Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Morals, Ethics, and Problems
There is a grey line between morals and ethics, one that most get mixed up. Morals are personal. They are from the way you are raised, the way others have influenced you. They are your own code of conduct. Ethics are a set of accepted guidelines for a culture. That is, culture of a certain career. Most careers, especially in the engineering world, have their own professional code of ethics. Ethics are not laws and they do not require some police force to enforce them. They mean, almost in a vigilante sense, to hold professional peers to the standard. They can be thought of as heuristics, as they are general guidelines, or hand rails, but will not solve the complete problem for you.
In dealing with real world problems, those heuristics can be the best approach to start. However, when ethics takes you as far as it can, you have to rely on your own morals to solve the problem. They have been with you all your life, and will assist you in weighing options and making the final decision.