What are the ethical implications of the science-and-religion debate?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


What are the ethics of the modern debates between science and religion? In this chapter I suggest that there are actually a range of different ways that the debate between religion and science might be described as ethical. I note several ways that science and religion are brought into relationship in professional scientific ethics and suggest that within the space of professional scientific ethics there has been a tendency to sideline or absorb religious ethical perspectives. I then turn to more constructive "big issue" ethics and examine two specific cases: embryonic stem cell research and climate change in order to highlight ways that science and religion can sometimes be reduced to stereotypes: that scientists work with the real world and religion deals with ideas (and not reality!). I argue that looking more closely at the range of perspectives represented by scientists and religious leaders in both cases presents a much more complex case and that this in turn commends a kind of ethics which should be jointly pursued by both science and religion.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophy, Science and Religion for Everyone
EditorsDuncan Pritchard, Mark Harris
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781315102474
ISBN (Print)9781138234215, 9781138234154
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2018


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