6 October 2015
Ethics and the Second Law of Thermodynamics Essay
Thermodynamics is a very intriguing study that involves the analysis of many different properties. More importantly it ties in with engineering and with engineering comes crucial decision making. That is where the issue of whether the decisions made are ethical or unethical. Norman R. Augustine is the author of “Ethics and the Second Law of Thermodynamics”. Norman taught engineering at Princeton University. This excerpt is about how your decision making as an engineer is ethical or unethical. Referring back to when Norman mentioned that you are the designer of this new invention that would create millions of new jobs and make you become rich and famous. It sounds marvelous until he throws in the fact that this invention will kill thousands and thousands of people. Does this idea still sound amazing? This is where the ethical decision making comes into play. Is the idea appropriate? Or is this idea totally immoral and showing a lack of concern and care for the individuals who are going to be at risk when using this invention. Personally, if a decisions is going to harm hundreds and thousands of lives, a decision such as this is unethical. Unethical because in the long wrong, from a business standpoint, this decision would cost more to the company to put a value on the life of each person that dies. Two, a design shouldn’t be released knowing that eventually in the future this engineering design will cause more harm than good. That is why engineers are so important. They are behind the lines and are the individuals who make sure things are safe before it gets to the public. Over the years, confidence in the engineering profession has increased dramatically. Overall when considering the ethics behind engineering decisions, Norman refers to Cicero’s creed, which states that the safety of the public must precede everything an engineer does. If this fact is ignored, then that...