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CS 106 Professional

Ethics in IT

Introduction: Ethics
Defined and Its
Imperatives
Jocelyn i. ancheta, MIT
Instructor
What is Ethics?
Ethics is a part of Philosophy. It is

one of the six (or seven) parts that


constitute the discipline of philosophy.
Philosophy
comes from the Greek words

philos = friend
sophia = wisdom
Hence, the etymological definition of
philosophy is friend of wisdom.
Philosophy
the science which studies the
final or ultimate reasons of all
things
Philosophy vs Religion
or Theology
Religion bases its truth on faith,
whereas
Philosophy accepts truths on
the basis of reason.
Philosophy vs Religion
or Theology
Those who fail to prove the existence of
God are called atheists.

Those who fail either way to prove the


existence or non-existence of God are
called agnostics.
Disciplines of
Philosophy
Philosophy is divided into six or seven disciplines,
depending on whether Logic is, or is not, considered a
part of philosophy.
1. studies first all beings in general Metaphysics
2. studies God Theodicy
3. man Psychology
4. knowledge Epistemology
5. the world Cosmology(now Philosophy of Science)
6. morality Ethics
Ethics: Defined
derived from the Greek word
ethos meaning a characteristic way of doing
things or a body of customs.
From the etymology of the word, one understands
Ethics to be a study of human
customs or
ways of doing things.
Ethics: Defined
the science of the morality of
human acts
Morality
the quality of goodness or
badness of human acts.

It is also the rightness or wrongness


of human acts as they conform or do
not conform to standards.
Human Acts vs Acts of
Human
Human acts are those that are done with
full knowledge and full willingness or
deliberation.

Acts that are done without full knowledge


or full willingness or deliberation or both are
termed acts of man.
Human Acts vs Acts of
Human
Human acts must conform to a standard
to determine whether they are good or bad,
right or wrong, moral or immoral.
Kinds of Ethics
General Ethics
concerns the individual and what he ought to
do to live a happy and fruitful life in this world.

Special Ethics
concerns the individual as a member of
society
The Imperatives of
Ethics
the existence of God or a Supreme Being;
the existence of human freedom;
the existence of an afterlife, i.e., life beyond the
grave, or the immortality of the soul.
The Existence of God or
a Supreme Being
Without the existence of God or a Supreme
Being, Ethics would make no sense. There is no
reason for man to deny himself evil but
pleasurable acts if there is no final judge to
dispense justice. When one speaks of morality or
the goodness or badness of human acts, one
idea is presupposed: retribution.
The Existence of God or
a Supreme Being
Retribution means that good acts deserve
reward; bad acts deserve punishment. Reward
and punishment are presupposed by morality.
Who metes out reward or punishment? It
must be a Lawgiver or an Arbiter of Morality, one
who dispenses retributive justice. Without this
being, the whole structure of Ethics will collapse.
The Existence of
Human Freedom
No Ethics is likewise possible without human
freedom.
Responsibility, which is an indispensable factor in
Ethics, would be meaningless if men were not free.
Retribution is deserved only if men had the choice
to do or not to do, to follow or not to follow.
Freedom always involves an option of whether
to do or not to do.
The Existence of an
Afterlife
That the soul is immortal, or that the soul will outlive
the body, is a postulate in Ethics.
Good deeds will be rewarded and evil deeds
punished.
The immortality of the soul is, therefore, a
cornerstone in Ethics.
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