How Ethical Is Modern Technology? Philosophy Club Weighs In

By Gia Bharadawaj  

Technology is becoming more intelligent and capable of compromising the rights of human beings; thus, it is increasingly important to address the moral implications of integrating technology into every aspect of society. On December 13, Philosophy Club invited Vance Ricks, a Northeastern University professor who specializes in moral philosophy, to discuss the intersection between technology and ethics. Club head Vi Danahy ’23 and club member Aoife Beswick ’24 shared their experiences at the event.

“We had a wonderful experience! There was a huge turnout, and people were really passionate about the topic,” Danahy explained. He remarked, “The ethics of technology is a really relevant discussion nowadays… it was great to see the application of philosophy to contemporary issues.” Furthermore, the amount of students that participated in the discussion made the event feel more like an engaging conversation than a lecture. 

Beswick emphasized the importance of dialogue about technology and ethics at this moment in time. “With artificial intelligence like ChatGPT that can even generate essays, we have to start considering where to draw the line and when technology is consuming too much of our lives.” She also pointed out the harm that social media can inflict on its users, citing Meta’s study that linked time spent on Instagram to mental health issues. “Professor Ricks shared my concern about how social media platforms can be unethical… I love philosophy, so it was really cool to see how it intersects with such a big part of my life,” Beswick noted. 

Regarding the significance of philosophy at school, Danahy shared, “It’s a lot of fun to discuss different beliefs and ideas and to create a fun and engaging space to do so at Winsor.” He added that “being in Boston, we’re fortunate to be surrounded by resources we can utilize—one of which being our proximity to universities and experts in their fields.” As our community continues to navigate moral dilemmas in a modern context, speakers and clubs will always remain a reliable source for information and new perspectives.