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Natural Sciences With Ethical Considerations Essay

1743 words - 7 pages

Interpreted literally, ethical judgements do seem to limit methods available in the production of knowledge in both the arts and the natural sciences; it’s not difficult to imagine the chaos of a world void of any kind of ethical considerations. However, can knowledge in the natural sciences even be compared to knowledge in the arts? Knowledge in the natural sciences includes knowledge that helps improve methods used in hospitals to treat previously untreatable illnesses. Art at first glance does not hold enough weight to be compared because it reaches a smaller number of people giving it less importance than knowledge gained in natural sciences. Nevertheless, art might not reach many people at one time, but it does spread ideas and judgements that go beyond the unanswered questions, hypothesis, and speculations of the natural sciences.
However, even natural sciences create judgements testing its credibility and criticism if a scientist claims its objectiveness; then how did this researcher put himself into the work? Each experiment or research could be exposed to ethical judgement, because of the subjectivity in human beings. Can a judgement even be made if it is not somehow subjective, or ethical? Do judgements hold only individual weight or are collectively based? Paraphrasing Crick’s words; he said that ethics alone are private, individually based; these can form ethical conflicts and they can become political when they become public (Crick, 1982). Most ethical conflicts do become public as soon as one individual makes an ethical judgement. Ethical implications disturb you more, therefore you share your thoughts and this sharing spreads and ultimately it can become a political issue.
Even though people are subjective, methods in hospitals do not seem to be unethical even if they inflict pain to the patient. Some methods including chemotherapy cause pain but are considered as ethical because they potentially help people, but some chance of an unsuccessful procedure still remains. According to Kant, the methods are moral even if they cause pain, because they are done with a good intent and also have the potential to help. Intention overweighs the actual method and makes it look ethical, but why is then hurting animals seen as unethical? We easily kill bugs and pests, but killing a bigger animal is seen not just unethical but also cruel. Everyone will agree it is morally wrong to torture an animal for a person’s excitement but many will criticise experimentation on animals despite it being helpful to humans, which is acceptable in utilitarianism. An example that raised many ethical issues was the potential cloning of humans. Before researchers started experimenting on volunteers, they experimented on sheep, which already was seen as controversial, because it had no say in the matter. Dolly the sheep was the first successfully cloned sheep after 276 failures (Brock, 1998). However people did not see it as unethical because it was experimenting...

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