“The Possession Of Knowledge Carries An Ethical Responsibility” Evaluate This Claim.

1292 words - 5 pages

"The possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility" Evaluate this claim."The possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility" Evaluate this claim.Knowledge is said to be one of mankind's most valued possessions. Without knowledge there would be little difference between the animals who inhabit this earth and us. More powerful than the strongest army, knowledge has been the keystone to the world's greatest revelations. However, with knowledge comes great responsibility. Seen throughout history, when knowledge is abused the effects are disastrous and often end in the loss of life. Due to the implications that come with it, the absorption of knowledge carries large ethical responsibilities.It has often been said that all humans are created equal; however, with knowledge a human can reach a greater level of being. Throughout history, many societies have tried to select who is "worthy" of receiving this knowledge and who is not. Unfortunately, this leads to a general public lacking in basic intelligence with a handful of enlightened individuals. This brings about the first ethical responsibility, the need to share said knowledge. To keep knowledge only to oneself is to sacrifice the gift, for knowledge should be shared universally. One example of this is the enlightenment period in Europe. Before, the general focus had been on religion and no real advances in learning had been made. However, with the aid of the printing press and other technological advances information began to spread faster than ever before. This information was not just spread to the rich nobility, but rather to the general public. Ideas were thrown around in conversation that had never been before, ideas that were more secular than ever before. Through the simple process of sharing knowledge, the world had come one step closer to an enlightened society. For a truly enlightened society is one where all individuals contribute to the bettering of their culture, regardless of race, age, or class.Yet, can this idea of constant sharing be questioned? Are there situations when the sharing of knowledge is detrimental? If one looks on a more personal level, sharing of knowledge often creates a network of problems. If you learn something that could possibly harm a friend, should you tell said friend? Of course the proper course of action changes with each situation, but do people really need to know everything? There comes a point where the holder of knowledge has a responsibility to evaluate if the person in question needs to know. This responsibility is key to the success of any relationship. So in fact, the real ethical responsibility with the sharing of knowledge is learning when it is appropriate and when it is not.Yet another ethical responsibility in regards to knowledge is action. Often times one can learn of something and simply do nothing about it. One example of this is happening right now on earth - environmental damage. A large quantity of the world's...

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