Personal vs Professional Ethics

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Stephanie Joy TaacaEngineering Values and Ethics
IE42FB1November 29, 2011

“Are there conflicts between Personal Morality and Professional Ethics?”

Personal Morality is the set of moral beliefs, customs, principles that a person holds and it is closely parallel to the precepts of Common Morality. Different people have their own set of different beliefs. On the other hand Professional Ethics is a set of standards adopted by a professional community. Professional ethics are regulated by standards, which are often refereed to as codes of ethics. Professional people and those working in acknowledged professions exercise specialist knowledge and skill.

For me, when working in a certain industry conflicts between Personal Morality and Professional Ethics can occur. Conflicts often occur when an engineer is faced with a certain problem that overlaps his/her own personal beliefs. For example, when one is tasked to build a new structure in a location where there are already some people living there and the company is forcing them to leave because they’re illegal settlers, an engineer with compassion for people will certainly be faced with a conflict of whether he/she should pursue the project even though they’re going to be making a lot of people homeless or he/she would just find another location for the project. Or for example your company is destroying the environment because they are throwing harmful chemicals in the rivers, would the be willing to stand-up to the management and tell them to process their waste chemicals properly and risk his/her own job or he/she will just go with the flow and let the company be. These examples are some conflicts that an engineer may face that would make him/her personal Morality and Professional Ethics collide.

At times during each and everyone’s life, conflict between our own Personal Morality and our Professional Ethics can occur, but that doesn’t stop us to do the best that we can in each and...
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