Should pro-science world citizens form their own independent nation?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by cosmictotem, Mar 13, 2015.

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Should pro-science citizens from around the world form a pro-science nation?

  1. Yes

    7.7%
  2. No

    61.5%
  3. Depends

    38.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,364
    Doesn't that contradict itself?

    And what's more, I don't agree that nations are "self-destructive". I like nations.

    That assumes that scientists would make better rulers than non-scientists. I know of no credible evidence that's true. Scientists have tremendous training in and devote tremendous attention to narrow research questions in their areas of interest. But when they address social and cultural issues where their research subjects aren't relevant, their opinions are no better than anyone else's (and often worse).

    I don't understand the reference to Dubai. The United Arab Emirates isn't ruled by scientists. It's a federation of absolute monarchs, awash in oil money.

    Do you really believe that scientists possess some wonderful "method" that sets them apart from others and ensures that they are better people?

    How do you propose to establish your scientistic oligarchy and sweep away democracy, without bloodshed, without violent opposition from "underlings" like myself? There's no way that your utopian vision could ever be established peacefully.
     
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  3. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

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    748
    I didn't mean to imply that concept of nations is self-destructive. The concept of nations is good. Most nations are well-meaning but I think they (we) can do better by existing nations changing their governments so as to give science and scientists a little more power over political policy or by founding a new nation where a scientific degree is required to chair at least one of it's primary legislative branches.

    Good Lord, I'm not proposing to sweep away democracy. In addition, the Dubai reference is only to the technology employed to construct artificial islands. It doesn't take only an oligarchy to build an artificial island.

    Lastly, the whole idea of constructing an independent nation on an artificial island in international waters precludes the prospect of violent bloodshed. Nobody owns international waters. You're not taking something away from anyone else. That is the point in building an artificial island in international waters; you're not forcing anything on anyone, only beckoning them to join you and contribute to the project.
     
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  5. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Why not just have a internet site that only works with science as some already do? That way you can have millions of scientists onboard that site anytime and never leave your home.
     
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  7. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    5,364
    Ok, sorry. I didn't catch the part about parking this utopian state on an artificial island. I was picturing subjecting an existing nation to oligarchical rule by a scientistic elite.

    An artificial island would be no more than a few square kilometers. What would all these scientists and their government do out there? Create some kind of research institute? Survival would seem to be a problem, since everyone would need food, shelter, power, internet access and manufactured goods. I suppose that they might own the rights to some inventions and receive royalty income. Still, it doesn't seem very practical.

    What's more, I can't imagine the scientists here in the United States really wanting to move there. They have homes and families, enjoy their local shopping and entertainment, and already have institutional affiliations that they probably wouldn't want to give up in favor of some utopian shot-in-the-dark.

    Another difficulty: This artificial island of scientists would presumably require service-workers to keep it going. These workers, not being scientists, would presumably be disenfranchised. So class distinctions are likely to arise.

    And bottom line, I'm still not convinced that scientists would be better than non-scientists at ruling a nation.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
  8. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    6,840
    An Utopian circa early 70s was planning a self sustaining floating city which would spend most of it's time in international waters----if memory serves, the residents were to be selected based on iq and abilities. The design department at Southern Illinois University was adrift in potential designs. All was fantasy and idle speculation, and no small amount of drafting paper and pencil lead.
     
  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,133
    Right. And as shown above, they have demonstrated that on a larger scale, aggression works. But neither of those conclusions should shape society, because we are able to do better than gorillas, bonobos and chimpanzees (usually.)
    They did indeed get the science right. In fact, the US was working on their own eugenics program when World War II started, at which point they quietly discontinued it with a sense of "and let us never speak of this again." The Nazis took what the US had developed and ran with it, with disastrous results.

    Another example of how even a valid scientific result should not shape society.
    I am not claiming that. Scientists have just as much right to have their say about morality as anyone else. They should not base their morality purely on science, though; the fact that the ichneumon wasp has a very effective reproductive cycle says nothing about the morality of it (and indeed most people would find it abhorrent*.)
    I think you will find that if you look at our history as a whole, "abandoning the weak" played a central role in many societies leading up to this one. (And indeed it is what eugenics is based on.)

    Even in the US, before World War II, Sir Francis Dalton had a huge following - and his philosophy could be summed by abandoning (or sterilizing) the weak - specifically the poor, the disabled and the immoral. And this was no fringe activity. It was accepted as mainstream science, with people from Alexander Graham Bell to Luther Burbank touting it. It was taught in schools alongside Mendelian genetics, and was considered as important a moral cause as women's rights. (Indeed it was adopted by most women's rights groups as part of their platform.)
    I don't know about that. The Spartans seemed to do OK.



    (* - of course if we were wasps our opinion would be different.)
     
  10. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    748
    Well, that wouldn't be an actual country where people could live.
     
  11. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

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    748
  12. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    33,264
    You really would need a very large city to house all the people in and they would need beef, chickens and many other animals to feed that many people of course hydroponics would be used for all vegetation. It just doesn't make much sense to me to build something like that due to things I've mentioned plus a litany of other things that would be needed. What would people do if they needed to fly somewhere? So many problems that it just won't work.
     
  13. krash661 [MK6] transitioning scifi to reality Valued Senior Member

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    2,973
    this topic is very interesting to me.
     
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  14. TBodillia Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    159
    You act like all "pro-science" people believe the exact same thing with no argument.

    Times like this, I really wish I could locate the film about how the airplane would bring peace to post WWI Earth. Super intelligent men would fly to a hotspot, parachute in and use their intellect, logic, & reasoning to diffuse the situation. But, South Park will also work:
    Go God Go
    Go God Go XII
     
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  15. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,133
    This is a bad idea because it will leave places like the Bible belt free to run America and ruin the world with pollution and ignore things like climate change with the expectation that the rapture will happen and take them all away to a better place, so they have no incentive not to leave their current "disposable" world as a $#!thole.
     
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  16. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,364
    That sounds like the 'Dictatorship of the Air' from H.G. Wells' utopian/dystopian novel 'The Shape of Things to Come', subsequently loosely adapted into a movie called 'Things to Come'. It's a totalitarian world government run by an oligarchy of supposedly superior scientists in what everyone is assured is the world's best interest. Wells evidently imagined this as a good thing, but with the coming of fascism and communism, enforced totalitarian utopias kind of went out of style.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shape_of_Things_to_Come
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  17. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,840
    From your link:
    Yeh, that's what was being said 42 years ago........(fusion anyone?)

    I'll believe it if and when I see it.
     
  18. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

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    748
    You pose an unexpected and very good point. For the rational, pro-science people to all abandon America that would leave a lot of power at the hands of possibly the anti science religious right.

    I think this is the best and strongest challenge to my idea.
    I'm glad someone finds it interesting.
    And the thing is, I am not a scientist so it can't be claimed I am positing such a government for my own plan to put myself on some governing committee or congress. I have no such aspirations other than to see a less dysfunctional world.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  19. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

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    748
    I agree. Skepticism is, of course, healthy.
     
  20. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    748

    I've seen those two episodes and they are funny, if a bit unfair to Mr. Dawkins. However, I think we should all be skeptical of fictional potrayals of the future or even the present. Fictional stories give their authors the ability to concoct any scenario and outcome they wish to see and it seems to me are the easiest way to for people to present their world view, especially when reality is reluctant to oblige them with the same story.
     
  21. river

    Messages:
    14,326
    I get what your saying

    The problem is though is that science is not based on truth

    Science from my perspective is based on the past thinkers

    When science is objective , truly so , then I will give your idea more thought
     
  22. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    3,133
    Well then your perspective is wrong.
     
  23. river

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    14,326
    How so ?
     

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