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Does ethics hinder innovation?

Posted Jul 19, '12 at 11:18pm

rayoflight3

rayoflight3

435 posts

I thought the answer to this question was obvious at first, but then I realized there were more complex components involved.

Bleak prognostications welcome!

 

Posted Jul 20, '12 at 2:19pm

ATCaver

ATCaver

51 posts

I believe that it does. I know they are fictional, but look at the progress made in both Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and also the background story for the Bioshock series. Though, in the end, this lack of regulation and ethics destroys the parties involved in both cases, I think society as a whole could benefit from less regulation and by graying the line of moral boundaries.

 

Posted Jul 20, '12 at 4:13pm

BRAAINZz

BRAAINZz

600 posts

I think they hinder them greatly, sometimes even to a halt. Everyone has different values and ethics, and feel that they are right. And in being right, would want to impose them on everyone. Some people's ethics involve not changing the course of nature, for example, and are against genetic manipulation and what not. One founding of these kinds of ethics involve religion. Although not everyone values them, they still have large sway in progress. Whether scientific or medical.

If we're using video games as a prime example (Not to say they're wrong) Than in Mass Effect 1, they briefly touch on (In 1 side mission) how people feel that the human genetic's should not be altered too much, hence only allowing minor upgrades to the human body. Such as faster regeneration. While these are still alterations, they preserve the general abilities of normal humans.

I personally have no ethics that slow down progress. The ends justify the means.

 

Posted Jul 20, '12 at 4:58pm

rayoflight3

rayoflight3

435 posts

Though, in the end, this lack of regulation and ethics destroys the parties involved in both cases, I think society as a whole could benefit from less regulation and by graying the line of moral boundaries.

Yes, this was exactly what I was thinking! Progress at first but eventual chaos. But I'll continue to ponder.

 

Posted Jul 21, '12 at 8:28am

HahiHa

HahiHa

4,951 posts

Knight

Depends what you mean by innovation, but if we're speaking in terms of progress in knowledge and stuff, then the best real example are still the nazis. Their experiments on deported people gave us important medical results and knowledge. Their ingenieurs and technicians were innovative and some have been employed by the Americans after the war, instead of executed or sentenced.

I also read recently about radiation experiments decades ago that some Russian scientists made on animals because they feared an American nuclear attack and wanted to know the effects of radiation. I read about this because now there are scientists who want to use the archived animal tissues to find out about weak radiation effects on molecules and DNA, to understand the risks and effects of radiology used in medicine; and they say that those old datasets of radiated animal tissues are the biggest ever made and noone could reproduce it today, for money and ethic issues.

On the other way, I think a certain ground set of ethics is necessary for our society as a whole to function; it needs a certain respect. Debating about ethics is of course an important part of finding out what makes sense and what not; but no ethics at all isn't the way to go.

 

Posted Jul 21, '12 at 2:01pm

BRAAINZz

BRAAINZz

600 posts

Depends what you mean by innovation, but if we're speaking in terms of progress in knowledge and stuff, then the best real example are still the nazis. Their experiments on deported people gave us important medical results and knowledge.

The thing is though, a lot of the more useful data the Nazi's figured out were found out by human testing, and although the data is great and useful, nobody will use it, let alone make sure it's correct by dissecting 2 Jewish twins taken from a concentration camp.

 

Posted Jul 21, '12 at 2:48pm

thisisnotanalt

thisisnotanalt

8,475 posts

Totally man, like I have this awesome schematic for a zombie laser baby and I totally was going to make it and use it for self-defense and companionship but then ethics was all like "bro what the **** you finna do to that baby" so I had to put all the cybernetics away

 

Posted Jul 21, '12 at 4:41pm

HahiHa

HahiHa

4,951 posts

Knight

The thing is though, a lot of the more useful data the Nazi's figured out were found out by human testing,

Thanks for repeating my point?

and although the data is great and useful, nobody will use it, let alone make sure it's correct by dissecting 2 Jewish twins taken from a concentration camp.

I have no example ready right now, but I'm pretty sure some of the knowledge gained by those experiments have been integrated in medicine, and you don't necessarily have to reproduce the experiment 1:1; it is enough to be aware of a certain mechanism to be able to track it using more ethical ways.

But on human testing in general, why do you think do we employ animals for new drugs and medicaments? To rule out the more grave side effects, before it can be given to test patients. If there were no ethics, people could enrole for primary tests; we could get results far more quickly this way, but there would be more complications which would lead to a huge law case blocking all the research on said medicament.

 

Posted Jul 22, '12 at 1:29am

Graham

Graham

6,420 posts

Say I somehow received human brains by the mail and somehow they found their way between two burger buns; would it be morally wrong to not put ketchup on this?

I say yes.

 

Posted Jul 22, '12 at 3:30pm

samiel

samiel

330 posts

of course morals will hinder inovation its basic human nature to prevent certain goals from being achieved for the sake of moralty

case#1 the fictional Umbrela Corp of the resident evil series
do to the lack of human descency the corperation nearly ended the world in an attempt at the next step in pharmasutical innovation

case#2 stem cell research
its a love hate tragedy of a medical miracle and abortion if not for the moral afflictions we would most likely be funding the research but since abortion is dispised rather than take the best of a bad situation we scorn it

 
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