Monday, June 30, 2008

Knowledge and Values

There was a recent article which I find informative on the current "debate" on the ethics of embryonic stem cell research (ESCR).

They start with:
"But will that [more] knowledge necessarily help build support for the science?"
That's an interesting statement. It's reflective of an underlying attitude: that science, any science, is good; and that anyone who is intelligent will support more science. That only the ignorant (religious folk) would question science.

Then there is:
"It is not about providing religious audiences with more scientific information. In fact, many of them are already highly informed about stem cell research, so more information makes little difference in terms of influencing public support. And that's not good or bad. That's just what the data show."
Well, how kind to acknowledge that some ignorant, religious folk are actually highly informed. And then to follow it up with the non-statement that this is neither"good or bad".

If ESCR is ethical (i.e. killing human beings in their earliest stage of development will be permitted by society), then opposing it is contrary to society's value (which is the only definition of "bad" the atheist has).

If ESCR is unethical, then opposing it is good.

I'm just surprised that we needed a study to determine that more knowledge will not make one lose one's values...

It did provide a final thought:
"The attitudes of individuals who are deferential to science - who tend to trust scientists and their work - are influenced by their level of scientific understanding."
Those who reject trust in God (who trust in men) are supportive of their rebel gods! Again, shouldn't need a study for that.

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