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Here is ethics distilled to the basics—accessible, understandable and easy to put into practice: what it is, why it’s important, and the most important–how to be ethical.
And it’s not rocket science. Ethics is ethics. Engineering ethics is no different from any other ethics (legal, environmental, you name it) because ethics has its foundation in truth, the basis of everything in life. One profession’s ethical base is the same as another’s.
Ethics is a branch of philosophy that deals with moral principles—ideas of right and wrong. But essentially being ethical means being honest. To be ethical, you begin with honesty—applied truth.
You know that honesty is important. It’s the basis of successful relationships. After all—can one trust a dishonest person?
A more scholarly definition of ethics is Universal Moral Principle: Universal (Always and Everywhere), Moral (Pertaining to Right Conduct), and Principle (a fundamental truth), truth being the principal principle because everything begins in truth. Even lies begin in truth…
Then why is there so much disagreement about truth, and about what’s ethical and what’s not?
Because nowadays, “everybody’s entitled to his own opinion.” Well, Daniel Patrick Moynihan had an answer for that: “Everyone may be entitled to his own opinion, but everyone is not entitled to his own truth.” Truth (and therefore ethics) isn’t subject to opinion. It’s absolute—something either is true/ethical or it’s not.
So there you have it. Universal Moral Principle – doing the right thing, everywhere, every time.
And to tie up the loose end (what’s right?): What’s right is what will work to the ultimate benefit of everyone, everywhere, at all times. It may take some thought…
We can’t get all the answers on one page, so we encourage you to look deeper into this site. More information is right here, at your fingertips.