Jewish and Western Ethical Perspectives on Emerging Technologies
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Undergraduate honors thesis / YU only
Thesis Statement The rapid development of modern technology has brought with it a host of tough ethical dilemmas. I hope to explore how both our age-old Jewish values and our storied Western knowledge impact our approach to these new ideas and questions. What new moral quandaries does the world of tomorrow introduce, and what does the ancient wisdom we have to draw from have to say about them?¶ Abstract My thesis seeks to investigate this topic by focusing on a two particular issues, each explored in an independent essay: 1. Self-Driving Cars and Programmable Ethics: By now, almost everyone has heard about the famous Trolley Problem and its applications to the development of autonomous vehicles. This essay takes this discussion a step further, analyzing the Jewish and Western notions of ethical systems, and if they can, in fact, be “programmed.” 2. Na’aseh Adam B’Tzalmeinu K’Dmuteinu: Humanity in the Era of Transhumanism: Over the last few centuries alone, the leaps and bounds made by medicine and technology would make today’s quality of life beyond conception for someone born just a few hundred years ago. But as the technology grows even smarter, and people grow more dependent on it, where do we draw the line between humanity’s usage of technology to improve their lives and becoming so entangled with artificial improvements that their humanity is lost altogether? This essay teases out what a possible Jewish response might be to this very new dilemma.
Perl, E.Y. (2022, Spring). Jewish and Western Ethical Perspectives on Emerging Technologies. Undergraduate honors thesis, Yeshiva University.
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