For people, knowledge is power . Knowledge is the awareness of a situation or a fact. It is a unique possession that cannot be plundered. Therefore those who have wide-range of knowledge can capture power and influence. Knowledge gave the man the feeling of strength and power. Knowledge are desirable for democracy, therefore each president for their each country should have masses of knowledge. However , it is important to see that knowledge in form of power or authority is use to provide benefit for human welfare and for constructive purposes. Like president for a country, he should use knowledge for the benefit of his people not to take advantage from the position or knowledge he has. Example such as President Johnson and President Nixon that lied to the American people about the war in Vietnam that they already know that the war most likely could not be won and if the war continue it can lead to many casualties to the people yet they still continue the war. But there is a person with the authority and knowledge about the incident which is Daniel Ellsberg. He turned over the Pentagon Papers that consist of government knowledge about the war to the New York Times so that the people of America and even the Congress can know the truth. His reasoning is because he has the change of heart about the war and decide to act for his people. As we can see, Daniel has take an ethical obligation to expose the truth to the people because he has the knowledge and an ethical responsibility for his people. The truth should not be hide to public because it will alter the perception and emotion of the people once the truth leak. Therefore, it shows that Daniel used his knowledge as a rational to justify the moral action he has to take.
However, by having knowledge and carry the ethical responsibility could carry some consequences for the person. The ethical responsibility may consists about the decision that a person must take, the sense of right and wrong course of action and being each person’s moral values included. Anyone that possessed a certain kind of knowledge is forced to accept the consequences of their action whether to reveal the information or knowledge they had or to hide it because to reveal the information could challenge the person that carry the knowledge can potentially harming the witnesses . So, being affected by the emotion, afraid and as reasoning to protect them self , they will choose to hide the knowledge instead of reveal it. So, it will affect the perception of the individual about his or her action. The most convincing example is a murder scene. You as a witness of a murder case but you are too afraid to reveal the truth about the person or they because you afraid they holding grudge on you and will find you or hurt you and you close relative. It is a common perception of the society how they will react to this kind of incident.
In addition, emotion that co-exist with human feeling could alter the perception of the person with knowledge to carry the ethical responsibility. The emotion that exist can constrain the person with knowledge of an unjust situation because they have the feeling of sympathy and empathy towards the person who involve in the unjust situation. The unjust situation is in context when your family or your close relative involve with the incidence . Therefore the emotion will cause the person to obliged to act the ethical responsibility because they do not one someone precious to them be punished of confine due to their action. The nearest example for these situation is when your family member involve in murder cases deliberately. Your brother and his friends unintentionally killed his friend during a prank joke and they try to cover up the incident, hide the body and pretend nothing happen. You are the witnesses but you afraid to act the ethical responsibility to tell the incident to police because you do not want your brother to be caught by police and jailed as he is your family. Due to your emotion and feeling of love towards your brother, it obliged you and constraint your from telling the knowledge to other people. So, based on solely concern about your family and your judgement about the punishment of the crime, you choose not to act. So even though possession of knowledge carry the ethical responsibility but emotion that exist able and can change or alter the perception of the person with knowledge about the ethical responsibility they should carry.
As conclusion, possession of knowledge carry an ethical responsibility but only to some extent as there is certain limitation that may arise . To carry out ethical responsibility is fully dependent on the person with the knowledge because the decision is making depend solely for the person to make. The existence of emotion, feeling, moral judgement and even personal perception may affect the decision making of the person. Therefore, the statement possession of knowledge carry an ethical responsibility but only to some extant.