Ethics Essay

892 words - 4 pages

IntroductionFrequently there is some confusion between the ethics and the morals. In simplistic terms, morals refer more to the individual's system of conduct to determine whether something is right or wrong, good or bad. Individual morals are usually fixed early in life, changing little over the years. Ethics generally refers to a field of philosophy describing a social system in which morals are applied, where there may be written standards or codes that belong to a group. Were the codes expands on the expectations of the Society and the responsibilities placed on the membership as being good community citizens. In general, one's morals do not change over time, but the code of ethics may dictate different interpretations from a societal perspective over time as attitudes and acceptances change. It is interesting for students or practicing engineers to read a society's code of ethics. One of the first things that will be noted is that the statements in the code are not generally expressed in specific terms, but more as goals to be achieved. Most rules given in any society's code of ethics are primarily common sense applications for moral actions by the individual. Honesty, responsibility, accountability, fair treatment, avoidance of injury to others, etc., all describes ethical obligations that the engineer accepts in the role he or she has chosen as a career. It is much the same for military academies where honor, duty, and country take center stage for their credos of ethics take time to look into the societies and understand their particular code of ethics and how it can help direct day-to-day activity as a career is pursued.HistoryThe first codes of ethics were adopted by united state professional engineering associations. The documents do not give a full picture of the ethical values. But they do offer a good idea of the main concerns of engineers on the matter of ethics. These codes were developed within the context of professionalizing American engineers. They can be considered a means of obtaining the social recognition due to the profession that John Ladd called the "first secondary objective of codes". Another secondary objective would be to protect the monopoly of the profession. A third would be, according to Ladd, to serve as a status symbol. [1] Discussions about and the development of engineering ethics codes in American professional engineering associations reached a turning point in the 1950s and 1960s. Society had changed: technology was no longer considered free of values; engineers were asked to consider their social responsibilities. Most codes that evolved before the 1970s emphasized the development of professional prestige rather than protection of the public. Nevertheless, new topics, such as environmental issues, appeared in the codes of ethics. Engineers such as Stephen Unger contributed to making engineering ethics codes more meaningful. He tried to identify what should not...

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