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Paul Kiel

Cpre 394
Ethics assignment

The foundation of any functioning society is is having a group of people that are morally
respectful to each other. Merriam-Webster’s definition of the word moral is as follows, “of or
relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior : ETHICAL”. As history has shown there is
no greater judge of a person's character than their morals, and in this case their ethics. Ethics
are not just about following rules or being honest. They are, as the previous definition explains,
knowing what is morally right or wrong in the grand vision of society. In the world of engineering
we have a lot of power over not just the wallets of consumers, but sometimes their lives. Ethics
are an extremely important concept to keep in mind when making every single engineering
decision.

Having a code of ethics is to hold yourself to a moral standard when it comes to the
design and business decisions you make as an engineer, and how they affect consumers and
society. Having a code of ethics gives you credibility and and respect among your peers and
coworkers in what can sometimes seem like a cut throat corporate world.

My personal ethical decisions mostly relate to honesty. If I am being dishonest in my


work then my morals have strayed and I am in an ethical grey area. I feel that when I am faced
with an ethical dilemma my approach is the one of most transparency. Trying to spin things or
conceal the truth is the epitome of ethical downfall In my option. I like to be calm, clear, and tell
things like they are even if it may cost money or time, morally it is the right thing to do.

In class, for example, we discussed how Apple was letting the OS of older iphones
abuse the battery more so consumers would have to buy new phones due to decrease battery
capacity and lifespan. While technically this isn't illegal, and they didn't go out of their way to
hide it, it was disrespectful and dishonest to consumers. A public company’s goal should be to
please and respect it’s customers and in this specific situation, although Apple did not break any
laws, it’s lack of ethics lost it respect in the eyes of consumers.

While In my opinion ethics and morals are the most important piece of a person's
character, it seemed that other students in my discussion group wavered from that slightly. One
gentleman in particular seemed to shrug off the idea of witnessing ethical misconduct from a
superior. He said “I guess I could ask about it, but I’d really try and keep my job.” I personally
would NOT throw my morals out the window to keep a job. I believe that someone's morals and
ethics are a direct reflection of their character and if I want to be respected, I need to hold fast in
my personal morals.

Looking a the virtues of ethics I would first like to go back to the idea of honesty.
Honesty is the key to all progress. In some aspects you could even consider honesty the only
virtue one needs to possess and classify the other 5 as subcategories of it. In the case of the
Apple battery incident, Apple should have been completely forthright in their patch notes that
indeed the OS update would definitely affect battery life and lifespan. In addition to this we can
say fidelity then applies. Given that they were honest with the fact that the batteries may wither,
they then should have had the fidelity to their consumers to offer a separate patch that did not
include this battery draining problem. Finally I’d like to touch on the fact that Apple did offer the
virtue of charity after their mistake. Consumers could get a replacement battery at a discounted
price which while isnt perfect, is still a step in the right direction when attempting to make up for
previous shortcomings.

In conclusion I would just like to emphasize that ethics and morals go hand in hand and
they do not just apply to the workplace. We see above how simply ethical considerations could
have changed the outcome of a major event, but even small occurrences of moral rightness can
change the world in good ways.