Tech­nol­ogy and Moral­ity

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Moral­ity is a per­sonal set of be­liefs, and you could say that it’s the core of who we are as in­di­vid­u­als. Ethics is ex­pressed in terms of the ex­pec­ta­tions and the sanc­tions that are de­fined and en­forced by a cer­tain cul­ture and so­ci­ety.

What’s com­pletely con­found­ing to­day is that the world has never been so in­ter­con­nected, but what we for­get is that the eth­i­cal po­si­tions or de­ci­sions or ex­pec­ta­tions oc­cur within a given pe­riod of time in a cer­tain cul­tural silo. That is why many of us are com­pletely dis­con­certed by what we think is so ob­vi­ously right and wrong when other peo­ple don’t be­lieve that. Quite hon­estly, the book that I’ve writ­ten was the re­sult of liv­ing in China for a pe­riod of time…and they are sim­ply op­er­at­ing with a dif­fer­ent set of mo­ral val­ues.

Thep­er­spec­tiveis­no­tone­from a Judeo-Chris­tian sense of righ­tand­wrong.They’re­far­more philo­soph­i­cal and don’t be­lieve that there’s any one way of be­in­gright, and there are very few ways of be­ing wrong.… A busi­ness con­tract be­comes ex­treme­ly­vague­an­damor­phou­se­ven af­ter you’ve signed it be­cause there’s a be­lief that it’s a con­tin­u­a­tion of a di­a­logue and not the cul­mi­na­tion of one.

Thisled­me­to­con­tem­plate­whether my own val­ues were at all ger­mane or ap­pli­ca­ble any longer in the US, as an Amer­i­can. I ex­plored that ques­tion with a va­ri­ety of other peo­ple in terms of the mo­ral choices they’ve made. Some of them have up­held the mo­ral sta­tus quo, oth­ers have been de­fi­ant.

From “Tech­nol­ogy and the De­cline of Moral­ity”

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