There indeed lies a great difference between the knowing ethics and being an ethical person. Bearing ethical knowledge simply means that an individual is well informed and that he or she has a high comprehension of the issue. Knowledge attainment is mostly acquired from tutoring practices that maybe imparted within a classroom situation or from social relations. However, being an ethical person means that moral traits are embedded one’s character thereby rendering upright conduct within the particular individual in all instances. On the other hand, an individual highly knowledgeable in ethics may not necessarily practice the given requirements since they are not ingrained in his character. A good example to explain this is that a person may be knowledgeable in Islam or Christian rules or ideals yet they may refrain from practicing the given ordinances. Therefore, the knowledge of a particular subject does not necessarily translate into a belief in the same.
Institutions of higher learning have the moral obligation in instructing learners towards becoming more ethical in various life aspects. The first reason is that, as an institution that holds individuals from different backgrounds, it is prudent for the learners to learn and practice moral and ethical codes as a prerequisite to a healthy learning environment. Institutions also have a responsibility of churning out individuals back into the society as well developed holistically and not just in the area of academics. Since institutions have the responsibility of shaping individuals to acquire a better fit within the global society, there are collective codes of ethics that govern every career, be it medicine, accountancy or journalism. Institutions should therefore impart students with the necessary ethical guidelines for efficiency in various careers. Failure to this, the society runs the risk of having professionals who pose harm to the community, due to lack of moral uprightness (Alexander, 2004).
Water and Water Pollution
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an institution under the Safe Drinking Water Act, which has both the responsibility and the legal authority to set quality standards for drinking water. The standards are mainly enforced to any public water system that serves a minimum of twenty-five persons (Edwards, & Glysson, 1999). The EPA therefore institutes legal limits on the amounts of contaminants that may be present in drinking water. The assumptions accorded in determining levels of contaminants are the safe standard for a male individual that permits the consumption of only one contaminate weighing not more than one hundred and seventy five pounds. With this in mind, anything that is deemed as an intoxicant to any individual is ruled out by the accepted water quality standards.
The set quality standards contain the allowed limits of contaminants in drinking water. These limits are reflective on both safety levels to the human health as determined by the best available technology. The inherent flaw in this approach is that it only considers one contaminate at a time which maybe harmful because safe levels decrease when more than one contaminant is involved. For instance, a given level of lead in water could be harmless but when combined with another contaminant, the resulting mixture becomes harmful to individuals (Edwards, & Glysson, 1999).
Water quality criteria are the prescribed levels of chemical, physical and biological conditions that are necessary for water to be viewed as safe for human consumption. The criteria contain varied limits for different water components necessary towards having quality and healthy drinking water. The Maximum Contaminant Level is the highest level of concentration of a given chemical present in the water that cannot necessarily cause harm after human consumption or render the water unsafe for human consumption (ASTM International, 2005).
Alexander, H. A. (2004). Spirituality and ethics in education: Philosophical, theological and radical perspectives. Brighton [u.a.: Sussex Academic Press.
ASTM International. (2005). Standard guide for purging methods for wells used for ground-water quality investigations: Retrieved from http://www.astm.org.
Edwards, T. K., & Glysson, D. G. (1999). Field methods for measurement of fluvial sediment: Techniques of Water-Resources. New York, NY: Investigations of the United States Geological Survey.