Science and Ethics: Can Science Help Us Make Wise Moral Judgments?

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Paul W. Kurtz, David Richard Koepsell
Prometheus Books, 2007 - Philosophy - 359 pages
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In a world confronted by conflicting moral beliefs and values, the question is often raised, "Can science help us to solve our moral problems?" Many people today believe that moral principles are derived from religion. Their critics point out that the great religions often vehemently disagree about what is good, bad, right, and wrong. On the other side of a great divide stand many who say that there are no ethical standards at all and that morality is merely a question of personal taste or cultural relativity.

This volume presents a unique collection of authors who generally maintain that science can help us make wise choices and that an increase in scientific knowledge can help modify our ethical values and bring new ethical principles into social awareness.

Among the thirty contributors to this volume are distinguished scientists and philosophers, including Arthur Caplan, Vern Bullough, Mario Bunge, Tom Flynn, Susan Haack, Richard Hull, Scott Lilienfeld, Ronald Lindsay, Thomas Szasz, Richard Taylor, and others.
Among the wide-ranging topics discussed are bio-genetic engineering, stem cell research, organ transplants, human enhancement, abortion, euthanasia, psychiatry, and psychotherapy.

Editor Paul Kurtz maintains that there is a modified form of naturalistic ethics that is directly relevant to both science and ethics and provides guidelines for our moral choices.

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Contents

What Is the Relationship among Science Reason and Ethics?
11
The Ethics of Science and the Science of Ethics
27
BIOETHICS AND STEM CELL RESEARCH
41
Copyright

22 other sections not shown

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About the author (2007)

Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), professor emeritus of philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, was the author or editor of more than fifty books, including The Transcendental Temptation, The Courage to Become, and Embracing the Power of Humanism, plus nine hundred articles and reviews. He was the founder and chairman of the Center for Inquiry, the Council for Secular Humanism, and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He appeared on many major television and radio talk shows and lectured at universities worldwide.

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