Analysis on a “Code of Ethics”
A code of ethics is a set of written or unwritten rules that are established and followed by a formed establishment. Different professions have varying codes of ethics based of their relationship with the public and how their line of work could have direct consequences on the said “public”, whose very definition is up for debate. Why is a code of ethics put into place if people are expected to always do the right thing considering they are rational and moral people capable of making life altering decisions? Davis’ first argument to defend the lethal decision of Lund is that Lund was not trained to think like a manager. His background was in engineering. He then goes on the state that Engineers are typically in charge of things, while managers are in charge of people. In essence, he states that Lund was ill prepared to make a decision of that magnitude without proper training in management. But why is there even a difference in a code of ethics between professions? Why are people not expected to be ethical as a whole population? Davis then begins to talk about the process by which an occupation or a collaboration of workers becomes a profession. Then, once the occupation becomes a profession, they (out of conventionality) establish a code of ethics that is mutually agreed upon, meaning that engineers as a whole should be ethical people. Davis then argues that following a code of ethics is supposedly rational, thus, Lund being a rational person should prevent him from being an exception to the rules. Although he was asked to think like a manager, he is still an engineer. A code of ethics is necessary in order to be a guiding hand into the morally right direction. Another argument that Davis makes to defend Lund’s blatant ignorance of a code of ethics is that the code of ethics itself is entirely up for interpretation. One canon that is pointed out is that engineers should “hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the...
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