Science and Ethics [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Science and Ethics

Gagsquet
08-17-2011, 01:50 PM
Science is more more and more powerful as you all know.
They can create the perfect baby ( as a product, you choose the color of eyes of our baby)
In Pittsburgh university, they can read in you mind ( just simple words for the moment).

But when you think about possible applications of theses incredible scientific advances, they are sometimes frightening for the humanity. Just think about the manipulation of human embryo, it could lead to eugenics..

My question is simple:

Should we slow down science progresses when the applications of theses advances could contradict with Ethics?

Or Science shouldn't be slow down but States have to deal with applications to prevent from a possible misuse.

What's you thoughts?

Pfloyd
08-17-2011, 02:00 PM
I am not going to say what I think about these specific cases, but I will say this which is a truism, but still worth remembering:

Science, in-and-of-itself is inherintly completely neutral, that is to say, it neither moves to do anything for good or ill conciously. It is the way this method is used by particular individuals that can make it revolutionary for good causes or for bad ones.

But to speak about slowing down the scientific process is to confuse what science is as to how it is used.

Gagsquet
08-17-2011, 03:42 PM
So even if a scientific research could lead to an obvious potential misuse ( cloning for instance in my opinion), we should let science make research about it for you.

It's a little easy to distinguish scientific advances and their applications. They are totally linked, it's not the science is neutral and people are evil.

Pfloyd
08-17-2011, 03:47 PM
So even if a scientific research could lead to an obvious potential misuse ( cloning for instance in my opinion), we should let science make research about it for you.

Not exactly.

I mean everything ought to be looked at in a case by case basis.

Sadly, sometimes issues like cloning or abortion lead to conflicting issues.

On the one hand, you may have the issue of perserving originality (as in cloning) vs expanding somemones life through the cloning of organs. In abortion the conflict of freedom of choice and not brining a person into this world in a bad circumstance or killing a potential life.

In these cases it is hard to decide, but I think individuals ought to make these decisions.

I think scientific research should remain open, because if we close down too many options, we will force some scientific research to remain stagnant.

What do you think about the limits of science should be?

Gagsquet
08-17-2011, 04:00 PM
I'm undecided about it.
I get your point about the potential stagnation of science if we shut down research possibilities but we have to be really vigilant and embryo research for example are really problematic. Parents are choosing characteristics of their future children and it is turning into a freaking eugenics stuff.
I think we lack of Ethics discussion in the society because it could be helpful to "control" more scientific research.

We need ,in my opinion, to think about it seriously before doing it (even if science is ready to do it).

Pfloyd
08-17-2011, 04:04 PM
I'm undecided about it.
I get your point about the potential stagnation of science if we shut down research possibilities but we have to be really vigilant and embryo research for example are really problematic. Parents are choosing characteristics of their future children and it is turning into a freaking eugenics stuff.
I think we lack of Ethics discussion in the society because it could be helpful to control more scientific research. We need ,in my opinion, to think about it seriously before doing it (even if science is ready to do it).

Yeah, the whole potential for Eugenics is quite awful.

And perhpas talking about these issues will help enlighten some people, though I do think that racist tendencies will never be eliminated, so even if some people start choosing genetic traits for there children, I think it will only be a small portion of the population.

In any case, genetic research ought to focus more on other areas, such as cure for diseases and the like.

Also, Governments ought to have more control over what private companies can do, I think this can help eliminate some of the ugly potentials of scientific reasearch that you correctly point out.

If we leave this stuff to solely to private companies, they will do anything for more money, in my opinon.

buddyholly
08-17-2011, 05:54 PM
Science, in-and-of-itself is inherintly completely neutral, that is to say, it neither moves to do anything for good or ill conciously. It is the way this method is used by particular individuals that can make it revolutionary for good causes or for bad ones.

But to speak about slowing down the scientific process is to confuse what science is as to how it is used.

I think that says it all.

Gagsquet
08-17-2011, 06:06 PM
I think that did not say it all.
Science and its applications are linked.
It's too easy to say: you know the scientific research was neutral, it's people who perverted the results of it.
There is not on one side a neutral science and on the other side evil people.
It's people who make the science.

Pfloyd
08-17-2011, 06:10 PM
I think that did not say it all.
Science and its applications are linked.
It's too easy to say: you know the scientific research was neutral, it's people who perverted the results of it.
There is not on one side a neutral science and on the other side evil people.
It's people who made the science.

People did invent the scientific process as well as logic, but once established, the processes are different that the use they are applied to.

That is to say, the scientific process, consisting of hypothesis, experimentation and results and re-evaluation, in-and-of-it-self is not evil.

Math also goes this way. Mathematical formula applications can lead to horrible results, like nuclear weapons and the like, but the actual mathematics is neutral.

It's the way the results from these processes are used that determines its moral value.

For example, if through the scientific process we discover what gene causes blue eyes, that result alone is not evil, the use of this process in changing the way an unborn baby looks can be morally problematic, but not the steps prior to implementation.

Gagsquet
08-17-2011, 06:22 PM
You can say the scientist who discovered what genes caused blue eyes is totally neutral. Unfortunately, I think he is not neutral when he decided to work on this aspect. He knew the possible outcome of this discovery.
That's why I say science is not neutral in itself. The concept of science is neutral. Doing science is not neutral most of the times.

Pfloyd
08-17-2011, 06:42 PM
You can say the scientist who discovered what genes caused blue eyes is totally neutral. Unfortunately, I think he is not neutral when he decided to work on this aspect. He knew the possible outcome of this discovery.
That's why I say science is not neutral in itself. The concept of science is neutral. Doing science is not neutral most of the times.

Yes, I see what you are saying, a Scientists who has the intention of finding such things out is problematic, but the tool is still neutral.

Think of a hammer, it is normally used for nails, but it can used as a weapon.

It's still the intention. That science can lead people to bad things with this discovery is still the peoples falt.

MaxPower
08-17-2011, 08:04 PM
Science is more more and more powerful as you all know.
They can create the perfect baby ( as a product, you choose the color of eyes of our baby)
In Pittsburgh university, they can read in you mind ( just simple words for the moment).

But when you think about possible applications of theses incredible scientific advances, they are sometimes frightening for the humanity. Just think about the manipulation of human embryo, it could lead to eugenics..

My question is simple:

Should we slow down science progresses when the applications of theses advances could contradict with Ethics?

Or Science shouldn't be slow down but States have to deal with applications to prevent from a possible misuse.

What's you thoughts?


Nope. It is already wrong the regulate stem cell research and other things. It is understandable from some aspects.

Science is already under a lot of ethical scrutiny. Especially concerning how the actual science is conducted. Animal research for example. Also human research is of course heavily regulated for ethical concerns. If it was set free you could progress much faster especially with the genetic research.

As an example of unethical research is the nazi research on identical twins that naturally lead to very potent results but luckily for everyone such research will never be done again.

Of course their agenda was to create the perfect human. The tall, strong, blue-eyed and blond superhuman. If science was let lose totally free with an agenda like that it would no doubt succeed.

Everytime you take the most brilliant minds and give them unlimited funding there is basically no limit. The atombomb is a good example. Everyone knew the agenda and the ethical concerns but yet they finished it.

And you know what? If it hadn't been invented by the end of the war someone else would have invented it just a year(s) later. All the theory needed was available. All that was needed was putting it together.

It's the same with most science. You can't really stop it. If the theory is out and it's know how to experiment and develop it well then it will be done. If it's regulated in US then it will happen somewhere where it isn't. Cloning is a good example.

It will continue to be like that. You can't really stop the science itself. All you can do is control the use of the future applications and who is allowed to have them. Much like nuclear weapons are so heavily regulated

buddyholly
08-17-2011, 08:47 PM
You can say the scientist who discovered what genes caused blue eyes is totally neutral. Unfortunately, I think he is not neutral when he decided to work on this aspect. He knew the possible outcome of this discovery.
That's why I say science is not neutral in itself. The concept of science is neutral. Doing science is not neutral most of the times.

As just about everyone here has stated: Discovering what gene causes blue eyes is a totally neutral pursuit. The outcome is a totally neutral result. All it is, is the discovery of one more previously unknown scientific fact.

A scientific discovery is totally separate from anything that might take place as a result of the discovery.

Since just about everything in the world can be put to a bad purpose, you are really questioning whether all scientific research should be halted right now. Which nobody would seriously suggest.

RafterFanatic
08-18-2011, 02:22 AM
Its obvious that the development of the sciences is inherently linked to its applications nowadays. Long gone are the days where universities were independent and rich enough to pursue high-level scientific research without any need for an immediate application. And the days of independent thinkers is even more lointain.

Technological development nowadays is absolutely linked to big investment and, therefore, to the applications of such développement.

buddyholly
08-18-2011, 02:20 PM
Its obvious that the development of the sciences is inherently linked to its applications nowadays. Long gone are the days where universities were independent and rich enough to pursue high-level scientific research without any need for an immediate application. And the days of independent thinkers is even more lointain.

Technological development nowadays is absolutely linked to big investment and, therefore, to the applications of such développement.

OK, I was wrong. Glennmyrni could never have written with such foppery.

Gagsquet
08-18-2011, 02:58 PM
There are some fields where results of scientific researches could be easy misused ( like cloning) so we had to prevent scientists from making research on it in my opinion.

Scientific progresses have to stop when it goes against Ethics.

Pfloyd
08-18-2011, 03:52 PM
Then birth control pills, modern methods of nutrition, modern medication are called into question since they interfere with the "normal flow of life".

Birth control pills deny the existence of life, whereas modern nutrition and medication extend it to an unnatural state.

Things become very fuzzy when ethics is used too broadly imo.

Gagsquet
08-18-2011, 04:06 PM
Depends how you define Ethics obviously.
Birth control pills and medications for a longer life don't go against Ethics for me.

Pfloyd
08-18-2011, 04:18 PM
Depends how you define Ethics obviously.
Birth control pills and medications for a longer life don't go against Ethics for me.

So, say a person want to remove from there children the gene for say, autism or for certain heart conditions....would that be "bad ethics"?

Gagsquet
08-18-2011, 04:26 PM
Indeed, it's more kill off the embryo affected by autism and replace him by a healthy one. And this practice goes against my definition of Ethics.

Pfloyd
08-18-2011, 04:28 PM
What about when the embryo is almost a human and they could still remove this harmful gene?

It's clearly not killing a baby, but it is changing the way the baby would be born in a way.

I mean, there are slight evolutions in ethics too, so things that were once considered absurd today are ethical standards.

Gagsquet
08-18-2011, 04:34 PM
In the case you described, I think it's a good thing compatible with my definition of Ethics but for sure an other person could say, it's a practice against the nature. Especially a religious person.

Pfloyd
08-18-2011, 04:36 PM
In the case you described, I think it's a good thing compatible with my definition of Ethics but for sure an other person could say, it's a practice against the nature. Especially a religious person.

If you don't mind me asking, is religion the basis for your ethics?

Gagsquet
08-18-2011, 04:43 PM
No it's more a personal definition built up thanks to education,reading and my own sensibility.
but for a lot of people it is. And religious ethics is very strict and don't let a lot of space for science improvement.

Pfloyd
08-18-2011, 04:46 PM
No it's more a personal definition built up thanks to education,reading and my own sensibility.
but for a lot of people it is. And religious ethics is very strict and don't let a lot of space for science improvement.

In the case of strict religious ethics, the very way many religions go about ethics is unethical in my view.

It's always a good idea to form your own ideas on ethics of course. :)

Gagsquet
08-18-2011, 04:53 PM
Kant's definitions of Ethics and morale are very interesting and smart.
Nicomachean Ethics by Aristote is also a reference book concerning Ethics.

Pfloyd
08-18-2011, 04:55 PM
Kant's definitions of Ethics and morale are very interesting and smart.
Nicomachean Ethics by Aristote is also a reference book concerning Ethics.

Kant's definition of ethics are good in theory, but very hard in practce.

Aristotle is also good, but he does have flaws, such as not including women equal to men and the like, unlike Plato.

Bertrand Russell has the best ethical positions, in my opinion.

Gagsquet
08-18-2011, 04:58 PM
I don't know him (his work) . He wrote a book or something about ethics?
I would like to know his own definition.

Pfloyd
08-18-2011, 05:00 PM
I don't know him. He wrote a book or something?

He wrote A LOT of books, and over 30,000 articles in his lifetime, he dies at 97. :eek:

So you look some philosophy?

Are you familiar with Michel Foucault?

Gagsquet
08-18-2011, 05:05 PM
I did read a little of Surveiller et punir.
I am not a philosophy expert but I have some basis.
But I'm more familiar with "classic" philosophers. (Platon, Aristote, Kant, Schopenhaeur...)

Pfloyd
08-18-2011, 05:11 PM
I did read a little of Surveiller et punir.
I am not a philosophy expert but I have some basis.
But I'm more familiar with "classic" philosophers. (Platon, Aristote, Kant, Schopenhaeur...)

Yes, his works are dense.

I am not an expert either, I just read a little on every philosophy.

In the traditional scene for example, I would say the perspective you take on Ethics is more of Heideggers tradition than, Sarte for example.

That is, other have to be taken into account in order to make a decision, radical freedom, is not moral, imo.

buddyholly
08-19-2011, 12:12 AM
Scientific progresses have to stop when it goes against Ethics.

Science is pure, ethics are just man's ideas and shift with time and place.

In Galileo's time his scientific advances were seen as heretical and thus in violation of the ethics of the day.
So back then you would have voted ''yes'', lock the heretic up and burn him if he refuses to stop making scientific advances? Weird.

Gagsquet
08-19-2011, 10:44 AM
Science is pure, ethics are just man's ideas and shift with time and place.

In Galileo's time his scientific advances were seen as heretical and thus in violation of the ethics of the day.
So back then you would have voted ''yes'', lock the heretic up and burn him if he refuses to stop making scientific advances? Weird.

Irrelevant, you are confusing religion and Ethics.
Galileo scientific advances didn't go against Ethics but it contradicted religious principles. That's why he was called heretic.
:wavey:

buddyholly
08-19-2011, 03:43 PM
No it's more a personal definition built up thanks to education,reading and my own sensibility.
but for a lot of people it is. And religious ethics is very strict and don't let a lot of space for science improvement.

I am not confusing religion and ethics at all. I posted that because the quote from you above seems to imply that you think religion and ethics go hand in hand. You even have a name for it -''religious ethics.''

Gagsquet
08-19-2011, 04:48 PM
For sure Religion has his own Ethics but your example is not linked to Ethics but a religious principle in my opinion.