About the Course
Why a CDBICC?
Politics without principles, science without humility, education without character, and commerce without morality are not only useless, but positively dangerous – Sathya Sai Baba
The Information Age
Our era has been called the information age or the computer age. Some analysts argue that today information was the key to global economic survival for nations, with some naming the age an “information revolution.” Since we live in the “information age,” information technology (IT) has become an integral part of our everyday lives and computer knowledge and literacy is today recognized as an essential. IT refers to anything related to computing use and technology, such as networking, hardware, software, the Internet, or the people that work with these technologies.
Personal computers (PCs) and the applications that run on them accomplish many different tasks that are both useful and entertaining. The uses on the PC are as boundless as one’s imagination. Indeed computers have played a big role in job creation and emerging of IT based companies. Many companies now have IT departments for managing the computers, networks, and other technical areas of their businesses. IT jobs include computer programming, network administration, computer engineering, web development, technical support, and many other related occupations.
With access to a computer and internet, one can start a business while at home. Most successful technology based ventures like Google/Amazon/Facebook, to mention but a few, started from home but now they employ thousands of people. Today you can use the internet to get the latest news from any country on the globe. Services like ‘’Twitter’’ have enabled people to become journalist so they report news on instant by twitting. Services like Wikipedia.org are well equipped with data on about anything.
The use of internet technology has also opened educational boundaries. Students from developing countries have a chance to study relevant courses which increases on their chance of getting high paying jobs internationally. Use of educational video games and puzzles has increased students interest in learning. Basing on research, students enjoy learning with technology, and some schools mostly in developed societies, have started providing free internet on school campus. This helps students conduct research and learn as individuals without getting any help from their teachers. Consequently, today, acquiring basic computer skills is generally not a luxury but a matter of survival. If you are completely new to it, a computer may, however, at first seem complicated and learning how to use it may appear daunting. But a computer is actually very obedient; it does exactly what you want it to do, when you want it done. Though you can easily communicate with the computer, it will only accept instructions in a certain manner. This course explains the method of communication with the computer in ordinary language. You will learn how to communicate with your computer using in particular the Microsoft Windows Operating System.
Simply acquiring computer literacy and technical skill is, however, not enough in our world today. As with any technological development, the use of IT in society is creating a rather unique set of ethical issues that requires the rethinking of its moral choices on the part of society and has spawned special implications for its members. Technology itself is not the only, nor necessarily the most responsible, cause of these issues. Information in general and IT in particular are ethically neutral…they are not in themselves “good” or “bad,” rather what is “good” or “bad” is how they are applied. Knowledge is like a knife. Whether it is applied towards beneficial or destructive ends depends on the character of the agent wielding it. All ethical questions originate out of human agency. Technology, due to its capability to augment mental and physical powers of human beings, does stand in the role of a seducer or tempter. The lure of power-enhancing capabilities makes technology a seducer of sorts, a necessary but not sufficient underpinning to many of the ethical issues we face today.
For example, email and being online are applications of information technology, the lure of which is based on their ability to expand the scope, range, speed, and ease of interpersonal and corporate communications. Useful as they are, the schemes and the manifold of issues addressed leave one question unanswered: What moral guidance can be provided to the agents whose behavior create these issues? And, this question leads to others: How should the many knowledge workers, systems analysts, programmers, hardware designers, authors, executives, and so forth, who set in motion the actions which bring these issues to the fore, guide their own behavior? Knowing their technology-based actions will intercede in the course of human affairs, how should they direct them? The crucial point occurs when a moral agent – one that by definition has choices – decides to change the state of information or information technology in a human system. Changes in hardware, software, information content, information flow, knowledge-based jobs, and the rules and regulations affecting information are among the many things agents do that affect others. These are crucial juncture points…moments-of-truth. If those of us who make decisions in any of these areas are to behave ethically, we must be able to identify the significant moments-of-truth in which we participate and be able to reflect on the effects of our actions. We must use our moral imagination to guide our choices so that we can contribute positively toward making the kind of ethical world in which we want to live and want to bequeath to our future generations. How can we do this?
Technology may stand in the role of seducer or tempter. But to tempt is really to bring out what is already inside. Technology in this respect tempts or tests human character…it brings to the fore what is already inside.
And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats? And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man – The Bible, Mark 7:18-23.
It is, therefore, now a generally accepted thesis that part of the solution to the human situation in general and moral dilemma arising out of technological development, is an emphasis on character development. Along with the acquisition of technical “know how,” social and professional status, riches, power and authority, etc., humanity must also rediscover a sense of identity, purpose and recapture a feeling of total dedication to noble ideals. Values such as peace, integrity, respect, love, unity, confidence, and cooperation, are cherished and aspired for the world over. Such values, not technology per se, are the sustaining breath and force of human society and progress…they are the motive force underlying technological development and application
The well being of nations today, therefore, depends on not only technological development but also on the nature of education/training people in general are exposed to. A major contributor to the moral dilemma facing humanity today is that conventional training is generally concerned primarily with technical knowledge and information impartation and acquisition, securing livelihood. Such training is without doubt necessary. But on its own such training does not also rid society or organisation of the corroding vices of dishonesty, corruption, violence, greed, etc – the training gives with one hand whilst taking away with the other.
Human values are, however, not simply desired behavioural outcomes. They are inherent in the human person. In recognition of this, CDBICC is holistic. It develops the technical computer knowledge and skills base as well as awaken the person to the inherent noble virtues and helps him/her actualise them in his/her personal life and at work; it not only introduces the person to the “how to do,” of computers, but also inspires him or her “how to live with self and others” and to willingly accept personal responsibility over his or her life.