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WikiLeaks has currently been the center of discussion and debate over the last few months. WikiLeaks has been giving leaking confidential information from different societies and nations. That being the case, WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, have been a major news topic today. The reason is because WikiLeaks has been releasing tens of thousands of unknown yet confidential documents to the public. Most of these information and documents have been relating to the major activities carried out by the Government of the United States as well as by other governments and organizations across the globe (Alexander, 2011). That being the case, the debate is still ongoing with many individuals having sidelined views and arguments concerning the process of leaking confidential information and documents. Through application of different forms of moral and ethical reasoning, this paper will identify the stakeholders in such situations and by so doing identify how such issues might be affecting them.
Application of Moral Reasoning to the Issue
WikiLeaks is today known as an international organization that does not operate profit making business and therefore it has been publishing submissions of secret, private, and other forms of classified media. Such information and documents are usually obtained from anonymous sources and news and released on the internet for public viewing (Leigh & Harding, 2011). Upon it foundation, the organization has been able to present lots of information to the public but still holds that there is millions of documents still kept secret. Such documents are usually released to show some of the current developments and issues that appear to have greater impacts on the global issues as practiced by different governments or even individuals.
While addressing this issue, there has been the need to examine some of the ethical issues faced and come up with appropriate moral reasoning. Currently the issue of ethical exactness has been widely viewed as the right step towards the future. That being the case, it is necessary to understand this process of leaking private information and see how it will affect both stakeholders (Leigh & Harding, 2011). For instance, the information and documents leaked tend to either help some individuals as well as affect governments and organizations as well as their relationship with the public.
As well, such information is capable of changing relations among nations, societies and even companies. This has therefore been the reason why it has been necessary to come up with appropriate moral reasoning and understand how such issues can be dealt with. Whenever looking at the forms of moral reasoning, it is necessary to understand that the forms tend to consider the merits of any given action. By so doing, there are a number of approaches that should be studied critically for moral reasoning behind a given action. This entails looking at the principles, examining the consequences, the purposes of the action, and other issues such as subjectivism and consensual (Leigh & Harding, 2011).
Currently the world is saturated with lots of confidential information leaked by the international whistleblower, WikiLeaks, founded by Julian Assange. Looking at the situation carefully, we shall agree that there are several issues that have been causing this uproar regarding WikiLeaks operations and release government's most secret information by the WikiLeaks cables. For instance, the United States has been for the opinion that most of the information is always safe when it has not been exposed to the public. This kind of action is preferred necessary to ensure such kind of information has been safeguarded and made secret for security and safety purposes for a nation (Alexander, 2011). That being the case, the country still believes that the actions undertaken by WikiLeaks to release confidential information, is something that hurts different countries. This has led to a situation whereby many people are offering different views regarding the actions of the whistleblower.
After successfully leaking lots of information, WikiLeaks has been under attack by different governments, companies, organizations, and even diplomatic from different parts of the world including the United States. For instance, some countries such as the U.S. have been able to block the WikiLeaks link so that the people cannot access the information (Guichaoua & Sophie, 2011). This is because most of the information released is viewed as propaganda and therefore the public should not be sacred or have any cause for alarm. In other countries such as Iceland and China, the release of such information and documents is something that has been highly discussed with the need to address the issue more competently.
As well, it should be understood that WikiLeaks also has been keen to raise its concerns for being harassed by different governments. WikiLeaks and all its members have recently been complaining about the continued surveillance and harassment from different law intelligence and enforcement organizations. There have also been several actions taken against the organization such as extended detention of the workers, seizure of critical computers, and also veiled threats (Alexander, 2011). All these actions have been viewed by the organization as unnecessary and the reason there is the need to come up with ways of addressing the issues faced between WikiLeaks and different organizations, companies and even governments.
What has happened with WikiLeaks is that the information released appears to have impacts on the concerned parties. That being the case, the use of different forms of moral reasoning is necessary as a way of identifying the stakeholders in such situation and approximate how the issue might affect them (Miller, 2010). Just to examine a number of these leaks, we see that WikiLeaks released information regarding the secret service of the United States. This has however been considered by different individuals as a reckless course of action that has been undertaken by some inconsequential organization and which is capable of jeopardizing the lives of many by exposing contemporaneous and raw information. Basically, the organization has been able to leak lots of information to do with the government's dealings in different embassies and states across the globe.
Looking at this situation, it is noted that the leaked information and revelations has been able to cause anxiety. This has caused a lot of concern within the entire diplomatic community because it appears that the information is capable of damaging relations between the government, the public and also with the international community. It has been believed that such information is capable of hindering a number of internationally-supported information. On the contrary, WikiLeaks has been going ahead to say that it will disclose more documents within the coming months. Other revelations that have caused great uproar include the irregularities that marred elections in the Republic of Haiti, the alleged bombing in court in Portland, and also the issues regarding nuclear weapons and how the super powers have been handling it (Guichaoua & Sophie, 2011).
The first form of moral reasoning that appears to apply here the Principled Moral Reasoning. This kind of reasoning means the rules for any given ethical behavior. Principle reasoning itself mainly focuses on the means, and not the eventual end results. This kind of moral reasoning has been viewed by many individuals as very applicable for all. It is therefore necessary to examine how it would be applied in this issue (Guichaoua & Sophie, 2011). Some of the principles underlying this moral reasoning is the Golden Rule, whereby every person would be expected to do to the other the same thing that he would expect the person to do to him. It is through this principle that different rights have been founded such as freedom of speech and human rights.
For this kind of issue faced by WikiLeaks and different governments and organizations regarding the release of private information, it will be realized that the application of the principle will definitely guard against all inappropriate means even if they lead to desirable ends. That being the case, it would be necessary that the moral reasoning is applied and therefore the two stakeholders will be at peace with one another. This will have considered the implications of the situations (Miller, 2010). On the other hand, it should be observed that the issue will not benefit the people who are affected by some operations and engagements done by organizations and governments. That being the case, the public will never benefit from these leaks.
Looking at the above argument, we see that the principled form of reasoning comes with a number of challenges thus making it inappropriate. When this approach has been outlined and followed, it is always mandatory to make sure principles have been generalized so that they can be widely accepted (Guichaoua & Sophie, 2011). Currently is it very hard to have different nations agreeing on certain principles thus making it hard to apply this concept of moral reasoning. Sometimes it can be extremely difficult to apply certain principles to a given actions or situations. Sometimes there are consequences that cannot be altered.
The other competing moral reasoning that can be applied here is consequential reasoning. This can of reasoning has widely been applied while addressing a number of issues faced today in our world. This kind of reasoning tends to believe that any given actions will be considered ethical depending on their final consequences or benefits (Miller, 2010). This means that an ethical consideration will have to portray benefits at the very end. The consequences at the very end can either be negative or positive depending on the nature of the issue. Some of the issues with this form of reasoning is that the end result is what justifies the means. As well, the costs and benefits are analyzed through a utilitarianism approach whereby the end results should result in the benefit of the greatest majority. Sometimes it considers ethical egoism such that every individual understands how the action can benefit him or her.
Some of the importance of this approach is that it has been very practical and therefore it makes it possible for people to remain in touch with reality and also address the eventual consequences resulting from a given action. It also offers a stable basis through which issues can be analyzed, discussed and also be explained and communicated to others (Miller, 2010). The future of an action should therefore be easily determined and analyzed using the consequential reasoning. With the issue of WikiLeaks and how the information released affects different entities, we will see it as the most applicable because it helps address issues facing the greatest number of people. This makes the people informed and thus makes it possible for them to come up with informed decisions regarding what is happening around them.
Leaking of such information has therefore been viewed by many as something relevant if only the information is valid and unaltered. As well, many believe in the relevance of such information and documents because the governments try to defend such documents saying that they are nothing but propaganda. This form of reasoning will lead to a different kind of thinking whereby we will support the consequential reasoning as the way forward (Guichaoua & Sophie, 2011).
On the contrary, this form of reasoning sometimes has a number of weaknesses which need to be addressed. For instance, the people should be in a position of defining the individuals who face the consequences from the given course of action. The time-frame for such consequences also need to be identified and also understand the uncertainty of such actions (Leigh & Harding, 2011). From this consideration, we have different governments, the WikiLeaks organization and the public as the major stakeholders with this issue. It would be necessary that we agree that an action should benefit the greatest majority and lead to equality.
That being the case, this issue can properly be explained using the consequential moral reasoning. This will make sure the people have been informed about what different organizations and governments have been holding secret from them. It is by so doing that the people will form stronger relations with their governments and also encourage the realization of better understanding between the parties. The future of the universe lies in the manner secret information is exposed to the public so that the people can make informed decisions on what appears to affect their lives either directly or indirectly. An action should be considered under the utilitarian theory so that the greatest majority of people benefit from it (Assange, 2011). It is something necessary to make sure the concerned stakeholders have been addressed carefully by the kind of decisions and moral approaches undertaken. It is because of this reason why the consequential form of ethical reasons befits this kind of argument revolving around WikiLeaks.
From the above analysis, the issue of WikiLeaks and continued release of information and vital documents to the public is something that has been widely debated. This has caused an ethical dilemma across the globe regarding the fate of such information and its impacts on global relations. It would therefore be necessary that we examine this issue using all the forms of moral reasoning. This will make possible for us to make informed decisions after knowing how exactly we benefit from the processes (Assange, 2011). According to me, the use and application of the consequential moral reasoning appears appropriate here. It will help encourage such a process because the end is justified whereby information affecting humanity is provided to the public. This will see the governments addressing different issues appropriately other than holding them secret from the public sphere.