James Moor Narrative Essay

James Moor Narrative Essay
Today, computers comprise an integral part of human life. Moreover, the life of modern people is unthinkable without computers. However, a few decades ago, computers were quite rare but the rapid development of computer industry and technologies made computers available to large masses of consumers and today they comprise an important part of human life. At the same time, the wide use of computers revealed a number of ethical problems related to the use of computers. In this regard, it is quite noteworthy that James Moor’s article “What is Computer Ethics?” raised the problem of computer ethics on the dawn of the computer revolution, when computers became a part of human life and the author foresees ethical problems that may arise in the result of the wide use of computers and their integration in the life of the modern society.

On analyzing ethical issues related to the development of computer ethics, James Moor focuses on the problem of the policy vacuum in 1985. The policy vacuum refers to how computer technology should be used. What is meant here is the fact that in 1985 computers have opened vast opportunities for users but it was still unclear how the full potential of computers could be used. Computers opened large opportunities which users did not always use. As a result, there was no clear policy which could define the development of computers and their use.

At the same time, James Moor stressed that along with policy vacuum there is a conceptual vacuum, which James Moor defines as conceptual muddle. What is meant here is the fact that the conceptual vacuum derives from the lack of adequate concepts which define the computer development and ethical issues related to the development of computer technologies. As a result, it is unclear what is ethical and what is not in regard to computers and use of computer technologies. The raising ethical gap between the use of computers and computer technologies, on the one hand, and ethical issues, on the other leads to the creation of concept vacuum because ethical concepts are not defined in regard to computers. At the same time, concept vacuum comes after the policy vacuum because the policy sets the direction of the development of computer technology and use of computers, whereas concepts naturally arise in the course of the development of computer technology in the set direction.

Furthermore, another important issue raised by James Moor in his article is the logical malleability. The logical malleability means that computers can perform multiple operations and the number of operations is huge but people cannot always use the full potential of these operations. Nevertheless, all operations are logical and correct. Such logical malleability is the characteristic of computers, which create the impression that computers are superior to human mind. However, such a view on computers is erroneous.

Nevertheless, it is hardly possible to underestimate the significance of computers and the development of computer technology. In this regard, James Moor speaks about the computer revolution which he compares to the industrial revolution. In actuality, James Moor is right in regard to the effect of the computer revolution compared to the industrial revolution because both revolutions have changed consistently the social life. At the same time, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that the industrial revolution did not change social relations only but also economic relations and economic effects of the industrial revolution were more significant than economic effects of the computer revolution because the industrial revolution changed the mode of production, whereas the computer revolution led just to the shift of the traditional mode of production from the conventional industrial relations to new relations based on information technologies.

On the other hand, James Moor warns against the potential risks of the invisibility of computer computations which is ethically significant. James Moor justifies his position by the idea that people cannot see how computers process information. Steadily, they believe that computers can process information without thinking of how they do it. As a result, they view computing as a sort of miracle, although there is nothing mystical in computing operations from the technical point of view.


1. What are the ways to establish a code of ethics in the field of computer technologies?
2. How the computer revolution can change the culture of society and the scope of the impact of the computer revolution on the culture?
3. What is your forecast concerning the further development of computer technologies, taking into consideration the emergence of modern ITs, internet and modern telecommunication systems?

Works Cited:
Moor, J. (1985). What is Computer Ethics? Retrieved on September 23, 2010 from http://www.cs.ucdavis.edu/~rogaway/classes/188/spring06/papers/moor.html
Viardot, E. (2001). Successful Marketing Strategy for High-Tech Firms. New York: New Publishers.

James Moor Narrative Essay 8.2 of 10 on the basis of 2438 Review.