Register to answer and stay on top of the questions and answers. Sign up to receive the daily digest!
Keep Me Updated!

one moment please...


Welcome to AskAHumanist.com! Anyone can ask questions, but please only answer questions if you are a humanist. For an introduction to Humanism, visit http://americanhumanist.org/Humanism. This is a service provided by the American Humanist Association.

Enroll in the Online Course Positive Humanism: A Quick Guide to Living the Good, Secular Life

Q&A Home Contact Form



Send me a copy of this message
Send Message sending message...

Q&A Home Question

0

votes

image loading...
Nitish Panda

Eager Newbie

image loading...

Nitish Panda


Eager Newbie

About Nitish Panda

Sorry, this user has not created a bio yet.
Sun, Feb 26, 2017 - 05:07 AM

How should humanists interpret science - morality conflicts?

How should humanists respond to issues where morality/compassion and science are at loggerheads ? For example - Suppose two cousins love each other and they want to marry. According to science they shouldn't marry because inbreeding is not good for their offsprings. It is just an example. There are many such instances where science can be at odds with progressive values or morality. In such cases, how should humanists think?



Quick Comment On This Question (no login required):
Your comment below will be anonymously sent to the question owner, it will not be posted, and you will not get a response.

Send Comment sending comment...

1 Answer

1

votes
Answer Accepted!

image loading...
Bo Bennett, PhD
Social Scientist

Seasoned Vet

image loading...

Bo Bennett, PhD

Social Scientist

Seasoned Vet

About Bo Bennett, PhD

Sorry, this user has not created a bio yet.
Print Sun, Feb 26, 2017 - 06:24 AM
I think there are too many unique circumstances here to make a general rule. Science/data tells us what IS, morality describes what we think we SHOULD do. Science informs policy/morality, but does not dictate it. Science tells us that the offspring of first cousins are more likely to have genetic defects, but only by a couple of percent (compared to 3-4% to non-related partners), which is not much more than a couple in their late 30s choosing to have children. Science says nothing about marriage of first cousins, or protected sex between them. Now, first cousins, like all parents, should consider all the risk factors when contemplating having children. What percentage is too high a risk? Different people will come to different conclusions, regardless of their humanism.

A similar example is men having gay sex. Science/fact/reality show us that there is a significant risk over straight sex. We balance this with many other issues that outweigh the increased risk and don't have a moral problem with it. Similarly, most people don't have a moral issue with motorcycles even though they are significantly more dangerous than cars.

Morality is complicated, and each issue would need to be addressed individually. And different people will come to different moral conclusions, often despite their religion or lack thereof.
Bo Bennett, PhD
Social Scientist, Business Consultant
About My Businesses > http://www.archieboy.com
About Me > http://www.bobennett.com
Books I’ve Written > https://tinyurl.com/bosbooks
Courses I Teach > https://tinyurl.com/boscourses
Podcasts I Host > https://tinyurl.com/bospodcasts


Quick Comment On This Answer (no login required):
Your comment below will be anonymously sent to the answer owner, it will not be posted, and you will not get a response.

Send Comment sending comment...

Registered User Comments



About Archieboy Holdings, LLC. Privacy Policy Contact
 Website Design and Software Copyright 2017, Archieboy Holdings, LLC.