Whom do you blame for the mess we are in and why?
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27-01-2012, 06:09 PM (This post was last modified: 27-01-2012 06:19 PM by Logisch.)
RE: Whom do you blame for the mess we are in and why?
Well, if we blame it all on scientists and get rid of science, then what do we have?

The science itself isn't evil... the moral decisions of what is done with the science is the part that is the problem. Often times scientific discoveries are just that, and the scientist doesn't know what it will be used for down the road. Had you discovered the atom, could you have guessed later down the road that there would be a bomb to split it and harness ridiculous amounts of energy?

What about DNA? Had you discovered it, could you have guessed that people could be working on viruses and pathogens to harm mankind through dna and what could kill him? What could cause problems?

On the flip side, could you have guessed that eugenics could be a stepping stone for medicine?

All off discovering something like that. Granted... there are some scientists who work on these projects that ARE meant to harm. Someone has to design the technology that does harm, they know they do harm. But the original discovery itself, is not always known to do harm. But then begs the question: WHO came up with the project to do harm in the first place? Was it the scientist?

A question of morality for you:

The greatest scientist in the world, the only one who understands the science at hand is told that he will be forced to create a weapon that could destroy his fellow man. He is told if he doesn't do it, he will be killed. What do you?

A scientist, one of many of the same sciences is forced to create a weapon that will kill his fellow man. He knows if he doesn't do it he will be killed. If he is killed, someone else will take his place and do it, the project is inevitable. What do you do?

Some may label the greatest scientist as a hero if he dies, others may say the second died foolishly as he lacked self preservation. But what is the right answer?
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27-01-2012, 06:11 PM
RE: Whom do you blame for the mess we are in and why?
(27-01-2012 06:09 PM)Logisch Wrote:  Granted... there are some scientists who work on these projects that ARE meant to harm. Someone has to design the technology that does harm, they know they do harm. But the original discovery itself, is not always known to do harm.

Now we are getting somewhere... Smile
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27-01-2012, 06:25 PM
RE: Whom do you blame for the mess we are in and why?
(27-01-2012 06:11 PM)Zat Wrote:  
(27-01-2012 06:09 PM)Logisch Wrote:  Granted... there are some scientists who work on these projects that ARE meant to harm. Someone has to design the technology that does harm, they know they do harm. But the original discovery itself, is not always known to do harm.

Now we are getting somewhere... Smile

This hippie's been doing that his entire 25+ year career. What's the problem?

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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27-01-2012, 06:26 PM
RE: Whom do you blame for the mess we are in and why?
(27-01-2012 06:11 PM)Zat Wrote:  
(27-01-2012 06:09 PM)Logisch Wrote:  Granted... there are some scientists who work on these projects that ARE meant to harm. Someone has to design the technology that does harm, they know they do harm. But the original discovery itself, is not always known to do harm.

Now we are getting somewhere... Smile

So, the 'mess' is the existence of nuclear weapons?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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27-01-2012, 06:33 PM
RE: Whom do you blame for the mess we are in and why?
(27-01-2012 06:07 PM)Zat Wrote:  
(27-01-2012 05:53 PM)Chas Wrote:  Bucky makes a good point. You haven't actually defined 'mess'.

If you read my posts carefully, Chas, 'mess' will leap out at you in vivid colours! Smile

I don't necessarily disagree with your arguments, but I don't find your definition of "mess" leaping out at me as much as you might think.

I have to give props to Bucky for basically voicing what I was thinking. When you bring in the thought of evolution, aren't we just following a natural progression to continue building tools to help us adapt to our environment? Will some of those things be destructive? Sure enough. Stone tipped spears were destructive to the environment 300,000 years ago. But they advanced what would be the human race. I won't preach that nuclear weapons are great things to have around, but I think there is an inevitability that Humans would harness power of the atom as we continue to understand our environment. And I hope the same science that figured out how to explode an atom will also figure a way to build a power source to help the next level of evolution to fly to the stars.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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27-01-2012, 06:39 PM (This post was last modified: 27-01-2012 06:44 PM by Zat.)
RE: Whom do you blame for the mess we are in and why?
(27-01-2012 06:26 PM)Chas Wrote:  So, the 'mess' is the existence of nuclear weapons?

I said 'carefully'.

In the OP I listed a number of other things I blame many scientists for. It can be expanded upon at will. I assumed everybody would be familiar with the many, many irresponsible ways many, many scientists harm the public good. Wars, destruction of the environment, species extinction, outright lies about inconvenient truths, ... it is a long list.

And BEFORE you say it again, I don't blame science itself and I don't blame ALL scientists, only those who do/cause harm.

I know it is silly of me, but I never liked harm to living things.

And, yes, I know, science has done incredibly beneficial things for us.

Smile
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27-01-2012, 06:47 PM
RE: Whom do you blame for the mess we are in and why?
The posed question was "who do you blame ?" The assumption was that we are in a mess. Even if you agree that there is a "mess", (a relative, fairly non-specific, meaningless word), what good is "blaming" ?

Are you assuming the the identification of "one" factor causing the "mess" will help "fix" the mess ? If so, what exactly are you suggesting be done about it, after the identification ? Is pessimism a solution ?

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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27-01-2012, 06:47 PM (This post was last modified: 27-01-2012 06:57 PM by Zat.)
RE: Whom do you blame for the mess we are in and why?
(27-01-2012 06:25 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  This hippie's been doing that his entire 25+ year career. What's the problem?

GirlyMan, we have crossed swords over this last time I was around these parts.

You seemed to be more receptive back then, even admitting that you make yourself not think too much about these things.

Huh


(27-01-2012 06:47 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Are you assuming the the identification of "one" factor causing the "mess" will help "fix" the mess ? If so, what exactly are you suggesting be done about it, after the identification ? Is pessimism a solution ?

I identified 3 main culprits in the OP, not one.

Identifying the problem is important before thinking about solutions.

I made a proposal for a new social contract before -- a proposal that was spawned from unjustified optimism.
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27-01-2012, 07:09 PM
RE: Whom do you blame for the mess we are in and why?
It's nothing to look slight of that many of the writings during the Industrial Revolution during the Romantic period were about fear in what scientists could possibly due with this new confounded technology. It wasn't the Kings and Nobel going off and becoming the tyrants of the tales but those who sought the utmost knowledge to create what they happened to feel was best for humanity with unforeseen costs.

In that regards I would blame the scientists more than the rest... but to me this issue of what I think you're calling a mess is founded in society from way before any refinement of what we call science.

The growth of logging and resource manipulation the human race was embarking on prior to scientific leaps in technology was already growing along with the continuous battling and warfare.

The ruling figures of societies were always after whatever advantage they could get over others in warfare. I don't think it's as far to blame the inventor of the gun, the missile, or the atomic bombs because without the order of destruction was on hand with or without these speedily advancements.
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27-01-2012, 07:47 PM (This post was last modified: 27-01-2012 08:14 PM by Zat.)
RE: Whom do you blame for the mess we are in and why?
Science did not start with the Industrial Revolution.

The interplay between the inventors and the rulers go way back to pre-history.

Some always wanted to rule and needed more than just muscle. The early scientists were the shamans and medicine-men who were often used by the tribal chiefs to provide them with advice, potions, prophecies.

As technology improved, rulers needed more and more from the techies: siege machines, black powder, poison, guns, canons, flame-throwers, tanks, planes, missiles, nuclear, biological, chemical and space-based weapons, spying, encryption, code-breaking, psychological war games and brain-washing/torture/crowd-control gadgets and techniques.

In addition, many scientists took on a new job: corporate and military apologists in corporate-paid think tanks, lying through their teeth to ‘justify’ their masters’ practices. In addition to that, the highest caliber scientists are immediately snapped up both by the military and by Wall Street, to give them the brains to solidify/expand their power over the rest of us.

Some scientists and engineers recoiled from the task but many accepted, even enthusiastically. For money, for position, for prestige, for curiosity, whatever -- there were enough of them to produce what the ruler/ruling class demanded of them in order to stay in power and expand their rule.

Now we live in a world that is on the brink of an environmental catastrophe, danger of nuclear war or accident, mass starvation (11 million children starving to death each year on the planet), running out of resources and fast approaching global climate-change catastrophe.

The cause-and-effect chain is very simple: invention-engineering-deployment-application. The rulers come in at the end, pushing buttons. The rest is done by their faithful servants who do have the talent, the imagination, the ability to connect those buttons to mega-death.

And I am asked “what mess?” and “what it has to do with scientists?” Rolleyes

Consider this:

Best example is the development of the atomic bomb. After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, scientists were horrified by what they had done (as if it was not predictable from the start) and started forming committees and submitting petitions against further research. Oppenheimer was the primary spokesman for the group, in violent opposition with Edward Teller who wanted to go ahead with the “Super” which was the code name for the hydrogen bomb.

In addition to the ethical concerns, the project seemed doomed from the technical point of view, due to the millions of degrees of temperature required to initiate fusion.

Quoting from Wikipedia
:

Quote:In 1951, however, Edward Teller and mathematician Stanislaw Ulam developed what became known as the Teller-Ulam design for a hydrogen bomb.[127] This new design seemed technically feasible and Oppenheimer changed his opinion about developing the weapon. As he later recalled:

"The program we had in 1949 was a tortured thing that you could well argue did not make a great deal of technical sense. It was therefore possible to argue that you did not want it even if you could have it. The program in 1951 was technically so sweet that you could not argue about that. The issues became purely the military, the political and the humane problems of what you were going to do about it once you had it.”

We have discussed all of this in the thread: "The Dark Side of Science" before.

It's worth reading through it -- there is nothing new under the sun.

I did not wish this thread to go through that again, I was hoping people would come up with their own reasons for the planet's problems, as I did in the OP.

However, science and scientists seem to be a touchy subject to many atheists. Big Grin
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