There are no morals in science! Morals change with time as the cultural gamodeme changes. Today they are predominantly within the domain of religion for most cultural gamodemes, and I believe are unacceptable as guidelines for scientific research.
Ethical guidelines are a different matter to moral issues. They pertain more to scientific prudence than to a tribal, mythical, belief system. Science needs ethical guidelines because scientific progress also can open by-ways that are potentially exploitable by the unscrupulous. Logic not religion or political values should control ethical guidelines. The interference of morals into what are really ethical issues are a problem in the current global cultural gamodeme. Science should play no part in moral issues but can provide important insight into ethical issues, and developing ethical guidelines for specific social problems that are the concern of government. Issues that are regarded as moral issues by many is an artifact produced by insufficient science education provided to our population. The result is an inability of individuals to understand the potential of science, and indeed, to see the improvements that scientific progress can bring to the people. This 'scientific knowledge gap' allows inferior methods of reasoning, based upon intuition and revelation promulgated by charismatic leaders and authority, to gain influence. An influence that is based primarily upon religiosity and promulgated by ignorant and/or self seeking politicians who fail to serve the people in the best manner they can.
One issue of current importance is developing ethical guidelines for Reproductive Cloning. If left alone, as a normal step in the development of scientific research, reproductive cloning can have immense benefit to humankind. Moreover, an understanding of reproductive cloning is the precursor to the development of human chimera, which will be a necessary step if our humanity is to inhabit the Solar System and beyond. The issue of reproduction cloning should be one of scientific ethics; and, from my viewpoint it does not breach any scientific ethical standards.
A second example of how moral values impinge upon scientific reasoning relates to the politico-religious moral stance pertaining to an individual's right to ones own body. This directly impinges upon suicide, recreational drug use, prostitution, homo-sexuality, and probably abortion. The individual is the basic unit of the population [whether we are referring to the physical gamodeme or the cultural gamodeme]. Reductionism places that individuals consciousness as the fundamental unit that both allows and necessitates people to bind together as a society. It is to the desires of the individual consciousness that society must answer, with only the 'golden rule' as law i.e. an individual action is not allowed to physically harm another individual within that society. Those who would curb the basic individual right to one's own body have extended this 'golden rule' as a moral law that substitutes offence to someone else's consciousness in place of physical harm. Today even the legal system occasionally embraces this extension when it allows pleas based on perceived social injustice as a defense for criminal activity. The childhood rhyme: "Sticks and stones will break my bones but words they will not harm me" has been forgotten as ill-trained psychologists and social workers have been given credence as puppets for irresponsible lawyers.
Same-sex marriage and bigamy are ethical issues, because they concern the relationship of two, or more individuals. Society has a right to make rules that pertain to actions that can impinge on the stability of the cultural gamodeme and directly affect people other than the individual. The legalization of a strict definition of marriage as relating to the family and pro-creation is ethically acceptable. Moreover, on the basis that many of the arrangements society has set-up for married people are directed towards protecting any offspring, and thereby future society, the denial of of such things as insurance coverage for spouses in same-sex unions is permissible. However, denial of the union itself, is not! Similarly, bigamy can be legislated against by legally defining marriage as between two people of opposite sex, but a group of individuals living together in sexual union is of no concern of government. The law should accommodate both same sex union and bigamy under different names: they certainly do not encompass marriage in the manner all past and present cultural gamodemes have defined it.
In determining ethical guidelines the relationships between and among humankind, the environment, and the socio-cultural conditions, present some intriguing possibilities for the future. What we learn from physical Evolution and genetics has lessons we can apply to political decisions as they relate to our cultural and social systems. These lessons are not simply socio-biological [ala Wilson, 1975], nor, that genes drive everything [ala Dawkins, 1990]. Evolution takes the best of accidents and makes something of it. Moreover, a fundamental lesson, that needs to be applied for the sustainable development of any socio-cultural system, is that Evolution is ruthless about that which does not adapt. In particular, western political systems need to pay attention to this edict of nature. This lesson will apply rigorously to any cultural gamodeme that evolves beyond Earth.
The realities of the global system of government today are that the future will require a much deeper perspective in understanding social systems. This is particularly so because the establishment of a reductionist methodology in the humanities is a necessary pre-requisite for their participation in the future. Important changes are occurring as previous pseudo-sciences such as Psychology and Social Science incorporate scientific reasoning rather than authority [the ideas of charismatic leaders] to seek knowledge and understanding of their domains. As these areas move from conjecture based on authority, to reductionist analysis they develop scientific rigor and, hopefully, can initiate changes in social structure of the cultural gamodemes at the political level.
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