Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Traditio: Can Science Tell Us Right From Wrong?

Science is one of the greatest of all human achievements. Through it we have discovered our place in the universe, the cause and cures for diseases, how to improve life through technology, and so forth. This is not to say that science has figured out everything; there are numerous question remaining to be solved, and to be perfectly candid, we may never answer all of the questions. But, that in part is what makes science a wonderful and beautiful thing; you can always keep asking questions and a perfectly acceptable answer is "I do not know yet, but I will keep investigating."

While science can answer many questions, an important question to ask is whether or not science can help us answer moral questions. Some say yes, some say no. Entire books have been written on the subject, and it appears that this question will be one of the big questions in moral philosophy for the time being. Personally, since science tells us how things are but not how they ought to be, it seems to me science cannot answer moral questions because they are beyond the scope of the scientific method.

But, don't take my word for it. In this weeks traditio a panel of great thinkers discuss this question with different answers and reasons for there answer. The panel includes philosopher and neuroscientist Sam Harris, philosopher Patricia Churchland, philosopher Peter Singer, physicist Lawrence Krauss, philosopher Simon Blackburn, and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker. I hope you enjoy their discussion of this very important question.

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