Scientific Inquiry Is Rooted in the Desire to Discover

Topics: Science, Human, Risk Pages: 1 (334 words) Published: August 21, 2013
Scientific inquiry is rooted in the desire to discover, but there is no discovery so important that in its pursuit a threat to human life can be tolerated.

In today’s world, the thirst for knowledge and scientific discovery drive many scientists to go to great lengths to get it. However, one question that always crops up is the moral aspect of such knowledge adventure; to what extent should such a discovery be pursued? In basic terms, the above statement advocates that no matter how valuable a discovery is, human life should come first. In most cases, scientific discovery demands experiments are carried out on humans. This is truly risky. Some scientists carry to such experiments on animals to determine whether they are safe. However, humans must eventually undertake the experiments and this helps in establishing their effectiveness. For instance, there has been ongoing research to find a cure for AIDS. Many scientists have come up with drugs expected to work, but there is no way they can conclusively endorse them unless they successfully try them on humans. In such cases and others where humans might benefit, scientific finding can be pursued even if there's a risk to human life because greatest benefit might become apparent. If a deadly viral outbreak threatening to wipe off the face of mankind were announced today, the logical thing to do is to accept the risk and ask for people, who would be eager to undergo tests for a probable cure, to volunteer. In such a case, human life is at risk for a benefit. Before the discovery of vaccines, many people succumbed to diseases such as diphtheria, flu and smallpox; thus it is extremely hard to deny the benefits of such discoveries. This is a tough call and places one in a dilemma. What should be looked at are the risks versus the benefits, both short-term and long-term. It is only when the benefits greatly triumph over the risks that such undertakings should be considered.
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