Post Reply Business or Life?
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Posted 8/31/12 , edited 8/31/12
You have a business that is solely funded by a multi billion dollar company that funds your engine building.
Once a year your business puts on a performing of the engine they have spent all year building which attracts thousands of spectators. You being the engineer notice from the night prior to the launch that temperatures dropped below freezing level and had damaged the gaskets uniting the engine. You realize that the human loss/casualties will be massive if launched on time.


1) Jeopardize the company that employs thousands of workers and voice up that human life will be lossed if the launch is to go through despite the 26/26 previous successful launches......

2) Allow the surrounding spectators to have their life ended by an event that could be prevented, yet save the company and the financial security of the employees that work there........


Base the answer off of the information provided please.

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Posted 8/31/12


I think I would be going with the second one. I know this sounds horrible, but it has to do with the economy. People depend on the economy unconsciously. If a business, however evil, were to fall, the vital products will no longer be avaliable, or in the same quality. Customers will be angry and revert to other sources that will tip the balance of the purchasing scale. Also, all the people working for the business would be out of a job and would not be able to spend much money, therefore not circulating the wealth to the business and then back to the customer. So, if the business were to fall, it would tip the economy around and might give even worse conditions. I know this all sounds cold and calculating, but this is for the good of the people even if they don't even know it.
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Posted 8/31/12


I would almost have to say yes as well in this case. I would give the lives of the few for the lives of the greater even with the sheer numbers being so high of loss. Billion dollar projects as this are circulated back into the enconomy at faster than what most think. If the company were to go under, that create a huge "hickup" in the economic picture that everything would be affected thus effecting everyone. So yes, I would save face and allow this to happen and morally live with the judgment call that I made.

Posted 8/31/12


OK, I strongly dis-agree with both of you, because, A. I find it morally, wrong to risk someone's life for a delay B. Well, if those people do die, then you would have to live with the guilty C. The deaths of those people will cause the company to go bankrupt because, the families of those workers that you killed would sou you, and nobody would want to by a product from you knowing that it caused the deaths D. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't mind to much if you were like the worlds largest company of engines to give you a little more time to fix a mistake
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Posted 8/31/12
But you would morally be ok with causiing economic disruption causing everyone to feel the wake then a select number of people?
Also, in rebuttal Alpha to your C option there has been an instance in where this situation could be applied except with less casualties and the company is doing fine years later.
Morally you do have the high ground but I still think the loss of the minor is worth it to the greater
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Posted 9/1/12


People often buy products without hearing of the catastrophe or even applying the catastrophe to the product of which the business still makes. Not all the families would sue you and the situation said that the spectators would die, not the workers. Companies are always under pressure to get things done when they say they are and when they aren't, people get angry because they don't know of the danger. But I do agree with your first two. It's just that the economy is more important. It's not like we can just drop what we've been doing for hundreds of years now and switch to a different system. People will not cope very well.
Posted 9/1/12 , edited 9/2/12


Yes, but the spectators death, would mean that they would not be able to say if the product is good or not approve of the engine meaning the company's engine would then be a waste of time because nobody would have bought it because nobody would think it was good, meaning the company would still lose money and if they don't get enough money the year of this engine then they wouldn't be able to make enough money for next year to make a new engine, causing bankruptcy, and then as you had said before the bankruptcy would cause many lose in jobs, and total economic chaos.
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Posted 9/1/12 , edited 9/2/12


Hmm...good point you make there I would have to agree that the economy would suffer regardless in an ethical point of view but from a moral stand point it only goes one way
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Posted 9/2/12


There is one flaw in this arguement. There are other ways of advertising and promoting a product. One little failure would be long forgotten in the mists of thousands and millions of advertisements.
Posted 9/2/12 , edited 9/2/12


Doubtful, people remember the bad things better than the good, so I still believe it wouldn't work. Not to mention it would still cost a lot of money to put those advertisements out there, which again would not help them gain much money.
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Posted 9/2/12


I'm not going to argue any more because you've already set your opinion.
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Posted 9/2/12
I can see both point here, a tragic loss such as this is not easily forgotten by any means but when advertising for future product you incorporate safety measure that address what has happened yet not directly link it the accident.

Spectators from watching the incident at home do not know what went on in the background as far as the engineer knowing what would happen so would you agree with the fact that because other spectators and companies that would likely sponsor the company almost put little weight on the accident that occurred because to them all they seen was "the accident" and not the build up to the accident?
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Posted 9/6/12
I'd have to go with the first option.

Yes, you may jeopardize the business, however, you are being funded to build a successful product. If your product blows up and publicly kills spectators in an avoidable incident then your product will be viewed as a failure. The bad publicity alone would probably be enough to get the funding company to walk away.

But, for the sake of argument, let's say that for #2, you'll still get funding even if the spectators die. On the other hand, #1 only says you'll jeopordize the company. It doesn't say that the funding will definitely be pulled, but let's say it will.

If you choose option #1, there's still a chance that you could get alternate funding for your project. Even if you don't your employees will likely find new jobs. While you may be a responsible employer, choosing option #1 will not condemn your employees to death. Unemployment is an inconvenience when compared to death. So, I'd argue that #1 is the better choice.
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