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Tok Essay 2013

  • Date Submitted: 01/22/2013 12:47 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 41 
  • Words: 958
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“The possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility.” Evaluate this claim
Our world today is changing by the minute – and our knowledge changes with it. But what do changes in knowledge, even the mere possession of knowledge, mean to us? The knowledge body of our human society grows extremely fast; new knowledge is obtained every day. It can be assumed that each single person possesses a certain degree of knowledge; some of the knowledge may however be more relevant to the society at large than other. This means that there are differences in the knowledge that we possess which ultimately means that knowledge is different to each person. Knowledge can be categorized into certain areas which all have a different approach to it. The key question however is whether the possession of knowledge is related to ethical responsibility in these areas of knowledge. Does being in the possession of certain information mean that I am ethically responsible? In many situations or many areas of knowledge it may indeed be true that a person carries an ethical responsibility depending on certain knowledge being possessed. I will examine different examples in which I will illustrate that it is indeed possible that the mere possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility.
In order to fully evaluate the claim that “The possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility”, it is necessary to define and set limits to the key terms. Knowledge broadly speaking is all the trusted information that a person gathers throughout life and with which he or she is familiar. Knowledge is gained either by experience or by description and through reason, emotion, sense perception or language. ‘Ethical’ means that something is morally good or correct whereas ‘responsibility’ is the state of having a duty or having a moral obligation to behave correctly.1 Thus, the extent of ethical responsibility that somebody possibly carries with the possession of knowledge, depends on the...

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