Human well-being and progress of science

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Published on: July 6, 2005

A clear-eyed defense of science needs to take seriously the original “bargain” that Haldane himself describes: that free research produces increased well-being. To investigate the meaning of well being, or doing well, means neither the dogmatic acceptance nor the dogmatic rejection of the moral values of one’s neighbors. It requires avoiding cynicism and utopianism about human motives and possibilities. It requires a willingness to look at the question of the human good with care and seriousness. And even if such an investigation yields a complex and mixed picture of what a good life is and how science contributes to it, the defense of science still requires the willingness to encourage what is valued and discourage what is troublesome, knowing that we will face many grave uncertainties and honest disagreements along the way. (more in this link).

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