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Table 3 A summary of patterns of ethical argumentation (adapted from[39]) f

From: Examining the ethical and social issues of health technology design through the public appraisal of prospective scenarios: a study protocol describing a multimedia-based deliberative method

Consequences (hoped for)
Enthusiasts Sceptics
Promises (e.g., increased control over the world and increased well-being) Plausibility (uncertainty)
Adverse side effects (cost/benefit)
Can the good not be produced otherwise (e.g., search for alternative)
Is the envisioned good really a good
Unforeseen problems will be solved by future solutions
Rights and principles (tensions between the individual and the collective)
Positive right to the technology (e.g., people should have access to the technology) Principle is wrong
Principle is null in another culture/setting
Principle is right in the abstract, but does not apply to the issue Principle is right, but it supports the opposite conclusion, or it conflicts with another one that is more pressing
Negative right to the technology (e.g., free to acquire it as long as it does not harm others)
Justice (distributing the costs and benefits)
Different bases: Equality; Merit; Need; Chance
Through trickle down effects, technology will benefit the whole society Without political intervention, those in need or who are economically disenfranchised will never benefit
Good life
Humankind should move forward/upward Knowing when/where to stop (‘not to play God’)
Respecting natural limits (not create ‘monsters’)
Preserving humanness and pushing it to flourish ‘as-it-is’
Social problems cannot be solved by technical fixes
Technology cannot be controlled
Frontiers/limits can be transgressed
Promethean vision
Relationship between technology and morality
Deterministic (technology’s internal logic) Voluntarists (technology is socially malleable)
External forces too strong (markets, economies, scientific competition) Technology is steerable in a morally desirable direction
Pessimists (technology as a moral problem)
Technology is already immoral as it is
Technology will manoeuvre us (‘slippery slope’)
Optimists (technology as a moral solution)
Precedent (not novel moral issues)
Society will habituate itself