The purpose of this blog is to reflect philosophically on nature and science. But since man is part of nature (in the widest sense of the word), these ideas have human (political) ramifications.
The objective basis of moral norms is lost on most scientists and indeed on the great majority of society’s elite. Ethical norms are founded on nothing more than wishful, idealistic thinking or whimsical assertion of power, according to the dominant view.
In reaction to being passed over for reappointment to the President’s Council on Bioethics, Elizabeth Blackburn publicly denounced Council Chairman Leon Kass for “rejecting science, such as research involving embryonic stem cells, because it feels wrong to him. Dr. Blackburn, who is no doubt a basically good person and worthy contributor to society, fails to realize that similar ‘feelings’ are all that prevent us from licensing practices that we by some unknown grace persist in stigmatizing, such as human vivisection, infanticide, euthanasia, and forced sterilization, even genocide. She is not alone; the vast majority of scientists are similarly uneducated.
The real danger to this ignorance lies in forgetting “who we are.” Our constitutional political order was founded on a clear vision of the transcendent dignity of the human person and his natural rights, that is, rights that flow from his very nature.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Widespread ignorance, particularly among the “educated classes,” of the objective basis of human rights undermines the political order that has made the United States of America the great country that it is:
It is in the light of the dignity of the human person—a dignity which must be affirmed for its own sake — that reason grasps the specific moral value of certain goods towards which the person is naturally inclined. And since the human person cannot be reduced to a freedom which is self-designing, but entails a particular spiritual and bodily structure, the primordial moral requirement of loving and respecting the person as an end and never as a mere means also implies, by its very nature, respect for certain fundamental goods, without which one would fall into relativism and arbitrariness.
With relativism, every man becomes a law unto himself and the strong rule over the weak. Justice becomes the advantage of the strong.
 I am following the classical usage, in which ethics and morals are synonymous.
 “Bioethics and the Distortion of Biomedical Science,” New England Journal of Medicine, (March 18, 2004), 1379. Emphasis added.
U.S. Declaration of Independence. John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor (August 6, 1993), 48.