The Moral Code of Technology

Is there a “Moral Code” of Technology? Is it imbedded within the bit-code of computers? Or, is it an extrinsic code applied by users of technology?

In schools throughout the country a push is being put forth to teach computer Code to students to inspire their interest in computer technology and encourage future careers. Code is the brain of computers and the light-speed processing enabling users to advance their business, their personal professional growth, and their communication with others around the world.

The impact of social media on our lives has enabled severe immoral behaviors among younger people that, I believe, dictates a moral code of technology, Universial Moral Codewhich will improve civility at all levels of society.

Dr. Kent M. Keith’s Universal Moral Code* applies to the use of technology as well as to behaviors in our everyday lives. My good friend and Freemason Bill R. Wood’s personal theme was “Do Good Unto All.” Civility Projects all across the nation are encouraging the return of civility into our daily dialogues. Additionally, there is a movement among colleges, such as The Relay Graduate School of Education (Relay/GSE), to re-introduce character education in schools.

Moreover, in his book Moral Leadership: Getting To The Heart of School Improvement, Thomas J. Sergiovanni speaks about how doing good in schools makes one feel good about their accomplishments. Lastly, writing on Ethics Away From Home in the Harvard Business Review on Corporate Ethics, Thomas Donaldson says companies must be guided by an “……absolute moral threshold for all business activities.”

Most certainly, a moral code for technology use is applicable to the daily use of technology in all aspects of society.

Such a Moral Code would include some of the following behavioral areas of conduct:

  •  Training on proper and positive Social and Emotional Intelligences that promote relationship building and teambuilding practices;
  • Character skills to improve educational endurance – Grit, Optimism, Self-Control, Resilience, etc. – to improve educational and business success;
  • Morality that removes cyberbullying, gossip, lying and disrespect of others and promotes inclusion of all groups for the greater good of everyone.
  • Skills that include proper and effective listening and attentiveness in group communications, classrooms, meetings, and business activities;
  • Moral aspects of taking personal responsibility for own success while exhibiting proper respect that honors all peoples, regardless of ethnicity;
  • Morality of proper language in a public forum that respects the right of others; and
  • Immoral and amoral killing of others for entertainment, such as depicted in computer games, big-screen movies and television shows.

Teaching the “Do Good Unto All” philosophy would greatly improve doing good at all times. Dr. Keith puts it this way:


Do to others what you would like them to do to you.
Be honest and fair.
Be generous.
Be faithful to your family and friends.
Take care of your children when they are young.
Take care of your parents when they are old.
Take care of those who cannot take care of themselves.
Be kind to strangers.
Respect all life.
Protect the natural environment upon which all life depends.

In The Daily Drucker, Peter Drucker points out there is only one code of ethics, one set of rules of morality, one code, that of individual behaviors in which the same rule applies to everyone alike. He further points out that the first responsibility of a professional was dictated over 2500 years ago in the Hippocratic oath of Greek physicians: Primum non nocere, “above all, not knowingly to do harm.” This same concept is stipulated by Dr. Keith in his Universal Moral Code.

Living and behaving as per the “Golden Rule” – first above – would engrain this age-old standard of conduct – people would exhibit the above behaviors simply because that is the way they would want to be treated also. I believe it would totally remove the “I” mentality because actions would be about others, which would, in turn, greatly benefit “Self.”

Likewise, Self would feel good about their accomplishments, thereby continuing the behaviors.

Bill R. Wood lived his theme and was one of the happiest men I ever met.

How happy are you? Do you do good unto all? Is it part of your leadership and behavior that makes a difference in society?

* © Copyright Kent M. Keith 2003


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