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James Moor - Policy Vacuum

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James Moor - Policy Vacuum

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  • October 14, 2009
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James Moor - Policy Vacuum

Computer technology brought upon many unexpected ethical, social and political issues. Society has yet to learn a lot about how to deal with technology and its after-effects on ethical principles. When discussing about ethics, we need to go over the importance of computers and be able to answer question like: What is the reason for addressing the impact of computers on ethics? In his article “What is computer ethics?” Dr. James H. Moore analyzed and elaborated the very question. He addressed important questions like why are computers important, how are they different from other technology, what are some of the problems and challenges that are associated with computer ethics, and why is the field of computer ethics highly important.

Dr. James H. Moor begins his article by defining computer ethics. In his words, “computer ethics is the analysis of the nature and social impact of computer technology and the corresponding formulation and justification of policies for the ethical use of such technology” (James Moor, 1985). He believes that to be able to understand and define ethical rules, we have to fully understand the importance of logical malleability. According to him, logical malleability is what makes computers revolutionary. They are logically malleable in that they can be made to perform any activity that can be characterized in terms of inputs, outputs, and connecting logical operations. My first thought was that it’s the combination of the elements such as affordability, newness, abundance, usability and malleability that makes computers revolutionary. However the other elements, as Dr. Moor mentioned, only enable for the spread of computer revolution, they are not the main reason for why computers are revolutionary. Before the general public was introduced to computers, computer was already revolutionary.

Further, Dr. Moor discusses two important factors that gave way to the rise of computer ethics discussion:...