Friday, June 3, 2011

This house believes that science and morality don't mix - guest speaker

Contribution by Mr TG
I will not take [sides] in my speech and I will try to bring a different perspective on the debate in place.

As a first step, it is important to note that science is neither moral nor immoral,indeed science in its broadest sense simple and original, does not concern the morality and satisfied with giving answers or explanations of natural phenomena. This observation might innocently believe that all scientific research has as sole aim the search for truth. Nevertheless scientific research has a cost, these are supported by companies or states with the specific aim of a possible use of the research (trade, weapons, medicine ..). [...]

Therefore it appears that scientific research is oriented. But has this orientation of science a moral component? When the Americans and Germans during World War II interested in nuclear fission and the possible military use, what was the influence of morality on this research? We can distinguish two points of view: the first scientists to believe that the time had committed an unforgivable mistake in creating the bomb with effects we all know, the second is to think that this new weapon ends World War II and many of future conflicts were resolved thanks to the existence of this deterrent weapon. Hence it makes sense can wonder about the necessity of morality’s intervention on Science.

Nevertheless it is important to keep in in mind that morality changes over time and geographically,what seems to us morale,it is for a Chinese or does it seem we always moral in 10 years or a century ? Vaccinate their children? This insignificant practice resulting from the discovery of the vaccine against rage by Pasteur in 1885 appeared as moral, however, some vaccines are really dangerous, can cause other still unknown diseases, so that vaccination could become a dangerous and unethical practice. According to this observation must we let the science influence or guide by a changing morality?

In a second time, morality and ethics is a branch of philosophy. Indeed, the oldest ancient philosophers were also mathematicians more or less famous.(The same men wrote treatises on mathematics or astronomy, and wrote books on metaphysics and morality.). Note that the truth is the common aim of the philosopher and scientist. No philosopher wants to think something wrong, no scientist wants an inaccurate result. For centuries science like justice or religion must correspond to values, Standards and roles to be understood and accepted otherwise they are immoral and dismissed. Does that mean that science doesn’t serve society by infringing its moral rules and values? Let’s take the example of HD, Didn’t the work of Nazi scientists serve as the basis for much future subsequent research (including cancer)? Science is still as characterised by this cultural legacy? Does it exist only moral and immoral science? Can we not qualify the aim by showing that science juste like morality are serving society?

To conclude, I think it is important to ask if science and moral are mixed and if they should mix. There are numerous examples showing that science and moral had often been opposed and history shows us that morality comes from a practice of science, but what about the future of science and morality?


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