Ethics, reward, structures and technology
International Stability, Volume # 8 | Part# 1
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
ethics,society,stability,technology transfer,reward structures,second-order effects,benefits,costs,environment
Evaluating ethical aspects of decisions changes as criteria for evaluation change. This is true even in fixed ethical systems. The natural environment was formerly more stable than the society it supported. Today, social choices often alter the environment. If society improves the condition of one group, what is the cost to another group? We can now make rough estimates of the effects of decisions on people once seen as outside the scope of those decisions. It is difficult to establish criteria for making ethical choices. Because society rewards short-term results, people are encouraged to make decisions which give low weight to future costs. Several social crises in the early 21st Century illustrate that future costs from unexamined choices often exceed gains from those choices. This may be true of technology transfer in light of its potential to destabilize society at costs greater than benefits the transfer offers.
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