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Science Is Value Neutral - Essay Example

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Science Is Value Neutral

It is the belief thatt he universe is governed by rational laws, and that through careful experimentation we can observe them. The problem, however, is that science is not simply about understanding, because each new breakthrough of understanding can also lead to a practical breakthrough that affects how we live our lives. These effects are one of the major reasons people ascribe value to science. One of the main sticking points many people have with science is that it allows humans to “play god” (Stevenson, Byerly 20). In other words, science allows humans to far surpass our natural abilities and do things we could never have dreamt of previously. Depending on one’s point of view, this could be anything from a very bad to a very, very good thing. To some, the idea humans having the ability to far surpass our natural abilities is terrifying. ...
These people would point to, for instance, the fact that no one should have to lose a child due to a childhood illness, and the science, by allowing humans to “play god,” has allowed us to save lives and create a better, healthier, happier place for everyone in the world. In this conception science is a beautiful and laudable thing, a good thing, and human progress measured by science is excellent. Both the previously stated arguments, that science is evil and that science is good are, on their surfaces, correct. But this means that both are absolutely incorrect. Yes, science can lead to some terrible and horribly destructive things; many lives have ended because of weapons brought about by science, many people perhaps live less actualized and happy lives because of the way science has affected their worldview, and, possibly worst of all, science has been used to justify some of the most horrific things known to man like racist justifications of biological supremacy. Science certainly has a lot to answer for. On the other hand, one would have to be blind not to recognize the way science has enhanced and enriched peoples’ lives, from giving an amputee a new leg that works as well as the one they lost, or allowing loved ones to spend a few more years together due to breakthroughs in modern medicine. So does one figure out the value of science by weighing the good against the bad? By saying ‘this scientifically created land mine made the child need a new limb in the first place, so clearly the bad in science wins out’ or vice versa? No. The answer is rather that science is a tool, and that like any tool it can be used for good or evil. The term “playing ...Show more


The nature and place of science in our world has long been a topic of the most heated and vehement debate in many levels of society. People have myriad ways of understanding and thinking about science: to some, it is a golden child which will bring truth and beauty into the world, to others, it creates devilish monstrosities which should not even be considered, and to some, it is neither of these things, but simply a tool and a way of understanding the universe…
Author : simonisdavon
Science Is Value Neutral essay example
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