Impact of religion on society

Re: Impact of religion on society

Postby urodacus » 05 Mar 2011, 12:34

By some twisted Mengele? That's not science, that's criminal torture in the guise of a white coat.

And I have no qualms about raising a mouse with no hair for cancer vaccine experiments, or inserting a gene for a human immune protein into the mammary gland of a goat, or even cutting the head off a rat so I can slice it's brain up to study the pattern of nerve connections. You can't label these atrocities, for they are not done with the intention to cause pain, but to improve the lives of people.

I see the path you're going down, and I would like to reject it out of hand immediately. One can't set oneself up as some ultimate moral arbiter because of a belief in one set of morals or another. I happen to live by a very strict set of morals too, even though I am an atheist, believe it or not. I fail to see why an atheist must perforce be amoral, as many god-fearing folk claim. Not necessarily you, of course.
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Re: Impact of religion on society

Postby Fortigurn » 05 Mar 2011, 12:55

urodacus wrote:By some twisted Mengele? That's not science, that's criminal torture in the guise of a white coat.


To say 'That's not science, that's criminal torture in the guise of a white coat' doesn't address the issue; whether or not it was 'science' was not the issue at hand. The issue is whether or not atrocities have been committed in the name of science. We both know they have; frequently, systematically, and over a very long period of time. The US has arguably the most extensive record of any country (they're best at everything, aren't they?). I'm skipping the part you wrote about animal experimentation, since it's irrelevant to what I wrote.

On the other hand, I'd really like to know 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?

I see the path you're going down, and I would like to reject it out of hand immediately. One can't set oneself up as some ultimate moral arbiter because of a belief in one set of morals or another.


That is not the path I'm going down. I made a simple statement, which is very easily verified ('Undue Risk', 'Acres of Skin', 'In the Name of Science', 'Medical Apartheid' ,'Subjected to Science'). You denied the statement, but failed to falsify it. I have substantiated it.

I happen to live by a very strict set of morals too, even though I am an atheist, believe it or not. I fail to see why an atheist must perforce be amoral, as many god-fearing folk claim. Not necessarily you, of course.


This, likewise, was never in dispute.
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Re: Impact of religion on society

Postby zyzzx » 05 Mar 2011, 14:03

Fortigurn wrote:On the other hand, I'd really like to know 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?

How do you know that they're not doing it in the name of religion? Why do you think the scientists working on, say, Iran's nuclear program are doing it?
Or maybe because of nationalism? or just for money? Just because one is a scientist doesn't mean that they are some being apart, free from all other motivations.
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Re: Impact of religion on society

Postby Fortigurn » 05 Mar 2011, 14:25

zyzzx wrote:How do you know that they're not doing it in the name of religion?


Who? Could you be specific? For the specific examples I'm thinking of, I have their explicit personal statements as evidence for their motivation. Yes, maybe they were lying, but it would take a persuasive body of evidence to convince me (do show me what you have).

Why do you think the scientists working on, say, Iran's nuclear program are doing it?


A range of reasons, absolutely none of which have anything to do with advancing the body of scientific knowledge.

Or maybe because of nationalism? or just for money?


In some cases, definitely. But I am certainly not claiming that all atrocities by scientists have been committed in the name of science.

Just because one is a scientist doesn't mean that they are some being apart, free from all other motivations.


I agree. Shall we consider some specific examples? You can tell me if the motivation was religious, or if the atrocities were committed in the name of science.
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Re: Impact of religion on society

Postby zyzzx » 05 Mar 2011, 14:36

Well, since you seem to already have all the answers, what was the point of your question?
I'm not going to go look up every scientist who ever came up with something harmful and try to figure out their motivations, I have better things to do with my time. I am just pointing out that in the general sense, scientists can be motivated to do science for the same reasons that motivate anybody else.
So what's your point, because you have some examples of people doing bad things in the name of science, then science is just as bad as religion is in motivating atrocities?
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Re: Impact of religion on society

Postby Fortigurn » 05 Mar 2011, 14:44

zyzzx wrote:Well, since you seem to already have all the answers, what was the point of your question?


Could we avoid his kind of rhetoric please? It doesn't advance the discussion.

I'm not going to go look up every scientist who ever came up with something harmful and try to figure out their motivations, I have better things to do with my time. I am just pointing out that in the general sense, scientists can be motivated to do science for the same reasons that motivate anybody else.


This was not in dispute. I made my comment because you contested the motivation of the scientists I claimed committed atrocities in the name of science. If you don't want to contest their motivation anymore, that's fine too.

So what's your point, because you have some examples of people doing bad things in the name of science, then science is just as bad as religion is in motivating atrocities?


No. There is no need to read into my posts what I have never said, instead of actually reading what I write. My point was that atrocities have been, and still are, committed in the name of science. uradocus contested this point but failed to falsify it; I have substantiated it. That's it.
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Re: Impact of religion on society

Postby urodacus » 05 Mar 2011, 16:21

So, who were these scientists who committed atrocities in the name of science? And what did they say? This is a dull argument without the juicy bits laid on the table.
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Too many people! Almost all of the world's problems are due to overpopulation. The rest are due to religion.

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Re: Impact of religion on society

Postby Got To Be Kidding » 05 Mar 2011, 16:29

urodacus wrote:So, who were these scientists who committed atrocities in the name of science? And what did they say? This is a dull argument without the juicy bits laid on the table.


I think that the point is that there are misguided people who do things in the name of something either out of ulterior motive, or a lack of understanding.
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Re: Impact of religion on society

Postby Fortigurn » 05 Mar 2011, 19:12

urodacus wrote:So, who were these scientists who committed atrocities in the name of science? And what did they say? This is a dull argument without the juicy bits laid on the table.


I gave you a link to a significant number of examples which provided many 'juicy bits'.
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Re: Impact of religion on society

Postby urodacus » 06 Mar 2011, 00:10

Sorry, I don't see links on my Blackberry.

OK, I have read through those links. NOne of them really show much more than that they were cruel experiments conducted by people with little regard or human dignity or rights. I think they were wrong too, and so do most scientists today, I would warrant.

None of them show atrocities committed to defend science, or "in the name of science". 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.
The prizes are a bottle of f*!@#$% SCOTCH and a box of cheap f!@#$#$ CIGARS!

Too many people! Almost all of the world's problems are due to overpopulation. The rest are due to religion.

50% of the world's wild animals have disappeared in the last 50 years. Did you eat them, or eat their house?
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