Friday, September 21, 2012

Science Cannot Determine What Is Right and Wrong

Point Mouilee, Monroe County

Science has its limits. So does religion. It's hard to find people who understand this.

As for science, Alister McGrath writes:

"Is science able to determine what is right and what is wrong? Most scientists would affi rm that their discipline is fundamentally amoral  – that is, that the scientific method does not extend to moral questions.

For example, Richard Dawkins succinctly confirmed that  “science has no methods for deciding
what is ethical ” (Dawkins,  2003, p. 34).

Stephen Jay Gould made a similar point in his important essay  “Nonmoral Nature ”:
'Our failure to discern a universal good does not record any lack of insight or ingenu-
ity, but merely demonstrates that nature contains no moral messages framed in human
terms. Morality is a subject for philosophers, theologians, students of the humanities,
indeed for all thinking people. The answers will not be read passively from nature;
they do not, and cannot, arise from the data of science. The factual state of the world
does not teach us how we, with our powers for good and evil, should alter or preserve
it in the most ethical manner.'  (Gould,  1994, p. 42)

(From McGrath, Science and Religion: A New Introduction , 3)