Should there be moral or ethical limits on scientific research?

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Thinking about things like particle physics, bio-engineering (hybrid animals/ part human and part machine), the stuff of science fiction- things that may or may not be possible but could alter human civilization dramatically and quickly if implemented - do you think science should be without moral or ethical limits about what it is allowed to study?
 
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That's to say, do you think humans have the right to discover everything about existence and possibilities in the universe without moral or ethical limitations to prevent catastrophe?
 

Seeler

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I'm not sure if it is possible to or desirable to limit scientific research.
That said, I think that there definitely are moral and ethical limits to how it is carried out. For instance, starving children (as was done in a residential school) to study the effects of malnutrition is wrong. There has to be a better way.
Cruelty to people or animals needs to be limited.
Informed consent from adults should be a requirement for any research on humans.
Looking at the long term.
And religion has to keep up with research. (ie if every fertilized human egg is considered a person, I would think that would put the brakes on much research into infertility)
I heard a great sermon on this by a man who was both a professor of biology and a UCC minister, and on the ethics committee at the hospital, over 30 years ago.
 

Hermann

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Yes, there should be moral and ethical limits on research and technology.

The best limit, however -- as I just pointed out on the AI thread -- is for us to regard science as a spiritual pursuit (as it was during the Golden Age of Arabic culture) and pursue it with spiritual responsibility.

Like it or not, science has replaced religion as the method for finding truth. Scientists should duly consider that, and act accordingly.
 
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I'm not sure if it is possible to or desirable to limit scientific research.
That said, I think that there definitely are moral and ethical limits to how it is carried out. For instance, starving children (as was done in a residential school) to study the effects of malnutrition is wrong. There has to be a better way.
Cruelty to people or animals needs to be limited.
Informed consent from adults should be a requirement for any research on humans.
Looking at the long term.
And religion has to keep up with research. (ie if every fertilized human egg is considered a person, I would think that would put the brakes on much research into infertility)
I heard a great sermon on this by a man who was both a professor of biology and a UCC minister, and on the ethics committee at the hospital, over 30 years ago.
Well, I was thinking that one limit could accicidentally be sucking the world into a black hole or something during a hydronic collider experiment. That could certainly limit any future experiments! (eg. "Let's see what happens when we test this theory...uh...oops?") That's how far out science is getting. Or animal hybrids - called chimeras. I am not sure they should try to cross animal genes (or even genetically modify plants) because they can.
 
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Hermann

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Well, I was thinking that one limit could be sucking the world into a black hole or something during a hydronic collider experiment. That could certainly limit any future experiments! (uh...oops?)
What is this? Black humour?

Not even Monty Python went that far!;)
 
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What is this? Black humour?

Not even Monty Python went that far!;)
I guess you could say that...but when I first heard about the hydron collider at CERN...only a few years ago...I thought "Don't these guys have limits?" I suppose if multiple worlds theory is correct it wouldn't matter and we wouldn't know the difference. ;)
 
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It's some toy they're playing with and I wonder if they know their limits. On behalf of all of the rest of us. Fusion (or is it fusion?) experiments are another one.
 

Hermann

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It's some toy they're playing with and I wonder if they know their limits. On behalf of all of the rest of us.
No, they don't know their limits -- yet. But they they are hell-bent on finding out.

And, once they have discovered the force that originally set energy in motion, and learned to control it, they can instantaneously transform the universe into nothingness. That would be the black hole that swallows up the universe.

But I feel that this kind of knowledge protects itself. In order to acquire the knowledge of cosmic self-creation, one will have to become and be the self-creative cosmos. And, once one is the self-creative cosmos, one does not toy with it.

I feel that cosmic knowledge is not accessible to those with ego-consciousness. In order to acquire cosmic knowledge, one has to have cosmic consciousness. And, once one has cosmic consciousness and acquired cosmic knowledge, one does not play with it. As I said, the knowledge protects itself.
 
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No, they don't know their limits -- yet. But they they are hell-bent on finding out.

And, once they have discovered the force that originally set energy in motion, and learned to control it, they can instantaneously transform the universe into nothingness. That would be the black hole that swallows up the universe.

But I feel that this kind of knowledge protects itself. In order to acquire the knowledge of cosmic self-creation, one will have to become and be the self-creative cosmos. And, once one is the self-creative cosmos, one does not toy with it.

I feel that cosmic knowledge is not accessible to those with ego-consciousness. In order to acquire cosmic knowledge, one has to have cosmic consciousness. And, once one has cosmic consciousness and acquired cosmic knowledge, one does not play with it. As I said, the knowledge protects itself.
Well...do they have the right to turn the universe into..nothingness? And just how will they (or we) correct that kind of error?
 
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I know you said that knowledge protects itself...but they're hell bent on finding out anyway...and I am not sure such an adrenaline sport that they enjoy is good for the rest of us! It's one thing if the risk is confined to themselves...If CERN suddenly disappears we'll know they were onto something really big! Lol.
 
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"Oops? Where'd they go? CERN was just here!"..."Uh...well they must've gone to another world they were talking about. Joe...we must rebuild the hydron collider and go find them!" ...because we never learn. ;)
 
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But that's how seriously weird science is getting. I don't think the average person realizes just how weird quantum physics is...we're just starting to learn. Meanwhile these guys have been playing with such 'toys' for awhile now. Rendering aspects of religion overly naive. Multiple worlds theory coincides with the idea that maybe Jesus really did die and come back. Not in this world...but through a wormhole! Or we are all the same person because we've all done everything it's possible to do...in another world....because time is not linear...and so we are all Jesus...if he existed everything than can exist, did does and will exist! If it can be dreamt maybe it happened, somewhere. Maybe that's why ancient and relevant artifacts (and people...like King Richard under a parking lot...after all this time...quite a coincidence...so weird!) are turning up all of a sudden and we are questioning just how old the world is...because events as we've understood them don't line up. It's very weird.
 
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Hermann

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Well...do they have the right to turn the universe into..nothingness? And just how will they (or we) correct that kind of error?
No, only God has the right to turn the universe into nothingness.

I think playing God is tempting only to those who have not yet become (at-one with) God. Once we become (at-one with) God, we don't play God, but are God, with all the awesome responsibility this entails.

That's why I would like our modern day scientists to be mystics, as they were at the beginning of science, during the Golden Age of Arabic culture.
 
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No, only God has the right to turn the universe into nothingness.

I think playing God is tempting only to those who have not yet become (at-one with) God. Once we become (at-one with) God, we don't play God, but are God, with all the awesome responsibility this entails.

That's why I would like our modern day scientists to be mystics, as they were at the beginning of science, during the Golden Age of Arabic culture.
I agree. Only God has the right. That's why I would like scientists to respect their limits and realize they have limits...before reaching them! A bit of forethought...and respect for ancient wisdom! I think we agree. And people need to be aware of the power scientist have been playing with too...and demand that they not operate beyond ethical responsibility! I don't think the average person is. Scientists are given a free pass in the name of research and they need to understand and respect limits...because noone knows what they're up to.
 
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But that's how seriously weird science is getting. I don't think the average person realizes just how weird quantum physics is...we're just starting to learn. Meanwhile these guys have been playing with such 'toys' for awhile now. Rendering aspects of religion overly naive. Multiple worlds theory coincides with the idea that maybe Jesus really did die and come back. Not in this world...but through a wormhole! Or we are all the same person because we've all done everything it's possible to do...in another world....because time is not linear...and so we are all Jesus...if he existed everything than can exist, did does and will exist! If it can be dreamt maybe it happened, somewhere. Maybe that's why ancient and relevant artifacts (and people...like King Richard under a parking lot...after all this time...quite a coincidence...so weird!) are turning up all of a sudden and we are questioning just how old the world is...because events as we've understood them don't line up. It's very weird.
Meanwhile, in this world we have to live in a linear fashion and go about our business, living ethically, doing our best (I think we are in this world to learn from human error and be better). I don't know how quantum physicists don't drive themselves mad!
 

ChemGal

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Or animal hybrids - called chimeras. I am not sure they should try to cross animal genes (or even genetically modify plants) because they can.
It`s not just being done because it`s possible. Fundamental research helps guide practical applications. Are you against drugs like ZMapp?
 

ChemGal

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Kimmio, I do agree with you on something, the average person doesn't understand most of the current advances in science. Even scientists don't understand others' fields, we can only study so much. I think that those who don't know what's going on should stay out. Some of the petitions and stuff get quite silly when people don't understand what it is they are petitioning, and some of the bans that are wanted by average people can have serious negative implications.
 
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Kimmio, I do agree with you on something, the average person doesn't understand most of the current advances in science. Even scientists don't understand others' fields, we can only study so much. I think that those who don't know what's going on should stay out. Some of the petitions and stuff get quite silly when people don't understand what it is they are petitioning, and some of the bans that are wanted by average people can have serious negative implications.
I don't think so...if that's the case they should explain it and let average folks determine human destiny too. I don't think it's ethical to make pig-cows or combine fish genes with tomatoes. We just don't know what the long term affects of doing that kind of thing is...a hundred years from now. It's just not worth extending a few people's lives by a few years for...to alter human destiny in other ways in the process. I'm not sure it's wise to mess with dark matter or create artificial intelligence when we don't fully understand consciousness. I shouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for medical science. Not sure if I'm better off for it...but since I'm here I have a few ethical questions about what the heck is going on? Don't you understand the dilemma I am talking about? We have to think long term. And ethics is part of that. It seems to me the only ethics science abides by is not falsifying research.
 
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