How Technology Changes Societal Norms and Ethics
Contemporary ethical schools of thought take on a more skeptical attitude than the historical ethical schools. Though still concerned with nature and how it is utilized, the contemporary ethical schools of thought are now more streamlined toward certain issues that concern the environment and the life that is contained within it. Animal rights and how the human race uses the land and its inhabitants have superseded the moral and ethical pursuits of the earlier century that dealt with religious precepts and societal norms. Instead of changing society, ethical pursuits are changing the way society perceives certain events that will all have a climactic end if done the wrong way.
Whether historical or contemporary, the schools of thought are based in the idea of G.E.M. Anscombe. Porter (1995) cites Anscombe when Anscombe states, "Concepts of obligation, and duty - moral obligation and moral duty, that is to say - and of what is morally right and wrong, and of the moral sense of "ought," ought to be jettisoned if this is psychologically possible; because they are survivals, or derivatives from survivals, from an earlier conception of ethics which no longer generally survives, and are only harmful without it." As the concepts and the obligation of duty change with new technology and with new social interpretation, so does the ethics and morals that supports them. As the world makes a paradigm shift in the way we look at the way we run our planet and its resources becomes apparent, the way we feel about the right or wrong of our actions will also change for the greater good of the society in which we live.
Porter, J. (1995) Moral actions and Christian ethics. Cambridge University Press, England.