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GENERAL Ethics are a set of moral principles for good human behaviour. Ethics provide the rules for conducting activities in a manner acceptable to society. Moral principles are concerned with goodness or badness of human behaviour and usually are provided as rules and standards of human behaviour. Ethics is concerned with doing the right (moral) thing. Society also establishes laws to guide actions. For example US law states that bribes and kickbacks are illegal. Paying a fee for sales help may be legal, while paying a bribe is illegal. The success of new ventures, either profit or nonprofit, depends on wining against competitors. The competitive marketplace can put pressure on the entrepreneur to act unethically. The business leader finds it difficult to be fair to others without sacrificing customers or profits. Ethical conduct may reach beyond the law, since the law is inadequate for every task. Doing the right thing is an undefined but helpful standard. One moral goal would be to tell the truth. Thus, a businessperson would try to provide full a truthful information about his or her product or service. Telling the truth is a critical part of integrity, and integrity is the basis for reputations. Thus, firms, at the least, find it in their interest to be truthful. Fortunately, good ethics and self-interest usually coincide, since most firms want to develop and maintain a high reputation. Integrity can be defined as truthfulness, wholeness, and soundness. It can be described as the consistency of our words and our actions or our character and our conduct. A corporate model of integrity is based on ethical principles embedded in the corporate culture so that all stakeholders can conduct business to attain mutual benefits. Factors that impede ethical decisions are lack of openness about decisions and the self-interests of individuals. While firms have clear-cut business objectives such as profitability, they must consider them subordinate to ethical values. A firms integrity cannot be sacrificed to short-term gain. The firms moral compass points the way. The spotlight is on the CEO and his or her integrity. People can have great values and still give way to error. One needs the competence and character to implement ones values. We know that the lack of truth and the collapse of integrity can lead to terrible outcomes, as illustrated in the Enron case of 2002. Enron failed because its leadership was morally, ethically and financially corrupt. Whether the questions were accounting or marital fidelity, the executives who inhabited the 50th floor at Enrons headquarters became incapable of telling the truth, to the securities and Exchange Commission, to their spouses, or to their employees. That corruption permeated everything they did, and it spread through the company like wildfire.



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Ethics is derived from Greek word ethos which means custom or habit. It is study of values and customs of a person or group. It covers the analysis and employment of concepts such as right and wrong, good and bad, and responsibility. It is divided into three primary areas: Meta-ethics: Normative ethics: Applied ethics: the study of the concept of ethics the study of how to determine ethical values the study of the use of ethical values

The word morals has become synonymous to the science of ethics for actions regarded as good and right, and for the rules according to which such actions are done. Morals was originally derived from the Latin word mores meaning customs, and so may be used for mens customary ways of judging human conduct. NORMATIVE SCIENCES Ethics may also be defined as normative science of the conduct of human beings living in societies--a science which judges this conduct to be right or wrong, to be good or bad or in some similar ways. This definition says that ethics is a science and a science may be defined as a systematic and more or less complete body of knowledge about a particular set of related events or objects. There are three types of normative sciences according to traditional conception in philosophy: 1. ESTHETICS: object, LOGIC: ETHICS: It deals with standards by which we judge an beautiful or ugly. 2. 3. It deals with standards by which we judge statements to be true or false. It deals with standards by which we judge human actions to be right or wrong.

DESCRIPTIVE OR POSITIVE SCIENCES: These are the sciences which are studied in the laboratories. Positive sciences describe objective or phenomenon as we observe them with our eyes and other sense organs or in the case of mental processes as we observe them by introspection or looking inside our minds. Normative Sciences differ with Positive Sciences in one more way. They do not merely describe the standards by which we judge, they are also concerned with the validity or truth of these standards. Like in ethics we do not only describe rules, we also ask why these rules are valid or not what grounds we ought to observe them. Axiology: The words good or bad are used ambiguously in our daily conversation; like good drink, right answer or good luck etc, which do not


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directly deal with human activities. Such a science which deals with the goodness or badness of objects other than human beings is called axiology or the science of values. OTHER SCIENCES DEALING WITH HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH ETHICS There are other three sciences which deal with human conduct and behavior. These are: Psychology Sociology Anthropology

Psychology: At present the most scientific description of the human conduct is given by psychology. The behaviorists hold that the sole subject matter of scientific psychology is human conduct and behavior. The social psychologists describe human conduct in social relations and this is the type of conduct we are mostly concerned in Ethics. Sociology: Sociology is the science of human society. Incidentally the study of individual conducts has become the subject of social psychology rather than sociology, sociology still concerns social institutions and customs which has deep relationship with human conduct and specially the conduct directed towards other human beings which is the special concern of Ethics. Anthropology: Anthropology is the science of man which includes human conduct in its sphere. The great deal of anthropologists work deals with conduct and customs of primitive people. Anthropology deals with more than conduct also, that is with the physical and mental characteristics of humans which indirectly affects their conduct. These three sciences provide us with facts about human conduct and such knowledge is useful in making judgments about human behaviour. Yet these sciences are positive sciences and therefore award judgments of value of any kind. Therefore these should not be confused with ethics.



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God has given to man a natural sense of identifying between right and wrong. It does not require professors and moralists to teach him what is good and bad. The moralist himself lives in a certain environment, culture and tradition which automatically start influencing his establishment of ethical standards. There are definitely inconsistencies and contradictions in the moral standards existing now and which existed in the past and it is the prime business of students of ethics to pinpoint and analyse their inconsistencies. He should also try to find out the underlying principles behind those standards and try to revalidate those principles or experiment with alternative hypothesis. The analysts need not try to find out principles which are widely accepted by men, rather find out that which ought to be accepted by men. As an example, monogamy is widely accepted in the world as right and polygamy not right. The analyst must study both societies practicing monogamy and polygamy, analyse underlying ideas behind these two concepts, collect data about the benefits and short comings of both systems and then try to formulate a standard. An important factor in the development of moral standards is the intuition factor. In fact the intuitional judgment of experienced people plays an important role in the development of moral standards. Even the intuition of common men cannot be ignored as living a life has given them lot of insight into the reality of things. There is a possibility of intuitional contradiction between people and those not able to stand examination and which lead to absurd consequences should be rejected. USES OF ETHICS: Ethics is primarily a quest of truth and knowledge. In this respect it is a philosophical subject rather than a natural science where practical applications are numerous. The truth about rightness and wrongness of things. Merely knowledge of moral principles will not lead a man to the right path. It is perhaps the example of lives of good men and practical experience which will prove to be more effective. No doubt that if other influences are favorable, the knowledge of ethics will help in the pursuit of goodness. The knowledge of ethics will equip a man with a capability to handle a case more efficiently than a man having no knowledge of ethics. He will be less biased and more comprehensive. There are qualities of outstanding and permanent value in a good man and student of ethics has more likelihood to achieve them.



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While Engineers have done very useful work for the welfare, health and raising the quality of life and standards of living of the society, they also share responsibility for the damage to human life, property, environment due to their bad engineering decisions and not meeting their professional obligations to avert such losses. On 28 January 1986, the space shuttle challenger blew off in less than one and a half minutes (67 seconds to be exact) into the flight killing all six astronauts and a lady school teacher. A seal in the booster rocket failed along the hot gases to enter the massive fuel tanks and thus causing explosion under the watchful eyes of millions of viewers on their TV screen round the globe. It later came to the public knowledge that 14 engineers at Martin Thiokol, the manufacturer of the Booster Rocket, had voiced opposition to the launch of the space craft, the engineers were certain that the booster seals will fail under the low temperatures at the launch site. The lesson of the engineers, themselves engineers, ignored the call and did not communicate the concerns to NASA authorities. This shows the decisions which engineers make or is prevented from making have far reaching consequences. Engineering decisions have certainly moral dimensions. As engineering takes place, mostly, in profit earning organizations, one has to see what is morally correct or incorrect for engineers in carrying out their professional obligations. It is also important to understand how corporations can be better structured to allow responsible engineers to act on their moral convictions and moral judgments. DEFINITION Engineering Ethics is: 12The study of moral issues and decisions confronting individuals and organizations engaged in engineering. The study of related questions about the moral ideals, character, policies and relationships of people and corporations involved in technological activity.

Though in engineering ethics, our focus is engineers, but we should not forget that others involved in engineering and technological enterprises are equally important like scientists, managers, production personnel, sales staff, and govt. officials, elected reps, lawyers and the general public. VARIOUS MEANINGS OF ENGINEERING ETHICS IEngineering Ethics is the activity and discipline aimed at understanding the moral values that ought to guide engineering practice, resolving moral issues in engineering and justifying moral judgments concerning engineering. Here we distinguish between moral and non-moral problems concerning engineering. We make a contrast between moral questions and questions of



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a political, legal and artistic nature. Engineering ethics in this sense refer to the set of specifically moral problems and issues related to engineering. IIISome times word Ethics is used to refer to a set of beliefs, attitude & habits that a person or group displays concerning morality. So engineering ethics in this sense would be currently accepted codes and standards of conduct endorsed by various groups of engineers and engineering societies. In this meaning word ethics and its grammatical variants can be used for some thing morally correct. Peoples actions can be either ethical (right, good, permissible) or unethical (immoral), and individuals can be evaluated as ethical (decent, having moral integrity) and unethical (unscrupulous). In this usage, engineering ethics means a set of justified moral principles of obligations, rights and ideals that ought to be endorsed by those involved in engineering.


There is another line of demarcation between adjectives ethical and moral. Moral is commonly used in describing sexually virtuous conduct and ethical in stating a professionally virtuous conduct. Some will say that ethical misdeeds are prosecuted in civil courts and moral misdeeds are tried in criminal courts. MORALITY & ETHICS We will discuss the word morality in some more details with respect to Ethics. In our definition we said Engineering Ethics is the study of moral issues and decisions. We can say Engineering Ethics is the study of morality. Morality is concerned with what ought or ought not to be done in a given situation, what is right or wrong in handling of it and what is good or bad about people, policies, and ideals involved. This definition is however incomplete as good or bad, right or wrong, ought to or ought not to are also used for non-moral issues. Thus in order to start a car a person ought to put the key in the ignition which is the right thing to do. People ought to brush their teeth before leaving for work, and it is good to read a book. None of these judgments would be counted as moral ones. Moral judgments are about what morally ought or ought not to be done, what is morally right or wrong, and what is morally good or bad. Probably the adverb morally will not be clear unless we go into reasons to justify our judgments. Thus to say that an act is morally right or wrong, morally good or bad is not to merely express certain feelings but to assert that the best moral reasons support it. Moral reasons will typically differ from reason given to justify other value judgments. If we say it is good to brush teeth, the reason behind is good health. If we say certain painting is good, reason behind this judgment is aesthetics, expression, colour mixing, a novel idea, beauty etc. Giving these reasons in support of judgments makes it explicit that the judgments are non-moral ones. None of these is concerned with morality.


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Thus, also, if an engineering design is good one simply because it meets all specifications, we know that technical values are at issues rather than moral reasons. On the other hand, the specifications may have moral content, such as requiring that the product be safe, reliable, easily maintained, and friendly to the environment. Moral reasons are thus about respecting other people as well as ourselves, to care for their good as well as our own. Moral reasons, for instance, involve respecting persons by being fair and just with them, respecting their rights, keeping promises, avoiding offense and pain to them, and avoiding cheating and dishonesty. They also concern caring for others by willing to help them (especially when they are in distress), showing gratitude for favours and sympathizing with their sufferings. HOW MORAL PROBLEMS ARISE IN ENGINEERING A product or project goes through various stages of conception, design, and manufacture, followed by testing, sales, and service. Engineers (civil, electrical, mechanical or chemical) carry out or supervise the appropriate activities at different stages. As engineers carry out their tasks, there will be times when their activities will ultimately lead to a product that is unsafe or less than useful. This may happen intentionally, or under pressure, or in ignorance. A product may be intentionally designed for early obsolescence; an inferior material may be substituted under pressure of time or budget; a products ultimately harmful effects may not be foreseen. These problems arise apart from the temptations of bribe and other forms of corruption. Following are a few examples highlighting areas covered by Ethics: Case I An inspector declared a consignment of vehicle engines to be used ones and not new as required by the contract. The head of the office, an engineer himself, overruled the inspectors opinion and ordered to sign acceptance document, and threatened the inspector of disciplinary action in case of refusal. Case II A tannery disposed off its chemical wastes in a seasonal nullah where downstream children take a swim, women wash their clothes and utensils, and sheep and buffaloes drink water. Knowing these hazards, the engineers took no action for changing the disposal method.

Case III


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An electrical company was ready for production of its own version of a popular new item. The product was not ready for sale and attractive advertisements appeared in the print and electronic media making people believe that it was available off the shelf and were drawn away from competing lines. These examples show how ethical problems arise when there are differences of judgments and expectations as to what is true state of affairs or a proper course of action. The engineer may be faced with contrary opinions from within the firm, from the client, from other firms within the industry, or from government as indicated in the figure, there are still other stakeholders ranging from the engineers family to the engineering profession (society).

Global environment (society & Nature)

Engineering firm: Engineering Managers Colleagues Family

Industry (Other firms)

Engineering profession (Societies)

Clients or consumers

Law, government, and public agencies

(Contexts of potential professional disagreements engineers may encounter)

These cases raise a number of pertinent moral questions: To what extent should an employers or supervisors directives be the authoritative guide to an engineers conduct? Page 8


What does one do when there are differences of judgment? Is it fair to be expected to put ones job on risk? Should one always follow the law to the letter and spirit? Is an engineer to do no more than what the specifications say, even if there are problems more serious than those initially anticipated? How far does an engineers responsibility extend into the realm of anticipating and influencing the social impact of the projects he or she participates in?

The conduct of the chemical plant falls into the category of ethics cases involving violations of common decency. Prescriptive codes of conduct for such violations can be established depending upon the majority of cases in which action has been taken. This has led to formulate a set of specific rules and regulations designed to ensure moral conduct. THREE TYPES OF INQUIRIES IN ENGINEERING ETHICS Engineering ethics like ethics in general, combines inquiries into values, meaning and facts. 123Normative Conceptual Factual

Normative Normative inquiries seek to identify the values that should guide individuals and groups. These are aimed at identifying and justifying the morally desirable norms and standards to guide individuals or groups or meaning what ought to be done and what is good in moral terms. These inquiries include: 12345How far an engineer can go in protecting public safety in a given situation? When should engineers be expected to blow the whistle on dangerous practices of employers for whom they work? Whose values carry more weight in making judgments about acceptable risks in a design for a public transport system those of management, senior engineers, government, voters, or some combination of these? Which particular laws and organizational procedures affecting engineering practice are morally warranted? What are the moral rights of engineers to meet their professional obligations? Page 9


Conceptual Conceptual inquiries seek to clarify important concepts or ideas, whether the ideas are expressed by single words or by statements and questions. These are directed toward clarifying the meanings of concepts, principles and issues in engineering ethics. Normative and conceptual inquiries are closely linked to each other when moral concepts are under consideration. Factual Factual or descriptive inquiries seek to provide facts needed for understanding and resolving value issues. These inquiries are aimed at gathering information bearing upon value system. Proven scientific techniques are used for collecting this information about: 123456The history of the contemporary engineering practices The history of the engineering profession The effectiveness of professional societies in fostering moral conduct The procedures used in making risk management The psychological profiles of engineers How have professional societies dealt whit moral issues

Case Study:
Let us take the example of leather factory where the engineer has expressed his concerns to his immediate boss who brushes aside his concerns. In this example, the engineer will make three inquiries as follows: Normative 1. Should the engineer be satisfied by reporting to the immediate boss or further ask for detailed reasons for his boss for rejecting his concerns, or he should go to the higher management, local government, media, etc to express his concerns? 2. Would it be disloyalty to the organization to bypass the structure of authority? 3. Does he have right to ask his immediate boss for a detailed explanation? Conceptual Clarification about safety, public health, loyalty to organization, professional freedom and autonomy Factual Additional facts like nature of pollutant, the cost of controlling them and whether the engineers conviction is well founded WHY STUDY ENGINEERING ETHICS The aim of the study of engineering ethics is to increase the ability of concerned engineers, managers, citizens, and others to responsibly confront moral issues raised


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by technological activity. The aim is not about preaching virtue and making the people act upon a certain set of established values and beliefs. Complexities in Resolving Moral Dilemmas There are three distinct complexities in resolving moral dilemmas: aVagueness: The engineer is not clear which moral considerations or principles apply to the current situation. For example, is it right to accept an expensive gift from a supplier. Will it be like accepting bribe? Will it affect fairness of the contract? Will he be obliged to give undue concessions to the supplier? Conflicting Reasons: At that two perfectly accepted moral principles are in conflict with each other. These are situations in which two or more obligations, duties, rights, or ideals come into conflict with one another and not all of them can be fully respected. Example: We make a promise to a friend, thereby creating an obligation to do what we have promised. Then our parents become ill and staying home to help them prevents us from keeping the promise. The dilemma, which consists of a conflict between the duty to keep promises and an obligation to ones parents, is usually resolved by an apologetic phone call to the friend. Or again, we make one promise to our employer and another to a colleague, and it turns out that we cannot keep both. An apology to the offended party will often settle the matter. cDisagreements: Reasonable and responsible individuals and groups may disagree about how to interpret, apply and balance moral reasons in particular situations. This disagreement becomes even more complicated within an engineering corporation in which individuals must work together within authority-structured relationships.


How to tackle/resolve Moral Dilemmas 123456Identify relevant moral factors and reasons. What are the conflicting responsibilities, competing rights, and clashing ideals involved? Gather all available facts that are pertinent to the moral factors involved. If possible, rank the moral considerations in order of importance as they apply to the situation. Consider alternate courses of action as ways of resolving the dilemma, tracing the full implications of each. Talk with colleagues, seeking their suggestions and alternative perspectives on the dilemma. Arrive at a carefully reasoned judgment by weighing all the moral factors and reasons in the light of facts this of course is a difficult step The study of engineering ethics with case studies help strengthen skills in moral reasoning, resolution of conflicts and reaching rational decisions in complex situations.


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Theories of Moral Developments

Kohlbergs Theory Lawrence Kohlberg (1927-1987) suggested three levels of moral development. These levels are distinguished by the reasoning and motivation of an individual in response to moral questions. 1Pre-conventional Level: In this level the right conduct is one which directly benefits a person. The motivation behind this conduct is self benefit, avoidance of punishment or submission to an authority and power. The example is conduct of young children and a few adults. Conventional Level: In this level, the yardstick for good conduct is the norms of the family and society. Such norms are accepted without any critical examination. The individuals at this level are out to please others and unconditionally submit to the societal norms regardless of their own interests. According to Kohlberg some people do not go beyond this level of moral development. Post Conventional Level: This level is attained when an individual regards the standard of right and wrong as a set of principles concerning rights and the general good without consideration of self-interest or social conventions. Kohlberg calls these individuals autonomous because they think for themselves and do not assume that customs are always right. They believe in the Golden Rule Treat others as you would like to be treated by them. Their motivation is to do what is morally reasonable and which does not affect their moral integrity and self respect and the respect of rationally thinking individual.



Kohlbergs scheme requires development of rational thinking and moral reasoning without undue influence of prevalent societal conventions. But this morally responsive attitude develops out of the childhood influences of parental treatments, religious beliefs, the exposure to customs, traditions, cinema, TV, literature in the development of morally autonomous individual. This early childhood training makes the individuals grow beyond the first two levels of moral development. But Kohlbergs theory has snags. It cannot prove that the moral development takes place according to these stages as even Kohlberg admits that very few people, and not the majority, qualify to the moral autonomy stage. At best Kohlberg assumes that moral development should take place according to these levels. This led to the development of another moral development theory i.e. (Carol) Gilligans Theory. Gilligans Theory Gilligan was a student and colleague of Kohlberg who strongly disagreed with Kohlbergs findings in following respects: 1She says that Kohlbergs studies are distorted by male bias. Not only he conducted his studies primarily with male subjects, but also he approached


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his studies with a typically male pre-occupation with general rules and rights. She suggests that there is a tendency for men to be more interested in trying to solve moral problems by putting more emphasis on most important moral rules which ignore other moral rules relevant to the dilemma. On the contrary women try harder to preserve personal relationships with all people involved in a situation and put more emphasis on the context in which dilemma arises rather than invoking general rules. Gilligan refers to this context-oriented approach on maintaining personal relationships as the Ethics of care rather than the Ethics of rules and rights.

She used the example of Kohlberg of Heinzs wife suffering from cancer and the Pharmacist giving medicine at a very high price and not ready to offer it cheaper and on deferred payment. To save the life of his wife he commits a theft in the pharmacy. Kohlberg ranked the subjects according to kind of reasoning they gave about resolving the dilemma. 1234The subjects who said Heinz did a wrong thing by breaking the law is reasoning at Conventional Level in which right conduct is regarded as simply obeying the law. Those who said that Heinz did a right thing as according to their religious belief, human life is sacred and should be saved are also at Conventional Level. Those who said wifes right to life is more important than the property rights of the pharmacist are reasoning at the Post-conventional Level according to Kohlberg. Women were in majority at the Conventional Level as they were hesitant to encourage stealing and were in favour of alternate solutions of convincing pharmacist or raising money. According to Kohlberg women were mostly reasoning at conventional level and hesitant to apply the principle of right to live for the woman.

Gilligan drew different conclusions from Kohlbergs observations. She saw importance of context-oriented personal relationships in resolving moral dilemmas instead of following rigid and abstract general/universal rules and rights. Gilligans scheme of moral development is as under: 1) The Pre-Conventional Level: This is roughly the same as Kohlbergs first level in that the person is preoccupied with self-centered reasoning. Right conduct is viewed in a selfish manner as solely what is good for oneself. Conventional Level: In this level, there is preoccupation of not hurting others and sacrificing own interest for others. Women conventionally are ready to sacrifice their own interests, comfort and rights in order to serve the needs of others. Post-conventional Level: At this level individuals try to strike a reasoned balance between caring others and looking after their own interests while exercising ones rights. The aim is to balance ones own needs with the needs of others, while maintaining relationships based on mutual caring. Page 13




This is achieved through context-oriented reasoning rather than strictly following the rules. In our opinion both theories have their own merits. The context orientation and personal relationships are as important as following the general principles and safeguarding the rights.


The early meaning of the term profession referred to a free act of commitment to a way of life. The profession originally meant the act of professing. It is The occupation which one professes to be skilled in and to follow, a vocation in which professed knowledge is used in its application to the affairs of others, or in the practice of an art based upon it. In the ordinary sense, the word Profession is used to symbolize a job or occupation and to be Professional means to earn some bodys living through it such


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as professional sportsmen who earn their living through that sport as opposed to amateurs. But there is another sense of these words. Profession in this sense can be applied to occupations which meet the following criteria: 1Knowledge: Acquisition of theoretical and practical skills from recognized institutions along with humanistic studies. These studies inculcate judgmental and discretional abilities in the holder of knowledge. Generally, continuing education and up-dating knowledge are also required. Organization: Special organizations and societies controlled by members of the profession set the standards for admission to the profession, drafting codes of ethics, enforcing standards of conduct, and representing the profession before the public and the government. Public Good: The occupations serve some important aspect of the public good as indicated in the codes of ethics. For example, medicine is directed toward promoting health, law toward protecting the publics legal rights, and engineering toward promoting the publics health, safety, and welfare as they relate to technology.



Membership Criteria: There are disputes how a person becomes or should become a member of an accepted profession which may be engineering. Each of the following has been proposed as a criterion for being an engineer or Professional Engineer. Earning a bachelors degree in engineering at a school recognized by HEC and accredited by Pakistan Engineering Council. In USA, the approving body is Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), and in Europe it is FEANI. Performing work commonly recognized as what engineers do. Being officially registered and licensed as a Professional Engineer (PE). Becoming registered as PE typically includes: 1. Getting registration as registered engineer (RE). 2. Working five years at responsible engineering projects. 3. Passing professional examination. Acting in morally responsible ways while practicing engineering. The standards for responsible conduct might be those specified in engineering codes of ethics. The definition of professional engineer has two distinct

Professional Engineer: facets:1.

It is due to attainment of professional skills and knowledge which is not easy to acquire and membership of certain societies/institutions that professionals are regarded as deserving high pay, prestige and other social Page 15


benefits. Social status is frequently enhanced by a title such as Engineer, Doctor or Reverend. 2. This aspect is related to the values and ethical behaviour of engineers in pursuit of public health, welfare and creative productions. In the light of the above, various attempts have been made to define the term professional engineer. Two view points are distinct. 1Independence: Robert Whitelaw thinks that a professional engineer should be able to function independently and without coercion and beaurocratic submission to employers. He thinks that if an engineer follows only the command of his managers and employers in the discharge of his professional obligation without independently exercising his convictions and judgments, he is not eligible to be called a true professional. Being a professional involves freedom to act according to ones own judgment about conduct. In Whitelaws views only consultants qualify as professionals. He thinks that engineers working only as employees are not professionals who do not have the right to refuse unethical practices without fear of loosing their jobs and who are subject to undue surveillance and performance evaluation. Serving Employers: The second view point is expressed by Samuel Florman who advocates loyal service to the employer or the client (in case of consultant) as the heart of professionalism. According to the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and its predecessors the Engineers Council for Professional Development (ECPD), engineers should hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public in the performance of their professional duties. Florman is of the opinion that Engineers are obliged to bring integrity and competence to whatever work they undertake. But they should not be counted upon to consider paramount the welfare of the public.


Perhaps both view points are representing extreme views on professionalism. In our view the balanced definition of professional engineer should encompass both views that is responsibility to the employer and the consideration of public wellbeing. Definition: Accordingly professional engineer should meet these two criteria: 12Attaining standards of achievement in education, job performance and creativity (a trait not specific to engineering technicians). Acceptance of the most basic moral responsibilities to public as well as to the employer, client, colleagues and employees.

Thus professionalism becomes a moral dimension and we can thus call unprofessional conduct as unethical conduct. Multiple Motives: There are number of motives for professionalism in engineering.


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The undergraduate curriculum for engineering is generally acknowledged to be more rigorous and difficult than the majority of academic disciplines. Students are motivated to enter engineering primarily by a desire for interesting and challenging work. No doubt the engineering profession is both appealing and challenging. Samuel Florman in his book The Existential Pleasures of Engineering has very nicely explained the excitement of engineering. By existential pleasures Florman means deep-rooted and elemental satisfaction. These are as follows: 1. The pleasure resides in the act of personally changing the world. By nature, humans are compelled to improve the world. 2. The joy of creative effort: This includes planning, designing, testing, producing, selling, constructing and maintaining. There is a sense of personal pride in achieving excellence in the technical aspects of ones work. The scientist discovers new knowledge and the engineer derives greatest enjoyment from creatively solving practical problems. 3. The magnitude of natural phenomenon oceans, rivers, mountains, and deserts both intimidates and inspires. In response, engineers conceive immense ships, bridges, tunnels and other mammoth projects. 4. A mechanical environment can generate a comforting and absorbing sense of a manageable, controlled, an ordered world. Personal concerns are forgotten for a period of time as the mind is involved with the patterns of an orderly scene. 5. A strong sense of helping by contributing to the well-being of his fellow men. Models of professional Roles: In service of public welfare there are various models of engineers roles: 1. Savior: Redeems society from poverty, inefficiency, waste and the drudgery of manual labour through technological development. 2. Guardian: Should guard the interests of society by deciding the direction and setting the pace of development of technology. 3. Beaurocratic Servant: Gets directions from management and translates those objects into practical realities. He solves the problems assigned by management as a loyal employee. 4. Social Servant: The role of engineers lies exclusively in obedient service to others but their true master is society. Society expresses its interests either directly through purchase patterns or indirectly through government representatives and consumer groups. Engineers, in cooperation with management, have the task of receiving societys directives and satisfying societys needs/desires.


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5. Social Enabler and Catalyst: Although ultimate power and authority lie with management, the engineers are needed to help management and society understand their own needs and to make decisions about desirable ends and means of technological development. 6. Economic Game Player: Engineers are neither servants nor masters of anyone. Instead they play by the economic game rules. The aim is to play successfully within organizations, enjoying the planners of technical work and the satisfaction of winning and moving ahead in a competitive world.


Ethical dilemmas are situations in which moral reasons come into conflict, or in which the applications of moral values are unclear, and it is not immediately obvious what should be done. Ethical dilemmas arise in engineering because moral values are many and varied. 1. A. RESOLVING ETHICAL DILEMMAS Steps in Resolving Ethical Dilemmas

Reasonable solutions to ethical dilemmas are clear, informed, and well-reasoned. Clear refers to moral clarity about which moral values are at stake and how they pertain to the situation. It also refers to conceptual clarity precision in using the key concepts (ideas) applicable in the situation. Moral Clarity:


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The clarity about which moral values are at stake and how they pertain to the situation? The most basic step in confronting ethical dilemmas is to become aware of them. This means identifying the moral values and reasons applicable in the situation, and learning them in mind as further investigations are made. These values and reasons might be obligations, duties, rights, goods, ideals or other moral considerations. Conceptual Clarity: Precision in using the key concepts (ideas) applicable in the situation. Professionalism requires being a faithful agent of ones employer, but does that mean doing what ones supervisor desires or doing what is good for the corporation in the long run? Informed: It means knowing and appreciating the implications of the available facts that are morally relevant in light of the applicable moral values. In addition, it means being aware of alternative courses of action and what they involve. Informed about the facts: Sometimes the primary difficulty in resolving moral dilemmas is uncertainty about the facts rather than conflicting values. Informed about the opinions: It means being aware of alternative courses of action and what they entail. The ethical dilemmas may force us into a two-way choice. Either accept ones supervisors order or blow the whistle to the town authorities. A closer look often reveals additional options. Well reasoned means to arrive at a carefully reasoned judgment by weighing all the relevant moral reasons and facts. It is a deliberation aimed at taking into account all the relevant reasons, facts, and values in a morally reasonable manner. If there is no ideal solution, we seek at least a satisfactory one, what Herbert Simon calls it satisficing. Wright-Wrong or Better-Worse We might divide ethical dilemmas into two broad categories. On the one hand, many dilemmas have solutions that are either right or wrong. Right means that one course of action is obligatory, and failing to do that action is unethical (immoral). In most instances a code of ethics specifies what is clearly required: obey the law and heed engineering standards, do not offer or accept bribes, speak and write truthfully, maintain confidentiality, and so forth. On the other hand, some dilemmas have two or more solutions, no one of which is compulsory but one of which should be chosen. These solutions might be better or worse than others in some respects, but not necessarily in all respects. 2. MAKING MORAL CHOICES


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Moral dilemmas comprise the most difficult occasions for moral reasoning. Nevertheless, they constitute a relatively small percentage of moral choices, that is, decisions involving moral values. Most moral choices are routine and straightforward. The following example illustrates how choices involving moral values enter into routine decisions during technological development, punctuated by periodic moral dilemmas. A. B. 3. Designing Aluminum Cans Design Analogy: Whitbeck ETHICAL THEORY An ethical theory is a comprehensive perspective on morality that clarifies, organizes, and guides moral reflection. If successful, it provides a framework for making moral choices and resolving moral dilemmasnot a simple formula, but rather a comprehensive way to identify, structure, and integrate moral reasons. Ethical theories also ground the requirements in engineering codes of ethics by reference to broader moral principles. In doing so, they illuminate connections between engineering codes of ethics and ordinary moralitythat is, justified moral values that play a role in all areas of life. There are five types of ethical theories: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 1. Utilitarianism Rights Ethics Duty Ethics Virtue Ethics Self-realization Ethics Utilitarianism It is the view that we ought always to produce the most good for the most people, giving equal consideration to everyone affected. The standard of right conduct is maximization of good consequences. Utility is sometimes used to refer to these consequences, and other times it is used to refer to the balance of good over bad consequences. Utilitarianism seems a straightforward way to interpret the central principle in most engineering codes. Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public in the performance of their professional duties. After all, welfare is a rough synonym for overall good (utility), and safety and health might be viewed as especially important aspects of that good. Utilitarianism versus Cost-Benefit Analysis There are different forms of utilitarianism covering various aspects. Before discussing these forms, let us compare utilitarianism with cost-benefit analysis familiar in engineering. A typical cost-benefit analysis identifies the good and bad consequences of some actions or policy, usually in terms of dollars. It weighs the total goods against


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the total bads, and then compares the results to similar tallies of the consequences of alternative actions or rules. This sounds just like utilitarianism, but often it is not. To see this, we need to look closely at whose good and bad is considered and promoted, as well as how good and bad are measured. Usually the answers center around the good of a corporation, rather than the good of everyone affected, considered impartially. Case Study: Ford Corporation in the development of Pinto automobile. Act-utilitarianism versus Rule-utilitarianism Act-utilitarianism focuses on individual actions, rather than individual rules. A particular action is right if it is likely to produce the most good for the most people in a given situation. Every day maxims like Keep your promises, Do not deceive, and Do not bribe are only rough guide lines. According to John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) these example are useful rules of thumb which maximize benefits to most people or maximize utility. But rules should be broken whenever doing so will produce the most good in a specific situation. Theory of Good: If the standard of right action is maximizing goodness, what is goodness? According to Mill, it is the result of actions which produces happiness. There is intrinsic good and instrumental good. A happy life is composed of many pleasures in great variety, mixed with some inevitable brief pains. The happiest life is also rich in higher pleasures. Mill contended that the pleasures derived through intellectual inquiry, creative accomplishment, appreciation of beauty, friendship, and love are inherently better than the bodily pleasures derived from eating, sex, and exercise. According to utilitarianism, right actions are those required by rules that produce the most good for the most people. Individual actions are right when they are according to these rules. Thus we ought to keep promises and avoid bribes, even when those acts do not have the best consequences in a particular situation, because these practices produce the most overall good. Brandt calls these rule as moral codes. A moral code is justified when it is the optimal moral code that, if adopted and followed, would maximize the public good more than alternative codes would. The codes may be society wide standards or special codes for a profession like engineering. The act-utilitarianism and rule-utilitarianism differ from each other and do seem to lead to different conclusions in some situations. Rule-utilitarianism for example, openly rejects kickback schemes. Matz and Childs acted on a rule something like Engage in secret payoffs when necessary for profitable business ventures. If this rule is generally followed, it would cause a breakdown of trust between business people and their clients. 2. Rights Ethics Rights ethics regards human rights as fundamental and familiar. Human rights ethicists assert that duties arise because people have rights. Because you have a right to live, I have a duty not to kill you Human Rights:


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Hohn Locke (1632-1704) argued that to be a person one has rights (human rights) to life, liberty, and property. His views had a great impact at the time of the French and American Revolution. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote: We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The employers have rights to faithful service from employees, and employees have rights to reciprocal fair and respectful treatment from employers. Rights to life imply a right to a livable environment. Rights Ethics gets more complex as we ask which rights exist. Thus, human rights might come in two forms: liberty rights and welfare rights. Liberty Rights are rights to exercise ones liberty, and they place duties on other people not to interfere with ones freedom. (The not explains why they are also called negative rights). Welfare Rights are rights to benefits needed for a decent human life, when one cannot earn those benefits and when the community has them available. These are sometime called positive rights. The first version of rights ethics conceives of human rights as intimately related to communities of people. The second version of rights ethics denies there are welfare human rights. Libertarians believe that only liberty rights exist; there are no welfare rights. John Lock, often called libertarian, believed that the three most basic human rights are to life, liberty and property. Jefferson simply changed property to the pursuit of happiness. Libertarians take a harsh view of taxes and government involvement beyond the bare minimum necessary for national defense and the preservation of free enterprise. They also oppose government regulation of business and the profession. 3. Duty Ethics

Duty Ethics regards duties of respect for liberty and autonomy of individuals as fundamental. Duty Ethics and Right Ethics are similar to each other in many ways. One writer suggests the following list of important duties: Do not kill, do not cause pain, do not disable, do not deprive of freedom, do not deprive of pleasure, do not deceive, do not cheat, keep your promise, obey the law, do your duty. How do we know that these are our duties? Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), the most famous duty ethicist, argued that all such specific duties derive from one fundamental duty to respect persons. Persons deserve respect because they are moral agents capable of responding to moral duty. Autonomy (moral self-determination or self-governance) means having the capacity to govern ones life in accordance with moral duties. Hence, respect for persons amounts to respect for their moral autonomy.


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Immorality occurs when we treat persons as mere objects to gratify our needs. Violent acts such as murder, rape, and torture are obvious ways of treating people as mere objects serving our own purposes. We also fail to respect persons if we fail to provide support for them when they are in desperate need and we can help them at little inconvenience to ourselves. We also have duties to ourselves, for we, too, are rational and autonomous beings. As example, Kant says, we have a duty not to commit suicide, which would bring an end to a valuable life, we have duties to develop our talents, as part of unfolding our rational natures, and we should avoid harmful drugs that undermine our ability to exercise our rationality. Kant also emphasized that duties are universal: they apply equally to all rational beings including humans and supernatural beings. The idea of universal principles is often compared to the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Kant insisted that moral duties are categorical imperatives. As imperatives they are commands that we impose on ourselves as well as other rational beings. Be honest says morality, not because doing so benefits us, but because honesty is our duty. Prima Facie Duties Principles of duty that have exceptions are called prima facie duties. The duty ethicists recognize that many moral dilemmas are resolvable only by making exceptions to simple principles of duty. Thus Do not deceive is a duty but it has exceptions when it conflicts with the moral principle Protect innocent life. One ought to deceive a kidnapper if that is the only way to keep a hostage alive until the police can intervene. 4. Virtue Ethics Virtue ethics emphasizes character more than rights and rules. Character is the pattern of virtues (morally desirable features) and vices (morally undesirable features) in an individual. Virtues are desirable habits or tendencies in action, commitment, motive, attitude, emotion, ways of reasoning, and ways of relating to others. Vices are morally undesirable habits or tendencies. Words for specific virtues, however, remain familiar, both in engineering and in everyday life for example, competence, honesty, courage, fairness, loyalty, and humility. Words for specific vices are also familiar; incompetence, dishonesty, cowardice, unfairness, disloyalty, and arrogance. Aristotle regarded wisdom and good judgment as the important virtue. The internal good of engineering is the creation of useful and safe technological products while respecting the autonomy of clients and public. The most basic and comprehensive professional virtue is professional responsibility, that is, being morally responsible as an engineer. There are four categories of virtues: Public Spirited Virtues, Proficiency Virtues, Teamwork Virtues and Self-governance Virtues. Public spirited virtues are focused on the good of clients and the wider public. Generosity which means going beyond the minimum requirements in helping others is shown by engineers who voluntarily give their time, talent, and money to their professional societies and local communities. The minimum virtue is non-


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maleficence, the tendency not to harm others intentionally. Engineering codes of professional conduct also call for beneficence which is preventing or removing harm to others and more positively promoting the public safety, health and welfare. Proficiency virtues are the virtues of mastery of ones profession, in particular mastery of the technical skills that indicate good engineering practice. The most general professional virtues include competence, diligence, and creativity. Teamwork virtues are those that are especially important in enabling professionals to work successfully with other people. They include collegiality, cooperativeness, loyalty, respect for legitimate authority, ability to motivate others to meet valuable goals. Self-governance virtues are those necessary in exercising moral responsibility. Some of them center on moral understanding and perception. Other self-governance virtues center on commitment and on putting understanding into action: for example, courage, self-discipline, perseverance, self-respect, integrity and honesty. Florman: Competence and Conscientiousness

Florman emphasizes on loyalty to employers, Aristotle emphasizes on loyalty to community whereas Alasdair MacIntyre applied Aristotles perspective to contemporary professions. Florman enjoys existential pleasures of engineering; the deeply rooted and elemental satisfactions in engineering that contribute to happiness. These pleasures have many sources. There is the desire to improve the world, which engages individuals sense of personal involvement and power. There is the challenge of practical and creative effort, including planning, designing, testing, producing, selling, constructing, and maintaining, all of which bring pride in achieving excellence in the technical aspects of ones work. In Flormans view the essence of engineering ethics is best captured by the word conscientiousness. Engineers who do their job well are morally good engineers. Competence and loyalty are the two virtues Florman most emphasizes. On the one hand, conscientious engineers are competent. Florman estimates that 98 percent of engineering failures are caused by incompetence. The other 2 percent involve greed, fraud, dishonesty, and other conventional understandings of wrongdoing, often in addition to carelessness. Competent means performing with requisite skill and experience. It implies exercising due care, persistence and diligence. On the other hand, conscientious engineers are loyal to employers, within the boundaries of laws and democratic institutions. It is true that engineers should be conscientious in meeting their responsibilities, but the question is which responsibilities take priority. According to Florman priority should be given to duties to employers, instead of professional codes that require engineers to hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public. He tells us that professionals have the task of meeting the expectations of their clients and employers rather than filtering their everyday work through a sieve of ethical sensitivity.


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Community and the Golden Mean

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) defined the moral virtues as tendencies or habits to reach a proper balance between extremes in conduct, emotion, desire, and attitude. To use the phrase inspired by his theory, virtues are tendencies to find the Golden Mean between the extremes of too much (excess) and too little (deficiency). Thus, truthfulness is the mean between revealing all information in violation of tact and confidentiality (excess) and being secretive or lacking in candor (deficiency). Again, courage is the mean between foolhardiness (the excess of rashness) and cowardice (the deficiency of selfcontrol) in confronting dangers. The most important virtue is practical wisdom, that is, morally good judgment, which enables one to discern the mean for all the other virtues. Virtues enable us to pursue a variety of public goods within a community a concept that was especially important for citizens of ancient Greek city-states, since the citystates survival depended on the close cooperation of its citizens. Taken together, the moral virtues also enable us to fulfill ourselves as human beings. They enable us to attain happiness, by which Aristotle meant self-fulfillment through an active life in accordance with our reason (rather than a life of mere contentment or pleasure). More recently, Alasdair MacIntyre applied Aristotles themes, including his emphasis on community and public goods, to the professions. MacIntyre conceives of professions as valuable social activities, which he calls social practices. There are three main ideas in social practice: internal goods, standards of excellence and human progress. Internal Goods are good things that are so essential to a social practice that they partly define it. Some internal goods are public goods benefits provided to the community. Thus, health is the internal good of medicine, and legal justice the internal good of law. The internal goods engineering, abstractly stated, are safe and useful technological products products that can be further specified with regard to each area of engineering. Other internal goods are personal goods connected with meaningful work, such as portrait painter. Social practices produce external goods, which are goods that can be earned through engaging in a variety of practices. External goods include money, power, self-esteem, and prestige. Standards of Excellence enable internal goods to be achieved. In professions like engineering these standards include technical guidelines that specify state-of-the-art quality. Most important, they also include the requirements stated in professional codes of ethics, which are to be followed by all members of a profession. The virtues enable engineers to meet standards of excellence and thereby achieve internal goods, especially public or community goods, without allowing external goods such as money and power to distract their public commitments. The virtues thereby added to the personal meaning that engineers find in their work by linking individual lives to wider communities. All four categories of the virtues play key role in engineers commitments to the safety, health, and welfare of the public. Human Progress is made possible through social practices. Nowhere is this truer than in the professions, which systematically expand our understanding and achievement of


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public and private goods. Think how dramatically engineers have improved human life during the past century by developing the internal combustion engine, computers, the Internet, and a host of consumer products. In this way engineering and other professions are embedded in wider circles of meaning, in particular within communities and traditions. 5. Self-realization and Self-Interest

Each of the preceding ethical theories leaves considerable room for self-interest, that is, for pursuing what is good for oneself. Utilitarians believe that self-interest should enter into our calculations of the overall good; rights ethics says we have rights to pursue our own good; duty ethics says we have duties to our slaves; and virtue ethics links our personal good with participating in communities and social practices. Selfrealization ethics, however, gives greater prominence to self-interest and to personal commitments that individuals develop. The theorists insist on creating a balance between ones own interest and interest of others. There are three types of values; ethical egoism, customs and religion. Ethical Egoism It says that the sole duty of each of us is to promote our own self-interest. The theory is ethical because it is a theory about morality and it is egoistic because it says the sole duty of each of us is to maximize our well-being. Self-interest is understood as our long term and enlightened well-being and happiness, rather than a narrow and shortsighted pursuit of immediate pleasures that leave us frustrated or damaged in the long run. Talking about business and professional life, theorists argue that looking after ones good amounts to welfare of the society and corporations. The benefit to an individual is benefit to society and higher profits of a corporation benefit all the stake holders. Rand in her novel, portrays heroic individuals who by pursuing their self-interest indirectly contribute to the good of others. Psychological Egoism By nature, human beings are exclusively self-seeking and our sole motives are to benefit ourselves. According to psychological egoism, all people are always motivated by what they believe is good for them in some respect. This theory is about what actually motivates human beings, whereas ethical egoism is about how they ought to act. Customs We live in a society and cannot isolate ourselves from the influence of customs on our conduct and moral decisions. Moral values are many, varied and flexible. Ethical Relativism


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It says that actions are morally right when they are approved by law or custom; they are wrong when they violate laws or customs. Whereas ethical egoism attempts to reduce moral reasons to matters of self-interest, ethical relativism attempts to reduce moral values to laws, conventions, and customs of particular societies. The ethical relativism activists argue that laws and customs are clearly stated and provide a clear cut solution to what is morally right or wrong without going into endless debate of right and wrong. But this view is flawed as such assertions do not necessarily meet the moral reasoning. For example, South Africas Apartheid policy, which was sheer violation of human rights. Another argument given in favour of ethical relativism is that particular values are relevant to cultures and societies and these cultures vary from one society to the other. So the specific societies decide of goodness or badness according to their specific cultural values, they also say it promotes tolerance between societies. This means it is right for a certain society and not necessarily for other societies. Thus a universal definition of moral values cannot be reached at. Ethical relativism should not be confused with the following three claims, which are true or at least reasonable. 1. 2. Descriptive relativism: Value beliefs and attitudes differ from culture to culture. Moral relationalism: Moral judgments should be made in relation to factors that vary from case to case, usually making it impossible to formulate rules that are both simple and absolute. In particular, customs and laws are usually morally relevant factors that should be taken into account. Ethical pluralism: There may be alternative moral perspectives that are reasonable, but no one of which must be accepted completely by all rational and morally concerned persons.


Religious Commitments Moral commitment and religious belief are related in several positive ways: 1. They are related historically. Our moral outlooks have been influenced in a number of ways by the declaration of moral values within major religions. For example, the Judeo-Christian tradition has been especially influential in Western countries; Islam has been influential in the Middle East; Confucianism has been influential in China; and Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism have been prominent in Asian countries. For many people there are important psychological connections between their moral and religious beliefs. In particular, religious views often support moral responsibility by providing additional motivation for being moral. Hence it brings added inspiration to be moral, even though many people are moral without having religious beliefs. Ducasse points out that the main social function of religion is to motivate right action which involves the concept of ethics. Likewise the personal function of the religion is very important. Page 27




Religions sometimes set a higher moral standard than is conventional. Many have a version of virtue ethics that emphasizes particular virtues. For example, the ethics of Christianity centers on the virtues of hope, faith, and especially love; Judaism emphasizes the virtue of righteousness; Buddhism emphasizes compassion; Islam emphasizes Ihsan; and Navajo ethics centers on Hozho (harmony, peace of mind, beauty, health, and well-being). Of course, sometimes religions set standards below what most of us view as acceptable moral standards. For example, some religions do not recognize the equal rights of women, and some treat children in ways that health professionals see as harmful. In such cases the conflict is not only between secular morality and religion, but also between other religions or other versions of the given religions. However, considering some of the positive connections between morality and religion, there is no general conflict between them.

Motives of Engineers Having emphasized that self-seeking is not the only human motive; we now consider that it is a very strong motive. Indeed, self-seeking is probably the strongest motive in most of us most of the time. According to Gregory Kavka, it is called Predominant Egoism. It is also plausible to believe that most acts of helping and service to others involve mixed motives, that is, a combination of self-concern and concern for others. Unlike psychological egoism, predominant egoism acknowledges human capacities for love, friendship, and community involvement. It also acknowledges engineers capacities for genuinely caring about the public safety, health, and welfare. Engineers are strongly motivated by self-interest, but they are also capable of responding to moral reasons in their won right, as well as additional motives concerned with the particular nature of their work. Their motives are as many and varied as the existential pleasures cited by Samuel Florman. Tack Kilbey was awarded a Nobel Prize in 2000 for the microchip which is used in powerful computers, digital cameras, and the internet etc. He did it not for money, power and other rewards, rather to find personal fulfillment through professional achievement. The accurate observation is that Kilbey had multiple motives, including motives to advance technology, to be compensated for his work, and to do some good for others. Building on this observation, we might sort the motives of professionals into three categories; proficiency, compensation, and moral. Proficiency motives and their associated values, center on excellence in meeting the technical standards of a profession, together with related aesthetic values of beauty. The undergraduate curriculum for engineering is generally considered to be more


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rigorous and difficult than the majority of academic disciplines. Students are motivated to enter engineering primarily by a desire for interesting and challenging work. They create concrete objects and build them to work. They are more skilled in math than average college students and do not like ambiguities and uncertainties which cannot be measured and translated into figures. Compensation motives are for social rewards such as income, power, recognition, and job or career stability. This could be considered as self-interest. Yet more people need money for other reasons, such as to benefit family members or to be able to help others in need. In addition, financial independence prevents one from becoming a burden on others. Moral motives include desires to meet ones responsibilities and to respect the rights of others. Such motives of moral respect and caring indicates that other people have inherent moral worth. All the motives contribute to providing valuable services to the community as well as professional relationships among engineers. Engineering is demanding and it requires engineers to integrate a wide range of motivations. WHICH ETHICAL THEORY IS BEST? Just as ethical theories are used to evaluate actions, rules, and character, ethical theories can themselves be evaluated. The ethical theories are attempts to provide clarity and consistency, systematic and comprehensive understanding, and helpful practical guidance in moral matters. Sound ethical theories succeed in meeting these aims, because: They are clear and coherent. They recognize basic moral values in a systematic and comprehensive ways. They provide helpful guidance that is compatible with our most carefully considered moral convictions about concrete situations.

An important role of a sound ethical theory is to improve our moral insight into particular problems. Hence there is an ongoing checking of an ethical theory against the judgments about specific situations that we are sure, are correct, and in reverse a checking of our judgments about specific situations by reference to the ethical theory. Which of the ethical theories most fully satisfies these criteria? In our view, some versions of rule-utilitarianism, rights ethics, duty ethics, virtue ethics, and selfrealization ethics all satisfy the criteria in high degrees. We find ourselves more impressed by the similarities and connections, rather than the differences, among the general types of theories. Duty ethics and rights ethics differ and virtue ethics needs to be complemented by the other theories. The community-oriented versions of self-realization ethics can be linked to Kants idea of duties to oneself, Mills emphasis on personal liberty, and to the Aristotelian pursuit of excellence. CODES OF ETHICS


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Codes of ethics state the moral responsibilities of engineers as seen by the profession, and as represented by a professional society. Because they express the professions collective commitment to ethics, codes are enormously important, not only in stressing engineers responsibilities but also the freedom to exercise them. Codes of ethics play at least eight essential roles: serving and protecting the public, providing guidance, offering inspiration, establishing shared standards, supporting responsible professionals, contributing to education, deterring wrong-doing, and strengthening a professions image. 1. Serving and protecting the public: The relationship between the professionals and the public is based upon mutual trust. The primary function of a code of ethics is a commitment by the profession as a whole that engineers will serve the public health, safety and welfare. 2. Guidance: Codes provide helpful guidance concerning the main obligations of engineers. They provide general guidance, but when well written, they identify primary responsibilities. More specific directions may be given in supplementary statements or guidelines, which tell how to apply the code. 3. Inspiration: Because codes express a professions collective commitment to ethics, they provide a positive motivation for ethical conduct and inspire by using focused guidelines. 4. Shared standards: The diversity of moral viewpoints among individual engineers makes it essential that professions establish explicit standards, in particular minimum standards. In this way, the public is assured of a minimum standard of excellence on which it can depend, and professionals are provided a fair playing field in competing for clients. 5. Support for responsible professionals: Codes give positive support to professionals seeking to act ethically. A publicly proclaimed code allows an engineer, under pressure to act unethically, to say: I am bound by the code of ethics of my profession, which states that... This by itself gives engineers some group backing in taking stands on moral issues. Moreover, codes can potentially serve as legal support for engineers criticized for living up to work-related professional obligations. 6. Education and mutual understanding: Codes can be used by professional societies and in the classroom to prompt discussion and reflection on moral issues. Widely circulated and officially approved by professional societies codes encourage a shared understanding among professionals, the public, and government organizations about the moral responsibilities of engineers. 7. Deterrence and discipline: Codes can also serve as the formal basis for investigating unethical conduct. Where such investigation is possible, a deterrent for immoral behavior is thereby provided. Such an investigation generally requires paralegal proceedings designed to get at the truth about a given charge without violating the personal rights of those being investigated.


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8. Contributing to the professions image: Codes can present a positive image to the public of an ethically committed profession. Where the image is warranted, it can help engineers more effectively serve the public. It can also win greater powers of self-regulation for the profession itself, while lessening the demand for more government regulation. The reputation of a profession, like the reputation of an individual professional or a corporation, is essential in sustaining the trust of the public. 2. Limitations

The limitations of codes are as follows: 123The codes are restricted to general and vague wording. Because of this they are not straightforwardly applicable to all situations. It is easy for different entries in codes to come into conflict with each other. Usually codes provide no guidance as to which entry should have priority in those cases, thereby creating moral dilemmas. Despite their authority in guiding professional conduct, codes are not always the complete and final word. Codes can be flawed, both by omission and commission. An example of omission in many codes is the absence of explicit mention of responsibilities concerning the environment. An example of commission is the former ban in engineering codes on competitive bidding. A further limitation of codes results from their proliferation. Andrew Oldenquist (a philosopher) and Edward Slowter (an engineer) point out how the existence of separate codes for different professional engineering societies can give members the feeling that ethical conduct is more relative and variable than it actually is. But Oldenquist and Slowter have also demonstrated the substantial agreement to be found among the various engineering codes, and they call for the adoption of a unified code. The Proper Role of Law in Engineering



Societys attempts at regulation have indeed often failed, but good laws, effectively enforced, and clearly produced benefits. They authoritatively establish reasonable minimal standards of professional conduct and provide at least a self-interested motive for most people and corporations to comply. Moreover, they serve as a powerful support and defense for those who wish to act ethically in situations where ethical conduct might be less than welcome. By being able to point to a pertinent law, one can feel free to act as a responsible engineer. We contend that to view engineering as social experimentation can provide engineers with a proper perspective on laws and regulations. And the rules that govern engineering practice should not be devised or considered as rules of a game but as rules of responsible experimentation. Such a view places great responsibility on the engineer, who is intimately connected with his experiment and responsible for its safe conduct.


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