Isn't science a precursor to all morality?

Hi people, here’s another point that is bothering me.

I was debating with a friend when she brought up a point I realized I’d never considered. In order to make a moral decision, you must know to some extent the consequences of your actions. I had to agree with her that science is the field of study that tells us about what our physical actions will to do to other organisms and to our physical environment.

For example, if you didn’t know that spiders were integral to almost any food web imaginable, it wouldn’t seem so immoral to kill every last one of them. They’re creepy, and many are poisonous and even dangerous to humans. However, knowing full well as any ecologist would that a full eradication of spiders would cause thousands of insect species to increase rapidly and destroy entire ecosystems, that action becomes very very wrong.

Another example would be how modern Nueroscience has shown us that many animal species feel just as much pain as any human. In response to this, some methods of slaughtering animals for food are very inhumane and immoral and so society has changed for the better because of what science has shown us.

There are many other examples too, but my question is this: is it possible to be truly moral without science?

Dear friend,

Surely science can help us by enhancing our knowledge of nature. But it is hardly the precursor to all morality. Moral questions were being raised and answered long before even primitive science came on the scene. The precursor to all morality is the freedom of choice that God gave Adam and Eve and us! Natural law is a far greater help to moral decisions than even modern science is. For more on natural law, see:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_law

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.