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The following scenario examines whether full disclosure requires that one make known one's personal moral convictions.

3. are you a bleeding-heart pacifist?

Jorge is a pacifist. He is also an unemployed computing professional. Against his better judgment, his wife and friend, Antonio, have talked him into interviewing with Mega Weapons for a new opening working on the guidance systems of non-nuclear missiles. During the interview, the employer remarks that Mega Weapons has had trouble in the past with employees who have moral qualms about working on weapons projects. He then turns to Jorge and asks, “You’re not one of those bleeding-heart pacifists are you?” How should Jorge answer this question?

  • Jorge should not reveal his pacifism. It is obvious that this would prejudice Mega Weapons against hiring him. He must try to get the job at all costs.
  • Jorge should take the time to explain his pacifism, and how he sees himself fitting into different military projects. For example, he could emphasize his concern and expertise in making weapons guidance systems as accurate as possible to minimize "collatoral" damage during use. He could use this interview to negotiate guidelines for projects that he would find compatible with his convictions.
  • Jorge should immediately exit the interview. It is obvious that Mega Weapons would exhibit no sympathy or support for his pacifism.
  • Your solution.

Moral conflicts and full and honest disclosure

Consider this analogy

You are a physician on call for Saturday night in a remote country hospital. You receive an emergency call to come immediately and perform, life-saving surgery on a patient in critical condition. The surgery is routine for someone of your skills but the situation for the patient is critical. You can save his life if you act quickly. You speed to the hospital, scrub, suit up and walk into the operating room. There lying unconscious on the operating table is your worst enemy. This is a person whose entire life has been devoted to making you miserable. You have no doubt that if you save his life he will continue to inflict even more suffering on you. You hesitate. You could botch the operation and probably get away with it. But no one else can perform the surgery. You successfully execute the operation and save the patient's life. After all, as a physician you have the obligation to set aside personal issues and feelings and do your duty as a professional to the best of your abilities.

The general consensus is that the doctor is morally, professionally, and even legally obligated to perform the operation. Professionalism, most argue, requires that we set aside personal issues and personal morality and do our duties as professionals. Samuel Florman argues that engineers as professionals have the same duty by analogy. If society asks an engineer to carry out a task that is socially sanctioned and politically validated, then the engineer has the duty to set aside whatever moral or conscience-based objections he or she may have and carry out the engineering activity. So even those who are pacifists and object to weapons projects may have, under the right conditions, the obligation or duty to set aside personal morality and work on the project. Do you think Florman's analogy holds? Put yourself into the position of Jorge? Does he have the obligation to set aside his pacifism as a merely personal belief and carry out his orders as an engineer?

Questions & Answers

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Business ethics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 04, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10491/1.11
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