Why science is a better way to explore morality.
We think of science as a noun, in reality it is a verb, a process. The scientific method is a codification of a specific technique of handling and processing information. This method involves meticulous documentation of observations, and clear transparent analysis.
More than the individual scientist performing the experiments, it is the integrity of this process that we as a society hold sacrosanct. Because it is this process that ultimately allows us to derive an understanding of our world, which remains consistent from one experimenter to another.
Our relationship with our scientists is fundamentally different from the one we have with our prophets and philosophers. Yes, we have geniuses of science, and we do venerate them, much the same as we have elevated our prophets and philosophers. There is though an important difference in the way we bestow our adoration; we expect them to earn it. Unlike our prophets and philosophers from whom we expect no accountability, our scientists have to subject themselves and their work to repeated scrutiny. Only after their observations, analysis and conclusions have been repeatedly tested by others, can any scientist expect to be taken seriously.
The scientific method also changes how we handle intellectual disputes. Thanks to the scientific method, we don’t end up with five different interpretations on the basic principles of physics. We have a universal set that is the same for all human beings. There will always be ongoing puzzles and disagreements in physics, but unlike the disagreements in secular and religious philosophy, such disagreements in science do not condemn us to an endless purgatory of fragmenting camps. Everyone knows that the different theoretical camps in science are essentially ephemeral. They can only exist until the final evidence is in. Once all the evidence is in, the theory that wins becomes universally accepted and the others are discarded.
Now imagine if we could do for moral information, what we have been able to do for physics. Imagine if we could have a moral theory that is not different from philosopher to philosopher, or prophet to prophet.
The scientific method gives us the hope of something we have never had. It gives us the hope of someday finding a moral theory that is the same for all of humanity.
Morality and the Scientific Method