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The boundaries between ethics and science are very controversial. Many scientists have the attitude that they are willing to do anything if it provides for a gain in knowledge.

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Introduction

Christine Long 05/09/03 IB Theory of Knowledge Epps The boundaries between ethics and science are very controversial. Many scientists have the attitude that they are willing to do anything if it provides for a gain in knowledge. Others have tried to impose a set of ethical values over the gaining of knowledge. They have attempted to make prior judgments as to what science should or should not do based on attempts to project into the future what the outcome and implications a given of scientific investigation will have for society. Can science function over these constraints? Can negative results that some scientific investigation has on society be avoided by exercising this restraint? Or does science to be conducted properly have to be free to seek knowledge freely, leaving society to deal with consequences only after the fact? Can science be honest and ethical and objective all at the same time? In the film Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie, Dr. ...read more.

Middle

Should not this be applied to the aspect of science also? It seems to me that for something that has the goal of bettering and advancing mankind's understanding and their relationship with the world, that knowingly conducting experiments that may destroy and/or cause severe alterations to mankind is completely hypocritical. It seems to undermine the purpose of science. Can science function as it should under restraints made by ethical values? Can we avoid a potential plethora of Pandora's boxes that may open up by exercising prior restraint, or does science, in order to function properly, have to be free to seek knowledge freely, leaving society to deal with the consequences only after the fact? I think that ethical values should come first in everything. Ethical values are the structure of this world that distinguishes between good and evil. Without ethics, how would one differentiate between right and wrong: people need a certain code of standards to live by. ...read more.

Conclusion

To prevent this sort of thing of reoccurring, society must not ignore the facts. Teller's excuse he made for the H-bomb: "If I hadn't done it someone else would and the Russians did!" does not provide as a proper excuse. Each person is responsible for his own actions. "If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you do it?" We've all heard this a thousand times when we were a child. Has the scientists completely forgotten what their mom taught them? Maybe the world just needs to look back and think. Gain of knowledge can still take place even with ethical values in place. There is no excuse for disregarding moral standards just for the ultimate goal of more knowledge. Can science be honest and objective and ethical at the same time? Yes it can; there are numerous fields of study that do not undermine ethical values. Also, there are ways that certain controversial fields of study can be conducted without neglecting ethical values. People just need to think about consequences and results before actions take place, just as I was taught as a child. ...read more.

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