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Code of Ethics, Obligations and Oaths

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How do codes, obligations or oaths relate to the legal system? For example, does an oath carry legal penalties if violated? Give examples.

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Please see response attached (also presented below), as well as one supporting document for your consideration. I hope this helps and take care.


1. How do codes obligations, or oaths relate to the legal system? For example does an oath carry legal penalties if violated? Give examples.

Interesting and complex interaction, indeed. For example, ethical codes and principles (which reflect the values and principles of an organization) are also a reflection of the legal system expectations; however not all principles in ethical codes violate legal laws and regulations. For example, the ONLY time Ethical codes and principles violate legal systems is when they are specifically regulated by Laws (i.e., discrimination laws for example are both ethical codes and legally sanctioned). In other words, some ethical principles (i.e., Respect for the Dignity of Persons reflects a value of the organization), and can be sanctioned through the organization (i.e., come before a panel of the organization for disciplinary sanctions ...

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This solution how ethical codes, obligations and oaths relate to the legal system through numerous examples e.g. does an oath, ethical principle or obligations carry legal penalties if violated? Supplemented with an example of ethicsl code as well.

See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Question of ethics under oath

You are an expert security software programmer who works in top secret for the national government of the country of Zulu. Late on afternoon, you come across an ominous email in which you learn that a small group of sinister government officials from Zulu plan-in exactly one hour-to unleash a nuclear attack on the neighboring country of Delta. This same group of four government officials are at odds with the neighboring country because of vastly different political and economic views. The bottom line? You are aware that if this missile is launched, the event will spawn World War III.

Because you are the only person in the country of Zulu who has knowledge of the specific program code that will be used to trigger this devastating missile launch, you alone are the one individual who has the capacity to de-program the event--i.e. you could choose to cancel the launch altogether, or you could otherwise divert the nuclear missilet o a neutral zone. In short, millions of innocent lives are now in your hands.

However, you are a strict deontologist. On the day that you assumed your role as a top-secret national security programmer, you took a solemn oath swearing that you would never intervene in any government action, no matter its consequences. In short, your duty is limited to software programming and to programming alone. Indeed, your oath entails that you have an explicit duty never to make a decision that extends beyond your software programming role. Moreover, you are sworn never to discuss your programs with other human being-except for communication that may be required with a limited number of superiors. On any given day, these few superiors of yours are easily found somewhere in the building. But alas!...on this day, you are unable to find even one superior for advice (are they perhaps bound and gagged somewhere in this massive building?)

What would a strict deontologist do? Why?
To whom or to what is your duty? This is not an easy question (which makes philosophy so much fun)
What would Immanual Kant's Categorical Imperative suggest you do here?
In this situation, would a strict deontologist be at odds with the thinking of Immanuel Kant? Explain

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