Computers have raised ethical issues since their invention. There have been differences in opinions even among the scholars who have contributed to this field since the time of its founder Norbert Wiener. However, the level of interest that people show concerning computer ethics is as important as ethics itself. This paper explains with an example why computer ethics continues to bring up so many ethical questions in contemporary computing environment.
The faster advancement in technological innovations has come with a number of challenges. This has prompted individuals from different cultures to develop various ethical standards that are supposed to govern the way people use computers. According to Floridi (2010), computer ethics focuses on four core areas. These include: identifying policy gaps related to computer, clarifying concepts, formulating policies on the use of computer technology, and justifying the ethics of such issues.This paper explains why computer ethics is a controversial area in computing.
Floridi (2010) notes that many people believe that the current computer ethics which control the use of computers are inconclusive and subjective in nature. As such, they find computer ethics too philosophical to be able to solve practical problems and ethical issues that computer users encounter. For example, Floridi argues that this is the reason for the emergence of new fields like information ethics that claim to offer a universal approach to the issue of ethics in a computing environment.
In addition, he observes that computer ethics is too abstract and specialized in terms of both formation and application, while computing has gone global. This means that some issues that are addressed as ethical in one culture may not necessarily qualify as such in another culture. For example, there is a difference in the way privacy and intellectual human rights as well as freedom of information issues are interpreted in different nations, as some nations embrace technologies like cyber-therapy, while others do not. This has been made complex as the world is increasingly becoming a global village. It has negated the ability of computer ethics to address human actions in entirety thus allowing more conclusive fields like information ethics to thrive.
In addition, computer ethics also includes the physical part of a computer by addressing the way people interact with computers as physical objects. As such, people have questioned its applicability in the field of solving the ethical issues that are related to the actual use of the hardware and not the computer itself.
In conclusion, it is thus evidenced that the controversies behind computer ethics will not be settled soon.