Post by: Vidhi shah
When doctors or nurses use their knowledge of anatomy in order to torture or conduct medical experiments on helpless subjects, we are rightly outraged. Health is unambigiously positive good social good that gives the medical profession a strong moral purpose. The same applies with lawyers. A lawyers defends a criminal, too detached to have anything with morals, people are enraged. These were just a couple of examples of how the society expects all the professions to function by some codes of ethics.
Why doesn't society seem to apply the same standards to engineers? The similar questions could be asked to all the engineers who build technologies of violence under the pretence of defense. Engineers who see themselves as builders of the shelter and infrastructure for human needs can also use thier expertise to destroy more efficiently. The two World Wars, the gas chambers, the atom bombs, all were more or less "powered" by engineers.
Technology is arguably the common social good that engineers pursue. Though the engineers work to make the world a better place to live, a better lifestyle, there are always ways to use the technology in a way not desired, or not even thought of in that matter! As each show should have a disclaimer, each doctor should take the oath, each agent should live by secrecy, similarly, engineers are required to follow some code of ethics to ensure that none of their good can be misused.
#1 Social Responsibility:
Of the utmost importance, at the foremost is ensuring the safety, welfare and health of the public in the performance of their duties. It is their responsibility to disclose all the concerning factors. They should abide by the laws of the place they are working at and be accepting of the
customs, uphold human rights, and abjure acts of violence. Engineers should strive to protect and safeguard the environment, aid to make a
sustainable environment while providing a better lifestyle and comply with the statutory
#3 Obligation to Maintain High Standard of Personal Behaviour:
Engineers should make it a point to conduct themselves in a fair, honest and respectable manner and maintain their personal integrity in all dealings. Not engaging in unhealthy competitions is also important. Engineers build their reputation based on the merits of the services they offer and hence it is absolutely imperative to abide by the terms mutually agreed upon by the clients. It is also their prime responsibility to not try to malign any fellow engineer or organization.
As a disclaimer does not ensure appropriate audience, likewise listing down ethics does not ensure that each engineer will abide by them. But, if each engineer tries and imbibes these into their professionalism and the world can be more peaceful (probably)! Engineering is a profession that puts scientific knowledge to practical use. There is no way that we can prevent All the technology from getting into our *sedentary* lives. So, code ethics, aim at maintaining the positive effects and cancel out the worse side. Let's strive not just to be successful engineers, but, successful ethical engineers!
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