CS150 -- Computer Ethics
Spring, 2006
(last updated 3/8/2006)

Updates:
3/8/2006.  Specifications for your Term Paper may be found here.
2/16/2006.  Clarification on weekly Eureka Forum posting requirements.  Each week, you must make at least one (1) substantive contribution either in the form of a reply to a previous post or the initiation of a new discussion.  A substantive contribution involves your own thinking that clearly reveals contact with either the ethical theories or issues encountered in the readings or the class discussions.  You are welcome to post more than one contribution.  Current events that do not get discussed in class on Fridays could make excellent post candidates.  The week begins and ends at the start of class on Friday.
1/11/2006.  Here is a link to some details and guidelines on what to bring for Current-event Fridays.



Professor:
 
Wayne Iba,
iba@westmont.edu,
office: new Math and Computer Science Building,
phone: 565-6799
Office hours: see my main page
Textbooks: 
Johnson, Deborah.  (2001).  Computer Ethics (3rd edition).  Prentice Hall.  ISBN 0130836990.[required]
Spinello, Richard & Tavani, Herman.  (2004).  Readings in Cyberethics (2nd edition).  Jones & Bartlett.  ISBN 0763724106.[required]
Harvey, Michael.  (2003).  The Nuts and Bolts of College Writing.  Hackett Publishing.  ISBN 0872205738. [recommended]
Time and place: MWF, 11:30-12:35; Voskuyl Library 108

Syllabus

Class schedule

Course Overview
Is it ok to download that mp3 you want?  Is it good for you to play that first-person shooter game?  Is it right to work for Microsoft after you graduate?  How would you go about answering these (and many other) questions?  If we dissected your decision-making process, we would encounter convictions and values that would shape your behavior.  Most likely, most of the process would be unconscious.

This course aims to make your decision-making process more self-reflective.  We will introduce some of the ethical theories that have been developed by philosophers.  Armed with this understanding, we will look at the many issues and problems that arise from technology and especially computers.  We will wrestle with a number of issues such as intellectual property, privacy, security, free-speech and regulation, to name only a few.  As we address these problems, we will consider what the various ethical theories have to say about them.

Ultimately, we will use the juxtaposition of ethical theories and their implications for issues as a backdrop to explore how Christians should behave in these particular situations.  We hope to improve our skills at determining the good or the right in any given situation.

Other Links:
Eureka course management site for discussions


Acknowledgements: