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#1
So today at uni, I was talking to one of my lead lecturers after the lecture finished regarding the marking scheme and what was expected of us to write in our reports.

The course I'm doing is Product Design Engineering.

He explained to me that one thing he is interested in reading from our report, is any moral factors that could affect the direction and outcome of our product design project.

He explained for instance that before he was a lecturer, he was a freelance design, (about 25 years ago) he was once commissioned to design the parachute deployment system for a prototype aircraft-mounted cluster bomb that would shower the ground with hundreds of high-explosive warheads. The weapon was used in the Gulf War and hundreds, if not thousands of people were killed by the weapon. Many of the deaths had been caused by unexploded bomblets killing civilians. This was a known flaw with cluster weapons of the time, and it was made aware by my lecturer during the commission, but the design of the weapon proceeded anyway.

My lecturer at the time had the opportunity to accept another commission regarding something else entirely, but he took up the cluster bomb commission because it paid so much better. He received 40 grand for his work during the 6 month contract with the firm.

Of course, my lecturer couldn't dictate how, where and when the weapons were used. And that was the scary part in his view. He didn't know if what he had designed was killing people until the news journalists got on it during the Gulf War.


I guess the question is, how far do you think you would go at risk of moral bankruptcy for £40,000 in 6 months?

Oddly specific question, but it's an excuse to share some banter.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Sep 15, 2014,
#3
Once you've been employed for a few months, your morality will disappear anyway.
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#5
If you say no, someone else will take your place. Youre not saving the world by turning it down
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#6
This is a question I've had to raise myself recently.

I've recently graduated and decided to go looking for a bunch of jobs. I've applied mainly to science related R&D jobs but also to a couple of business and finance related jobs since my degree could actually be of use there.

I had an interview at one of these business/finance firms recently and it was a day long affair following someone around for the day as they do a bunch of stuff and explained to me about their company. Sadly the whole business and finance sector came across to me as morally bankrupt and was just not for me. People are seen as demographics and not numbers, as resources to be exploited for profit and the whole day left me with a thoroughly sour taste in my mouth.

I just couldn't go to sleep at night knowing I'm helping to take money off of people selling them something they don't need through a bunch of marketing scams. Luckily it helped to narrow down my job search to purely science related things, even if it's a far lower potential salary I'd rather be doing something I agree morally with for the benefit of society than high salary jobs doing stuff in an environment of slimy businesspeople I hate.

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#7
Quote by Wiegenlied
If you say no, someone else will take your place. Youre not saving the world by turning it down

But how much of a price as you willing to put on your own personal morals?
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#8
Quote by EndTheRapture51
This is a question I've had to raise myself recently.

I've recently graduated and decided to go looking for a bunch of jobs. I've applied mainly to science related R&D jobs but also to a couple of business and finance related jobs since my degree could actually be of use there.

I had an interview at one of these business/finance firms recently and it was a day long affair following someone around for the day as they do a bunch of stuff and explained to me about their company. Sadly the whole business and finance sector came across to me as morally bankrupt and was just not for me. People are seen as demographics and not numbers, as resources to be exploited for profit and the whole day left me with a thoroughly sour taste in my mouth.

I just couldn't go to sleep at night knowing I'm helping to take money off of people selling them something they don't need through a bunch of marketing scams. Luckily it helped to narrow down my job search to purely science related things, even if it's a far lower potential salary I'd rather be doing something I agree morally with for the benefit of society than high salary jobs doing stuff in an environment of slimy businesspeople I hate.


So, you were turned down by that finance company?
Quote by neidnarb11890
the chinese take-out place my family always ordered from gave you chopsticks, so as a kid it was fun to try & eat with chopsticks
now i just use a fork, 'cuz nothing is fun anymore & i just want to shovel food into my mouth to fill the void
#9
Quote by guitarist41
So, you were turned down by that finance company?


Nah I got up to the lunch break period, said sorry it's not for me and then went home

longing rusted furnace daybreak seventeen benign nine homecoming one freight car
#10
"I guess the question is, how far do you think you would go at risk of moral bankruptcy for £40,000 in 6 months?"

It's never that cut and dry. When designing munitions you know going in that they will kill someone. If you find a flaw in the design you work towards resolving it knowing that you can't fix everything. Do your best. If you don't want to design munitions, design robotics, cars, communications satellites etc.

We always have choices and we can choose our own employment. There are lots of job opportunities I passed on along the way that I felt were immoral, criminal, and deceptive. Money is good but looking yourself in the mirror and sleeping well is better.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Sep 15, 2014,
#11
Quote by behind_you
If I don't design the weapons someone else will



Perhaps your best post, bud.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#12
Quote by behind_you
If I don't design the weapons someone else will

True enough. I'm not any sort of special genius; there are plenty of others capable of doing pretty well anything I can do.
#13
Quote by behind_you
If I don't design the weapons someone else will

Yeah, but that's point (I think). Are you okay with knowing that it wasn't someone else who did it. It was you.


Personally I dunno. I'd like to think I'd turn it down because I think it's kind of messed up, but 40k is a lot of money...
#14
I don't think I could do it, I would rather kill myself than kill other people.
Some see the glass half full, others see the glass half empty. Me? I see that the glass is refillable.
#16
Quote by Eastwinn
this is capitalism

Whereas under communism, he'd have done the designs for a bowl of borscht each night during the design process, with an extra half-bottle of cabbage vodka a week.
#18
Quote by slapsymcdougal
Whereas under communism, he'd have done the designs for a bowl of borscht each night during the design process, with an extra half-bottle of cabbage vodka a week.

mm I love borscht
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#20
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
Yeah, but that's point (I think). Are you okay with knowing that it wasn't someone else who did it. It was you.

This was what I was trying to imply in the question. But it seems like people misinterpreted slightly. That's okay, I should've been more explicit.

But it's also worth reminding that it isn't just you being responsible, but you willingly capitalized on it too.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Sep 15, 2014,
#22
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
Yeah, but that's point (I think). Are you okay with knowing that it wasn't someone else who did it. It was you.

/snip


I'd prefer to think I'd done it, after careful consideration, than chance that someone else had done it while thinking something like "I hope this kills little <insert ethnic slur here> children", and laughing maniacally.
#23
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
This was what I was trying to imply in the question. But it seems like people misinterpreted slightly. That's okay, I should've been more explicit.

But it's also worth reminding that it isn't just you for being responsible, but you willingly capitalized on it too.

What difference does it make if someone else will anyway.

What about working on a doomsday device so devastating it would change the world forever, but it takes a group of the most brilliant minds to even conceive?
#24
Quote by So-Cal
What difference does it make if someone else will anyway.

It's a question involving your personal feelings and/or examination of your moral center. What's so hard to understand here?


The point isn't hard to understand, guys!
#25
That's my answer! It reflects my personal feelings and moral character or moral apathy maybe.
#26
Quote by So-Cal
That's my answer! It reflects my personal feelings and moral character or moral apathy maybe.

The bolded, yes.
#27
I'd do it in a second cause money is awesome.
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#28
My dad has been a fighter jet engineer and it was to feed me.

So should I feel guilty for all the aircrafts he got up and going. He was also actively working on jets during operation desert strike in the late 90's.

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#29
Quote by xxdarrenxx
My dad has been a fighter jet engineer and it was to feed me.

So should I feel guilty for all the aircrafts he got up and going. He was also actively working on jets during operation desert strike in the late 90's.

Of course not. You didn't have a choice as to what you father chose to do.

That scenario isn't the same as my lecturer's. He had the option of taking another commission instead of the munitions one, it just would've paid far less.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Sep 15, 2014,
#30
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cause money is awesome.

I guess this is why so many billionaires and millionaires are happier than anyone else, have completely functional families, and just enjoy life so much.
#31
No matter what job you go for it's more than likely there's some level of exploitation, harm or something of the like in it. £40,000 for 6 months is tempting, but I wouldn't do it. If I even had the littlest thing to do with something like weapons design or manufacture, I don't think I'd want to live with myself afterwards.
#32
I don't think you can use 'someone else would have done it anyway' as a moral excuse. But then I'm also not sure in how far responsibility for the dead people lies with you. In short, and as with most difficult questions in life, I'm not sure.

I only know that I wouldn't do it, because I know that, despite being far from wealthy, I wouldn't actually need the money. I have very little expenses, few needs, people to fall back on if shit got hard, and probably a high likelihood of finding other employment. That is why I do not care that much about making a lot of money in general.
#35
Basically its like, we're giving you £40k to help us kill thousands of innocent people. Don't worry though cause its all legal. You in bro?
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#36
Quote by Wiegenlied
If you say no, someone else will take your place. Youre not saving the world by turning it down


You are an individual and as such have freedom to act according to your morals.This "someone else will do it if you dont" mentality only goes to show you have no morals and using it as a lame excuse to do dirty deeds.
#37
My personal morals are fickle and are able to be changed easily from something as simple as cartoons using bright colors and adorable characters.

It's not worth turning down £40k for that.
When I was eleven I broke the patio window and my mother sued me... She's always been a very aggressive litigator.
#38
I bet everyone here who thinks they're taking the moral high road directly or indirectly supports things that have morally reprehensible origins (clothes, electronics, general goods, piracy, etc)

...modes and scales are still useless.


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Last edited by Xiaoxi at Sep 15, 2014,
#39
Quote by Xiaoxi
I bet everyone here who thinks they're taking the moral high road directly or indirectly supports things that have morally reprehensible origins (clothes, electronics, general goods)


like i said


this is capitalism

there is no high ground
i don't know why i feel so dry
#40
Quote by Eastwinn
like i said


this is capitalism

there is no high ground

my house is all high ground

nahmean.
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