The word ‘ethics’ comes from the Greek word ‘ethos’, meaning custom or behaviour. The concept of ethics was originally proposed by the Greek philosopher Aristotle for the discussion of philosophical questions relating to daily life: the ‘ethike theoria’ deals with the study of, and gives criteria for the evaluation of human behaviour. Since then, ethics has become one of the major topics in Western philosophy when debating social and individual values, their relationship and their hierarchy in society. Today, the meaning of ‘ethics’ is more or less equivalent to that of ‘morals’, which comes from the Latin word ‘mos, moris’ and also means custom or behaviour, but on a more personal level. Moralists, such as Nietzsche, Santayana and Russell, claim that ethical values are rather personal interpretations, deliberations or preferences and not general principles that can be proven true or false. John Ziman, the former Chairman of the Council for Science and Society, interprets ethics not as an abstract discipline but as a way of dealing with differing opinions that arise when traditional values are faced with new realities (Ziman, 2001). Ethics also refers to the moral principles or values that generally govern the conduct of an individual or group. Ethics can be viewed as the standard of behaviour by which conduct is judged. Ethics also is not just about standard of behaviour, but it is about honesty, justice and fairness. Ethical questions range from practical narrowly defined issues, such as in the modern progress of science and technology with their works and researches, to broader social and philosophical questions such as the scientists and engineers’ responsibilities to preserve the environment and protect the nature. In this assignment, we have gathered some information about the ethical implications of modern progress in science and technology. All the information is gained from some e-books, articles and internet searches.
THE ETHICAL IMPLICATION OF MODERN PROGRESS IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN GENETIC ENGINEERING In genetic engineering, the advancement of science and technology is surely one of the greatest organized creative activities of humankind today. The material world that we see around us, and the way society functions today are direct manifestations of these advances. The origin of science lies in the evolution of the human brain, and the intrinsic sense of curiosity in human beings to explore, to know, and to understand nature and around the world. Historically, the origins of science go back to the beginning of civilized existence. From its earliest days, science has been embedded in society, there has been a continuous learning process in society as a whole, based on day to day experiences and this can become the body of the knowledge from which applications and understanding have grown. Sir Francis Bacon wrote: "Human knowledge and human power are coextensive, for ignorance of causes prevents us from producing effects. Nature can only be ruled by being obeyed; for the causes which theory discovers give the rules which practice applies". Bacon’s words bring out the purpose of scientific activity. It is to discover the laws of nature so as to widen humankind’s perspective and understanding of the world we live in, to increase the basis of our material existence, and to help us fight the physical and biological calamities that beset us in our progress through life. Indeed advances in modern biology show us that human beings share the same functional characteristics with animals, plants and all living systems, based on the fundamental element, DNA. The issues facing us in the areas of environment are not philosophical, theological or religious as normally understood. They relate to values that are applicable to situations in real life: that everything on earth has to function in harmony as a system, and it is only in such a system that humanity can flourish. Whilst these values and concepts...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document