Bryan F Posted about 3 years ago Misunderstanding Ethics and the purpose of this talk I believe Harald makes a valid point about the difference between science and ethics. As you stated, science has corrected many misconceptions, but ethics isn’t quite as simple. It’s impossible to create a enduring standard for ethics. Where science can establish a correct and incorrect answer, ethics relies on creating an acceptable belief. It is constantly changing as it is relative to our own beliefs and morality. You mention two foundations for our ethics: religion and a legal system. Really it comes down to religion, as a debate over creating laws is often an ethical debate with a religious foundation. For this reason, acts such as cloning are deemed illegal due to their “unethical” nature. The issue with religion as a foundation for ethics is that it is largely unchanging, while ethics constantly changes. Therefore what is changing is our interpretation of religion, which in effect alters our ethical beliefs. This can be very dangerous as religion can then be adapted to justify what we would see as unethical practices (such as slavery). Scientific research and experimentation such as this then challenges our ethical boundaries and debate cannot be settled until enough people hold a particular belief long enough for it to be largely considered “right”. It is not necessarily an imposed belief, but one that develops in enough people over a large period of time that creates an ethical standard.