A Short Summary: Why Do Engineers Need Ethics?

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DO ENGINEERS NEED ETHICS? Ethics are moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity. Charles Fleddermann describes engineering ethics as “a body of philosophy indicating the way engineers should conduct themselves in their professional capacity.”[1]. Ethics and morals work in tandem in the engineering workplace which contributes to order harmony and expectations. Ethics can also be viewed as values. Values are embedded in our characters and last longer and are subject to relative forces. Our behaviour in the society and workplace is motivated by our values. Engineering practice started in the ancient times, with humans inventing pulleys and wheels. Engineering became a distinct profession in the 19th century when engineers began to see their practice as an independent profession. There were a series of design or structure failure in the late 19th century which led to engineers developing a code of ethics for themselves. At first the code of ethics was not adopted by all professions and it was different in every country but it became universal with time. This led to a decrease in the failure of products or structures designed by engineers [6]. From the above history I would argue that engineers need ethics in their profession. For the…show more content…
A lot of unethical or illegal activities are encountered in the field of engineering and in some cases these activities should be reported to the relevant authorities. For someone to whistle blow four conditions should be met which are; need, proximity, capability and last resort. Whistleblowing also helps in protecting public interest. Taking for example the BART case which clearly explains the concept of whistleblowing, the engineers put public safety first and had to whistle blow. Although they ended up losing their jobs their ethical practices led to making the right decisions

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