Tok Essay

Submitted By JessicaGonzalez3
Words: 1400
Pages: 6

“The possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility.” Everyday we gain knowledge, either on purpose or by accident. Every time we acquire some new information we are left with the thought of whether we should express it with others of not. I believe that the possession of knowledge does carry an ethical responsibility when presented in certain situations. Nevertheless, this claim also brings certain knowledge issues. Why should knowing something lead to ethical responsibility? Is it an ethical responsibility to impart that knowledge? In the world of science the issue of having ethical responsibility with the gain of knowledge always presents itself an issue. We ask the scientist who do this research and acquire this new knowledge if they in fact have an ethical responsibility? In some perspectives, some say that it is the ethical responsibility of these scientist to keep withheld their knowledge. For example, Albert Einstein had knowledge of nuclear physics. With this new knowledge Einstein found no reason from keeping it form the world. As a result, the production of nuclear warfare began, and the first atomic bomb was dropped in World War II on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Did Einstein have an ethical responsibility to proclaim his knowledge? At the time Einstein had no idea that his discovery would lead to the unwisely use of others. He just believed it to be his ethical responsibility to share his knowledge with the world as he found no reason to keep it from them. Nowadays, further knowledge of any nuclear or cosmological power is kept from society in order to maintain peace and cause no harm to anyone. Since the problem began with the research of nuclear energy by these scientists, it would be their ethical responsibility to consider if the research can benefit or harm humanity in any way. This side also argues, not only in the scientific world but also in everyday life, that the knowledge obtained by someone should be shared is it has potential to bring happiness to another person. This idea, therefore, gives scientists an ethical responsibility to bring happiness to society by withholding information that can potentially be harmful, as stated before in the example of researching nuclear energy. Another exciting research is that of evolution. After the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection not only did it bring scientific credibility to evolution but it brought dispute about the origins of Earth, life, and the universe. Some say the knowledge from this research is priceless but this may be because of their own emotional attachments and they way they perceive life. For example, Christians believe that God created the world in 6 days and on the 7th day he rested. To them this research is a defiance to their ideals and so we ask if these scientists have an ethical obligation to secure this knowledge because if they do not it can cause a lot of controversy and anger amongst different groups of people that reason differently? As long as the knowledge gained by scientists doesn’t affect society then it shouldn’t be exposed to us, but if it is something that can be potentially harmful or beneficial to us in any way then there is an ethical responsibility to express this knowledge to us. Likewise, with new knowledge comes creativity in ideas. Over the last couple decades artists have taken a toll for new media and interpretations in their artwork. To what extent do these artists have a moral and ethical obligation in the creation of their work? For example, today, Pablo Picasso’s cubist pictures to African art are no longer seen as shocking. However, in 1907 his piece called the Les Demoiselles d’Avignon outraged the public. The way in which he distorted the human figure became a large controversy at the time. The work was criticized as crude, unfinished, and incredibly unsettling. With Picasso’s knowledge and expression of this new form of art came an ethical