Ethics discussion

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Choose one question to respond to by Friday at morning.

1. A site application is complete and is about to go before the planning commission. You have a conflict of interest because you personally own property near the proposed site and stand to benefit from the increase in property value that the new development is projected to generate. If you are the only planner in the community what might you do?* [Answer from the concept of line drawing by applying positive and negative paradigms and one theoretical and one suggested solution.]

2. You are a self-employed engineering consultant. You have been employed to produce an environmental impact statement for a new road tunnel on behalf of the construction company proposing the tunnel. It has been made clear to you that the expectation of your client is that the statement will not find significant environmental problems with the project. However, you are concerned that if you produce a report that meets these expectations, it will not fully represent the adverse effects of the project and could lead to the project proceeding even though its benefits do not outweigh the environmental damage it will cause. How should you go about completing the environmental impact statement? Should you aim to meet their expectations, adapting the methodology to get the desired results; warn them that the report may highlight problems; or simply produce the most honest, accurate report that you can?** [Answer from the concept of line drawing by applying positive and negative paradigms and one theoretical and one suggested solution.]

3. Consider CADD as a tool, and argue your point of view on tool usage from a rights ethics perspective.

4. One criticism of utilitarianism is that it confuses what is morally right with what is expedient. The critic alleges that the utilitarian has no real moral principles. Rather than ruling out anything as simply wrong, the utilitarian looks to the consequences; and if the end is good enough, the utilitarian is willing to allow any means, no matter how wicked. Is this an accurate criticism? How might a utilitarian respond?***

5. Is utilitarianism a relativist ethical view? Does utilitarianism imply that the same things are right or wrong in every society? ***

*This scenario comes from Ethics Scenarios & Discussion Guide (n.d.).Retrieved from:

**These scenarios come from: Royal Academy of Engineering. 2011. Engineering Ethics in Practice: A Guide for Engineers, London: Royal Academy of Engineering.

*** Questions from…

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