Ethics teaches people how to live and act in certain situations. Engineering ethics instructs engineers of proper behavior in certain situations, which can be similar and different at the same time. Difference lies in the fact that engineers face special problems, but the similarity is that the decision may be suitable for the other situations as well. Steve’s situation is a frequent problem in the modern world, because the desire to save money is natural. Nevertheless, the work of other people who are ready to do something for the benefit of others should be taken into account. Besides, such people deserve some remuneration. Bobby’s naivety proves that one shouldn’t trust people, especially if the business is related to money. Everyone wants to win, and nobody wants to lose.
Kant, who is considered to be the founder of deontology, claimed that the concept of ‘good’ is a derivative of the concept of ‘duty, since ‘good’ is demanded by duty. An attempt to define ‘good’ beyond ‘duty will give us only an empirical idea of a pleasure subject but not the concept about moral good in itself. Under the laws of morals, theft of someone’s intellectual property is considered a crime. It follows from this that, according to deontological principles, Steve has to continue work with Bobby, thus giving the chance to finish the begun work without robbing him. Though Steve will also pay a bigger sum of money, however, will receive qualitatively performed work and Bobby’s official message of thanks. Regarding Terry, he will lose a client and the share of money that could get for the work that was performed by Bobby.
The second theory is ethical egoism. Martin and Schinzinger –were the first to introduce egoism as an ethical theory. Egoism in its direct sense means to put one’s own interests above the interests of others, but it also means to care only about own interests, ignore the needs of others, and the way certain actions can affect them. Due to this, selfishness is considered to be a bad thing and is not accepted as a norm of conduct. If to assume that selfishness is a norm of behavior, Steve could easily take advantage of Bobby’s credibility and use his notes. This decision would help Steve to save quantity significant sum of money. One can assume that Bill would feel deceived and further would not be so credulous. Assuming that this theory is correct and to act in accordance with it is right, Steve would have saved much money, while Bobby would have lost it and ceased to trust people. Concerning Terry, in this case he would earn the share of money without big efforts, because the majority of intellectual work for him and his workers was already made by Bobby.
No matter which of the aforementioned theories to choose, one person will suffer. Either Steve will decide to act in own interests and will save means or he will give the chance for Bobby to finish the work and will lose money. This situation can be alleviated if one understands how rich Steve is. If he has enough money, and he will not feel robed, it is worth continuing cooperation with Bobby. However, if Steve is not a rich man, he will choose a way where he will be able to save. Terry’s proposal in that case seems to be more tempting. If I was Steve, I would choose the first option. In this case, nobody would suffer. Steve will get perfectly done work, Bobby will receive money for the performed task, and Teddy will not lose anything and will perhaps learn not to try to deceive people.