacifists also refer to sayings of Jesus in the Gospels to love one's enemies and not retaliate against force with force. Hindu and Buddhist pacifists would cite their basic obligation of ahimsa, avoiding harm (...) to any sentient creature. And nonreligious pacifists often say that violence only begets more violence. (See my "Ethics and War in Comparative Religious Perspective."). (shrink)
The sources and methods of espionage, the goals and tactics of covert action, and the professional conduct of intelligence officers are matters typically hidden from public scrutiny, yet clearly worthy of public debate and philosophical attention. Recent academic studies of intelligence that have had any intentional bearing on ethics or political philosophy have largely focused on procedural questions surrounding the proper degree of oversight of intelligence agencies. But what is often missed in such examinations is substantive ethical analysis of intelligence (...) operations themselves. (shrink)
Most of us assume that we have a basic right not to be killed. We might not consider that to be an absolute right—since that would entail strict pacifism—but rather what philosophers call a prima facie right.2 For example, we might be said to forfeit our right not to be killed if we commit a particularly heinous crime like aggravated murder. Or we might waive that right if we suffer from a terminal illness and can’t end our own life without (...) assistance from others. And any right that can be forfeited or waived cannot be absolute. But we’re certainly on solid ground in believing that we have to have very serious moral reasons to justify killing people. In the Western just-war tradition, war is thought to be morally acceptable if it can satisfy certain ethical and procedural criteria. But that tradition also regards war as potentially causing so much suffering, death and destruction that leaders must carefully weigh those harms against the goals they hope to achieve through war. Even if one’s country has been seriously harmed, one’s soldiers or other citizens unjustly killed by foreign powers or terrorists, leaders still face significant moral constraints under just-war criteria on what they may do in response. Having just cause to go to war, for example, does not permit one to wage total war. (shrink)
In recent months, the President and other members of his administration have openly declared their desire and intent to achieve "regime change" in Iraq. And since previous methods of ousting Saddam Hussein--economic sanctions and coups d'etat --have obviously failed, the President is seriously considering even more dramatic options, including full-scale military invasion. How should we evaluate that proposal? There are a number of important ethical questions that we must address before waging war.
Helga Kuhse's recent book, Caring: Nurses, Women and Ethics (Maldon, MA: Blackwell, 1997; 296+xii pp.), is a welcome contribution to the literature in nursing and medical ethics. The author provides an enlightening historical account of nurses' subservience to physicians, which even today discourages nurses from exercising independent ethical judgment. She offers a clear-headed analysis of the moral quandaries facing nurses when ordered by physicians to act in ways detrimental to patients' interests. And, centrally, she engages in a penetrating examination of (...) the "ethics of care," exposing a number of serious conceptual mistakes on the part of its proponents, and criticizing ways in which it has been appropriated uncritically by many contemporary writers in nursing ethics. (shrink)
I'll begin by using the concept of a profession. A profession is granted legitimacy and autonomy by society, when society benefits from restricting membership in it to those who satisfy special criteria, which are typically established and regulated internally by members of the profession.
From a speech given at a conference sponsored by the Electronic Funds Transfer Association (EFTA) on "The Puzzle of Data Security and Consumer Privacy," Washington, DC, 16 November 1992. At that time, Dr. Perry was a Consultant in Advisory Services for the Ethics Resource Center.
As Lee Silver points out in his book, Remaking Eden , our ability to alter the human genome does indicate that we'll have to rethink the meaning of "human being." But it also suggests that the issue is unlikely to be "resolved" cleanly, but will instead be subject to ongoing revision.
According to the United Network for Organ Sharing http://www.unos.org), over 4,100 Americans are currently candidates for heart transplants, meaning that they desperately need them, they satisfy the criteria for "medical utility" (i.e., a transplant will probably keep them alive), and they have adequate insurance or other funding to cover their cost. Unfortunately the supply of hearts in this country doesn't even come close to meeting the demand: only 2,202 heart transplants were performed last year. Thus, every day some Americans die (...) waiting for new hearts. (shrink)
An introduction to ethical reasoning -- Comparative religious perspectives on war -- Just and unjust war in Shakespeare's Henry V -- Anticipating and preventing atrocities in war -- The CIA's original "social contract" -- The KGB: CIA's traditional adversary -- Espionage -- Covert action -- Interrogation -- Concluding reflections.
Kasher and Yadlin make significant contributions to the literature on counter-terrorism, (1) in their fine-tuned distinctions among degrees of individual involvement in terrorist activities, and (2) in weighing (a) obligations to minimize harm to one's own noncombatants and combatants against (b) the duty to limit harm to non-citizen noncombatants. But the authors? analysis is hampered by some ambiguous definitions, some unwieldy terms, and some questionable moral assumptions and arguments.
This monograph examines the past, present, and potential relationship between American pragmatism and communication research. The contributors provide a bridge between communication studies and philosophy, subjects often developed somewhat in isolation from each other. Addressing topics, such as qualitative and quantitative research, ethics, media research, and feminist studies, the chapters in this volume: *discuss how a pragmatic, Darwinian approach to inquiry has guided and might further guide communication research; *advocate a functional view of communication, based on Dewey's mature notion of (...) transaction; *articulate a pragmatist's aesthetics and connect it to Deweyan democracy; *discuss the similarities and differences between Dewey's notion of inquiry and the philosophical hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer; *apply accommodation theory, linked to symbolic interactionism and more generally to the social behaviorism of George H. Mead and his followers, to media research; *interpret media-effects evidence in light of pragmatist ideas about inquiry; and *argue that pragmatism theorizes about despair and life's sense of the tragic. This book is written to be readily accessible to students and professional academics within and outside the field of communication studies without extensive training in specialized areas of communication study. (shrink)