Debate 2

14:30 – 16:30 - Debate 2 - Moderator: Rev. Dr. Jacek Zjawin

The Truth of Things and Morality

Rev. Prof. Tomasz Kraj

It was Aristotle who noticed that many things are complex realities. This feature justifies the fact that different kinds of science may explore the same thing (res). However, today there is an ideology known as scientism which claims that only empirical science should be labelled science and explore the world in a legitimate way while disciplines which do not use the empirical method are not science. This conviction concerns in the first place Theology and the Realistic Philosophy and within the latter in a particular way the Classic Metaphysics. Those who first denied the Classic Metaphysics were modern philosophers who, however, failed to prove its errors. There is a scarcely known essay by Joseph Pieper which shows this story. The rejection of the Classic Metaphysics did not cause that disappeared the issues it coped with. The greatest difference between Metaphysics and modern Ontology (which took the Metaphysic’s place) is that Metaphysics concentrates in an entity (ens) while Ontology is focused on an object (which is an entity “elaborated” by the human subject). This is as R. Kroner maintains   “the transfer of the center of gravity from the object to the subject.” Thus what the object is (e.g. the human embryo, the disabled man, the human sexuality) is not decided objectively any more, i.e. on the basis of the object itself. It is decided by the men who cope with these objects and their point of view has priority. The consequences of that difference are particularly well seen within morality, e.g. in Bioethics.

Apprehending the ‘Monster of Human Engineering

Dr. M.B.O.T. (Michael) Klenk

I will discuss how manipulation is a special kind of indifference to inquiry and how that helps us understand better some problems with online automated influence. I first introduce some examples of manipulation that seem aggravated by new technological possibilities such as sentiment analysis online. Then I introduce the puzzle of identifying manipulation based on current philosophical accounts of manipulation using two problematic cases: nudging and persuasive technology. I suggest an analysis of the problem with current accounts of manipulation and then present what I take to be the superior alternative.

Forgotten Digital Openness and its Implications for Internet Ethics

Dr. Marek Robak

The idea of openness (in terms of technology, law, content and social cooperation) has significantly influenced the development of the Internet and has become its driving force. Although she was accused of excessive idealism, the following years showed that openness creates interesting social phenomena previously unknown. The rapid development aroused both fascination and ethical concerns. In such a short time, it was difficult to lay the mature foundations of digital ethics, and the basic concepts of classical ethics were not always enough. But before the phenomenon of the Internet was sufficiently described, two decades later, we suddenly realized that the rules had changed. Openness has been pushed aside. Although the problem has been noticed before, it has been ignored by media researchers for years. And only recently, due to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the discovery of fake news and the increase in the use of AI in communication, we realized that there was a paradigm shift in the operation of the global network. Therefore, I would like to go back to the beginnings of the World Wide Web and show how the axiology that inspired the creators of the Internet two decades ago, the particular idea of openness, is understood in contemporary digital communication.

Debate 2 - Moderator

Rev. Dr. Jacek Zjawin

From 2016, assistant professor at the Department of Practical Theology and lecturer in catechetics at the Faculty of Theology at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. Author of several publications in the field of catechetics and pedagogy in Polish theological journals. High school religion teacher.