The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: How does a scientist appraise the ethical aspects of his work?  (Read 10564 times)

Offline DoctorBeaver

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12656
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
How does a scientist appraise the ethical aspects of his work?
« Reply #25 on: 06/03/2008 22:43:20 »
I have to ask, who's definition of ethics is to be used? As Nietzsche explained, the ethics of the west are based on the Christian concept of good and evil. Other cultures (Islam, for example) don't use the Christian definitian.

Which is why I said that ethics in science must lie within the ethical framework of society - or, more accurately, within the ethical framework of the society in which that science is conducted.
 

Offline rhade

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 142
  • Do what you will, but first be such as can will!
    • View Profile
How does a scientist appraise the ethical aspects of his work?
« Reply #26 on: 20/03/2008 11:15:55 »
BenV, my friend, you are saying the same thing I am, in a different way. Ethics isn't a science, which is objective; it is entirely subjective.
« Last Edit: 12/09/2008 17:26:03 by rhade »
 

Offline BenV

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1503
    • View Profile
How does a scientist appraise the ethical aspects of his work?
« Reply #27 on: 20/03/2008 11:29:26 »
I agree.  Ethical decisions have to be approached in as scientifically a way as possible - so that all decisions are transparent and based on logical progressions, (ideally so that any group of random people, given the same info about risks and benefits, would reach the same conclusions) but there will always be a subjective element.

Sometimes, social background will mean that different groups of people would reach a different conclusion based on the same available information.  Neither group is any more wrong or right than the other.  So ethics will always be subjective.
 

Offline rhade

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 142
  • Do what you will, but first be such as can will!
    • View Profile
How does a scientist appraise the ethical aspects of his work?
« Reply #28 on: 03/04/2008 10:41:09 »
Absolutely. When considering ethics, one always has to consider the mores of the society or subgroup (religion, political party, etc.) who are making the judgement. For instance, it comes as no surprise that it is the catholic church which objects to all research involving human organisms (stem cells, cloning, and so forth).
The moral mores of the west are prevailingly Christian. Some people don't see themselves that way, as they don't go to church, but if you ask people from other cultures, for instance the Japanese, they see it.
Of course, I'm a Nietzschean, so I'm completely beyond the western concept of good and evil (but not good and bad).
« Last Edit: 12/09/2008 17:26:22 by rhade »
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

How does a scientist appraise the ethical aspects of his work?
« Reply #28 on: 03/04/2008 10:41:09 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums