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Engineering Ethics

write one-to-two-page paper (not including title page or references, submit as a Word document).  Use Times New Roman or Calibri, font size 12, one-inch margins, double-spaced.  Dont forget to cite inside the paper.  Be sure to include references at the end.


Philosophers and ethicists distinguish between the descriptive (what we can do) and the prescriptive (what we should do). This is sometimes called the is-ought gap. One does not imply the other: just because we can do something doesnt mean we should.

For this weeks assignment, you will conduct research into technologies that currently are in uncharted moral territory.

The first section should be a brief description of the technology you have identified. What is it, and how does it work?

The second section should be the main focus. You will answer the following questions:

 What are two distinct moral questions that it raises? (think of the concepts covered in the lesson)

 How have the experts tried to answer them?

 Are their answers acceptable?

 Should we be optimistic or pessimistic about the future of this technology?

By way of example, you might write about autonomous vehicle technology and the decision-making procedure a computer is programmed to take .

Make sure that you justify your answers. Do not just give your opinion.

Here are some other examples you might consider:

 Smart assistants (e.g. Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri)

 Smart devices (e.g. Apple Watch, Smart glasses, RFID body implants)

 Reproductive technology (e.g. transitioning for transgender individuals)

 Human genetic engineering / GMOs / Genetically engineered animals

 DNA ancestry testing (e.g. 23andMe, Ancestry.com, MyHeritage)

You are free to pick your own example, but it must be something that is currently in moral limbo.

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