Do morals and ethics hinder science?

Should science be held to the same moral and ethical standards as laymen? I figure there are pros and cons to this. Real benifit vs. The social concience.

If a scientist needs to go beyond morals and ethics in order to find the answer in order to alleviate real problems should they be allowed to? I say yes. Not a blanket yes but, still a yes.

the ethical thing to do is to stop testing on animals and start testing on peta members


:laughing: I can’t argue with you there. But I was not just thinking about testing on animals, I was thinking about testing on humans too.

How the moral/ethical standards measured? What are exact the methods? :slight_smile:
If it can’t be measured, what’s the point in discussing the level of moral/ethic ?

I would say by general standards and methods. Ones that exist today in societies across the world. the average not the extremes. Or maybe throw in some extreme. I don’t really know what you want. but lets say A scientist or a doctor needs to kill a human in order to get answers for the betterment of humanity. Or test possible drugs on animals and humans that could kill or do nasty things to that creature. why should it be wrong for the scientist to do that? Is it wrong? should that scientist be held to the same standard as the laymen?

Do you honestly think that there are general standards and methods?
Tell me some example of the concrete and practical standards and methods to measure/evaluate ethical/moral level.

I don’t think there is any general method for measuring/evaluating ethical/moral levels.

Cops can kill humans. Soldiers can kill lots of humans. So, why not scientists, musicians, poets, and so on? And layman can at least kill themselves. :smiley:

Where do you draw the line and how? Do you really think you can draw a clear line?
If you imagine that you can draw the line without knowing the exact method, well, I’d say you aren’t so different from religious fanatics, to me.

Morals are things we hold true at all times.

If we obsolved scientists of moral obligation than wouldn’t they start doing things we don’t like?

So? If their goal is to benifit all humanity and the world is it not right to give them leeway on ethics and morals? Is it not unethical and immoral to stop them?

The reason why morals “hinder science” is because if something is immoral, it means that it could do more harm than good.

It means we actually bet that would happen.

And it also depends on your moral system.

And hence the question? You just said its a gamble. to go on the side of caution hinders. And what harm? Stemcell research , drug research, surgical procedures, cloning? What is the worst case scenario in all of these? Will the studies require all humans to participate or just a small number? Besides I am not saying do not observe , I am just saying do not hinder. No reason to not put the brakes on if things start taking a turn for the worse. Saying it will before it happens is sort of like convicting someone of a crime they have not commited. Is it right to arrest someone for murder if they have not murdered? Why hinder a scientist if they have not commited a crime against humanity?

O.K. Firstly you must seperate your religious concept morals from your more resonable ones (no offense to religion)

Morals are grounds for action or inaction in the interest of preserving something. This something is usually happiness and life.

Stemcell research is largely opposed on religious grounds…

Some drug research contains a risk of producing things like superbugs or dead and mamed test patients.

Cloning is opposed because the idea of creating clones for work and organ harvesting is exactly like slavery, and in fact worse.

What surgical procedures are prohibited?

It’s not like we purposely tell scientists to slow down because we think they are going to fast.

They have a code of ethics which they employ themselves which is a caution against doing more harm than good.

Without ethics we get things like bio-weapons, super bugs, and clone armies.

But then again, we can use the bio weapons to cancel out the clone armies, so i guess i have no argument :laughing:

Morals and ethics exist in science? When did that happen?

Morals have been around in science for awhile… ever since the center of the universe theory i think…

( Shrugs.)

This subject isn’t my cup of tea.

It started when religious morals faught with new contrdictory scientific beliefs like the non-=eco centric universe.

Remember those guys who all got house arrest? victims of morality.

The thing is the morality of the bible is somewhat dubious.

I’d say it is important to have an outside ethical force, as American Universities do. Things like the Tuskegee syphilis trial, the Quaker Oats radiation study, ect. demonstrate that there should be something holding scientists back! Also it is worth noting that while the findings of these studies are interesting, they aren’t ultimately all that important.


This is too open ended. There has to be some terms defined before there can be any meaningful discussion. I think it can be generally said that scientific research is generally as moral as the people doing that research. I think your angst is more about applied science, and not the basic research work.

Remember, Alfred Nobel researched and produced nitrocellulose (dynamite) in an attempt to find a safer explosive than volatile black powder. It certainly saved the lives of many miners and construction workers. But then some other people thought of some other uses… oops. :astonished: Beneficial scientific research done by a moral man…

It is open ended, look at the posts. Science has blurred ethical and moral standards and stipulations. What is Ok in Europe is not Ok in the US or in other countries. The US does things that other countries would not. Its all over the board. Does all of this hinder science in its effort to better the world and man? I am not saying to not watch them but, can more leeway be given? or should only strict laws be practiced? Humans screw up, scientists are no different. How much secret research is being done because of fear of retribution? govt’ and private. If its out there anyway should it not be observed? Give more leeway and keep the secrets in the light. Its the ones in the dark that I fear.


What is pure scientific research is blind to morality. There are only questions, testing methods, and results. Applied science is the issue, and I don’t see any way to promote some sort of “umbrella” standard of ethics or morality over world-wide methodologies. What is moral is enculturation, and applied science has the same moral problems as all other disciplines. It depends on when and where. As far as the hidden scientific research and its applications, that will never end any place on the planet where the powerful can gather the assets and the expertise. After all, it is always in the interest of “national security”. Right? :unamused:

Science is always a factor in ethical reasoning. No scientist gets to begin a test on the basis of “because it would be cool to try.” This is instead the role of leading government.