Complete List Of All Moral & Ethical Questions Answered By Science











































Check back often; this list is being continuously amended.


  1. androgemouse

    And here’s the complete list of all scientific and technical questions answered by religion…

  2. Gary

    Ooh, it looks like we’ll be making a list of empty-set lists today.

    How about this: Here’s a complete list of Bigfoots with earned PhDs.

  3. Hrodgar

    Re: androgemouse

    You’d be on safer ground saying theology rather than religion, which is a much broader term than I think you give it credit for: “Religion, according to St. Augustine, is the bond which unites man to God; in other words, religion is the society of man with God.” Then consider that for most Christian monastic orders work is a form of prayer, and consider also how much science was done by those monks as part of that labor/prayer.

    Of course, even with theology, the case is difficult to make. Theology and philosophy are more fundamental, not less, than science. It is theology and philosophy in which are based the axioms on which science rests. Theology is indeed “queen of the sciences,” even when science is restricted only to its relatively narrow contemporary meaning.

  4. Kevin

    The relationship between theology and science today is that of a parent to a rebellious teenager. Those who have had one or more of those know that in spite of the parent nurturing and being the foundation of the teen’s very existence, in the moment of rebellion, the teen presumes to know infinitely more than the parent and it is only if and when the rebellious teen runs up against the order and constraints of reality and truly wrestles with them that she/he realizes that perhaps the parent was not as obtuse and ignorant as the teen presumed.

  5. Anon

    To follow Kevin, Western society is in a near-permanent state of rebellion: I want! I want! But the “parental”, that is, “societal” controls do not have the force that they once did to bring people back to their senses. Part of this is because people, especially young people, live in an echo chamber of their own devising. Constantly tethered to their devices reading and devouring content tailored to their particular tastes, they never hear or are aware of a voice or a point of view that is contrary to what exists in their chosen “media” bubble–but here, “media” is a much bigger word than just “news”–but touches every facet of their experience with their constructed reality. They never hear that they are mistaken, that they are wrong, that maybe they are not in possession of the data or the inquisitiveness to make an informed decision.

  6. Actually, “science” (meaning the basis, process, and output, of what people think of as science) assumes that the most important moral question is: “what is true?” and provides a consistent answer: “that which is real”; along with both the alternative formulation of the question ( “is true right?”) and its answer: (Yes).

  7. Chinahand

    Is it a moral question to tell a child that they ought not to play with fire because it is dangerous?

    The danger is something empirically discoverable and the ought only comes an imperative because of the reality of the danger.

    Telling a child not to do something for arbitrary reasons doesn’t seem like a good basis for moral enlightenment. Why shouldn’t the child do something different – just because … ?

    Even worse is when they are told something which is untrue – do not do x because it is dangerous, when x is not in fact dangerous.

    That would be morality based on a lie.

    Isn’t it a moral imperative to use evidence and reason to discover the truth of our moral claims.

    Of course, such an effort is ever doomed to disappointment and challenges over what danger etc really mean, but I wouldn’t dismiss the attempt.

  8. DAV

    These comments are like reading about the profundity of Cage’s 4’3″ or the insights of Warhol’s Empire. Toss some paint on a canvas; exhibit it in the MoMA; then sit back and read the reviews of its wonder. Hermann Rorschach was onto something.

  9. Nate


    “Females Aged 18-29” gave Andy Warhol’s Empire a 6.6 / 10 on IMDB. Males 18-29 were a bit better, 3.6 / 10.

    If one hasn’t read it, Tom Wolfe’s The Painted Word is a must-read. Also, anything else by Wolfe.

  10. Nate

    Also, I beg to differ with the premise of this blog post. On this very site, a Scientific Ethicist answers questions from time to time, with such gems as:

    “A meta-analysis of scientifically conducted experiments giving this dilemma to select college students shows that 34.385% of people would turn their bosses in. Therefore it is 34.385% ethical to do so and 65.615% non-ethical.”

  11. swordfishtrombone

    List of moral or ethical questions answered in the same way by all religions:

    1. Is blasphemy a bad thing?

  12. Gary in Erko

    That’s an interesting couple of new additions to the list since yesterday.

  13. obiwankenobi

    Homework assignment:

  14. I don’t think SF-tromb is correct to include antipathy to blasphemy in his list of questions. Still, so what if there’s nothing on the list? It may trouble the indifferentist.

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