The impact of the Internet on democracy is a widely discussed subject. Many writers view the Internet, potentially at least, as a boon to democracy and democratic practices. According to one popular theme, both e-mail and web pages give ordinary people powers of communication that have hitherto been the preserve of the relatively wealthy (Graham 1999, p. 79). So the Internet can be expected to close the influence gap between wealthy citizens and ordinary citizens, a weakness of many procedural democracies.
Our technologies have enabled us to change both the world and our perceptions of the world, as well as to change ourselves and to find new ways to fulfil the human desire for improvement and for having new capacities. The debate around using technology for human enhancement has already raised many ethical concerns, however little research has been done in how human enhancement can affect human communication. The purpose of this paper is to explore whether some human enhancements could change (...) our shared lifeworld so radically that human communication as we know it would not be possible any longer. After exploring the kinds of communication problems we are concerned with as well as mentioning some possible enhancement interventions that could bring about such problems, we will address some of the ethical implications that follow from these potential communication problems. We argue that because of the role that communication plays in human society, this issue deserves attention. (shrink)
Symposium on Animal Disenhancement: Introduction Content Type Journal Article Category Introduction Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s11569-012-0145-3 Authors John Weckert, Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Charles Sturt University, Canberra, ACT, Australia Journal NanoEthics Online ISSN 1871-4765 Print ISSN 1871-4757.
This paper presents the principal findings from a three-year research project funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) on ethics of human enhancement technologies. To help untangle this ongoing debate, we have organized the discussion as a list of questions and answers, starting with background issues and moving to specific concerns, including: freedom & autonomy, health & safety, fairness & equity, societal disruption, and human dignity. Each question-and answer pair is largely self-contained, allowing the reader to skip to those (...) issues of interest without affecting continuity. (shrink)
These comments claim that a shift has occurred between early discussions of online trust, where the focus was on the possibility of such trust and later ones, such as Ess’s, where the concern is more with the influence of the new communication technologies on trust in general. The comments, then, focus on affordance as examined by Ess, arguing that it is, indeed, a central issue in new communications and trust.
Changes in information technologylead to new topics and new emphases in computerethics. The present article examines a varietyof such issues, and argues that computer ethicsmust become more rigorous and develop astronger theoretical base. The articleconcludes with a discussion of ways to makecomputer ethics more effective in bringinghelpful changes to the world.
This paper examines workplace surveillance and monitoring. It is argued that privacy is a moral right, and while such surveillance and monitoring can be justified in some circumstances, there is a presumption against the infringement of privacy. An account of privacy precedes consideration of various arguments frequently given for the surveillance and monitoring of employees, arguments which look at the benefits, or supposed benefits, to employees as well as to employers. The paper examines the general monitoring of work, and the (...) monitoring of email, listservers and the World Wide Web. It is argued that many of the common justifications given for this surveillance and monitoring do not stand up to close scrutiny. (shrink)
Legislation was recently introduced into theAustralian parliament to regulate the Internet. Thiscreated a storm of protest from within the computerindustry, where arguments against the legislationranged from those based on technical difficulties tothose based on moral considerations, particularly offreedom of speech and freedom to access information.This paper is primarily concerned with the moralaspects of Internet regulation, but within theparameters of current technology. It will argue thatsuch regulation can be justified, despite the factthat given the current technology there will bedifficulties with enforcement, (...) and reduction inInternet performance. (shrink)