My case is case 1 the Aberdeen three. The Aberdeen Proving ground is a US Army facility for chemical weapons where they develop, tested, stored, and dispose of chemical weapons and waste during World war 2. Carl Gepp manager of the Pilot Plant, William Dee the developer of binary chemical weapon, and Robert Lentz in charge of the developing processes that would be used to manufacture the weapons, where criminally indicted for illegally handling, sorting, and disposing of hazardous wastes in accordance to Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Because in the facility the waste containers where everywhere, misplaced, leaking, corroded, and poorly labeled. They got found out when 200 gallons of sulfuric acid leaked into a river, how it happens? well the facilities’ roof collapsed, and no one cleaned up or moved the spilled substance and broken containers for weeks. On their trial the reported saying that it was not in their contract they signed, so they didn’t do it. This violates a few codes of ethics such as “Engineers should be committed to improving the environment to enhance the quality of life” and “Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of public and shall strive to comply with the principles of sustainable development in the performance of their professional duties” and “Engineers shall disclose all known or potential conflicts of interest that could influence or appear to influence their judgment or the quality of their services.” And “Engineers shall acknowledge their errors and shall not distort or alter the facts.” which made their claim invalid while also having another reason they we why they were indicted. They were the ones with the most power at the site and they should hold the responsibility to correct the mistakes. Someone broke the RCRA act and someone had to take the blame, so they used the code of ethics to decide who will take the fault and it landed on the superiors of the project.
My answer is about how far do we take responsibility or when are we supposed to be responsible. if we see trash in the floor is it our responsibility to pick it up and throw it into the trash can? If you forgot to tell your friend about the homework he missed when he wasn’t it here is it your responsibility or is it his for not coming. That is basically my question to what extend are we held accountable for our responsibility.
Responsibility can be regarded as a theory where everyone or everything has a right to follow and benefit humanity for a better tomorrow. Responsibility is what we have to do to maintain the balance between the system and the ecosystems. There are different kinds or responsibilities, some may be passive where they avoid in being dragged into the mess and doing damaging acts. There is also aged responsibility where you wouldn’t have the same responsibility when you are just a kid as a full adult worker. This would cause major problems in our society since we used our early years to watch and absorb all the knowledge we can and having to trust a kid causes problems even if we see their potential, humans grow
slow and they need to develop slowly. So, we have another complication where sometimes we can’t make some held accountable when the responsibilities are way over his head. But there are other claims that everyone has a responsibility, a duty to fulfill, and anyone trustworthy is held accountable. We have the power to make decisions and these decisions can be both for us or for the people around us. We want to be in control and we want to be in control of others by being accountable we know where our limits lay. We all have limits and that can apply to responsibility as well. It is key that we don’t try to take the whole burden when you can share it with different people. But of course, we have our desires that wants us to be more in control that is why we want to be the ones that make the decisions we want to follow, be it for self-interest or the like, we know what we were doing when we did what we did. Responsibility can affect the people for your actions such as this case where they didn’t want to clean up the waste or even reported it about it to their superiors and infected a river with sulfuric acid. Here’s a quote from ‘Where does a CEO’s responsibility lie’, “CEOs have responsibilities to the companies, their employees, their communities, and their shareholders. That is truism that provide little guidance.” Now here it shows that other people also know that the boss is supposed to take responsibility of anything their subordinates do. The CEO has major responsibility to uphold for his company and this cannot not be underestimated. The higher you go up the food chain the higher the responsibility you will have. You being the CEO have discovered that a person must live his life fully aware of his responsibility and duty. The more you know that what you are doing has consequences and rewards the better decisions you will choose, which in turn tells that he is knowledgeable about his duties that he must do.
That is why you should be more knowledgeable when dealing with a problem. Most code of ethics exhort engineers to always move with the beliefs its for the common populace. But if we always do this the advancement will always be minimal. “Why care about ethics?” Why do we care about ethics? Here’s a quote of why “Ethics concern an individual’s moral judgements about right and wrong. Decisions taken within an organization may be made by individuals or groups, but whoever makes them will be influenced by the culture of the company.” Most code of ethics are filled with words that he should be an idol to trustworthiness and an example of excellent citizen and boss owner. But we humans are not perfect. We have seven desires that we can control but they influence our decision making even if you aren’t aware of it. Most of the people who are richest just want more money. There was trickle-down economics which is that if you give tax breaks to the richest, they will spend more money and then the people will get that money by getting new jobs. Which was good in theory since it will stimulate business investment in the short term and we, the society, benefit later on but it didn’t go as planned. The companies were greedy and just saved the money and didn’t invest which caused major problems to the economy of the united states. The failure of trickledown theory was the rich business owners and their greed and corruption. The rich business owners took advantage of the tax cuts for their personal gain and this separated the poor and the rich more than it already was. Our responsibility is cloudy. We can say what is responsible and what is not but if you expect me to believe to live as how they told me to live is unimaginable. I have my own goals and so do other people
and they will use whatever means to make it happen.
In conclusion I believe that we each have our own responsibility to follow. It may not be the same one, but it should be similar. When we see a problem with the way things are developing, it’s our responsibility to report them to the superior which then you passed on the responsibility onto his shoulders, but you also have the responsibility to make sure that he goes through it if now just whistle blow through proper channels. If you are the boss of your company, you have major responsibility since what you do can put at risk your company. Then it is your responsibility to correct any mistakes that your subordinates make. It doesn’t matter about what’s in the contract, you should know what is right and what is wrong, its common sense to report and fix the problem. That’s how it should be its part of a moral code.
Of course, there are always two sides of the same coin. They do have a point that it was not in their contract. Why would you do something when you do not need to do it? This is basically what they did. They where not responsible with the cleaning, disposing, storing, and safekeeping of the waste containers. So how did these people get criminally indicted was because of the code of ethics. The code of ethics is just convenient when necessary. In my opinion when the code of ethics is just there to use as an excuse or law when you don’t have solid points to confine the person. Rules are dead, people are alive. We make the rules if they are in our favor.
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