PROFESSIONAL ETHICS AND MORAL VALUES SHALABH KULSHRESHTHA FACULTY OF ENGINEERING, DAYALBAGH EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTE [email protected] com INTRODUCTION Ethics, also called MORAL PHILOSOPHY, the discipline concerned with what is morally good and bad, right and wrong. The term is also applied to any system or theory of moral values or principles. How should we live? Shall we aim at happiness or at knowledge, virtue, or the creation of beautiful objects? If we choose happiness, will it be our own or the happiness of all? And what of the more particular questions that face us: Is it right to be dishonest in a good cause?
Can we justify living in opulence while elsewhere in the world people are starving? If conscripted to fight in a war we do not support, should we disobey the law? What are our obligations to the other creatures with whom we share this planet and to the generations of humans who will come after us? Ethics deals with such questions at all levels. Its subject consists of the fundamental issues of practical decision making, and its major concerns include the nature of ultimate value and the standards by which human actions can be judged right or wrong.
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The terms ethics and morality are closely related. We now often refer to ethical judgments or ethical principles where it once would have been more common to speak of moral judgments or moral principles. These applications are an extension of the meaning of ethics. Strictly speaking, however, the term refers not to morality itself but to the field of study, or branch of inquiry, that has morality as its subject matter. In this sense, ethics is equivalent to moral philosophy.
Although ethics has always been viewed as a branch of philosophy, its all-embracing practical nature links it with many other areas of study, including anthropology, biology, economics, history, politics, sociology, and theology. Yet, ethics remains distinct from such disciplines because it is not a matter of factual knowledge in the way that the sciences and other branches of inquiry are. Rather, it has to do with determining the nature of normative theories and applying these sets of principles to practical moral problems.
A profession has been defined as a paid occupation, especially one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification . In this modern electronic era there is a long queue of candidates aspiring to become one professional or the other it may be technical or non technical and are considered to be on a higher edge over the traditional means of livelihood. There is a great competition and to get into the queue one may have to adopt the tactics considered to be non-ethical.
Once an individual gets into non-ethical tactics it becomes a part of his life style and is reflected in their routine behavior while performing or practicing their professions. An individual who had paid a handsome amount while taking admission into professional course is more likely to recover his expenditure later in his life as a professional . While imparting training the laxity left behind in their expertise is always existing in their pupils and fellow members.
Suppose an individual in profession of journalism has to adopt certain basic principles without which they will not be doing justice towards themselves as well as towards the society at large. Journalists should: Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible. Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing. Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ reliability.
Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Keep promises. Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context. Never distort the content of news photos or video. Image enhancement for technical clarity is always permissible. Label montages and photo illustrations. Avoid misleading re-enactments or staged news events.
If re-enactment is necessary to tell a story, label it. Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story Never plagiarize. Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so. Examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others. Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.
Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant. Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid. Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context. Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two. Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection.
Minimize Harm Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect. Journalists should: Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects. Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief. Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy. Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity. Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes. Be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges. Balance a criminal suspect’s fair trial rights with the public’s right to be informed. Act Independently
Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know. Journalists should: Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived. Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility. Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity. Disclose unavoidable conflicts. Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.
Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage. Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news. Be Accountable Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other. Journalists should: Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct. Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media. Admit mistakes and correct them promptly. Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.
Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others. The above points of code of conduct for a journalist are indicative only and these may be suitably amended for the persons engaged in other professions. I do not believe in the immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern without any superhuman authority behind it. Albert Einstein Professional students are often forced to take courses in the humanities and social sciences. Even so, they rarely learn how to bridge the gap between the technical and non-technical world.
As a result, they usually fail to understand the significance of values in the every-day functioning of their craft. This paper employs a case study of the American electric utility industry to demonstrate how power company managers-usually trained as engineers-adopted a value system based on growth in electricity consumption and big new technology. For decades, the public and utility regulators shared that value system. But when the energy crisis struck in the 1970s, the public and regulators adopted low-growth and environmentally conscious values that conflicted with those held by managers.
Ultimately, managers lost control over the industry. Today’s turmoil in the utility industry can be explained partly by the changing value systems. Telling the story in the course module should alert engineering students to the importance of values and the social fabric as they practice their profession. Introduction In theory, universities such as Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech expose engineering students to the humanities and social sciences so they will learn to appreciate the importance of non-technical elements of society.
Typically, these institutions impose distribution requirements, which force the students to take courses in history, sociology, English, and other fields outside their majors. Rarely are these courses well integrated into engineering Professional students are often forced to take courses in the humanities and social sciences. Even so, they rarely learn how to bridge the gap between the technical and non-technical world. As a result, they usually fail to understand the significance of values in the every-day functioning of their craft.
This paper employs a case study of the American electric utility industry to demonstrate how power company managers-usually trained as engineers-adopted a value system based on growth in electricity consumption and big new technology. For decades, the public and utility regulators shared that value system. But when the energy crisis struck in the 1970s, the public and regulators adopted low-growth and environmentally conscious values that conflicted with those held by managers. Ultimately, managers lost control over the industry. Today’s turmoil in the utility industry can be explained partly by the changing value systems.
Telling the story in the course module should alert engineering students to the importance of values and the social fabric as they practice their profession. CONCLUSION Thus for creating an immaculate society where the professionals and ethics are in a balanced level we have to create an environment suitable for creation of atmosphere free from unfair trade and practice. Different legislations government policy decisions have their different roles to play within under Indian circumstances these fundamental codes of ethics are inculcated in the blood of children.