Scientific knowledge Moral, Social and Religious limitations

There is always value in knowledge just for the sake of acquiring knowledge. The wish to basically know and curiosity of what surrounds us, where we come from, what is there for us and what we are really made of is the major drive that makes us develop both as people and as species. Knowledge as many people would assert, feeds our inner desires whether it is material or immaterial. Most people agree that knowledge just for the sake of it have a major place in the world we live in.  Science always differs from other knowledge forms because of the content and properties that are atypical in it. Its objectives, background, methodology and concerns comprise of a unique system that possesses a typical epistemology in which dynamic, truthful, contrastable and rectifiable knowledge can be obtained. Therefore it is imperative to understand what entails scientific knowledge and whether or not it should have limitations on the grounds of morality, religious or social reasons.

Scientific work is usually a human activity that is meant to understand how exactly the world is structured and how it works. Why then do people seek scientific knowledge Science on its own cannot offer the answer. The response usually comes from comprehensive framework that is intended to define. Due to miseries that have been as a result of abuse of Science as well as its application most people feel there should be limitation on the extent of scientific knowledge.  It is often thought that scientific knowledge is attractive since its the main source of intellectual fulfillment since it also satisfies our curiosity on nature and its beauties and mysteries. The question on whether scientific knowledge is the best guide to societal life, most people acknowledge the fact that scientific knowledge is generally the only knowledge that is valid. Most philosophers like Bertrand Russell live the decision concerning this matter to the feelings and gives the moral issues a utilitarian role.

However, most people still believe that there should be limitations to scientific knowledge on the grounds that improper use of it leads to exploitation of the resources, gap widening between poor and the rich, pollution, undermining of the spiritual dimensions, mass destruction and enhancement of weapons and extinction of numerous species.

Science is usually driven by a search for what is termed as rational knowledge. Science is neither immoral nor moral and there have never been inherent morality as far as scientific knowledge is concerned. So limiting scientific knowledge on the grounds of morality is quite illogical. A scientific culture that has its drive on morality usually imposes external framework that is pre defined over its objectives and vision thus making it anti scientific. Whose morality is meant to drive science Logically, morality is applied and perceived subjectively and it is not everybody who believes in moral absolutism.
Since there are no inherent moralities to science, then any setting of boundaries on science as broad then it would have to be imposed on external science. Whose moral philosophy is applicable Kants Jesus Christs John Lockes Confucius Rousseaus Despite the fact that there is no definite outlook to morality as it is perceived by different people differently, scientists however, need to be led by professional code of ethics as well as standards that do set reasonable boundaries on the extent of application and methodology.

In order to actually justify morality of science, there are some principles that should be in place. First is the interest of the wider society, second is the interests of science and third the interests of the individuals. Though morality should be advocated, it also happens that scientific experiments and knowledge cannot be done without having to injure the rights of other people or interfering with their religious beliefs. Scientific knowledge has a major role in shaping the moral values as well as helping us in framing wise judgments. Most theists allege that if there is no religious foundation then everything else will be meaningless and there will be social chaos.

Scientific naturalists have a major belief that secular societies have developed responsible morals and reason and science have helped in solving moral dilemmas. Dramatic breakthroughs pertaining science, offers powers to human beings though they also pose some moral problems.  Should there be scientific discoveries like in vitro fertilization, making of designer babies and other known scientific discoveries Religious conservatives oppose stem cell research since they think they feel its violation of morals. Scientists on the other hand are appareled by this scientific research because they believe that the research cures lots of diseases and believe that those who are against it have ignored the welfare of people.

Most scientists have a common belief that science is autonomous and hence should be left on its own dynamics to decide on the way forward in defining scientific problems, the research that ought to be done and how the research should be conducted. The decisions should only be governed by scientific measures for example the theories that support the evidence. When the nonscientists, ethicists, policy makers, politicians, religious activists, and other groups interfere with science by regulating the research, setting the research priorities or by constraining the funding they are always seen as coming up with arbitrary research limits.  The aims and goals of science are interlinked with social, ethical and the political goals thus conducting science involves making rational judgments on how to pursue goals.

Though most people feel that they have a ground to limit the scientists in pursuing their knowledge, Thomas Hobbes an English philosopher feels that the human judgment is quite unreliable thus ought to be guided by the knowledge of science.  Most peoples judgment is usually distorted by pleasure, pain and self interests. It is only the work of science that provides reliable expertise of our future and usually overcome all the frailties of judgment. However for science to be effective it has to be influenced by other variables like economic, social, religious and cultural factors.

The major question on scientific knowledge and religious issues crops up. Most people feel that matters of religion should not limit scientific knowledge. Atheists have gone ahead to develop a critique based on religious systems and personal faith. Critics assert that religion does lack utility in the human society and believe that religion is completely irrational. They affirm that dogmatic religions are morally deficient and should not be used to limit scientific knowledge. On the other hand, most people claim that scientific knowledge is only possible through the help of God. Thus, scientific knowledge should be controlled. In the last century, it was globally held that there was a major conflict between belief and knowledge. This opinion had prevailed on advanced minds that it was a high time that belief ought to be replaced by knowledge. Any belief that does not rest on knowledge is superstition thus though there should be a limitation of science on religious grounds, it should be a rational limitation.

Though the major realms of science and religion are marked completely off from each other, nevertheless, there is existence of strong reciprocal dependencies and relationships. Though religion determines ones goal it has never learned from Science. Science is only created by those who are completely imbued with understanding and truth. Regulations ought to be there on extreme and irrational science. It is therefore rational to assert that science with no religion is usually lame and religion that does not consider science is equally blind. Conflicts always arise when religious society just insists on truthfulness of the bible. It is where conflicts between Darwin and Galileo as well as the church crops up. The major source of conflicts between religious and scientific spheres lies on God concept. It is the role of Science to come up with general rules to determine connection of events and objects in space and time.

Despite all scientific efforts, scientific knowledge can never be complete. Therefore it needs great understanding to know that there are major limits to what Science can finally offer us. An open minded and enquiring religion can be quite compatible with great Science.

For many years, the vision of science as the major pursuit of truth and goodness has been clouded as social, religious and ethical catastrophes have emerged from all directions. The ethical and social problems that are consequent upon scientific knowledge are the immense problems in the comprehension of Science. In response to problems, both outdated common sense comprehension of Science and the major scholarly science philosophy always shift their perspectives on what is basically real in the world of science. Though limitations of scientific knowledge is paramount, assessment of the quality of work that scientists do are a routine check as their work are judged basing it on the quality of the significant aspects.

Through academic period scientific knowledge has been portrayed and accepted as a good activity and productive. Recently, the image has forever tarnished and science is blamed for horrors of war, atomic bombs, abortion, environmental threats and other social evils. It is patent that science and scientific knowledge in general has declined from its pristine purity but the fact is they are helpful and an answer to most global problems.

Most philosophers believe that all the genuine problems that we have today are scientific catastrophes. Some of the controversial ethical problems in Science knowledge that make most people feel that science as a whole should be limited are cloning, genetic engineering, euthanasia, abortion, stem cell and other scientific developments that cause problems like atomic bombs. Most people assert that scientific evidence like that of Darwin is gross oversimplification and fraud. Albert Einstein asserts that, Science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgments of all kinds remain necessary.  Basing it on scientific knowledge and the emergence of euthanasia, most people assert that scientific knowledge is unethical while others assert that it is not. Most people follow the utilitarian argument of happiness for all. Some religious activists says that life is sacred and is precious and for science to come up with mechanisms like euthanasia which is a slow killer or assisted suicide is completely immoral. The answers to ethical and unethical parameters is quite controversial as people have divergent views on morality and what ought to be defined as moral or immoral. How would life be without micro wave ovens, test tube babies, organ transplants, armory, iphones and CCTV

Thanks to science knowledge that we have them though sometimes they are detrimental to our health.  The major areas have been on nuclear weapons, experiments on certain animals, eugenics and the list has continued. The list of immorality and science has tremendously grown exponentially.  Reproductive biology as well as medicine has turned to be a major moral outrage. Other problematic areas are synthetic biology, nanotechnology, genomics and others.

To most scientists, moral aspects in their work are invalid. Science by its main definition is morally neutral thus any moral judgment on scientific knowledge reflects scientific illiteracy. Some of the moral reactions on science are quite irrational. But incase scientists are completely serious on tackling the bad decisions that cause harm and suffering then they should need more understanding and little condemnation. The problem in use of moral heuristics in judging science is harsh on popular perceptions of reproductive sector. For example IVF in combination of genetic testing helps in screening the embryo cells for specific gene implant. Most people view this as playing God. Most philosophers and scientists believe that scientific knowledge is the best guide in development. As scientists continue to be literate, their developments will be judged on a position of knowledge and not morality as morality is relative.

Science in itself is the pursuing of knowledge on nature. Then is pursuing knowledge immoral or religious bias Is the investigation of nature immoral It is immoral not to have the interest to pursue knowledge. Investigation of nature is equally moral. It is lucid that scientific knowledge is the answer behind most of the problems in the world but also a solution to the problems. Though, this is the case, there should be rational limitations on science on a logical perspective and not on a self interest based view. A world with no science will be void and almost pointless to live in. Science has helped in most developments though has led to emergence of problems that were initially unknown. It is therefore imperative for scientists, philosophers, critics, religious activists and the whole nation at large to work together and bring positive change. This is because, science cannot do without ethics and religion and religion also can never do without science. Therefore there should be minimal limitation based on rational reasoning of all parties concerned.

It is clear that scientific knowledge is extensive and only logical reasoning will counteract their knowledge for them to realize the effect they have on the nation. The extent to which there should be limitation will be guided on rational extent of their effects on the society. However, on a logical and rational point of view, scientific knowledge works at its best interest to help solve scientific problems on partial morality grounds. Only the right definition of morals and ethics and the right religious foundations will help in limiting scientific knowledge.


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