I almost always use The Duty Framework. However, many times for me, doing what’s right means sacrificing myself. As stated in the article A Framework For Making Ethical Decisions, “However, this framework also has its limitations. First, it can appear cold and impersonal, in that it might require actions which are known to produce harms, even though they are strictly in keeping with a particular moral rule.” In the context that I am using it, the “action that is known to produce harms,” is me sacrificing myself. So, if constantly doing what’s right means sacrificing myself in a way that invites the situation to be repeated over and over, thus, constant sacrificing, I switch to The Virtue Framework, where I choose the action that best represents the kind of person that I want to be. I also switch to the Virtue Framework when there are many right actions in The Duty Framework, so again, I choose the action that requires the virtues that I value most.
These frameworks can be applied to my future career in engineering because we can question what we are doing: are we doing it for personal gains (money), or for the common good? Just as this question can be asked, we can also ask many more questions. Computer science is a field that is relevant almost everywhere in today’s society. Thus, there are many areas that it is applicable to, so we may have to think more carefully about what we are actually doing.
Besides the talent of coding, I’ve developed the talent of being able to lead things. I was able to start a band, and perform on stage by myself, and have an overall presence here on campus. This is simply because Notre Dame puts students in a position where they have many opportunities and resources to essentially do and experiment with that they want. The problem however, is that not many students go out and take on challenges/risks, and therefore do not grow much in the area of leadership and taking charge. I have gone out of my way many times and put myself in uncomfortable situations so many times that I’m almost more comfortable being in uncomfortable situations that in comfortable ones.
One ethical challenge that I see with computing and technology is drawing the line between letting nature take its course and letting technology alter it, if the course is deemed undesirable. For example, genetics. We will get to the point, if we aren’t there already, where we will be able to alter the genes so that a fetus will evolve in a way that we desire. Thus, we will essentially be able to choose our babies based on our preferences. Is this moral? Arguments can be made such as: Why is it bad to be able to have control over how our babies turn out? How is that worse than having no control at all? Wouldn’t that strengthen our society? On the other hand, we can argue that the relationship between parents and children will change, as children will be seen more as an asset that the parents have control over, both physically and possibly in many other areas. So, valid points on both parts, but they each focusing on different aspects, on biological, one social. Which has precedence?