Act of utilitarianism

The process of ethical reasoning takes several steps, which we refer to as
layers of reasoning, before one can justify to someone else the goodness or badness, rightness or wrongness of one’s action. For example, if someone wants
to convince you to own a concealed gun, he or she needs to explain to you
why it is good to have a concealed gun. In such an exercise, the person may
start by explaining to you that we are living in difficult times and that no one
is safe. You may then ask why no one is safe, to which the person might reply
that there are many bad people out there in possession of high- powered guns
waiting to fire them for various and very often unbelievable reasons. So owning
a gun will level the playing field. Then you may ask why owning a gun levels
the playing field, to which the answer would be that if the bad guys suspect
that you own a gun just like theirs, they will think twice before attacking you.
You may further ask why this is so; the answer may be that if they attack you,
they themselves can get killed in the action. Therefore, because of this fear,
you are not likely to be attacked. Hence, owning a gun may save your life and
enable you to continue pursuing the ultimate concept of the good life: happiness.
On the other hand, to convince somebody not to own a concealed gun
also needs a plausible explanation and several layers of reasoning to demonstrate why owning a gun is bad. Why is it a bad thing, you would ask, and the
answer would be because bad guys will always get guns. And if they do, the
possibility of everyone having a concealed gun may make those bad guys
trigger- happy to get you fast before you get them. It also evokes an imageof
the Wild West filled with gun- toting people daring everyone in order to get
a kick out of what may be a boring life. You would then ask why is this situation
20 Computer Network Security and Cyber Ethics
dangerous if no one fires? The reply might be because it creates a situation in
which innocent people may get hurt, denying them happiness and the good
life. The explanation and reasoning process can go on and on for several more
layers before one is convinced that owning a gun is good or bad. The act of
owning a gun is a human act that can be judged as either good or bad, right
or wrong depending on the moral and ethical principles used.