Impact of religion on society

Re: Impact of religion on society

Postby Fortigurn » 06 Mar 2011, 00:39

urodacus wrote:None of them show atrocities committed to defend science, or "in the name of science".


As I pointed out, the argument was never made that any atrocities were committed to defend science; please leave that straw man alone. What makes you think that none of them were committed in the name of science? For example:

* Mengle's twin studies
* Sims' medical experiments
* Wentworth's spinal taps
* The San Quentin prison experiments
* The Noguchi syphilis experiments
* Tuskegee syphilis experiments
* The Illinois State Hospital malaria experiments
* The Guatemala STD experiments
* The US Army biological and DoD radiological experiments
* The CIA's drug experiments
* The Ohio State Prison experiments
* The Holmesburg State Prison experiments

What is it about these experiments which convinces you that they were not carried out in the name of science? Is there any evidence that they were not made with the purpose of advancing scientific knowledge? When I read for example that a doctor's experiments were conducted for the purpose of discovering 'the secret of how healthy bodies fight the invasion of malignant cells', or how another doctor's scientists were conducted to learn 'how the skin protects itself against chronic assault from toxic chemicals, the so-called hardening process', does that mean that the experiments weren't really made in the name of science, they were just made because the doctor was a cruel and evil person who liked making other people suffer?

I'd also like to ask again your opinion on what goes through the minds of scientists who create chemical and biological weapons. As a scientist, can you provide any insight? Why is it that scientists have not bound themselves with an ethical code akin to the Hippocratic Oath with regard to human harm and suffering?

Most of the religious killings such as the wars between Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews etc are explicitly in defence of said religions, or against the infidels, even when cast as wars of territory or politics.

and manay of the practitioners of those faiths would still believe they were right today. and they still go on: in India, Egypt, Pakistan, Israel/Gaza, Holland, Ireland, Afghanistan, Iraq, Philippines, etc, people still kill in the name of religion.


This isn't in dispute. It seems you want to change the subject.
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Re: Impact of religion on society

Postby urodacus » 07 Mar 2011, 18:08

because some people are arseholes. Scientists included. Some scientists were murderers too, as well as torturers. Some scientists may genuinely want to assist their fellows to kill people. Sometimes because they feel they may shorten wars, sometimes because the pay is good and they're amoral bastards.

I don't know... they're not like me, or most scientists I know. May as well ask why some lawyers defend tobacco companies.

I still don't think they were conducted 'in the name of science' but as science.

There is a marked distinction, I think.
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Re: Impact of religion on society

Postby Fortigurn » 07 Mar 2011, 19:18

urodacus wrote:because some people are arseholes. Scientists included. Some scientists were murderers too, as well as torturers. Some scientists may genuinely want to assist their fellows to kill people. Sometimes because they feel they may shorten wars, sometimes because the pay is good and they're amoral bastards.

I don't know... they're not like me, or most scientists I know. May as well ask why some lawyers defend tobacco companies.


Well that's an honest answer, thanks.

I still don't think they were conducted 'in the name of science' but as science.

There is a marked distinction, I think.


What is that distinction, and how would you go about proving they were conducted for one purpose and not the other? Do you believe they were carried out for the purpose of advancing scientific knowledge?
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Re: Impact of religion on society

Postby urodacus » 07 Mar 2011, 19:39

In general, yes. But by modern standards (and probably by the standards of the time too in many cases) totally unethical.

And I am not going to defend Mengele et al. in the slightest, but they were also motivated by efforts to advance knowledge. They chose to conduct experiments on victims that their twisted logic deemed as sub-human, perhaps so reducing their guilt. Some may have been genuine sadists too. However, none of them (as I see it) did their experiments for motives of proving that science was a better 'religion' than another.

In contrast, today we regularly see crimes committed in the name of a religion such as Islam, the most common modern exemplar.
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Re: Impact of religion on society

Postby Jaboney » 07 Mar 2011, 20:44

The difference being that some bastards, in an effort to advance their cause, inflicted grievous harm on numerous others and rewarded themselves for doing so with medals, prestige, and various other honours,
while others, in an effort to advance another cause, inflicted grievous harm on numerous others and rewarded themselves for doing so by assuming the stamp of divine approval, prestige, and various other honours.

In each case, the perpetrators were utterly convinced of the right(eous)ness of their calling, and of the irrelevance of those they harmed. I don't see (but would like to), what difference it makes that one group of self-serving justifications references a local higher power (the state, war effort, freedom, etc) while the other points to a higher.
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Re: Impact of religion on society

Postby Fortigurn » 07 Mar 2011, 23:17

urodacus wrote:In general, yes. But by modern standards (and probably by the standards of the time too in many cases) totally unethical.


Indisputably. Some of them were fully aware that others would judge their actions as unethical, and made efforts to suppress discovery of their methods.

And I am not going to defend Mengele et al. in the slightest, but they were also motivated by efforts to advance knowledge. They chose to conduct experiments on victims that their twisted logic deemed as sub-human, perhaps so reducing their guilt. Some may have been genuine sadists too.


Yes, this I agree with also. They were motivated by efforts to advance knowledge; they committed their deeds in the name of science, for the cause of science, with the advancement of scientific knowledge as the justification for what they would agree were otherwise unethical deeds.

However, none of them (as I see it) did their experiments for motives of proving that science was a better 'religion' than another.


I agree, but that's not what 'in the name of science' means.

In contrast, today we regularly see crimes committed in the name of a religion such as Islam, the most common modern exemplar.


We do indeed.

Jaboney wrote:The difference being that some bastards, in an effort to advance their cause, inflicted grievous harm on numerous others and rewarded themselves for doing so with medals, prestige, and various other honours,
while others, in an effort to advance another cause, inflicted grievous harm on numerous others and rewarded themselves for doing so by assuming the stamp of divine approval, prestige, and various other honours.


That's the only difference, yes.

In each case, the perpetrators were utterly convinced of the right(eous)ness of their calling, and of the irrelevance of those they harmed. I don't see (but would like to), what difference it makes that one group of self-serving justifications references a local higher power (the state, war effort, freedom, etc) while the other points to a higher.


It doesn't.
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Re: Impact of religion on society

Postby Got To Be Kidding » 07 Mar 2011, 23:54

The grizzled oldster eye'd his pipe and tapped it experimentally on the heel of his old, worn boot.

"Son," he said. "There's only ONE reason."

He paused. "Just one."

He fixed me with a bleary eye and shook his pipe at me. "People is jus' gosh-durn wicked."

He stuck the pipe in his shirt pocket and mumbled, "and stupid."

His eyebrows argued briefly and settled on a disgusted frown. "an'... greeeedy".

"Just one thing."

"Anything else," he growled,"is... hot... air."
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