Engineering Ethics of Titanic Sinking Essay

1751 Words Sep 8th, 2013 8 Pages
Steven Miller
Phl 3221
Professor Tapp
5/24/2007

Utilitarianism Look at the Titanic
When engineers design a product many things go in to the decision making process when it comes to selecting materials, design, and the manufacturing processes. One concern that has always been in the decision making process is trying to make sure the outcome will always be ethically good, although this isn’t always the case. Try as they might, no person is perfect, and accidents do happen. When engineering disasters happen there are many factors that may be involved, such as human factors, design flaws, extreme conditions, and materials failures. When these things do happen it is important to look at the ethical aspect of each part of the failure and
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Although the idea was good, it could be argued the execution was not. The compartments were made watertight by watertight doors that could be dropped manually if flooding occurred. This allowed for the compartments to be watertight horizontally, but the rooms had no ceilings, and the walls only went a few feet above the water line. This meant if a vast amount of water flooded a compartment it could flow over the top of one and spill into another. When applying the calculus to how the compartments were constructed the duration was medium because the walls at least slowed the water down some and hindered the sinking. The certainty and propinquity were good because it allowed for immediate pleasure, conversely the fecundity and extent are poor because the pleasure will be followed by pain when the compartments begin to spill over which would cause for a great number of people to experience pain, with a fewer number experiencing the pleasure. Another decision that led to the eventual demise of the Titanic was the materials chosen for the very important rivets. The flash of the Titanic also made it quite expensive to construct. To cut some costs the 3 million rivets used were made of two different materials, one stronger than the other. Steel rivets were only used in the central hull of the ship because this is where the engineers thought that the strongest

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