Code: Pros and Cons

1. Intent Matters Can help us focus on motives/intent. Following a code of conduct regardless of consequences. In sports (e.g. soccer, basketball) we distinguish between a foul committed by mistake and an “intentional foul”. Involuntary manslaughter (killing someone by mistake) seems less wrong than pre-meditated (e.g. 1st degree) murder.
2. Rights Can help us respect others’ rights (e.g. through consistent rules/codes for all) and not just use others. There is an attack on campus that many think is racially and religiously based. Students are on the verge of rioting, but no one knows who did it. You are on a board that is making decisions about the case. The Code approach can stop us from finding a scapegoat (e.g. holding a random person responsible even though they aren’t responsible) just to end the conflict, even if the riot could be prevented and the overall consequences would be better.
1. Code Conflict No guidance for what to do when rules/codes conflict. Two rules/codes: “Keep your promises” & “Help others when they need you”. What should you do if you promised to meet a friend to help them study for a class they are failing, but on your way there you find out that another friend is going through a breakup and needs you during that time?
2. More than Codes There seems to be more to life than codes/duty alone. Your friend visits you after your recent breakup or your recent injury. You are so happy to see them. You ask why and they say: “I felt it was my duty, I follow the universal code that I should help those suffering…” They say nothing about caring for you as a friend, etc.