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4 ETHICAL

THEORIES

1 Utilitarianism : Mill &

Others

2 Duty Ethics : Kant

3 Rights Ethics : Locke


1) UTILITARIANIS
• Those actionsM
which produce the

maximum benefit for the

greatest number of people ( Ex.

Democracy )

• Emphasizes on maximizing the

well being of the society as a


UTILITARIANISM
• Tries to achieve a balance between the

Good and Bad consequences of an

action
• Tries to maximize the well being of

society and emphasizes what will

provide the most benefit to the largest

group of people
• This method is fundamental to many
DRAWBACKS
• Sometimes what is best for the
community as a whole is bad for
certain individual in the
community
• It is often impossible to know in
advance which decision will lead
to the most good
P R O B L E M S
• Difficult to quantify benefits for
all those affected
• “Greatest Good” difficult to
apply to an all – inclusive
population
• Some gets “Shafted” –
approach justifies perpetrating
3 APPROACHES
• Cost Benefit

• Act Utilitarian

• Rule
1) COST BENEFIT
• In a APPROACH
Project, Costs & Benefits are
assessed
• Projects with highest ration of
Benefits to Costs will be implemented
• Easy to estimate the cost but difficult
to predict the Benefit in tangible
terms
• It is important to ensure that those
2) A C T U T I L I T A R I A N I S
M
• It focuses on individual actions rather
than Rules
• Well known proponent was “John
Stuart Mill”
• Mill felt that individual actions should
be judged based on whether the most
Good was produced in a given
situation and rules shall be broken if
doing so will lead to the most Good
RULE UTILITARIANIS
• It differs from M
Act utilitarianism as
it holds that Moral Rules are most
important
• It contends that adhering to rules
might not always maximize good in
a particular situation. Overall
adhering to moral rules will
ultimately lead to the most Good
DUTY ETHICS (KAN
• Contends that Tcertain
) acts ( or
duties ) shall be performed because
they are inherently ethical
These actions can be listed
( Honesty, fairness )
• Concludes that individuals who
recognize their ethical duties will
choose ethically correct moral
actions
• May not always lead to Maximization
EXAMPLES OF
DUTY ETHICS
1 Be Honest
2 Be Fair
3 Do not hurt Others
4 Keep your promises
5 Obey the Law
This leads to “ R e s p e c t
for H u m a n i t y ”
RIGHTS ETHICS -
• FormulatedLOCKE
by John Locke
• It holds that people have
fundamental rights that other
people have a duty to respect
• Any act that violates an
individual’s moral rights is ethically
unacceptable
• Duty Ethics & Rights Ethics are just
RIGHTS ETHICS
Ex:
• Charter of Human Rights and
Freedom
• Rights to a Harassment Free
Discrimination - Free Environment
Drawback
• How to prioritize the rights of
different individuals ?
• It often promotes rights of
PROBLEMS WITH DUTY
& RIGHTS ETHICS
• Basic right of one person ( group )
may conflict with that of others
• Ex. Dam construction project
Individuals objection is overlooked
as per utilitarianism & not by
Rights Ethics
Rights Ethics can result in project
termination although it is Good to
society
ie Rights Ethics favour

individual while

Utilitarianism favours

society as a whole

Now the Question is


Fortunately, many - a - times all
these theories lead to the same
conclusion
Ex : Chemical Plant that
discharges a hazardous waste
into Ground Water
Utilitarian Theory:
Doesn’t permit this as it causes
‘ N o G o o d ’ to
Rights Ethics :
Says it causes harm to many
individual ( unethical )
Virtue Ethics :
Discharging Waste into GW
is irresponsible & harmful
P OINT TO THE
act
SAME CONCLUS
VIRTUE ETHICS
• Focuses on the Type of person we
should strive to be
• Actions which reflect good
character traits ( Virtues ) are
inherently right
• Actions which reflect bad
character traits ( Vices ) are
inherently wrong
ARISTOTLE’S
VIRTUE ETHICS
• It makes proper balance between
of conduct, emotion, desire and
attitude
• This he refers as “G o l d e n M e a
n”
• That is between the extremes of
“T o o M u c h” ( Excess ) or
“ T o o L i t t l e ”
USE OF ETHICAL
THEORIES
Important Uses
• Understanding Moral Dilemmas
• Justifying Professional
Obligation and Ideals
• Relating Ordinary & Professional
Morality
DISCUSSION FOLLOWS
1)
RESOLVING
MORAL DILEMMAS
•Utilitarianism :
Construes Dilemma in terms of
Competing Goods & Public
Safety
•Virtue Ethics :
In terms of competing ideals &
relationship
Duty Ethics :

Duty to protect public


affected by the work and to
respect employer’s authority

Right Ethics :

Rights of the people vs rights


of Management
2 Provides more precise sense of

kind of information needed to

solve the moral dilemma

3 Offers ways to Rank the relevant

moral considerations in the order

of importance and provide

guidance in solving them


4 Helps to identify the full moral

ramifications of alternative

course of actions

5 By providing framework for

moral development, the theories

strengthen our ability to reach

balanced judgments
Further Ethical Theories are

also useful in justifying the

obligations of Professionals

( Engineers )

1. Acquire Moral Obligation

Concerning Safety by being


2. Acquire special obligation by

joining a professional society

thereby agree to live by

society’s code

3. Acquire Safety obligations

through contractual Agreement

4. Promise tacitly the public on his

responsibility to protect the


3 TYPES OF INQUIR
Y
Engineering Ethics Combines

Inquiries into Values,

Meanings & Facts

(a) N o r m a t i v e

Inquiry

(b) C o n c e p t u a l
a) N O R M A T I V E I N Q U I R
Y
It aims at identifying & justifying
the morally desirable norms or
standards that ought to guide
individuals or groups
Ex :
(i) When whistle blowing shall be
resorted to
(ii) Judgment in Acceptable Risks
b) C O N C E P T U A L
INQUIRIES
• Directed towards clarifying the
meaning of concepts, principles
and issues in Engineering Ethics
Ex : What does “ S a f e t y ” mean
and how is it related to
Risk ?
What is Bribe ?
What is a profession & a
c) F A C T U A L I N Q U I R I E
• Also known asS“ D e s c r i p t i
v e I n q u i r i e s ” seek to
uncover information bearing
upon value issues
• Where possible, researchers
attempt to conduct factual
enquiries using proven Scientific
Techniques
• Factual inquiries involve
what is actually known about a
case ie what the facts are ?
• Ofcourse, Facts can be
controversial
Ex : Global Warming process is
only barely / partly understood and
the need to curtail emission of
these has become a controversial
MORAL
DEVELOPMENT
2 Theories
Exist
1. Kohlberg’s
KOHLBERG’S
THEORY
Six stages of Moral
Development that
could be classified into
3 identifiable level
Level 1 : Pre conventional (Self
Centric)

Ex : Children and Few Adults

Orientation :

Stage 1 : Obedience /
Punishment

Behave according to socially


Stage 2 : Individualism
Characterized by “Right
Behaviour means in acting one’s
own interest”

Level 2 : Conventional ( Family /

Society Centric )

Ex : My Family, Group & Society


Stage 3 : Good Boy / Good Girl

Characterized by an attitude that


seek to do those things that gain
the approval of others

Stage 4 : Law and Order

Abiding by Law & responding to the


obligations of duty
Highly Motivated to Please
Level 3 : Post conventional
( Principle Centric )
Based on General Principles for
the Large Good

Stage 5 : Social Contract

Stage 6 : Principled Conscience

Kohlberg feels that this level is

not reached by Majority of adults


S 5 : Genuine interest in
welfare of others

S 6 : Respect for Universal


Principle & the demands
of Individual
Conscience
Autonomous People,
think on their own
In essence, Kohlberg believed that

“Moral Development” can be

promoted through Formal Education

and Social Interaction

Children develop through stages 1 &

2 and settle into 3 & 4

Only a minority of adults pass into

higher stages 5 & 6


CAROL GILLIGAN'S THEORY
No Men Women

1 More interestedTry to preserve


to try & solvepersonal relationship
moral problemswith everyone
by applyinginvolved in the
Abstract Moralsituation
Principles
2 Resolve MoralHence focus greater
Dilemmas byattention on the
determining mostcontext & details of M
important MoralDilemma rather than
Rule simply invoking &
Gillighan’s Recasting of
1 Kohlberg
Preconventional : Self centric
2 Conjugational level : Sacrificial, Quite
often women are prone to fall a prey
& are willing to give up their personal
interest to serve needs of others
3 Post Conventional : Strikes a
Reasoned, Balance of ones own
interest with that of the others needs

- Based on Mutual Caring


MORAL AUTONOMY
• Autonomous individuals think for
themselves and do not assume
that customs are always right
• They seek to reason and live by
general principles
• Their motivation is to do what is
morally reasonable for its own
sake, maintaining integrity, self
respect and respect for others
SKILLS TO BE DEVELOPED for M A
1 Proficiency in recognizing moral
problems
2 Skill in comprehending, clarifying
& critically assessing opposing
views
3 Ability to form consistent &
comprehensive view points based
on relevant facts
4 Imaginative awareness of
5 Sensitive to genuine difficulties
6 Increased precision in the use of
common ethical language
7 Sense of appreciation for using
both Rational Dialogue and
Tolerance with morally reasonable
beings
8 Awakened sense of integrating
one’s Professional Life & Personal
AN EXAMPLE
Martin Luther King Jr ( 1 9 6 3 )
“One who breaks an unjust law must
do so openly, lovingly and with a
willingness to accept the penalty.
I submit that an individual
who breaks a law that conscience
tells him is unjust and willingly
accepts the penalty is in reality
expressing the highest respect for
MORAL DILEMMAS
• Moral Dilemmas, at the very least,
involve conflicts between moral
Requirements
Why Does Moral Dilemma Arise ?
1 Problems of Vagueness
2 Problems of Conflicting Reasons
3 Problems of Disagreement
ie. You have moral reasons to do each
of 2 action but doing both is not
STEPS TO CONFRONT
MORAL DILEMMAS
1 Identify the Moral Factors &
Reasons
2 Gather all available facts that are
pertinent
3 Rank the moral considerations
4 Consider alternative course of
action
5 Talk to colleagues
6 Arrive at a carefully reasoned
TYPES OF MORAL
1 EpistemicDILEMMAS
vs Ontological
Epistemic : Two or more moral
requirements & not knowing which
one takes precedence
2 Ontological
Two or more moral requirements
and neither is overridden. Both are
Genuines
2) SELF IMPOSED vs BY WORLD
Self Imposed :
Arises by one’s own wrongdoing.
Promising to do things knowing
fully well they can’t be
Imposed by World :
Imposed by the world and not
arising rut of one’s action
D I F F I C U L T to R E S O L V
3) OBLIGATION vs
PROHIBITION D
Obliga
I LtEiMoMnA:

More than one feasible


action is obligatory
Prohibition:
All feasible actions are
forbidden
MORAL
RELATIVISM
• Moral relativists maintain
that moral disagreements
stem from the fact that
what is right for one is not
necessarily right for another
• Morality is purely relative
MORAL
ABSOLUTISM
• Moral Absolutists believe
that their moral
viewpoint is the only
legitimate one

• Religions fundamentalist
STUDY THE FOLLOWING
ALSO
1 Moral Pluralion
2 Moral Disagreement
3 Ethical Egoism
4 Universalizability
5 Caring
6 Compassion
7 Value Based Ethics