Ethics v Science

thttht
Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
In the never ending debate over ethics and science, I present the following:



<a href="http://www.msnbc.com/news/720020.asp?cp1=1"; target="_blank">China stem-cell research leaps ahead

As West ponders ethics, China proceeds with embryo cloning</a>

By Karby Leggett and Antonio Regalado, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL



and



<a href="http://www.msnbc.com/news/719637.asp?0dm=B24AN"; target="_blank">Cloning debate heats up in Senate

Rival bills would ban all cloning or allow therapeutic use</a>

MSNBC STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS



and



<a href="http://www.msnbc.com/news/718659.asp?0dm=N23ON"; target="_blank">Risk-Free Babies</a>

By Geoffrey Cowley and Karen Springen, NEWSWEEK



The current socio-political climate of the USA is becoming more and more conservative and less and less pro-technology and science. That is, the level of math, science and technology education from the K-12 and university studies should be accelerating in mandatory classes and university enrollments, which doesn't seem to be the case as students seem to be inching towards business and management. The gov't funding of science and technology research organizations and institutions should be increasing, not being slashed as the GWB administration is want to do or has done.



The inherent problem with this is that there is a direct relationship between economic and military power and science and technology advances. In not properly supporting the latter, the USA risks losing its status in the former. Not only that, without the proper education in the latter, we risk not being able to formulate proper ethical judgements of advances in science and technology like cloning and other medical, biological and physics advances.



For the most part, outside of basic issues involving the survival and livability of humanity, ethics is definitional. Science will always trump ethics. So, the basic point is those countries and cultures who push forward with science and technology will always end up winning. The act of debating whether to fund science and technology in Congress and the administration such as cloning is abysmal. The debate should be over how much, not over its criminality.



My basic motto for abortion, stem cell, cloning issues: if it's in a petri dish, it's not life, if it's in a womb, it is. With certain exceptions of course.



[ 03-06-2002: Message edited by: THT ]</p>

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    I vote for science. Almost everything good in life can be used for evil and vice versa. Humans cannot evolve unless we explore every boundary known.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    Ethic is always behind science. Each time there is a great discovery in science news ethics questions appears.

    Ehtic is the moral applied to sciences, but should not be a brake to innovations, just a wall against the dangers of some fool scientists.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    ferroferro Posts: 453member
    Ethics v Science are not opposing...



    Science is the study of things...



    Ethics is the guide by which we judge things...



    Science is supported by fact...



    Ethics are supported by beliefs...



    [quote]Quote by powerdoc:

    <strong>Ethics is the moral applied to sciences, but should not be a brake to innovations, just a wall against the dangers of some fool scientists. </strong><hr></blockquote>



    Just like Powerdoc said...



    "Ethics are applied to sciences, but should not be a brake to innovations, just a wall against the dangers of some fool scientists"



    But I do think that every one seems to have a different oppinion/belief on "whats what" here... Every one seems to differ on when life begins and wether a microscopic pool of material with no real complex form whatsoever is a life unto itself...



    P.S. - Bush is an idiot(oil puppet)



    ------------------------------------



    © FERRO 2001-2002
  • Reply 4 of 7
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    [quote]Originally posted by FERRO:

    <strong>Ethics v Science are not opposing...





    But I do think that every one seems to have a different oppinion/belief on "whats what" here... Every one seems to differ on when life begins and wether a microscopic pool of material with no real complex form whatsoever is a life unto itself...



    P.S. - Bush is an idiot(oil puppet)



    ------------------------------------



    © FERRO 2001-2002</strong><hr></blockquote>

    You are true, the difficult whith ethic is that the opinions differs from one to another.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    bellebelle Posts: 1,574member
    I guess my main worry is that by placing restrictions on some areas of research for "ethical" reasons, valuable advances in other areas could be lost.



    Thanks to early stem cell research projects, there's a solution available to me if there is no match for a bone marrow transplant. How can I possibly argue against stem cell research?
  • Reply 6 of 7
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    [quote]Originally posted by THT:

    <strong>For the most part, outside of basic issues involving the survival and livability of humanity, ethics is definitional. Science will always trump ethics.</strong><hr></blockquote>I don't see how you can say that science always trumps ethics. Ethics are the rules and the decision-making processes that govern what type of science is done. The debate is about whether the research does enough good for the amount of harm it does, not whether one trumps the other.



    I have a research grant from NIH, and the amount of work you have to do to get human or animal research approved is quite large. It's gone over by an institutional review board at the university, which has to be approved by the feds, and then the grant research itself has to be approved again by the feds.



    You have to take a test to prove that you understand all the ethical issues, like informed consent, debriefing, animal care and use, the proper way to kill an animal, yadda yadda. Everything you do is governed by ethical rules set by the field and the granting agency.



    On the specific issue of stem cells, 1) they come from bundles of cells that are not considered to be persons, and 2) the research could be as important as any medical research that's ever been done.



    That's the reason the research should be done, not because of some general principle that ethics is less important than science.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    thttht Posts: 3,931member
    <strong>Originally posted by BRussell:

    I don't see how you can say that science always trumps ethics.</strong>



    The context of the comment is economic and military power. Scientific advances pretty much have a direct relationship to a culture's economic and military power.



    For instance, semiconductors and IT are one of the reasons I think the USA was able to pull out of its economic malaise in the 70s and early 80s. Ie, Fairchild Semiconductor, Apple and Microsoft saved the USA



    In holding the line on scientific research, we risk the possibility of some other nation surpassing us. If our ethics become overbearing, this crosses the line into morality rather, we risk losing our intellectual capital. If a semiconductor like market was invented by the Europeans instead of the USA for instance, who do you think would be the economic power in the world?



    And biotech and nanotechnology are most likely the next big things. Space travel should be as well from a purer military standpoint.



    <strong>Ethics are the rules and the decision-making processes that govern what type of science is done. The debate is about whether the research does enough good for the amount of harm it does, not whether one trumps the other.</strong>



    Therein lies the discussion My fear is that ethics and morality will converge in our increasingly conservative culture.



    When I say "trumps", I'm saying we should err on the side science rather than ethics or morality. Obviously there are many many things in research that should not be done, but I really really don't like what's happening now with R&D budgets being slashed, the K-12 education system moving towards assembly line techniques, and college students not going into science more.



    The stem cell and cloning issues was just a convenient way to start the argument. The inherent problem with predicting the effects of scientific problems is the predicting part. Very very few will be able to intelligently do so.



    <strong>On the specific issue of stem cells, 1) they come from bundles of cells that are not considered to be persons, and 2) the research could be as important as any medical research that's ever been done.</strong>



    So is a decision not to pursue stem cells and cloning an ethical decision? If yes, is the ethical decision trumping science?



    [ 03-07-2002: Message edited by: THT ]</p>
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