Transcript of "Ethical Problem Solving Techniques Note"
FACULTY OF MECHANICAL & MANUFACTURING ENGINEERINGMANAGEMENT & PROFESSIONAL ETHICS(BDU20503)Members:AMAL IQMAL B. ADNAN AD110189MUHAMMAD HAZWAN B. AB RASHID AD110095NIK MUHAMMAD HISHAMUDDIN B. NICK HAMASHOLDIN AD110140
Ethical theories does not reflect on the ethicalvalues, but it does try to bring a systematicthinking to bear the phenomenon of ethic.Many people had evaluate and criticize someof these opinions and practices to provide areflective account of an essential humanactivity.
There are several ethics theories and eachtheories have their own ideas and flaw.Some of the famous theories is as follow:1) Natural Law2) Deontology3) Virtue theory4) Utilitarianism5) Right Ethic Theory6) Casuist
Attributed to Aristotle (man should liveaccording to an inherent human nature). Can be contrasted with man-made or judiciallaw. But both may change over time.
State that people should adhere theirobligations when analyzing an ethicaldilemma. He/she must follow the obligations becauseit is consider ethically correct. The flaw with this theory is there is norationale or logical basis in deciding anyduty. The fact that sometimes a person’s dutiesconflict.
Asks what a “good person” would do in thatsituation. It discuss such timeless and cross-culturalvirtues such as courage, temperance,wisdom, justice, faith, and charity. A weakness of this theory is it does not takeinto consideration a person’s change in moralcharacter.
Utilitarianism is divided into 2 categories:-1) Act Utilitarianism2) Rule Utilitarianism
A person performs the acts that benefit themost people, regardless of personal feelingsor the societal constraints such as laws.
Takes into account the law ad is concernedwith fairness which means it seek to benefitthe most people but through the fairest andmost just means available
The flaw with this theory is that it is associatedwith predicting the future. No human can be certain that their predictions willbe true. This will lead to unexpected results making thistheory unethical as time passes because his/herchoice did not benefit the most people as he/shepredicted.
Right are considered to be ethically correctand valid since a large or ruling populationendorses them. For example, a person may say that herfriend may borrow the car for the afternoon,therefore, the friend now has a right to thecar for the afternoon.
The major flaw of this theory is however that onemust decipher what the characteristics of a rightare in society. Therefore, in order for this theory to be useful, itmust be used in conjunction with other theory thatwill consistently explain the goals of the society.
Compares a current ethical dilemma withexamples of similar ethical dilemma andtheir outcomes. This will allow a person the create a bestpossible solution according to other’s or pastexperience.
The downside of this theory is that there may notbe a set of similar examples for the given ethicaldilemma. Also, this theory assume that the result of thecurrent ethical dilemma will be similar to results inthe examples.
Analysis of Issues in EthicalProblems Understand all of the issues involved. Once these issues are determined, frequently asolution to the problem becomes apparent.
They involve what is actually known about a case. Though seem easy but are not always clear and may becontroversial. Abortion rights (its an unclear fact)
Ex: Abortion issue. There is great controversy over the pointat which point life begins and at which point a fetus can belegally protected.Ex: Global warming. Greenhouse gases such as CO2 trapheat in the atmosphere and cause global warming. It isthought that the majority of this gas emanates fromindustrial plants and cars. If this is the case, engineersmay be asked to design better products and redesign olderones. However the global warming procedure is barelyunderstood and the need of curtailment of the emission ofthese gases is still controversial.
To do with the meaning or applicability of an idea. What constitutes a bribe as opposed to an acceptablegift? In case of bribe the value of the gift is probably a wellknown fact. What isnt known is whether accepting itwill lead to unfair influence on a business decision. Not clear cut and lead controversies as well.
Relate to morals of an act/individual etc Once the factual and conceptual issues areresolved, it is usually clear which moral conceptapplies. E.g: A bribe offered by a sales representative, onceits determined whether it is simply a bribe or isreally a bribe, then the appropriate action isobvious. If we determine that is indeed a bribe, then itcannot ethically be accepted.
… Factual issues Can be resolved through research to establish the truth.It is not always possible to achieve a final determinationof the truth that everyone can agree on, but generallyfurther research helps clarify the situation, can increasethe areas of an agreement and can sometimes achieveconsensus on the facts.
… Conceptual Issues: Can be resolved by agreeing on the meaning of termsand concepts, sometimes agreement isnt possible but aswith factual issues further analysis of the concepts atleast clarifies some of the issues and helps to facilitateagreement.
… Moral Issues: Can be resolved by agreement as to which moralprinciples are pertinent (important) and how they hold beapplied.
Useful for situations in which the applicable moralprinciples are clear but there seems to be great deal ofgray area about which ethical principle applies. It is performed by drawing a line along which variousexamples and hypothetical situations are placed.
Our company would like to dispose of slightly toxic(Poisonous) waste by dumping it into a local lake fromwhich a nearby town gets its drinking water. How can we determine if this practice is acceptable ? Let start by defining the problem and the positive andnegative paradigm.
… Problem: A company dumps waste in lake. The lake water supply for a village Dump concentration 5 ppm (parts per million) Environmental Protecting Agency (EPA) limit 10 ppm At 5 ppm no health problems and consumers would notbe able to detect compound in their drinking water isexpected.
… Positive Paradigm The water supply for the town should be clean and safe. Negative Paradigm Toxic levels of waste are put into the lake.
Negative Paradigm (NP) Positive Paradigm (PP)Dump toxic levelsof waste in lakeWater should beclean and safe
1. The company dumps the chemical into the lake.At 5 ppm the chemical will be harmless but thetown water will have an unusual taste.2. The chemical can be effectively removed by thetowns existing water treatment system.3. The chemical can be removed by the town withnew equipment that will be purchased by thecompany.4. The chemical can be removed by the town withnew equipment for which the taxpayer will pay.
…5) Occasionally exposure to the chemical can make people feel itbut this only lasts for an hour and is rare6) At 5 ppm, some people can get fairly sick but the sickness onlylasts a week and there is no long term harm.7) Equipment can be installed at the plant to further reduce thewaste level to 1 ppm(One could go on for a long time creating more and more testexamples. Generally where your problem fits along the line isobvious with only a few examples but the exercise should becontinued with more examples until it is clear what the properresolution is.)
... It may be clear that there is a gap in the knowledge. In this case the organization might need moreinformation on seasonal variations in wasteconcentration and water usage of the town. Information on potential interactions of the chemicalwith other pollutants such as runoff of pesticides fromlocal farms. Note that there is some subjectivity in determiningexactly where along the line each of the examples fit.
… Our problem can be inserted in between 1 and 7 alongthe line.6 5 4 1 P 7 2,3
… Ti is clear that dumping the toxic waste is probably amorally acceptable choice since no humans will beharmed and the waste levels will be well below thosethat could cause any harm. Since it is somewhat far from the positive paradigmthere are probably better choices that can be made andthe company should investigate these alternatives.
Problem with Line DrawingIt can beused to reachfalseconclusion.
It will be helpful for analyzing a variety of cases,especially those in which there is a sequence ofevents to be considered or a series of consequencethat flows from each decision. It gives a visual picture of a situation and allowsyou to readily see the consequences that flow fromeach decision. One has to be as objective as possible. Otherwise itwill be possible to draw any conclusion one wantseven one that is clearly wrong.
The flow chart should be much larger and more. Ofcourse, complex to thoroughly cover the entireproblem. The key to effective use of flow charts for solvingethical problems is to be creative in determiningpossible outcomes and scenarios and also to do not beshy about getting a negative answer and deciding tostop the project.
References:1. Source: Fleddermann, C. B., EngineeringEthics, 2nd Edition, 2004, PearsonEducation, India.
No duty of the engineer is more important than duty toprotect the safety and well being of the public. Safetymust be so importance to the engineer. Definition of Safety, Risks and accident Safety and risk factor Safety and engineer Designing for safety
What is SAFETY?The condition of being safe,freedom from danger, risk, orinjury.the condition of being protected againstphysical, social, spiritual, financial,political, emotional, occupational,psychological, educational or other typesor consequences of failure,damage, error, accidents, harm or anyother event which could be considerednon-desirable.)
Engineers have a responsibility to society to produceproducts that are safe. Safety is a very unclear term. But also very precise.Unclear because safety is a value judgment Safety must come with the concept of risk. It isimposibble to build anything to be completely risk-free.How much risk is appropriate? How safe is safeenough?
What is RISK?A probability or threat of damage, injury, liability, loss, or anyother negative occurrence that iscausedby external or internal vulnerabilitiesthe potential that achosen action or activity(including the choice of inaction) will lead to a loss(an undesirable outcome))
And spend of your substance inthe cause of Allah, and make notyour own hands contribute to(your) destruction but do goodfor Allah loveth those who dogood.
Voluntary vs. involuntary risk Many consider something safer if they knowingly take on therisk, but find it unsafe if forced to do so. If the property valuesare low enough, some people will be tempted to buy ahouse near a plant that emits low levels of a toxic waste intothe air. Short term vs. long term consequences Something that might cause a short-lived illness or disabilityseems safer than something that will result in permanentdisability. An activity which may cause a leg to be broken ispreferred to spinal fracture. A broken leg will recover in acouple of months. Spinal fractures, however, can lead topermanent disability.
Expected probability Swimming at a beach where jelly fish is abundant would beunacceptable. However, at the same beach, the risk of a sharkattack is low enough that it doesn’t deter anybody fromswimming Reversible effects Something will seem less risky if the bad effects are ultimatelyreversible Threshold levels for risk Something that is risky only at high exposures will seem safer thansomething with uniform exposure to risk. An activity whose harmis delayed for many years will seem much less risky thansomething with an immediate effect Delayed vs. immediate risk Smoking cigarette kills slowly vs. skydiving will kill immediately. Isskydiving more risky?...
How can we be sure that our designs asengineers are safe?There are four criteria that must be met toensure a safe design:
A design must comply with the applicable laws. An acceptable design must meet the standard of “acceptedengineering practice.” Alternative designs that are potentially safer must be explored. The engineer must foresee potential misuses of the product bythe customer.
How should safety be incorporated into the engineering designprocedure?1. Define the problem. Needs, requirements, constraints2. Generate several solutions3. Analyze each solution to determine the pros and cons ofeach.4. Test the solutions5. Select the best solution6. Implement the chosen solution
What isACCIDENT?An unplanned, uncontrolledevent which has led to or couldhave led to injury to people,damage to plant, machinery orthe environment or some otherloss.unforeseen and unplanned event orcircumstance, often with lack ofintention or necessity. it usually implies agenerally negative outcome which mayhave been avoided or preventedhad circumstances leading up to theaccident)
Procedural, engineered or systemic› Procedural (most common; didn’t followprocedures)› Engineered (flaws in design)› Systemic (complex systems) Better to prevent accidents If accident occurs, thorough study needed, andresults circulated
Physical and non-physical Physical examples of accidents include unintended collisionsor falls, being injured by touching something sharp, hot, orelectrical, or ingesting poison. Non-physical examples are unintentionally revealing asecret or otherwise saying something incorrectly, forgettingan appointment, etc By activity Accidents during the execution of work or arising out of it arecalled work accidents In contrast, leisure-related accidents are mainly sports injuries
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