Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
Cardinal virtues are virtues on which morality hinges (Latin: cardo , hinge): jus-
tice; prudence; temperance; and fortitude. Among them, justice is the key to
sustainability. This is the empathic view and is basic to many faith traditions,
notably the Christians' “Golden Rule” and the Native Americans' and Eastern
monks' axiom to “walk a mile in another's shoes.” Actually, one of commonali-
ties among the great faith traditions is that they share the empathetic precept; for
example: 2
Judaism, Shabbat 31a, Rabbi Hillel: “Do not do to others what you would
not want them to do to you.”
Christianity, Matthew 7, 12: “Whatever you want people to do to you, do
also to them.”
Hinduism, Mahabharata XII 114, 8: “One should not behave towards
others in a way which is unpleasant for oneself; that is the essence of
Buddhism, Samyutta Nikaya V: “A state which is not pleasant or enjoyable
for me will also not be so for him; and how can I impose on another a state
that is not pleasant or enjoyable for me?”
Islam, Forty Hadith of an-Nawawi, 13: “None of you is a believer as long
as he does not wish his brother what he wishes himself.”
Confucianism, Sayings 15:23: “What you yourself do not want, do not do
to another person.”
Professional competence can take us in the right direction. As professionals,
we must excel in what we know and how well we do our technical work. This is
a necessary requirement of the engineering experience, but it is not the only part.
Engineering schools have increasingly recognized that engineers need to be both
competent and socially aware. The ancient Greeks referred to this as ethike aretai
(“skills of character”). The competence of the professional engineer is inherently
linked to character. Even the most competent engineer, architect, or physician is
not really acting professionally unless he or she practices ethically. By extension,
our care for others and their just treatment requires that we use the resources and
gifts of our calling in a way that ensures a livable world for future and distant
people. This is the essence of sustainable design.
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