Preliminary Distinctions Rapid developments in the natural sciences and technology including biotechnology have greatly facilitated better living conditions and increased the standard of living of people worldwide. On the other hand, there are undesirable consequences, such as nuclear waste, water and air pollution, the clearing of tropical forests, and large-scale livestock farming, as well as particular innovations such as gene technology and cloning, which have caused qualms and even fears concerning the future of humankind. Lacunae in legal systems, for example, regarding abortion and euthanasia, additionally are a cause of grave concern for many people. Furthermore, moral problems which stem from a concrete situation, for example, gene-manipulated food, have given rise to heated public debates and serious public concerns with regard to safety issues in the past.
Ancient Greece Ancient Greece was the birthplace of Western philosophical ethics. The ideas of Socrates c. The sudden flowering of philosophy during that period was rooted in the ethical thought of earlier centuries. In the poetic literature of the 7th and 6th centuries bce, there were, as in other culturesmoral precepts but no real attempts to formulate a coherent overall ethical position.
The Greeks were later to refer to the most prominent of these poets and early philosophers as the seven sagesand they are frequently quoted with respect by Plato and Aristotle.
Knowledge of the thought of this period is limited, for often only fragments of original writings, along with later accounts of dubious accuracy, remain.
He appears to have written nothing at all, but he was the founder of a school of thought that touched on all aspects of life and that may have been a kind of philosophical and religious order.
In ancient times the school was best known for its advocacy of vegetarianismwhich, like that of the Jains, was associated with the belief that after the death of the body, the human soul may take up residence in the body of an animal see reincarnation.
Pythagoreans continued to espouse this view for many centuries, and classical passages in the works of writers such as Ovid 43 bce—17 ce and Porphyry — opposing bloodshed and animal slaughter can be traced to Pythagoras. This term was used in the 5th century to refer to a class of professional teachers of rhetoric and argument.
The Sophists promised their pupils success in political debate and increased influence in the affairs of the city.
They were accused of being mercenaries who taught their students to win arguments by fair means or foul.
Aristotle said that Protagoras c. They regarded themselves as imparters of the cultural and intellectual qualities necessary for success, and their involvement with argument about practical affairs naturally led them to develop views about ethics.
The recurrent theme in the views of the better-known Sophists, such as Protagoras, Antiphon c. He argued that, while the particular content of the moral rules may vary, there must be rules of some kind if life is to be tolerable. Thus, Protagoras stated that the foundations of an ethical system needed nothing from the gods or from any special metaphysical realm beyond the ordinary world of the senses.
He explained that the concept of justice means nothing more than obedience to the laws of society, and, since these laws are made by the strongest political group in its own interest, justice represents nothing but the interest of the stronger.
Presumably he would then encourage his pupils to follow their own interests as best they could. It is not surprising that, with ideas of this sort in circulation, other thinkers should react by probing more deeply into ethics to see whether the potentially destructive conclusions of some of the Sophists could be resisted.
This reaction produced works that have served ever since as the cornerstone of the entire edifice of Western ethics. Yet, unlike other figures of comparable importance, such as the Buddha or Confucius, he did not tell his audience how they should live.
What Socrates taught was a method of inquiry.ISI WOS___SCIE Philosophical Papers X Stem cells in theory Some veterinarians see a need for more caution in the use of stem cells.
Among them is Dr. Brennen A. McKenzie of Adobe Animal Hospital in Los Altos, Calif., president-elect of the Evidence-Based Veterinary Medicine Association and author of the SkeptVet blog. This past semester, I had the opportunity to work as a research assistant for her project in the philosophy of stem cell biology.
This relatively untouched field of inquiry piqued Dr. Fagan’s scientific and philosophical interests. Mary Ann Glendon. Mary Ann Glendon is the Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.
She was also appointed by President George W. Bush to the President's Council on Bioethics, as well as U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, and is now serving, by appointment of Pope Francis, on the Pontifical Commission to investigate the workings of the Vatican Bank.
If there is one Sunday out of the year that presents unavoidable problems for preachers it is Palm Sunday. What do we do with this triumphal parade when we . Ethical Standards in Research - Concern for risks involved in the research and the participants involved in the study is a duty of the researcher (Lindorff, ).