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Does the possession of knowledge carry an ethical responsibility?

To what extent do you agree?

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  • Jan 26 2013: There's a hungry animal in a cage and a button to feed it and a button to give it a painful electric shock. I know which button is which. You don't. You have to push a button. You ask me which button is which. I may now either tell the truth, lie, or say I don't know. If I think it's likely you will try to give the animal a shock, it may be ethical to lie or say I don't know. If I have no reason to distrust you, it is ethical for me to tell the truth.

    If I didn't know which button was which, it would only be ethical for me to say I don't know. But since I do know, ethics require me to use my knowledge responsibly.

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