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Department of Computer and Information Science, School of Science, IUPUI. Ethics. Dale Roberts, Lecturer Computer Science, IUPUI E-mail: Two points of view.

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Department of Computer and Information Science,School of Science, IUPUI


Dale Roberts, Lecturer

Computer Science, IUPUI


two points of view
Two points of view
  • Utilitarian – Balance the benefits and liabilities of different ethical stakeholders. A very simplistic statement of its ethical claim is that the degree of rightness or wrongness of an act depends upon the consequences of the act.
  • Kantian - imperative asserting that one should never treat a person merely as a means to an end, but always as an end . The norms defining what are right and wrong must respect the ability of each person to function rationally and choose freely. Many of the precepts embedded in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the U. S. A. are based on such a concept. One's human rights stem from his or her identity as a person.
  • Suppose that a software project is running behind schedule and exceeding monthly budget allocations. The final software product will not be used in life-critical situations. One manager proposes that the planned testing of the software be reduced in order to accelerate the schedule and reduce costs. Is this an ethical problem, or solely economic? If it is an ethical problem, what are the various ethical factors involved and what is the best decision to make ethically?
kantian view
Kantian View
  • Let us now apply this approach to evaluating the first case described above. As before, we first identify the ethical stakeholders. Then we ask to what extent the proposed policy adheres to the categorical imperative for each one. In doing so, we do not need to allow each individual free rein, but rather require only that the she or he be free to make rational choices about whether or not to pay the prices involved in order to obtain the benefits that might accrue.

No, because there is a minus.

  • Introductory material is a summarization of Providing and Ethical Basis for Ethical Decisions, by Dr. Andrew Olsen.
  • Case studies are obtained from an Ethics Workshop hosted by Johnson, D. G.