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Thread: Eugenics proves that science is evil!

  1. #1 Eugenics proves that science is evil! 
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    In reading through many of the threads I noticed a theme that comes up quite oftenis the idea that because religion has been responsible for wars and atrocities that religion is a bad thing.

    If this logic is valid might we not also claim that science is a "bad thing" since the discredited notion of eugenics arose out of Darwin's theory of evolution. I believe it was proposed by his brother-in-law. Or, another example, the horrors of nuclear war are a direct consequence of science. Didn't Albert Einstein urge Roosevelt to launch the Manhattan project?

    So, if we can condemn religion for the evils it has wrought, should we not do the same for science? Or would it not be more mature to recognise that men, whether priest or scientist, can be capable of inhumanity?


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    would you call Hitler a scientist ?
    do you think that the eugenics movement in the US of the 1920 and 30s was driven by scientists ?

    science is a tool, and as such can be used for good or evil depending on the intentions of the people using (or sometimes misusing) its findings

    maiming and killing has never been done by scientists for scientific reasons, the way religious leaders have for religious reasons


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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I was thinking of H.G.Wells more than Adolf Hitler. But you could justifiably argue he was not a scientist either.

    I suspect a thorough historical analysis would reveal that most religious leaders were using religion for political ends. They may have worn the trapppings of religion, but they many were unabashed dictators. A majority of renaissance popes spring to mind.

    And I think it was scientists in Hitler's laboratories who provided the data - as an example - on the toxicity level for humans of hydrogen sulphide, by seeing it how much was required to kill their subjects. Data we still use today.
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    would you believe me that HG Wells was seen in his day as a progressive, enlightened writer ?

    it's just that we've forgotten how the mores of those days would now be viewed with horror as xenophobic, mysogynistic and racist

    on the other hand, there definitely has been active complicity of some scientists with what we now consider as immoral activities (e.g. Mengele), but i doubt whether this sort of thing can be laid at the doorstep of science as a whole
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Observations of how things are should never lead to conclusions of how things should be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Observations of how things are should never lead to conclusions of how things should be.
    My observation that the kitchen floor was dirty led to the conclusion that it would be better clean. So I cleaned it.

    Many people agree that those who fail to learn their history are destined to repeat it.

    I guess you would have to come up with a fairly flexible definition of "never" for your quote to be generally applicable.
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    on the other hand, there definitely has been active complicity of some scientists with what we now consider as immoral activities (e.g. Mengele), but i doubt whether this sort of thing can be laid at the doorstep of science as a whole
    And my central thesis is that equally - might it not be - that the actions of some religious leaders and secular leaders who have used religion as a rallying tool should be seen in the same light. The blame should fall on them, not on the religion.
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    you have a point up to a point, apart from the fact that on many occasions religious leaders also were (are?) political leaders - i don't know of many (any?) scientists who had/have that degree of influence on the political process
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    you have a point up to a point, apart from the fact that on many occasions religious leaders also were (are?) political leaders -
    I am not claiming that the two situations are identical, only that there are close parallels. Arising from that I tend to feel it is either hypocritical, or insufficiently reasoned, to condemn the one, while absolving the other.
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    - i don't know of many (any?) scientists who had/have that degree of influence on the political process
    Margaret Thatcher. Research chemist. Destroyer of the British manufacturing and mining base.
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    I agree with MarnixR, that science is a tool. This doesn't mean it's morally balanced though. Strictly speaking science is amoral, in that it disregards morality.

    I think some amoral people feel science excuses their amorality. They generally propound a motto that science can answer all questions, and betray their amorality by reasoning ethical problems in material, utilitarian terms.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    - i don't know of many (any?) scientists who had/have that degree of influence on the political process
    Margaret Thatcher. Research chemist. Destroyer of the British manufacturing and mining base.
    oh, i'm very much aware that Thatcher had a chemistry degree
    i'm also very much aware that her qualifications had nothing whatsoever to do with her political career - in fact for all the science knowledge she applied to her role as a politician she might just as well have been a painter, or working in McDonalds
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    Science is unbiased.
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    au contraire, science has a clear bias against anything supernatural
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    au contraire, science has a clear bias against anything supernatural
    Touchè.
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Observations of how things are should never lead to conclusions of how things should be.
    My observation that the kitchen floor was dirty led to the conclusion that it would be better clean. So I cleaned it.

    Many people agree that those who fail to learn their history are destined to repeat it.

    I guess you would have to come up with a fairly flexible definition of "never" for your quote to be generally applicable.
    It's not the observation that the floor is dirty that results in the conclusion that it should be clean.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    you have a point up to a point, apart from the fact that on many occasions religious leaders also were (are?) political leaders -
    I am not claiming that the two situations are identical, only that there are close parallels. Arising from that I tend to feel it is either hypocritical, or insufficiently reasoned, to condemn the one, while absolving the other.
    I certainly feel that condemning religion, as though it were a moral agent in itself, is not very fruitful. To that extent you could blame the moral agents behind it - the people who apply it in particular ways - but I still have a problem with seeing science in 'pretty much' the same light as religion. Here at least I agree with Gould:

    Religion takes upon itself, as its most basic subject matter, the issue of morality and right and wrong;

    Science takes upon itself, as its most basic subject matter, the issue of matter itself and right and wrong thinking about it.

    The two are not the same and I find it entirely forgiveable that people should condemn a system of thought that takes upon itself the duty of preaching morality with absolute confidence, whilst not condemning a system of thought that merely searches for objectively useful models.

    Both may indeed be "misused", but one lays itself far more open to the prospect, and is necessarily considered far more of an infuencing factor. Wouldn't you say?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    Both may indeed be "misused", but one lays itself far more open to the prospect, and is necessarily considered far more of an infuencing factor. Wouldn't you say?
    I disagree. Those persons who condemn a religious system of thought must themselves have a system of thought which they believe is more reliable in determining some moral truth. Such persons seldom display any lack of absolute confidence in their moral judgment, whether they base their belief on a different religion, or no religion at all.

    What is the system of thought by which atheists arrive at their moral truths? Generally, they think there is some rational basis to it, and attribute it to some sort of an evolutionary theory, as far as I have seen
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    Both may indeed be "misused", but one lays itself far more open to the prospect, and is necessarily considered far more of an infuencing factor. Wouldn't you say?
    I disagree. Those persons who condemn a religious system of thought must themselves have a system of thought which they believe is more reliable in determining some moral truth. Such persons seldom display any lack of absolute confidence in their moral judgment, whether they base their belief on a different religion, or no religion at all.

    What is the system of thought by which atheists arrive at their moral truths? Generally, they think there is some rational basis to it, and attribute it to some sort of an evolutionary theory, as far as I have seen
    Oh attack an atheist's moral process by all means. That's not what I'm getting at.

    My point was that science and religion are on different footings because science does not (and I believe cannot in principle) make absolute moral statements. Religion does.

    Positivism and communism and suchlike are, of course, fair game in the way that religion is. Atheism doesn't necessarily itself entail a moral position. But certainly the moral position of any given atheist, particularly if it is part of a system and shared with many (say Pol Pot's form of 'Marxism', or even the sort of Rawlsianism to which I tend to cleave) must be open to post hoc criticism in the way that religion is.

    If an atheist is using evolutionary theory not as a history of morality, but as a basis for his brand of it, by all means question it - there is no philosophically legitimate way for him to get from the theory of natural selection to a prescription of artifical selection (as in eugenics). If he believes it does, then either his understanding of natural selection is very imperfect (confusing it in a Lamarckian or Shavian way with some sort of 'striving') or his understanding of legitimate philosophical moves is inadequate (he is trying to get from an 'is' to an 'ought').

    In any case, it is not the Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection that is specifying morals, the way in which, for instance, the Bhagavad Gita does or the Decalogue does.
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    I certainly did not intend to attack anyone's moral process. I tried to summarize that process as well as I could based on what has been presented on these forums and elsewhere.

    I am unfamiliar with the Bhagavad Gita but if it is anything like the scriptures of western religions it is somewhat of a tabula rasa which people can interpret in a number of different ways based on the traditions of their societies. So, while the adherents of a particular religion may think their moral beliefs derive from said sacred text, they don't necessarily, at least to the extent to which one might think.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    would you call Hitler a scientist ?
    do you think that the eugenics movement in the US of the 1920 and 30s was driven by scientists ?
    Yeah it was. Its a dark chapter in the history of Cold Spring Harbor. The laboratory was the center of eugenics research from 1910 to 1940

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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    i still think that the final motives were political, thinly disguised as science

    remember that this was the time that the US started to use immigration control in a failed attempt to stem the problems arising from increased population and its resulting social problems - eugenics was little more than a convenient tool for social engineering
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    I think you need to read up on the enthusiasm for eugenics in the 1930s and the profound support of the scientists and freethinkers for this project. The only organisation that firmly opposed, for example, the sterilsation of the mentally retarded, was the church. A cursory reading of the Human Research laws or IRB history in the US and Europe will expose the ghastly status of human experimentation considered "normal" at the time. You can still see echoes of it in the IQ testing done in schools.

    Eugenic themes proliferated in educational journals and textbooks from the 1910s through the 1930s. In particular, the popular belief took hold that IQ tests could label and accurately place students into academic tracks according to their inherited abilities. For example, an educational consultant for the San Jose school system recommended that the district use test scores to guide "children for their proper economic life activities in accordance with their abilities." The great majority of Mexican-American school children in the district were to assume lower academic tracks because the tests supposedly revealed their inferior intellectual quality.

    Also, many people have forgotten that eugenics was mainstream science. It was taught in universities and supported by scientists of the time

    The interesting aspect of the eugenics movement is that it was mainstream science. The Passing of the Great Race was reviewed favorably in the journal Science, by MIT geneticist Frederick Adams Woods. Every genetics textbook of the era advanced the case of eugenics, showing how genetics could be used to solve social problems, if we simply believe everything geneticists say, give them lots of money, and not worry too much about individual civil rights, and the poor training and track record of geneticists in that area.

    Thus, the first edition of Principles of Genetics can talk very casually about people whose stock ought to be eliminated on the basis of their contributions to society. The senior author, Edward Sinnott, became a professor at Columbia, and later, dean of the Yale Graduate School. The junior author, Leslie C. Dunn, also became a professor at Columbia, and became an outspoken critic of racist biology after the Nazis came to power. This passage (and the entire chapter it is from) does not appear in the editions that followed the stock market crash and the Depression, when it suddenly became clear to geneticists that wealth wasn't necessarily a good indicator of genotype.
    http://personal.uncc.edu/jmarks/eugenics/eugenics.html


    Also in response to your earlier statement:

    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    maiming and killing has never been done by scientists for scientific reasons
    I suggest you read the history of human experimentation.

    As someone who performs clinical experimentation, let me tell you that dehumanisation is very endemic in the field.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    In reading through many of the threads I noticed a theme that comes up quite oftenis the idea that because religion has been responsible for wars and atrocities that religion is a bad thing.
    really? can you name a war except crusades which is caused by religion?

    If this logic is valid might we not also claim that science is a "bad thing" since the discredited notion of eugenics arose out of Darwin's theory of evolution. I believe it was proposed by his brother-in-law. Or, another example, the horrors of nuclear war are a direct consequence of science. Didn't Albert Einstein urge Roosevelt to launch the Manhattan project?
    yes science has created nuke weapon and eugenics.

    So, if we can condemn religion for the evils it has wrought, should we not do the same for science? Or would it not be more mature to recognise that men, whether priest or scientist, can be capable of inhumanity?
    religion is not evil. no war is caused by religion. no deadly weapon is created by religion. science also has created many medicine and wonders besides weapon.

    it is not science or religion that is evil. it is THE MAN who is evil.
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    pfftt... science is not free from human flawness; all that evil came from humankind ourselves. For example: One could be extremely excited about human genome and start to fantasize about how great it would be if we were to cleanse all the bad gene from human race (leading to genocide), or one could be excited about the idea of utopia & socialism and start to think about how great it would be to get rid of all the greedy ownership of the world (leading to dictatorship). The problem is: this inspiration is a pure fantasy, it don't happen, future is not fantasy.... it's a lie...
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    Future is not fantasy...it's a lie"" Not quite sure I've got the right interpretation here, but the Future in purely philosophical terms brings with it a chance to re-commence the history of humankind, to finally throw the social crutch of religion and the need to belong in a Tribal kind of way, and find other pathways of unity and belonging. Science is a Tool. Like the Violin is a tool. Science benefits Capital. How Capital use this science depends on whether Capital is centred on the Multi-Nationals, or the State. Anyway, who sets the aggenda and the priorities for science Projects.? Isn't science driven by need or greed? Compassionate science by compassionate scientists, without funding from the State without interference from exploitation, is where our Nobel Prize(s) are earn't. Which brings the question, can science ever hope to have a moral influence through material improvement of the conditions humans need for their well being? Science may make our lives more acceptable to us, but human nature is not touched by science, or not yet anyway, so where do we look when we want to improve human attitudes. Religion. westwind.
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    I do not believe science in any form could be evil. I do believe that the actions taken by those people who attain a higher level of Scientific knowledge could use their findings for evil though.

    It all depends on how you look at it really. Thats all there is to it.
    I've never met a man who was more intelligent then I was. Then again, I've never met one who was as ignorant as me either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxx200 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    In reading through many of the threads I noticed a theme that comes up quite often is the idea that because religion has been responsible for wars and atrocities that religion is a bad thing.
    really? can you name a war except crusades which is caused by religion?
    Learn to read. Reading comprehension and the effort required to acquire it is nothing to be ashamed of.

    I clearly stated that I had noticed an idea presented in many threads. I made no comment as to whether or not I agreed with that idea. So are you denying that such an idea has appeared in many threads on this forum? Think carefully before answering - you don't want to look foolish on consecutive posts.

    That said here are some example wars in which religion was a central element.

    The Lebanese civil war
    The French Wars of Religion
    The Thirty Years War

    there are many more, but even if these were the only three examples they completely undermine your claim.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    So, if we can condemn religion for the evils it has wrought, should we not do the same for science? Or would it not be more mature to recognise that men, whether priest or scientist, can be capable of inhumanity?
    I fundamentally agree, religion is created by and enacted by people, the problem the people that are currently enacting religion are getting their ideas and indeed orders from men and the writing's of men from hundreds of years ago. A time when standards, morals and attitudes were very different. This is an ongoing cycle from one generation to the next.
    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”

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    chris- If possible would you be able to not resurrect threads that are over a moth old?
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    would you call Hitler a scientist ?
    do you think that the eugenics movement in the US of the 1920 and 30s was driven by scientists ?
    How do we decide who is and isn't a "scientist"? There are a lot of self proclaimed scientists out there, who mainstream scientists view as quacks or pseudo-scientists. Certainly the Nazi scientists who threw their support in favor of Eugenics are not acknowledged as "scientists" today, though many of them held degrees in the relevant fields and held tenure at German universities.

    The same problem, of course, plagues religion. You can't bar some nut job from starting his/her own cult, registering it with the state (for tax purposes), and holding Sunday services. Whatever that guy/gal says is a "religious leader" speaking. But that doesn't guarantee it will conform to the Bible/Koran/Ghita/Torah/.... etc.

    I know the Bible is a massively confusing book riddled with contradictions and hedge wisdom that can be articulated a few different ways depending on what one wants to say with it. It's prone to being misunderstood, especially by the uninitiated who haven't even read the whole thing and just take their talking points from a preacher who they believe to be better informed about it than they are. Most avenues of science are confusing too. Not self contradictory or ill defined like religion, but possessed of a big learning curve. It's naturally easy for anyone far along that curve to misinform and confuse others who are early in the curve. The ones early in the curve who don't plan to progress to the end, will simply take that person's word for it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    So, if we can condemn religion for the evils it has wrought, should we not do the same for science? Or would it not be more mature to recognise that men, whether priest or scientist, can be capable of inhumanity?
    I fundamentally agree, religion is created by and enacted by people, the problem the people that are currently enacting religion are getting their ideas and indeed orders from men and the writing's of men from hundreds of years ago. A time when standards, morals and attitudes were very different. This is an ongoing cycle from one generation to the next.
    If you are going to have a scientific or logical discussion, you should really have an objective definition of the words you are throwing around, like "evil" and "inhumanity."

    Is fighting a war evidence of "inhumanity"? No, fighting a war is very human. Humans have been fighting wars for all of recorded history. It probably goes back a few hundred thousand years. Humans who did not fight wars can likely be classified as "dead" because they were probably wiped out by humans who did fight wars.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    chris- If possible would you be able to not resurrect threads that are over a moth old?
    Well I only post on threads I've had something I wanted to say on, or I think somone's made an important contribution that's been over looked or to encourage more discussion if I think that there is still more to debate or opinions or information about a particular topic that other members may provide. If you've got a particular reason then I'll certainly try and take that on board as I have no wish to irritate or annoy you. Other than that the only thing I can suggest is we come to a compromise and seek guidance on a concensus of opinion and go with that, is that fair?
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    From this mod's point of view. A month is probably ok. Six months is probably too long to bring back a thread, unless there is a directly related update, such as a study--and even then I'd encourage simply starting a new thread and linking to the old one for context. There is no hard and fast rule. Some mods probably see it a bit different.
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    How could science be evil? It's the scientist that may be..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prudentibus View Post
    How could science be evil? It's the scientist that may be..
    Well, I would say that religion cannot be evil, because good and evil is defined in terms of the religion. Hence, any action done in the name of that religion is by definition, just and righteous.
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    good and evil are constructs that have to do with intent

    There was another mass shooting in Colorado today, and the "gun control" cockroaches scurried out of the woodwork to feast upon the rotting corpses of the victims. The shooter was a doctoral student in neuroscience. Was/is this guy evil or just demented? Are the gun control cockroaches more evil?
    Because their intent was to use the victims for their own purposes, I think them more evil.
    Intent matters.
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    As a moral nihilist I cant really contribute here as "evil" and "good" are just human-made constructs imo. But to try - I would say: Religion offers nothing good (And no, self deception, ignorance and being happy - because of a psychological placebo pill, doesent count as "good") though science offer "evil" and "good".
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    ... I would say: Religion offers nothing good ... .
    Religion offers the good of community and a moral code, and for a very few, an insight into something beyond science and logic.
    Good? 'tis for the individual to decide.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    As a moral nihilist I cant really contribute here as "evil" and "good" are just human-made constructs imo. But to try - I would say: Religion offers nothing good (And no, self deception, ignorance and being happy - because of a psychological placebo pill, doesent count as "good") though science offer "evil" and "good".
    A moralistic nihilist. I don't think I've run across one of those before.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    A moralistic nihilist. I don't think I've run across one of those before.
    They are quite quick on their feet. The best thing to do is to catch them at a crowded intersection and just accept the collateral damage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    ... I would say: Religion offers nothing good ... .
    Religion offers the good of community and a moral code, and for a very few, an insight into something beyond science and logic.
    Good? 'tis for the individual to decide.
    Not very moralistic to base a moral code on superstition and ignorance is there? That is kind of a paradox.

    Religion doesent offer something that couldnt exist on its own. Ethic and moral code can exist fine without religion.
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    Religion doesent offer something that couldnt exist on its own. Ethic and moral code can exist fine without religion.
    Perhaps, but in point of fact, life doesn't actually work that way for most people. People are more prone to inculcating a moral code if presented from a position of authority. and that position in the person of a priest or pastor has a long stable broadly accepted ouvre.

    That being said: It is not uncommon for persons who seem to represent those old codes to mislead those over whom they have power.

    But do their negative actions trash the whole system any more than the misguided and occasional evil actions of some scientists should cast a pall over all scientific disciplines?
    I think not.
    Everything exists in shades of grey. Black and white are only constructs.
    Last edited by sculptor; August 2nd, 2012 at 10:02 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    [Religion doesent offer something that couldnt exist on its own.
    Great food doesn't offer anything that couldn't exist on its own; you could survive by eating tasteless gruel everyday.

    Love doesn't offer anything that couldn't exist on its own; people could procreate in purely mechanical and businesslike way.

    Music doesn't offer anything that couldn't exist on its own; we could get just as much pleasure from other things.

    Friends don't offer anything that couldn't exist on its own; we can just talk to strangers on the Internet.
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    [Religion doesent offer something that couldnt exist on its own.
    Great food doesn't offer anything that couldn't exist on its own; you could survive by eating tasteless gruel everyday.

    Love doesn't offer anything that couldn't exist on its own; people could procreate in purely mechanical and businesslike way.

    Music doesn't offer anything that couldn't exist on its own; we could get just as much pleasure from other things.

    Friends don't offer anything that couldn't exist on its own; we can just talk to strangers on the Internet.
    I...

    ... got no counter argument
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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    What a great thread john.
    I have been thinking along simmilar lines.
    In my opinion science is being used as a religion... that is scientific thought and theories are being used to affect peoples world views, much like religion. Scientology is a religion isnt it? Philosphy (trying to gain the knowledge of the ultimate realities) and scienctific practice (trying to gain the knowledge of the ultimate realities) both have a lot in common and can compliment each other. Both can be used to try to affect how people think and act, both can be used to manipulate people.

    Neither science, nor philosophy are evil. religion in itself isnt evil either.

    Evil people can use or misuse all three as a means to achieve there own agendas but this evil is not the fault of science, or religion, or philosophy.

    Evil is like selfishness, and good is like selflessness, when we do things for the good of others it is good, when we do things for the good of ourselves at the expense of others it is evil. Science, religion and philosophy are all phenomena which can be used for the sake of good, or for the sake of evil... but in themselves are neither good nor evil, though all are used for both good and evil.

    Thats my tuppence worth, have a great day and remember to only use science and religion for the good of all :-p

    Was it einstein that said 'religion without science is lame, science without religion is blind'... but then that einstein fellow said a lot of stuff!
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    In reading through many of the threads I noticed a theme that comes up quite oftenis the idea that because religion has been responsible for wars and atrocities that religion is a bad thing.

    If this logic is valid might we not also claim that science is a "bad thing" since the discredited notion of eugenics arose out of Darwin's theory of evolution. I believe it was proposed by his brother-in-law. Or, another example, the horrors of nuclear war are a direct consequence of science. Didn't Albert Einstein urge Roosevelt to launch the Manhattan project?

    So, if we can condemn religion for the evils it has wrought, should we not do the same for science? Or would it not be more mature to recognise that men, whether priest or scientist, can be capable of inhumanity?
    Religion as a system of beliefs is probably identified as a construct where resides within them a set of do's and do not's. And by that I am not referring specifically to the abrahamic religions, but broadly to any and all known religions from all over the world in different cultures and in different points of our known history.

    Science as a study and knowledge gained from the study of the subject matter (usually?) does not have a similar set of do's and do not's, other than that which is identified as the scientific method in which scientific knowledge is best assessed, analyzed, accepted or rejected.

    I think that how "something" is viewed as evil or otherwise is based on how that "something" is used, by evaluating whether it's benefits outweighs the drawbacks; be it subjectively good or evil (depending on the value system that one uses to evaluate the outcome).

    A belief system can be assessed by how much good or bad it has done or is capable of doing. But can a body of knowledge (science) be similarly assessed by how much good or bad has been done by the use of that knowledge (science); since within this body of knowledge resides within no guidelines on how it can or should be used? "Splitting the atom", or creating a designer virus/bacteria as means of acting with this knowledge isn't necessarily a good or bad thing. It is simply knowledge. Knowledge gained by our desire to understand, know (as oppose to believe in), and the eventual usage of this knowledge.

    What we do with it; this body of knowledge determines whether it is an evil or good thing or act. Eugenics as a body of knowledge is in itself inert I suppose. The eugenics movement however takes on certain aspects found in religion; with a set of do's and do not's depending on what the people behind it wants to achieve. I suppose my view is that it is easier to identify religion(s) as possibly evil (based on the do's and do not's in history) more than I can than it is to idenify science (as a body of knowledge) as evil; which is largely inert from the perspective of whether it (science) has intent. In fact, I do not think that I can.

    Am I making any sense?
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Am I making any sense?
    No. You said "A belief system can be assessed by how much good or bad it has done or is capable of doing. " That is false. You have to start out with a belief system to judge the belief system. You have already departed from the scientific method.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    Religion doesent offer something that couldnt exist on its own. Ethic and moral code can exist fine without religion.
    Perhaps, but in point of fact, life doesn't actually work that way for most people. People are more prone to inculcating a moral code if presented from a position of authority. and that position in the person of a priest or pastor has a long stable broadly accepted ouvre.
    Ultimately, your argument here is that people are stupid. However, people being stupid doesn't change reality. Whether most people would prefer to believe in an imaginary friend in the sky doesn't mean one actually exists. Morals don't demonstrably come from gods because there is no evidence that gods actually exist. All the argumentum ad populum fallacies in the world won't change that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Am I making any sense?
    No. You said "A belief system can be assessed by how much good or bad it has done or is capable of doing. " That is false. You have to start out with a belief system to judge the belief system. You have already departed from the scientific method.
    Just to clarify, I did not mean to imply that we use or can use the scientific method to make an assessment on a belief system based on the amount of good or bad (harm or benefit) it has done or can do. I have only mentioned that the scientific method is utilitzed to make an assessement on matters related to the (science related) subject matter that is being studied.
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy View Post
    Observations of how things are should never lead to conclusions of how things should be.
    Perhaps so, but we need to know how things are in order to determine what should be done to them.
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