Experimental Biology 2017April 22 - 26, 2017Chicago, IL

Throughout the 1990s, with this aspect of computer ethics in mind,Gotterbarn worked with other professional-ethics advocates (forexample, Keith Miller, Dianne Martin, Chuck Huff and Simon Rogerson)in a variety of projects to advance professional responsibility amongcomputer practitioners. Even before 1991, Gotterbarn had been part ofa committee of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) to createthe third version of that organization’s “Code of Ethics andProfessional Conduct” (adopted by the ACM in 1992, see Anderson,et al., 1993). Later, Gotterbarn and colleagues in the ACM and theComputer Society of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and ElectronicEngineers) developed licensing standards for software engineers. Inaddition, Gotterbarn headed a joint taskforce of the IEEE and ACM tocreate the “Software Engineering Code of Ethics and ProfessionalPractice” (adopted by those organizations in 1999; seeGotterbarn, Miller and Rogerson, 1997).

The opening three papers debate the possibility of a naturalisedethics.

The relationship between Islam and science is complex. Today,predominantly Muslim countries, such as the United Arabic Emirates,enjoy high urbanization and technological development, but theyunderperform in common metrics of scientific research, such aspublications in leading journals and number of citations per scientist(see Edis 2007). Moreover, Islamic countries are also hotbeds forpseudoscientific ideas, such as Old Earth creationism, the creation ofhuman bodies on the day of resurrection from the tailbone, and thesuperiority of prayer in treating lower-back pain instead ofconventional methods (Guessoum 2009: 4–5).

2018 AAAS Annual Meeting February 15 - 19, 2018Austin, TX

Flanagan tackles the problem directly, arguing thatethics is a part of "human ecology".

In a reverse way, the tragedy of the commons reappears inproblems of pollution. Here it is not a question of takingsomething out of the commons, but of putting something in --sewage, or chemical, radioactive, and heat wastes into water;noxious and dangerous fumes into the air; and distracting andunpleasant advertising signs into the line of sight. Thecalculations of utility are much the same as before. The rationalman finds that his share of the cost of the wastes he dischargesinto the commons is less than the cost of purifying his wastesbefore releasing them. Since this is true for everyone, we arelocked into a system of "fouling our own nest," so longas we behave only as independent, rational, free enterprisers.

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Using the language of today’s “information age”(see, for example, Lloyd 2006 and Vedral 2010) we would say that,according to Wiener, human beings are “informationobjects”; and their intellectual capacities, as well as theirpersonal identities, are dependent upon persisting patterns ofinformation and information processing within the body, rather than onspecific bits of matter-energy.

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

We have penetrated far less deeply into the regularities obtaining withinthe realm of living things, but deeply enough nevertheless to sense atleast the rule of fixed necessity. One need only think of the systematicorder in heredity, and in the effect of poisons, as for instance alcohol,on the behavior of organic beings. What is still lacking here is a graspof connections of profound generality, but not a knowledge of order initself.

American Society of Plant Biologists

To be sure, when the number of factors coming into play in a phenomenologicalcomplex is too large, scientific method in most cases fails us. One needonly think of the weather, in which case prediction even for a few daysahead is impossible. Nevertheless no one doubts that we are confrontedwith a causal connection whose causal components are in the main knownto us. Occurrences in this domain are beyond the reach of exact predictionbecause of the variety of factors in operation, not because of any lackof order in nature.