Ethicist: Although science is frequently said to be morally neutral, it has a traditional value system of its own. F...

shafieiava on January 23, 2020

B versus D

Can someone explain why answer choice D is correct and why B is incorrect? Thanks in advance.

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Victoria on January 25, 2020

Hi @shafieiava,

Happy to help!

The ethicist concludes that, contrary to common belief, science has a traditional value system of its own.

How do we know this?

Sometimes, scientists can foresee that their research will result in applications which could cause serious harm. Traditional morality would require them to account for such consequences, whereas the scientific value system does not require them to do so.

(D) is the correct answer because, if scientists foresee that their research can cause harm, they are not required by science's value system to consider this. In this way, they are adhering to scientific values while also violating traditional morality which would require them to consider such consequences.

(B) is incorrect because the ethicist is not discussing the ultimate results of research; they are discussing scientists foreseeing harmful results and continuing with their research. (B) suggests that scientists doing research that unexpectedly turns out to be harmful would be violating traditional morality despite the fact that such results were not reasonably foreseeable.

Hope this is helpful! Please let us know if you have any further questions.