Friday, January 06, 2006

Science and ethics independent?

I've been reading Richard Feynman's "The meaning of it all: thoughts of a citizen-scientist" and had a few thoughts on one of his arguments. He says that
science and moral questions are independent
and I agree to his theoritical arguments. However, I don't think that is a luxury a scientist can afford in our world. The consequences of the science should be considered, as plenty of its applications are morally dubious. An ever popular example, is either cloning or the development of weapons of mass destruction. I am against the latter as its cons outweigh its pros. How can a scientist sleep at night knowing that his work is being used to kill people? I know I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I knew that. To this Feynman said,
Well, how do you know you don't want people killed? You see, at the end you must have some ultimate judgement.
It was very weird reading that statement, as he offered no further clarification. Cold, wouldn't you say?

While cloning can be very useful for the future, when we exhaust or out-strip a lot of our resources such as crops. It can even come in great use in medicine as people wouldn't have to wait to get replacement organs. But then you also have the recent S. Korean stem cell debacle where the scientist was involved in unethical practices. Ethics and science should be bound. Or else, new nightmares can be created without constraints. Scary!

What do you guys think of this great scientist's thoughts?

Here is the cover (click for the link):

Tags: Science, Opinion

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