Engineering Character The real cycle youre working on
Engineering Character The real cycle youre working on is a cycle called yourself ZAMM A man not at peace with himself will not be at peace with others. Assembly of Japanese bicycle takes great peace of mind ZAMM On doing the right thing Be a role model and expect role models If you tell the truth you will not have to remember what you said Character is destiny All good teachers of ethics come to remind more than to instruct Ethics and Mo
rality March 13, 2018 Part C Human Actions Human actions are voluntary, and we are responsible for them. All human actions are of moral significance; good, bad, neutral. Responsibility for our actions requires that we knowingly and freely perform them. And such actions include negligence regarding something we should have done or known. Imputability means to assign authorship to a person who has done a particular action. Imputability and responsibility for our actions can be diminished or eliminated by
ignorance, inadvertence, compulsion, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological problems. She who holds the ladder for the burglar is also guilty Invincible ignorance ignorance that is not the fault of the ignorant person Some definitions regarding the structure of human actions Final cause the why, the goal, or the aim of an action Efficient cause the thing which causes something to be Human action an action involving the intellect (mind) and the will; a voluntary action that has moral significance (i.e. good, neutral, or bad) Formation of Human action
Order of Intention that portion of the human action in which one thinks about and chooses the end and the means to the end, plotting and premeditation Order of Execution that portion of the human action in which one carries out the means to the end, the act All human actions are of moral significance, that is good, neutral, or bad Understanding these concepts will enable us to understand when, how, and why we are or are not responsible for the actions that we perform and how we are to evaluate the goodness or badness of human actions. Possible impediments to the human will
Elicited acts of the will in the order of intention by which one chooses the end and the means to the end of ones human action Commanded acts of the will in which the will moves other parts or powers of the person, example walking, writing, speaking. These are always visible and can even be made involuntary by compulsion through external force or restraint An Example: On his way to taking a biotransport test Felix had decided to sit next to Lucy (an A++ student) in order to cheat. But when he arrived at the classroom he learned that Lucy was sick and unable to take the test at that time. Thus Felix ended up taking the test without cheating. Is Felix responsible for doing anything wrong? Note that Felix had already decided to cheat before he arrived at the classroom. That decision
was an elicited act of the will. Elicited acts of the will, which take place in the order of intention, are always invisible actions known only to the person willing to perform the act. As a matter of fact most human actions take place in the order of intention. This means that the greater portion of the moral life is in fact invisible ! Because elicited acts of the will proceed directly from our wills, we are always responsible for them. Our elicited acts of the will are the expression of who we are most deeply. Thus, even though he did not actually cheat on his test, Felix is responsible for having already decided to cheat and he may actually cheat at another time.
Possible impediments to the intellect or the mind Invincible ignorance ignorance that is not the fault of the ignorant person Other forms of ignorance include: Occurring with something else Concomitant ignorance by which one does not know what one is actually doing, or that what one is actually doing is wrong, yet enjoys what one did, or enjoys the fact that what one did is wrong An example: Suppose you and I are neighbors who lived next door to each other. However, it is also the case that I despise you! I have even considered ways of harming you. One day, you decided to go hunting. I did not know this; nor did you know that I also decided to go hunting, even in the same place. As I go about my hunting, I notice some movement behind a bush. I aim my rifle and shoot. I run to lay claim to my prey and discover that I killed you! When I discovered that I killed you, my reaction was: Yes! An elicited act of my
will enjoyed what I initially unknowingly did, this was not repugnant to my will. This is concomitant ignorance and makes my act of shooting you an involuntary act. I am not responsible for the commanded act of shooting you, but I am responsible for the elicited act of enjoying the fact that I did so. Suppose that rather than despising you I love you dearly. It remains true that I unknowingly shot you. However, when I discover that I did so, I am repulsed by what I actually did. My elicited act of the will is an act of repugnance and remorse. In this case we have what is called antecedent ignorance. This form of ignorance is the only kind of ignorance that renders my action absolutely involuntary and, therefore, an action for which I am not at all responsible. Antecedent ignorance involuntary ignorance according to which one does not know what one is actually doing, or that what one is actually doing is wrong. Antecedent ignorance is the only kind of ignorance that renders a human action absolutely involuntary.
Preceding, going before There is also another kind of ignorance: Consequent ignorance the generic name of two kinds of ignorance that are freely chosen and that leaves one responsible for the actions consequent (a result of) to the ignorance 1. Affected ignorance an ignorance voluntarily chosen so as to have an excuse for ones actions (commission or omission) 2. Ignorance of evil choice a form of consequent ignorance by which one neglects to learn what one should
have known Object, Intention, Circumstances The morality of human actions is either good, bad, or neutral. Its goodness or badness arises from consideration of the above three dimensions or sources of a particular human action, all of which must be good for a human action to be good 1. the object the whatness of an act, that is What am I doing ? May need more info than what is available by just being a witness to the act; for example the act of killing could be murder or an act of self-defense, which is morally justifiable. However, there are some acts whose object is just plain wrong; for example, lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, murder Neither a good intention, a good set of circumstances, nor a good consequence, can make a bad what or bad object good. The end does not justify the means. So a bad what am I doing? is bad no matter what. [example, robbing someone (the object) to feed the hungry (good intention)
but without use of deadly force (good circumstances) is till a bad thing] If the object of the human action is good, then must consider the intention and the circumstances of the human action. 2. the intention is Why am I doing this act ? A bad intention is sufficient to make a human action bad, even if the object of the act is good. [an example would be bragging (intention make yourself look good) about giving money to the poor (object)] A good intention cannot make a bad human action good, and a bad intention can make an otherwise good human action bad (previous 2 examples) A bad intention is sufficient to make a human action bad, even if the object of the action is good. 3. the circumstances the how, when, and where of a human action. The circumstances can make a good action bad, but cannot make a bad action good. We also must consider the consequences of our human actions:
the consequence is the What if I do it ? We are responsible for the foreseen consequences of our actions. If we can foresee that something bad will result from an action, then we should not do it. foreseen in fact foreseen by the person doing the act foreseeable consequences of an action should be foreseen by the person doing the act Issues regarding human actions In order for a human action to be good it must be good in all of its dimensions or sources, that is in its object, intention, circumstances and its foreseen consequences. Several competing ways of approaching ethics are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
7. Situation ethics Utilitarianism Consequentialism Proportionalism Rights and Duty Ethics Ethical egoism Virtue ethics Ethical theories help us to make sense of our world and provide some clarity, consistency, and guidance. Goal is to improve our moral insight into ethical situations. Prudence!
Situation ethics as long as you have a good intention you may do anything to fulfill it. For example, lying in order not to hurt someones feelings. Cheating to get a good grade. This approach excludes the object or the whatness of the human action. Casuistry specious, deceptive or overly subtle reasoning in moral situations Accommodates human actions to the circumstances and rejects any consideration of foreseen consequences. Foreseeable consequences are left as the unforeseen.
Danger is making ethics fit the situation such that in the end anything can be justified. Utilitarianism the ethical doctrine that virtue is based on what is useful and that conduct should be directed toward promoting the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people. Seeking the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Basically the end justifies the means leaving the object or the whatness of the human action out of consideration. Totally preoccupied with pragmatic goals or consequences and usually unconcerned with the circumstances of a human action. Example, should we be bothered with old or chronically sick people?
Who decides? The powerful or the weak? Consequentialism concept of the greatest good for the greatest number of people, leaves the object and circumstances out of consideration, similar to utilitarianism Proportionalism based on the denial that there is any such thing as an intrinsically evil human action, BNW, old people cost society too much money so they should die at 60, good (saving money) always outweighs the bad (people die at 60) in a proportionate sense. Rights ethics regards human rights as Fundamental. Two types: Liberty rights means the right to be free and places the duty on others not to interfere with ones freedom. Taboos?
Welfare rights are the rights to those benefits or goods needed for a decent human life especially when one is not capable of getting those benefits on their own. Living Wage? Libertarians however deny there are welfare rights and only believe in liberty rights. Also take a harsh view on taxes and government involvement. Who fixes infrastructure? Duty ethics argues that right human actions are those required to respect human dignity or the liberty and autonomy of individuals. Dont kill, dont cause pain, dont disable, dont deprive freedom, dont deceive,
keep your promises, dont cheat, obey the law, pay your taxes, do your duty, etc. Immorality happens when we merely use others as a means to OUR ends, or treating them as mere objects to gratify our needs. Problem is moral absolutism since life is complex and duties can conflict with each other resulting in moral dilemmas. So there can be justified exceptions (prima facie duties). Example is whistleblowing, corporate confidentiality versus public safety. Ethical egoists do not assume that our well-being must involve the community and caring for others, they deny the
value of altruism or of caring for others, each of us should only care about our own self-interest PERIOD. Narcissism Virtue Ethics The recognition that our actions are not isolated decisions that we make, but arise from our character. I hardly had to pad my resume at all to land that job as ethics officer. Virtues are good habits of character. Out of these good
habits we tend to do morally right actions and become better people overall since virtue alone makes us a moral person. Principles for evaluating the goodness or badness of human actions 1. Principle of double effect 2. Principle of cooperation 3. Principle of totality principle of double effect (good and bad consequence of a human action) assists in determining whether ones human action is justifiable or not. Principle of double effect has five criteria that must be satisfied:
1. The act is justifiable only if there is no alternative to the action in question, can only be used in situations of real dilemmas 2. The action in question must be good in its object or at least neutral 3. The bad consequences must not be intended. Here one is considering the intentions of the action. The person in the moral dilemma would prefer that there was no risk of a bad result at all, but can do nothing about the fact that there is such a risk. 4. The good consequence of the action in question must not be the effect of a bad consequence, in other words the end cannot justify the means. Here one is considering the circumstances of the action. 5. The good consequence must be proportionate to the bad consequence. For example the bad consequence could not be someone elses death. Here one is considering the moral proportion between the good and bad consequences of the action. As an example of the application of the principle of double effect is the case in which a physician considers the possibility of relieving a terminally ill patients
pain. In order to do so she would have to administer painkillers that could harm the patient or even shorten the patients life. Hence there is a moral dilemma of relieving pain (good object) or causing harm (bad object). In light of the Principle of Double effect the physician: 1. Recognizes there is no alternative for relieving the patients pain other than by giving drugs. (+) 2. Administering the drugs to relieve pain is a good object and at least a neutral action. She would prefer that there was no risk to these drugs, risk is known. (+) 3. She does not intend the risk and does not want the risk to become a reality. So the bad consequence if any is not intended. (+) 4. By prescribing the painkillers the physician anticipates and intends a good consequence of relieving her patients pain and this good effect is not caused by the possible harmful effects of the painkiller. (+) 5. The doctor discerns with prudence that there is a proportion between the good consequence of giving the painkiller which will relieve the patients pain and the bad consequences of any side effects. (+)
Suppose you need a kidney transplant or you will die. You have been on a transplant donor list for quite some time with no luck. Without a transplant you will die very soon. An international donor agency says they have a match for you but the cost for the donors kidney is $100,000. In light of the Principle of Double effect are you morally justified to buy this persons kidney? 1. Recognizes there is no alternative for the patient other than to buy the kidney. Without the kidney the person dies so there is no alternative. (+) 2. Transplant of the donor kidney is a good object and at least a neutral action. There is risk to the donor and to the recipient but these are known. (+) 3. Risk is inherent in any surgery so the bad consequences if any are not intended. (+) 4. By transplanting the kidney from the donor there is intended a good consequence of saving a life and this good effect is not caused by purposefully harming the donor. (+) 5. The donor and recipient discerns with prudence that there is a proportion between the good consequence of donating a kidney which will save the
patients life and making some money for the donor and these both significantly outweigh the bad consequences or the risks of surgery. (+) Suppose you need a kidney transplant or you will die. You have been on a transplant donor list for quite some time with no luck. Without a transplant you will die very soon. An international donor agency says they have a match for you but the cost for the donors kidney is $100,000. But you also learn that this kidney results from someones execution. In light of the Principle of Double effect are you morally justified to buy this persons kidney? 1. Recognizes there is no alternative for the patient other than to have a transplant. Without the kidney the person dies but other alternatives may yet be possible. (-) 2. Transplant of the donor kidney to save a life is a good object and at least a neutral action. (+) 3. Risk is inherent in any surgery so the bad consequences for the recipient if any are not intended. There is a problem since a 3rd party stands to profit and the donor is killed in order to provide the kidney. (-)
4. By transplanting the kidney from the donor there is intended a good consequence of saving a life but this good effect is caused by purposefully causing the death of the donor. (-) 5. In this case the end does not justify the means, although the recipients life may be saved this is due to the killing of another human being. The good consequences do not justify the bad consequences. (-) Kill in Self - Defense 1. The act is justifiable only if there is no alternative but to save ones own life (+) 2. The action in question is good in its object since it saves the victims life . (+) 3. The bad consequence of killing the attacker is not intended. (+)
4. Although killing in self defense proceeds from the good intention of saving ones own life this act can be considered immoral if it is out of proportion to the end, that is uses more than necessary violence (+) the placebo effect Just War Doctrine 1. Damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain 2. All other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective 3. There must be serious prospects of success
4. The use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power as well as the precision of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition. Principle of Cooperation the participation of more than one person in the same immoral or bad human action Such an associate may be equally guilty with the wrongdoer, or less guilty, or not guilty at all. This comes in a variety of flavors: 1. Formal cooperation exists whenever one takes part in an immoral action of another while at the same time adopting the evil intention of the associate (being an accomplice in the bank at a robbery) 2. Immediate material cooperation when one person actually performs an immoral action in cooperation with another person. This usually
becomes formal cooperation. ( knowingly driving the get away car at a bank robbery) 3. Mediate (not direct, dependent on) material cooperation concurrence in the immoral action of another but without actually doing the action with the other or concurring in the evil intention of the other, the other person is using the good or indifferent action of the cooperator as an occasion of, or assistance to the immoral action (knowingly lending your car to someone who wants to rob a bank) Principle of Cooperation (continued) 4. Proximate cooperation an action or set of actions that participate in and/or assist more immediately the immoral action of another, a closeness or intimacy to the bad action (driving the getaway car) 5. Remote cooperation an action or set of actions that participate in and/or assist less immediately and from a distance the immoral or bad action of another (lending your car for a bank robbery) 6. Necessary cooperation cooperation in the bad action of another without
which the other would not be able to carry out the bad action 7. Unnecessary cooperation cooperation in the immoral action of another without which the other would still be able to carry out the immoral action. Mediate-remote-material cooperation usually unnecessary cooperation and morally permissible when with the given circumstances one is not able to change the situation. If the person supports the cause then their cooperation is formal cooperation. (a pro-life pharmacist handing out a morning after pill) Mediate-proximate-material cooperation in a serious bad action is permitted only to escape another proportionately serious bad consequence. In cases of such cooperation
that is also necessary and in which there is the bad consequence of harm done to a third party, cooperation is morally permissible only if one is faced with suffering harm that is proportionate to the harm done to the third party. (bank teller handing over the money to the robber who has a gun in order to prevent injury to themselves or others) Principle of Totality According to which all the parts of the human body are meant to exist and function for the good of the whole body, and are thus naturally subordinated to the good of the whole body. When a body part fails it is morally
acceptable to have it removed, for example an inflamed appendix. We are not morally justified in destroying or mutilating or selling (?) our body parts or demanding the parts of someone elses body. Making an Ethical Decision Easy when the facts are clear and the choices are well defined Much more difficult when the situation is clouded by ambiguity, incomplete information, multiple viewpoints, conflicting objectives Ethical judgments depend on good decision making processes, experience, intelligence, and INTEGRITY Character developed by virtues is destiny
Factors that Mold Ethics in the Workplace Development of the professional as a moral person through the virtues The influence of the work environment on the professional, principles displayed by managers and other role models, be a role model and expect role models Standards developed by professional organizations Qualities Needed The ability and prudence to recognize ethical issues and to think through the various consequences of alternative solutions
Need the self-confidence to seek out different points of view and decide the best course of action given the circumstances Need the strength or fortitude to make decisions in the realm of not having all the answers NSPE Code of Ethics Written Standards Help the engineer chart a path of ethical conduct Laws related to professional registration as an engineer NSPE Code of Ethics are posted on the class blog Read the Code and then take the test and give it back to me.
NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers Preamble Engineering is an important and learned profession. As members of this profession, engineers are expected to exhibit the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Engineering has a direct and vital impact on the quality of life for all people. Accordingly, the services provided by engineers require honesty, impartiality, fairness, and equity, and must be dedicated to the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare. Engineers must perform under a standard of professional behavior that requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct. I. Fundamental Canons Engineers, in the fulfillment of their professional duties, shall: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public. Perform services only in areas of their competence. Issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner. Act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees. Avoid deceptive acts. Conduct themselves honorably, responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation, and usefulness of the profession.
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