The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics

Volume 4, 2004

Business, Science, and Ethics

Lisa H. Newton
Pages 221-233

Can Science Tell Us What Is Right? An Argument for the Affirmative, With Qualifications

We argue that the goal of natural excellence, discoverable by scientific observation of the species, is appropriately called good, and the proper object of human development and education. That affirmation stands, but we are forced to acknowledge several conceptual difficulties (in the deliberate creation of “natural” excellences, for example, and in cases of plurality of excellences) and a final inability to reconcile human freedom—surely part of the natural excellence of human life—with the need to prevent humans from using that freedom to sacrifice it (through, for instance, drugs, self-indulgence, and emotional enthusiasms).