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Essay on Ethics and Scientific Research

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Ethics is the study of moral values and the principles we use to evaluate actions. Ethical concerns can sometimes stand as a barrier to the development of the arts and the natural sciences. They hinder the process of scientific research and the production of art, preventing us from arriving at knowledge. This raises the knowledge issues of: To what extent do moral values confine the production of knowledge in the arts, and to what extent are the ways of achieving scientific development limited due to ethical concerns? The two main ways of knowing used to produce ethical judgements are reason, the power of the mind to form judgements logically , and emotion, our instinctive feelings . I will explore their applications in various ethical controversies in science and arts as well as the implications of morals in these two areas of knowledge.

Natural sciences are sciences whose methodology is based on the observation of the physical world. Unlike ethics it is a highly empirical discipline. The basic and perhaps only way used to produce knowledge in the scientific world is through inductive reasoning, as the methodology that is usually followed by scientists involves conducting several experiments and making observations, based on which they make logical conclusions. Ethical judgements hinder the methods of acquiring knowledge through scientific development. Several methods require the interaction with animals, which could end up being harmful for them. Moral codes and values oppose to such situations and therefore encourage us to raise concerns every time there is a potential for scientific research involving animal experimentation. As I learned in my IB Biology course, Xenotransplantation, the transplantation of organs from animals,...


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Works Cited

"Liquidising Goldfish 'not a Crime'" BBC News. May 19, 2003. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/3040891.stm.

Nicholl, David. "Lundbeck and Pentobarbital: Pharma Takes a Stand." The Guardian, July 1, 2011. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/jul/01/pentobarbital-lundbeck-execution-drug.

Oxford Dictionaries. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/emotion.

Oxford Dictionaries. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/reason.

"Pharma Firm Lundbeck Wins Ethical Award for Stopping Use of Drugs in Executions." Reprieve. March 29, 2012. http://www.reprieve.org.uk/press/2012_03_29_lundbeck_ethical_award/.

"Xenotransplantation – Ethical Considerations Based on Human and Societal Perspectives." Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica. March 31, 2004. http://www.actavetscand.com/content/45/S1/S65.



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