New Book: Science and Ethics: Can Science Help Us Make Wise Moral Judgments?

Here begins another new series at Omni Brain. This one is called, Review copies of books Steve gets in the mail from publication companies, like Prometheus Books, that love bloggers, Long enough title for you?

I actually don't have time to read anywhere near all of these books so I'm going to give you the Amazon shtick ;) These books really do look interesting and are definitely worth checking out! If you've read them please let us know what you think in the comments section.

i-21c025a91c539794727f5e7f65028f36-sci_and_ethcs_book.jpgOur first book is... Science and Ethics: Can Science Help Us Make Wise Moral Judgments?

Book Description:

In a world confronted by conflicting moral beliefs and values, the question is often raised, "Can science help us to solve our moral problems?" Many people today believe that moral principles are derived from religion. Their critics point out that the great religions often vehemently disagree about what is good, bad, right, and wrong. On the other side of a great divide stand many who say that there are no ethical standards at all and that morality is merely a question of personal taste or cultural relativity.

This volume presents a unique collection of authors who generally maintain that science can help us make wise choices and that an increase in scientific knowledge can help modify our ethical values and bring new ethical principles into social awareness.

Among the thirty contributors to this volume are distinguished scientists and philosophers, including Arthur Caplan, Mario Bunge, Vern Bullough, Thomas Szasz, Scott Lilienfeld, Susan Haack, and others. Among the wide-ranging topics discussed are bio-genetic engineering, stem cell research, organ transplants, human enhancement, abortion, euthanasia, psychiatry, and psychotherapy.

Editor Paul Kurtz maintains that there is a modified form of naturalistic ethics that is directly relevant to both science and ethics and provides guidelines for our moral choices.

About the Author
Paul Kurtz, Ph.D. (Amherst, NY), professor emeritus of philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is the author or editor of forty-eight books, including Forbidden Fruit, The Courage to Become, and The Fullness of Life, plus 850 articles and reviews. He is currently the editor-in-chief of Free Inquiry. In addition, he is the founder and chairman of the Center for Inquiry--Transnational, the Council for Secular Humanism, and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.

David Koepsell, Ph.D. (Amherst, NY), is executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism.

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Hmmm. I know that Alan Sokal is a fan of Susan Haack's philosophical writings, but I don't know much else about the contributors named. I might have to check this one out.