Dan Collins said it well. Technology and science gallops without bit, without restraint. Restraint used to come in the form of Christian ethics, but as society becomes increasingly secular, restraint is being cast off. So what force will guide the horse?
I have written before how science is so politicized, and I'm not talking about by crazed right-wingers intent on stopping the march of progress. No, the politicization of science is at the hands of leftists intent on forcing outcomes that are politically correct. Here is the essence:
Levin summarizes the liberal promise this way: “The past was rooted in error and prejudice while the future would have at its disposal a new oracle of genuine truth.”Science as "genuine truth". Color me terrified.
Let me tell you some things that were accepted as "genuine truth" in the field of medical science and have since been debunked:
Frontal Lobotomies: A personal story here. And look at what intellectuals bought into it.The list is long. I'm sure you could come up with more. I could, I just decided to stop. My point is that science is evolving. What is scientific "truth" today is tomorrow's discarded notion.
Sensory Deprivation for Autism: A personal view here.
Hormone Replacement Therapy for menopausal women. Oops! Causes cancer.
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery: Uh oh, it's just a placebo.
Christianity, on the other hand, has fixed principles that form the foundation of ethical behavior. I am taking, as a premise, that what we view as modern day ethics are Christian ethics. That's an easy one to prove--substitute Muslim ethics or Hindu ethics. They'd be a wee bit different, no? But I'm not going to get into that right now.
What the liberals hope for is ideological purity and science can form the foundation for that purity. That's why the Global Warming zealots are so zealous. They bring the same fervor to idealizing modern science that the zealous bring to worshiping The Ideal. It's a tad disturbing. Science will change tomorrow. A new notion of truth will come along because new science will reveal a more complete picture. But the liberal zealots assume that the picture they currently see is the only one that will ever exist and make decisions based on today's knowledge. It's the height of vanity.
Unrestrained by overarching principles, science can go anywhere and will. Some will embrace this, but science unrestrained by ethics takes mankind to dark places as Michael Gerson notes:
These arguments are seriously made, but they are not to be taken seriously. Does anyone really believe in a science without moral and legal limits? In harvesting organs from prisoners? In systematically getting rid of the disabled?
This last question, alas, does not answer itself. In America, the lives of about nine of 10 children with Down syndrome are ended before birth. In Europe, about 40 percent of unborn children with major congenital disorders are aborted.
All of which highlights a real conflict, a war within liberalism between the idea of unrestricted science in the cause of health and the principle that all men are created equal -- between humanitarianism and egalitarianism.
Already, decisions are made in the name of science, but are they ethical? And what are the implications for the future of those who don't measure up or those who refuse the scientific ideal?
There are questions science can't answer. The modern American's unwillingness to make these decisions is a decision. That leaves the decisions left in the hands of the scientists. There's a reason for the mad scientist cliché. We should all be paying more attention.