The Requirements of Professional Ethics and the Ways in Which Building the Three Gorges Dam is Morally Permissible or Impermissible ?
In any profession there has to be some code of ethics which stipulate the level of professionalism that one is expected to have in performing the tasks required. Ethics can briefly be described as the moral principles set that guide the employees in an organization know what is good and what is bad. Professional ethics therefore can be seen to be the specific code of standards for a particular professional and it includes personal, corporate and organizational behaviors expected of a person in an organization. However, this does not mean that one is supposed to be guided just by their professional ethics in performing their professions. There are also moral which act as a guiding compass in deciding whether what is about to do is good or bad.
The building of the Three Gorges dam, along the Yangtze River, which happens to be one of the longest rivers, resulted in a lot of damages to the communities living around the area to the extent that some of the people living around the around were forced to move out of their homes. The engineers should have honored their duty to serve the people and look into their well-being and also considered the ramifications that building the dam would have on the welfare of the community. The engineers should have even tried to ensure that all the people replaced were actually resettled since the construction of the dam was the cause of the disruption in their lives.
A lot of lives of the people living around the basin of the Yangtze River were lost as a result of the floods and if that’s not enough over 20 counties ended up submerged under the water. The people of China strongly value the Yangtze River and the fact that most of them, almost 2 million people lost their homes as a result of building of the Three Gorges dam. So an engineer following the employers instructions, one should look upon their moral beliefs and ask themselves if the lives lost are truly worth the progress that would apparently be made if the dam is actually built.
Additionally, the building of the Three Gorges Dam resulted in a lot of rubbish collecting in the Yangtze River, which is the main source of water for the people of the community. This just implies that the water is no longer clean as it was in its first state which forces the people in the community to take it upon themselves to clean the river. This also goes further to prove that the engineers did not actually take into consideration the welfare of the people living around the area and the pervasive influence building the dam would have on their lives.
The Three Gorges was a historical site and this is no longer the course since the water rising on the Three Gorges as a result of the dam made it loose part of its beauty. Although to some this may be a small prices to pay, to those who hold their culture dearly, this may be a disaster. People value their cultural beliefs and robbing a community of their history cannot be morally accepted.
The fact that the level of water in the Three Gorges dam keeps rising to high levels poses a geological disaster waiting to happen. This would mean that even the millions people living on the higher grounds of the Yangtze River banks shall be displaced and forced to resettle somewhere else. The vast fertile agricultural land that was previously there for the Chinese people to make a living from is no longer available to them which forces the people to find other means of making a living.
Despite all the negative consequences that building of the Three Gorges dam may have resulted in, it still has its positive aspects. The dam is a source of massive amounts of electricity in the country. Before the dam was constructed China could only produce 5% of its electricity but with the building of the Three Gorges this percentage has risen to 10%.
The high water level has not only impacted in increase in flooding around the area, additionally, there has also been an increase in the number of landslides experienced around the banks of the river. Considering the large population in China, building of the Three Gorges Dam has benefited the community as the power supplied has been bettered. Subsequently, generating electricity from the dam is safe for the general environment as compared to use of coal which would emit a lot of carbon dioxide if the demand was to be met. So, the Three Gorges Dam has helped keep the air clean of certain toxins.
Additionally, building of the Three Gorges Dam has resulted in huge financial benefits to the Chinese government. With the deep rivers, China is able to ship huge and heavy cargo across the river to its neighboring states. This is a good investment in the economic development of the country and some may even construe that the huge financial benefits that came with building of the Three Gorges Dam make the social and environmental implications worth it.