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CS 106 Professional

Ethics in IT

Introduction: Ethics
Defined and Its
Jocelyn i. ancheta, MIT
What is Ethics?
Ethics is a part of Philosophy. It is

one of the six (or seven) parts that

constitute the discipline of philosophy.
comes from the Greek words

philos = friend
sophia = wisdom
Hence, the etymological definition of
philosophy is friend of wisdom.
the science which studies the
final or ultimate reasons of all
Philosophy vs Religion
or Theology
Religion bases its truth on faith,
Philosophy accepts truths on
the basis of reason.
Philosophy vs Religion
or Theology
Those who fail to prove the existence of
God are called atheists.

Those who fail either way to prove the

existence or non-existence of God are
called agnostics.
Disciplines of
Philosophy is divided into six or seven disciplines,
depending on whether Logic is, or is not, considered a
part of philosophy.
1. studies first all beings in general Metaphysics
2. studies God Theodicy
3. man Psychology
4. knowledge Epistemology
5. the world Cosmology(now Philosophy of Science)
6. morality Ethics
Ethics: Defined
derived from the Greek word
ethos meaning a characteristic way of doing
things or a body of customs.
From the etymology of the word, one understands
Ethics to be a study of human
customs or
ways of doing things.
Ethics: Defined
the science of the morality of
human acts
the quality of goodness or
badness of human acts.

It is also the rightness or wrongness

of human acts as they conform or do
not conform to standards.
Human Acts vs Acts of
Human acts are those that are done with
full knowledge and full willingness or

Acts that are done without full knowledge

or full willingness or deliberation or both are
termed acts of man.
Human Acts vs Acts of
Human acts must conform to a standard
to determine whether they are good or bad,
right or wrong, moral or immoral.
Kinds of Ethics
General Ethics
concerns the individual and what he ought to
do to live a happy and fruitful life in this world.

Special Ethics
concerns the individual as a member of
The Imperatives of
the existence of God or a Supreme Being;
the existence of human freedom;
the existence of an afterlife, i.e., life beyond the
grave, or the immortality of the soul.
The Existence of God or
a Supreme Being
Without the existence of God or a Supreme
Being, Ethics would make no sense. There is no
reason for man to deny himself evil but
pleasurable acts if there is no final judge to
dispense justice. When one speaks of morality or
the goodness or badness of human acts, one
idea is presupposed: retribution.
The Existence of God or
a Supreme Being
Retribution means that good acts deserve
reward; bad acts deserve punishment. Reward
and punishment are presupposed by morality.
Who metes out reward or punishment? It
must be a Lawgiver or an Arbiter of Morality, one
who dispenses retributive justice. Without this
being, the whole structure of Ethics will collapse.
The Existence of
Human Freedom
No Ethics is likewise possible without human
Responsibility, which is an indispensable factor in
Ethics, would be meaningless if men were not free.
Retribution is deserved only if men had the choice
to do or not to do, to follow or not to follow.
Freedom always involves an option of whether
to do or not to do.
The Existence of an
That the soul is immortal, or that the soul will outlive
the body, is a postulate in Ethics.
Good deeds will be rewarded and evil deeds
The immortality of the soul is, therefore, a
cornerstone in Ethics.
of Presentation
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