Self-Deception In Engineering Ethics

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People intuitively have the desire to make things go their way even when they are being put through very difficult situation that require doing something or believing in something that could be out of their hands. They tend to overly hold favorable views of their abilities in such ways that support their views to the extent of self-deception. They allow themselves to believe that a false feeling, idea, or situation is true just so they can achieve a certain goal that they have in mind. This paper aims to define self-deception and how it differs from lying in addition to finding the relationship between self-deception and ethics through real life examples.

What Is Self-Deception?

Numerous studies have found different interpretation for the definition of self-deception. Nonetheless, most of the findings of the studies indicate that self-deception could be defined as “the acquisition and maintenance of a belief (or, at least, the avowal of that belief) in the face of strong evidence to the contrary motivated by desires or emotions favoring the acquisition and retention of that belief” (Deweese-Boyd, 2012). In other words, people who are self-deceit mislead themselves into thinking or accepting certain circumstances that are invalid for the sake of accomplishing a certain goal or avoiding an unwanted outcome. They usually rely on unconscious motivations, intentions and emotions that play an important role in the process of misleading themselves. In order for someone to be considered self-deceit, he/she must hold contradictory beliefs and intentionally gets himself/ herself to hold a belief that he/she knows truly to be false.
Lying Vs. Self-Deception

According to Paul Ekman (1997), lies can be distinguished from oth...

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...e of achieving a certain goal. As a result, some argue that self-deceivers should be held responsible for their actions and others belive that they should not be held responsible for what they do as they do these things unentetionally. In eitheir cases, it is a serious matter that must be taken into conderation as it has a serious effect on eveyone and not anly the self-deceit as mentioned in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster that lead to the death of all of its members.

Works Cited

Velasquez, M., Andre, C., Shanks, T., S.J., & Meyer, M. J. (1987). What is Ethics? Issues In Ethics (Fall).

Ekman, P. (1997). Lying And Deception. (N. L. Stein, P. A. Ornstein, B. Tversky, & C. Brainerd, Eds.) Memory For Everyday And Emotional Events , 333-347.

Deweese-Boyd, I. (2012). Self-Deception (Spring 2012 ed.). (E. N. Zalta, Ed.) The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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