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Analysis Of Ethical Theories In Regard Of ICT Industry

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Introduction

Considering the use of Information and Communication technologies ICT nowadays it is very clear that the Earth has turned into a global village for sure. There is no problem in communicating with people who are miles away from us. Moreover, as we are advancing towards a more electronically organized world, our businesses depend on the Information and Communication Technologies which has made ICT an industry for the future always. For such a new era of time where people are being introduced to new traditions of technology, we as humans need to manage this as well. For this purpose, people need to be educated with ethical rules to maintain the balance in ICT industry to make it successful.

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Ethical theories

Virtue Ethics

Virtue Ethics is one of the ethical theories where this term means having a morally outstanding character and making ethically right choices. The virtue ethics takes the key factor “virtue” and promotes the actions which are virtuous to one’s own self and the people around as well. This theory exclaims to adopt ideal character where the actions are taken for any problem occurred must be ethically right and the actions must always be the righteous actions one can perform in the situation that has been occurred. In other words, the actions that are morally right are invigorated by this theory. This theory is somewhat similar to the Deontology (Explained later in detail) where is emphasize on doing such actions that are morally correct. This theory provides a way to become a righteous human and commit righteous actions in all situations.

The Virtue Ethics can further be divided into three categories:

  • Eudemonism: This theory is derived from the Virtue Ethics which claims that the purpose of life is being happy and spending a life fulfilling one’s desires so that he/she can stay happy. The theory further explains that a person can stay happy or spend a joyful life if and only if he/she is a righteous person who performs good deeds and makes ethically correct decisions about life.
  • Ethics of Care: This theory explains the feminist point of view towards the ethics whereas the name describes that this theory argues about the fact that the morality or the righteous character can be achieved with the factor of “care”. Virtue Ethics is supported by Ethics of Care such that a person can be righteous if he/she is caring towards the people around them.
  • Agent-Based Theories: This theory explains how the people are observing the actions of moral characters as an example in front of them and then provide ethical judgment about the actions that must be taken in any particular situation. If we start applying these theories in ICT industry than it would solve multiple problems in this era as well. These theories can be applied to the ICT industry such that people can commit righteous deeds and be beneficial and caring towards others as well. Taking an example of social media nowadays we can clearly observe how people are losing their cools against each other. If people start realizing that there are also other people sitting on the other side of the screen with hearts which can get hurt due to our words, people would stop spreading hatred

Ethics of Rights

The Ethics of right is somewhat different from the virtue ethics. The Ethics of rights theory exclaims that a person’s rights are important and that should be the priority.

Ethics of Rights consider taking actions which are according to the rights of the people involved. There are two types of rights regarding a human which needs to be considered. One of the rights is the legal rights of a human being and other are the natural rights of the humans. The legal Rights consider the rights provided by the state of the person living in. This can consider any rights like the right to elect etc. and the natural rights consider the rights like rights of freedom, rights to speak etc. People within the ICT industry ignores the rights of other people involved. People forget that other people are free to express their thoughts yet other people never understand this.

Theory of Relativism

The world is divided into multiple cultural boundaries. Each culture has its own distinct features through which it is recognized among the other cultures. These cultures have various things in common and various things that are dissimilar to each other.

The theory of Relativism is based upon the fact that people should apply ethical principle according to the cultures. For example, if one thing is prohibited by one culture there are chances that it is permissible by the other cultures. The cultures greatly differ in beliefs. The major issue occurs when one person starts ignoring this fact. The ethical actions must be taken by people and they should consider what is permitted and forbidden by other cultures if dealing with any situation where there are people related to different cultures. The Theory of Relativism is commonly practiced by the ICT industry as while dealing in professional matters it is observed and understood the differences and similarities between the cultures that are involved in the situation. The cultural barrier changes the behavior of one person towards the other person but the ICT industry is observed to understand this fact.

Theory of Objectivism

People are prone to live a life where they expect to fulfill their dreams and believe this common perception that such actions will bring them happiness.

The theory explains that a person must make their own path to success that is to achieve their goals and objectives set by them. People must not be left this matter to their faith rather they should try to act upon the ways to fulfill their dreams. The theory further gives an idea about whatever is happening with a person is the result of the decisions taken by him in his past thus the person must focus on their future taking decisions that would benefit them in their future. The person must take charge of the actions he is about to take for himself.

The theory has four main foundations:

  • Metaphysics: Objective Reality
  • Epistemology: Reason
  • Ethics: Self-interest
  • Politics: Capitalism.

Most of the people in ICT industry follow this theory very carefully. People who think about themselves are prone to think about their future as well so all the decisions are taken by them revolve around the fact that they will benefit him in the future. The people in the ICT industry sometimes forget about the other people and focus on their own future taking this one theory very seriously. This may prove out to be harmful at times. The people need to balance this theory by adding other theory concepts in this as well.

Theory of Consequentialism

There are times when a person encounters difficult situations where taking an ethically correct action can prove out to be more problems. In such situations, the best-fit theory is the theory of Consequentialism. The theory exclaims that the actions taken in any situation must be according to the circumstances of the current moment.

The best example for this theory can be explained like we all know that hacking into another system is ethically wrong and is forbidden if it’s without permission. But consider a situation where a missile is being launched due to some misunderstanding and will be hitting innocent people. A person can ignore the fact in this situation that hacking is ethically wrong and hack into the system and stop the launch. This would save hundreds of lives. Even if the action was taken ethically wrong but the results proved out to be outstanding. The Theory of Consequentialism promotes a person to use their brain in any given situation and according to the circumstances decide what is the right action at the moment. This is one of the best-suited theory. This theory fits in almost all the situations but if the person knows the best action. The theory of Consequentialism in ICT industry is widely used. People take actions at the moment. For example, if we know that downloading illegal software’s is forbidden but there arises a situation where using the software, without harming anyone, you can save someone from getting fired from their job then the decisions would be changed according to the situation. The Consequentialism theory also promotes the fact that the ICT industry also encounters such situations where taking an ethically wrong action may not be considered wrong involved in a complex situation.

Theory of Deontology

There are some people who are always loyal to the principles they have learned in their life. This loyalty helps them throughout their lives. The theory of Deontology is somewhat similar to this situation. Where a person stays obedient to the set of rules and regulations that governs whether the action is ethically right or wrong. This theory promotes the fact that no matter what the situation is, the right must be done only.

This is an ideal theory which believes that in all the situations taking the ethically correct action is the best solution to the problem. The reality is different from this. A person does not always encounter situations where the ethically correct answers are the best suitable solution of the problem.

Taking the example of hacking from the previous theory, hacking is a forbidden act. According to the theory of Deontology, no one should ever hack anyone’s system without his or her permission. If this is considered as being ethically correct in the given situation than the consequences of this would result in the death of the innocent people. Whereas these people can be saved if consequentialism approach was applied to the situation. That is why Deontology is one of the ideal theories. The ICT industry does observe the practice of this theory where there are people who are upright to their rules and regulations. But the number of such people is very few. The ICT industry observes the theories which benefit the people more, more vastly as compare to the theories which promote doing the right always

Compare and contrast theories

Virtue Ethics Vs Ethics of Rights

The Virtue of Ethics differs from the Ethics of rights that the Virtue ethics consider taking actions that are always right and morally correct whereas the Ethics of Rights consider taking actions which are according to the rights of the people involved. The people in the ICT industry use the Virtue Ethics somewhat. There are people who are always good to others or who take ethically correct actions in different situations but Ethics of Rights is ignored and is not very commonly used by the people. There are very few people who consider the fact that every person has their own rights which cannot be taken away from them.

Theory of Relativism Vs Theory of Objectivism

The ICT industry witnesses the theory of Objectivism more than the theory of Relativism. The reason behind this is that people become self and think about themselves more than they think about the people around them. The theory of Objectivism focus on the individual and fulfilling their dreams, goals or objectives rather than focusing on the people who are attached to the situations. The theory of objectivism when applied, the theory of relativism is automatically ignored. There are chances where a goal of a person requires to take actions that are not morally correct. The theory of objectivism will permit such actions even if the theory of Relativism is forbidding the act. People like the things which benefit them more and that is why objectivism will always stay ahead from relativism.

Theory of Consequentialism Vs Theory of Deontology

The consequentialism theory is very different from the theory of Deontology. These are opposite to each other. One of the theory claims to act according to the situation whereas the other claims to act according to the rules defined no matter what the situation is.

Consequentialism is better than Deontology as Deontology takes every situation as an ideal situation where there is a perfect difference between what actions are right and what is wrong. The Consequentialism theory, on the other hand, is flexible enough to encapsulate all types of situations that can occur even if we consider ethical dilemmas.

15 July 2020

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