The Responsibility of Knowledge Essay

Submitted By aletrevizo
Words: 1280
Pages: 6

Ever since the time of Plato, knowledge has been a key trait when choosing those who govern the people. In the case of Plato's ideal republic, it was the philosopher kings who had the power. Knowledge is perhaps the most effective and the most essential thing that a human can have. Whether it be knowledge acquired through emotion, reason, language, or even through the senses every bit of knowledge is a contribution to the global community. The claim that “ the possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility” is correct to a very great extent because knowledge is a powerful weapon that can not only benefit the human race but when used in a malicious way can create utter destruction and chaos.

In Theory of Knowledge four areas of knowledge have been addressed. These are perception, emotion, reason, and language. Although all four are beneficial, each have their weaknesses. In emotion for example the diversity between one person or the other, can make it difficult for two people to agree in a situation where one can have a bias. Also when one is completely lead by emotion one can be reckless and not always think things through all the way. In perception it is possible that our senses may deceive us . For example have you ever been sitting in a room when you think your name is called when in reality something else has been said. Another common example is that of optical illusions which are intended to deceive the eye. Language unfortunately has the barrier that we have not yet achieved, a way in which everyone can communicate, something along the lines of a universal language. Although it is seen by most as the most structured and most efficient area of knowledge, even reason has its issues. As logical and practical as reason can seem, the many logical fallacies that exist are proof that even this area of knowledge can be toppled. Even with the issues that can be found in each area the need for knowledge and the benefits that come from it are great and for this reason the possession of knowledge becomes an ethical responsibility.

Ethics is known by many as the set of morals or guidelines by which a person or a society make decisions and live their lives. Because knowledge can be so powerful it is something that walks a fine line in ethics and can often times cause corruption and issues. Language for example is a way in which many political leaders have swayed their public and convinced the masses to believe in their ideals. It is a politicians moral duty to lead their country or their state to what is right and to what is best for the people. Most often they are fairly intelligent people who have had years of schooling and who have a good way with words. In this example knowledge is an ethical responsibility because the politicians are not only representing their people but also at many times they are convincing them and persuading them to see in a certain point of view. However according to the fallacy of Ad Populum, if the people want what is wrong, then they will most likely receive and obtain that which is wrong. These governmental leaders must take it upon themselves to remain uncorrupted by the system and also to keep the best interest of the people in mind. Knowledge in language can give a strong power to a person in charge. An example of this was the support that men like Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot had when riling up their people and getting their ideals across. Their ability to inspire the crowds even when their plans were not for the good of other people. This is just one way in which knowledge can be a responsibility. Another example is that of a doctor or a scientist. In science when someone makes a new discovery it is expected that he or she share it with the scientific community so that all will benefit from the new piece of information. However a knowledge issue often seen in science is that which is known as the law of unintended consequences. For example one of the most important…