Central concept 2 - knowledge changes what ethical decisions are - necessarily leads to central concept 3: Ethics force us to verify knowledge
A terrible ethical question for a doctor in 1848: Were the conclusions of Dr. Semmelweis's study right or wrong? Have I unknowingly killed or endangered patients with my previous behaviour? This intolerable uncertainty should immediately have resulted in large-scale clinical studies. In short: ethics force us to verify knowledge.
What Dr. Semmelweis was for doctors who didn't wash their hands, climate change through greenhouse gas emissions is today for everyone who emits CO2 by burning fossil fuels. But in the first publication on the subject by Svante Arrhenius, a warmer climate was regarded as a positive development.
A topic of such overwhelming importance should have been investigated immediately. How much climate change is acceptable, what are the consequences? The issue should have been addressed all over the world. Presumably we would have become aware of the dangers involved in climate change at a much earlier stage. Already in 1914 or in 1938 at the latest, the first climate conferences on reducing CO2 emissions should have taken place.
Fill in two variants. The issue is thoroughly researched, or it is not researched. What are the consequencees of ignorance? Ignorance can have such serious consequences in this case that central concept 3 - "Ethics forces us to verify knowledge" becomes obligatory.