Are religious descriptions of science deliberately deceiving?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Seattle, May 11, 2019.

  1. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    Humans are capable of good and evil. As such, humans can and will use knowledge for both. And since humans invented religion, it will also be used for both.

    As for the OP. Yes, it appears to me that many religious descriptions of science are deliberately misleading... That, or the authors are ignorant of the subject they write about.
     
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  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    I have seen nothing but the opposite in the religions I have participated in. I am sure there are hopeless religious people out there who aspire to harm others - but they are as rare as scientists who use science to harm and profit off others.
     
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Scientists who cooperate with, are complicit in, and benefit from, rationally justified commercial and military operations that use their science to harm and profit off others, are not at all rare.

    They are more of a norm than an exception. Increasingly.

    And as a point of interest: they are very seldom the scientists targeted by religious disinformation campaigns. The Christian religions, in particular, have ceded governance of rationality to the rational themselves - economists and the like. Latest example: the rationally justified re-interpretation of EPA research a couple days ago, by which established legal limits on air pollutants limit the EPA's reporting of benefits discovered by new research into air pollution reduction. Because the EPA is a legal regulatory agency, see.

    Rationality as she is rationed.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
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  7. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

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    Sometimes true.

    Thereby absolving science of any responsibility.

    Brought to you by religion?
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  8. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Indeed. If you steal my shovel and use it to kill somebody, I don't feel responsible.
     
  9. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    What if you accept a commission to modify your shovel to be a more effective weapon and then the client uses it to kill somebody?
    "Well, gee, he said he only meant to scare the other guy!"
     
  10. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    That isn't "science". That's one scientist.
     
  11. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    You think one guy did all that weapons research?

    No, it isn't science - it's never the discipline that's responsible, only the people working in that discipline. The Manhattan Project employed over 100 scientists, some of the top in their field, plus several hundred technicians, every one of whom knew what it was about.
    The people who work in chemical, biological and genetic research know who their employers are, who funds their "independent" grants, and the universities know with whom in industry they are "partnering".
    These are clever people.
    No free pass; no blanket absolution.
     
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  12. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

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    But if you made the shovel for me, knowing full well what my intention might be?
     
  13. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    The science is neutral in every regard, as much as a spanner is that a mechanic might use.
    It is a tool.
    Nothing more, nothing less.
    It is humans that apply it, and it is that application, that use of science, where matters such as responsibility lie.
    Not science itself.
    The politicisation, capitalisation, and weaponisation of scientific discovery is down to the person that does such a thing, not to science.
    The motives of those that use science are for those individuals to take ownership of, and to be responsible for.
    Yes, I could know that you would use the shovel to kill someone, and knowing that it would be up to me whether or not I go ahead with it.
    But science is merely the tool, like a spanner, or a wrench to a mechanic.
    It's simply a tool for furthering knowledge from empirical evidence.
     
  14. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

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  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    I disagree. Ethical scientists understand what their work can be used for, and make decisions on what to work on accordingly.
     
  16. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    Of course they can.
    How is that disagreeing with what I said?
    Scientists are the the most direct users of the tool.
    Most others are users of the results.
    If the scientist (person) knows that the tool is being used for something they disagree with, they can refuse to work on it.
    But the tool itself (science) is neutral.
    A person can work on a car or a bomb with the same screwdriver.
    The responsibility of the application of the screwdriver is up to the individual.
     
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    They also create the tools.
    And refuse to create it to begin with.
    Well, no. If it were neutral there would be no need to refuse to work on it (or to work on more ethical technologies instead.)
    Right. But that's not true of Sarin, because that really has only one use. The responsibility is also up to the person who researches, develops and tests it.
     
  18. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    How could I possibly know "full well" what somebody's intentions "might" be? Any technology can potentially be used to kill people. Even before any technology existed, a rock or a stick could be used to kill people.

    The scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project did so for political reasons - it was acceptable to kill Nazis and Japs.
     
  19. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Science is still neutral. It's not a tool - it's a method for inventing tools.
    Each tool that's invented may have many uses, good and bad, or just one use that can be either good or bad, or a good use that can be turned bad, or have some unforeseen potential to turn one way or the other at some future time, or some other permutation of possibilities.
    When a curious person - or rat, or parrot or monkey - begins to investigate the way something in his environment works, the eventual outcomes of that investigation are unpredictable. The investigator then becomes a scientist and a systematic, organized investigation is science.
    At this point, both are morally neutral.
    Responsibility begins at the point where the investigator can reasonably predict an outcome, or range of outcomes.
    Moral accountability begins when the scientist proceeds in a direction he knows to be potentially more harmful than beneficial.
     
  20. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    But some technologies have no other application. And you can't pretend not to know that when you're inventing it. When the Inquisitor-General asks for a more efficient rack, you can't pretend to have no inkling what he intends to do with it.
     
  21. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Sure.

    But Sarin has almost no other purpose than to kill people. And solar-PV technology has almost no other purpose other than to generate energy from the sun. You can't pretend that you have no idea what people will do with them.
     
  22. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    The first guy who built a rack didn't necessarily know.
     
  23. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    As I said, any technology can kill people and something that is not technological at all can be used to kill people.
     

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