- Masahiro Morioka
International Research Center for Japanese Studies
3-2 Oeyama-cho, Goryo, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 610-11, JAPAN
Secondly, I think it is misleading to use the word "descriptive bioethics" for original data acquired through anthropological or sociological studies or the International Bioethics Survey etc.. Instead we should call these data simply "data concerning people's views and attitudes toward life," and distinguish these descriptive data from prescriptive ethics. We don't have to have two bioethics.
A third problem is that if we want to make prescriptive bioethics we don't know the sound way of using observational data when creating international prescriptive bioethics (I prefer the word "international" to "universal"). For example, in every country people love "violence", "vice", and "celebrity." How should we treat these "vicious" reality of our human nature? When creating prescriptive bioethics, if we refuse some "descriptive data" as "vicious" ones, this means that we imported another value standard from somewhere outside the data. This may be criticized as arbitrary reasoning.
I agree with Macer that collecting original data is important in international bioethics, but we must resolve lots of difficult conceptual problems in how we use observations of behaviour, and "data" in bioethics.