The authors have undertaken an exploration of some significant social and ethical issues that arise in relation to the emerging field of Artificial Life (A-life). These issues have been approached from a philosophical perspective, taking into account reports of current developments in A-life research, and the application of A-life software in elementary school education. It has been suggested that the use of such systems may impact on the development of moral character in children, and illuminate that of adults. In addition, it is argued that if A-life researchers achieve their aims and evolve digital biota that are both intelligent and autonomous, they may be responsible to their creations for the quality of the worlds in which they live. The authors conclude that, given the stated aims and current progress of A-life researchers, there is a clear need for further consideration of the potential social and ethical implications of these technologies.