Ethics bounds us from the outer boundaries of science that we desperately need. We would be hundreds of years more advanced than we are know if we didn't have a code of ethics that bind us from developing further as a species. But if this was reality we would have a world without ethics and who know what effects that may have on human civilization we just don't know.
Science would most definitely be much further advanced if it wasn't bound by ethics. Granted, ethics prevents scientists from performing inhumane experiments like those of Josef Mengele (a.K.A. The Nazi Angel of Death). However I do think that experiments that push the boundaries of 'morality' may be the things that lead to great breakthroughs and discoveries. Then again science without ethics would undoubtedly be a double-edged sword.
Ethics are necessary, and there is no doubt that science would be further advanced without ethics. Surely medicine would be further advanced as well as weaponry and rocketry, but the effect would be severe on society. So this question is a great one and I hope many people think about it. It may also help more people to respect science more when they realize science respects ethics.
Anyone who has ever left a hospital or clinic with less than satisfactory results can appreciate the desire that medical science be more advanced than we now find it to be. However, how should the field advance at such a desired pace if society consistently refuses its efforts each step of the way? There's a relatively new book about the cells of a woman named Henrietta Lacks-the cells she willingly released to John's Hopkins hospital during treatment for an unrelated illness were vital in the research of cancerous cells. And albeit this example and others were magnanimously beneficial, research-oriented, and entirely legal, many citizens who don't directly receive benefits from such progress, indeed many of whom are in no way involved save personal opinion, take it upon themselves to advertise the supposed lack of ethics of the field-such was the nature of the book about Henrietta Lacks, in fact. If all such "ethical" reservations are heeded, progress inherently would stagnate. In fact, if "ethics" were followed nearly as strictly as some claim they should during Henrietta Lacks's day, cancer research never would have found her rare cells, and very well may not have even by today.
It definitely would, in my opinion ethics are important limitations, nevertheless limitations. They restrict researchers from going all the way and fulfilling the purposes of their research. I'm sure that if they could switch from testing lab rats to actual humans, the results would be more accurate and that could possibly lead to the advancement of medicine. But that comes at a high price. To get to that point, I'm sure more than a few humans would be sacrificed along the way. That in turn, begs the age-old question "Save the live of millions by killing a few hundred?".
No,science would not be more advanced if ethics were not involved.Science can not really be considered valid unless it is done in an ethical fashion.Science needs to be conducted in a way that the world can accept as moral considering the values that the bigger social world mandates on a regular basis.
In WW2, science was pushed to the limit without ethics. Things like Unit 731, Unit 100, and Dr. Mengal were allowed to exist because of the lack of ethics. How advanced did science really become? Not very. Unit 731 was able to advance Chemical weaponry a little bit, in the name of science, but not very much. It was definitely not worth the lives of some 250,000+ Chinese during the war.
Ethics make us human. Throwing ethics away would essentially take away one of our base-human traits. By claiming it's in the name of "science" is no better than Hitler and Himmler starting the Holocaust in the name of "The Final Solution" nor would it be any different than you killing your neighbor to "experiment with what would happen if someone died in a certain way." By disregarding the value of human lives, your effectively leading to the idea that some humans are worth more than others, something that Slavery was a major proponent of.
Someone else on the Pros list say that "medical science would be more advanced than we now find it to be." I suppose in one sense it could POTENTIALLY lead to that. However, you also must remember that people are human. Humans get corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The idea that just because your a scientist or doing something in the name of science will protect you from this is just as silly as saying that drug companies are hiding a cure for cancer to make more money. Anyway, as I previously mentioned, this would eventually lead to humans as being test guinea pigs. Where would you find these people? Would you just simply walk out on the street, find the closest homeless person, and prick them with needles and inject chemicals until they are dead? By saying that anything goes, you must remember, THAT THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO DO ANYTHING TO YOU. How would you like it if you were that homeless person, and some scientist wanted to test the effects of directly inserted Tabun in your bloodstream? I know I sure as hell wouldn't want that. Besides, most of the research done today is being done effectively. People just magically assume that without ethics research would suddenly progress. Truth be told, researchers are finding new and new ways to push science even further without the violating of these ethics.
While ethics certainly do restrict much research, if they weren't present, there would be nothing to stop horrendous things from happening. Things like killing children because they're overpopulating the area and things like that.
Removal of ethics from science would make humanity worse off than life was for the Jews in Germany during WWII.
If unethical scientific experiments were common, funding would be effected as science would be seen to be far more dangerous than it currently is.
Many people would be very hesitant to agree to potentially unchecked scientific freedom, the potential for harm is quite significant.
Please do not confuse ethics with religious opinion though as I think religion has held science back.