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A Reliable Negative Relation Between Intelligence and Religiosity

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by T2Bruno, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    Well, the nazi experiments were a side-effect of the war; WWII wasn't started to do medical experiments. I'd think that the Manhattan Project is the most well-known example of scientists failing to consider the ramifications of their research.
    Your mention of the Nazis reminds me a little of this:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    PS, Stalin and Hitler both also hated cats, which tells me all I need to know. Theoatmeal has plenty of fun facts like this.
     
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  2. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    Well i've found the new way to make everyone accept animal abuse- justify it by science.

    Let's be real here. Cosmetic testing is not a morally justifiable reason to cause extreme harm to animals. Purposefully force-feeding animals large amounts of a chemical substance until they die is morally wrong. Performing painful experiments without medication to animals is wrong. If we can't agree on that we're living on totally separate moral universes. Alternatives exist, so there is no justification. None. You may think the welfare of animals is b.s T2 but not me.

    I have a hard time blaming politicians when they aren't the ones in the lab performing these tasks. Noone is putting a gun to these people's head.


    And for the record, that cartoon is a straw-man. I don't think BOV was talking about hitler or stalin themselves but the actual scientists who were doing all those brutal things. The causes for the war are irrelevant to his statement. At least from my understanding of it.


    Really? I made that assumption? Please show me where. I am fully aware they exist and I am also equally aware that they are entirely insufficient for the animals protection. A quick google search will tell you how many giant holes the regulations have.


    If you don't feel the need to justify the imprisonment and willful causing of harm to a creature, ANY creature, that can feel pain, I don't think your chosen belief system has benefited your moral philosophy much, with all due respect. I think the Jains, with their creed of doing absolutely no harm in thought or action to any living being, or the Buddhists who are against animal cruelty and fully accept their subjectivity, have you beat. If a morality derived from science finds this acceptable I will look elsewhere for my morality, for obvious reasons.

    I don't think it should be automatically assumed I find these things acceptable just because I object to some scientific practices. I am not here to peddle an ideology, but make the point that science doesn't exactly have it's hands clean either. If atheism wants to show how you don't need religion to be moral, the best step they can take is to look in the mirror.

    Another issue I have with science is it's creation of millions of tons of harmful chemicals that stay in the environment for thousands of years. The amount of lives that are lost due to this will probably never be fully known. Say what you want about religion, but at least the Mormons aren't secretly giving you cancer. I think being annoyed that they proclaim their faith in public is small potatoes compared to that.
     
  3. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    And that's the crux of it. Moral Justification. It's ok to eat the cow, steal it's milk, don the leather jacket, but not lab test it? HUH?! What's more important, the animal's feelings or the continuation of the human race? Every animal on the planet would eat the living daylights out of humans until we are extinct if it meant the difference between their survival and their extinction. We are merely doing the same.

    I need to go have lunch. A big, fat, juicy burger will hit the spot I think!
     
  4. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    Believe me, I object to factory farming too, but that's not tied to science as directly as this so I didn't mention it. I would have no problem with testing if they didn't have to suffer, especially for frivolous reasons. Just as I have no problem with eating meat as long as it didn't have to be imprisoned and suffer it's whole life. Testing on animals isn't integral to our survival like eating is either. Though there are moral issues here for both of them, the two aren't exactly the same.
     
  5. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Testing IS integral to our survival. Ask anyone at CDC. So we test on animals instead of people as they are more alike to humans than anything else on the planet. It's the only logical way we can test and still have the slightest chance of keeping up with evolving diseases.
     
  6. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I didn't say the welfare of animals was b.s. -- only that the premise for your argument is b.s. You're making an assumption there (in both your premise and the response). And please, if there wasn't a legal mandate to do the testing the amount of testing would me much lower -- I just don't understand the argument of 'it's just the law, no one is putting a gun to their head to follow the law' argument, especially when the lawmakers are held blameless. That's exactly like the war protesters of the 60's and 70's who blamed the soldiers for the Vietnam War. There's a serious disconnect in that logic somewhere.

    Besides, the argument of 'scientists can't possibly be moral or have values because scientists kill animals' is also logical fallacy -- your conducting an ad hominem attack on a group based on a sub-set of that group. I personally have never done any testing on animals or ordered such testing for products I develop. I doubt many physicists have a need for such things. The argument is also quite hypocritical when made by anyone who used medicinal or health care products without doing the homework to determine what products do not use animal studies (I don't know if fall into this category or not).
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  7. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    You changing the subject into something you could more easily win (general religion into animal welfare; knock down the straw man) was, but me linking to a related theoatmeal comic was intended as an amusing anecdote, nothing more. It didn't change the subject, and didn't make my already strong position any stronger.
    If you read what I wrote, the way to justify animal experiments is to have a mother crying for the life of her dying baby. Then it's about compassion and survival, not scientific pursuit.
    Most animal experimentation is done to test commercial products, not to sate scientists' cold, unfeeling curiosity. And commerce is not the pursuit of science. The annals of scientific history will make no mention of how the latest mixture of Head & Shoulders caused significantly less skin rash on most rhesus monkeys.
    If you want to separate yourself from religious abuse of women, that fine by me. But allow me the same freedom to separate myself from commercial animal testing, please. Just because the lab workers are implementing the scientific method, does not mean it counts as true advancement of science.
     
  8. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    The world is full of hypocrisy; Ingrid Newkirk, co founder of PETA broke her wrist in 2007, and said "I met a wet floor and went splat, neatly snapping the bones in my wrist. Ooh, the pain! Thank goodness for IV drips." I.V. drips hmm, Intrevenous Anaesthetics, that were tested on rats, rabbits, dogs, cats and monkeys. Apparently she’s not opposed to that animal testing. So unopposed that she thanks "goodness" for it. Also like PETA Vice President and insulin (tested on dogs, rabbits and mice) dependent diabetic Mary Beth Sweetland, continue to enjoy the benefits of animal testing while supporting terrorist acts on the scientists who provide them?
     
  9. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    I wonder why my comment on the production of millions of tons of toxic chemicals was ignored. I guess there's no justifying that, is there?

    I don't need to ask the CDC- I have the weight of history on my side. There is no denying we lived for hundreds of thousands of years without painful experimentation on animals. We never lived for hundreds of thousands of years without eating. Therefore, it is not integral to our survival.

    From my understanding of the law, alternatives to animal testing are highly encouraged. That most places do not use these alternatives puts noone at blame but themselves. I don't see any evidence that animal testing would be drastically reduced without the existence of testing laws that don't even actually require animals. I say that because this isn't a modern phenomenon, it's gone back far throughout the history of science:

    "[The anatomists] administered beatings to dogs with perfect indifference, and made fun of those who pitied the creatures as if they felt pain. They said the animals were clocks; that the cries they emitted when struck were only the noise of a little spring that had been touched, but the whole body was without feeling. They nailed poor animals up on boards by their four paws to vivisect them and see the circulation of the blood…"

    I don't think it even needs to be said that that was not what I was saying. Even if it was what I was saying, pointing out that millions of animals die every year due to science isn't an ad-hominem because it's relevant to the discussion- if we're going to talk about the relationship between morality and science immoral behaviors matter. That doesn't mean they can't have values but that perhaps science isn't the best place to get those values.
    OH so only "some" ways to use the scientific method count. Only the ones that make the institution look good, huh?

    That's a pretty poor way to justify cosmetics, shampoo, and other non-necessities is it? I could have some sympathy if this was only done to aid in combating life-threatening diseases. But this is a mis-characterization of the whole of animal testing. It goes no good for your position to ignore the other ways animals are tortured and killed if anyone can research it for themselves.

    How about Harry Harlow putting baby monkeys in total isolation for years at a time (classified as torture to do to humans) to study the effects. Where is the medical necessity?

    Or the sheep given large amounts of meth, tased, and then killed. Where is the medical necessity?

    Or the monkeys and rats who made addicted to drugs, who ended up breaking their arms trying to escape, tearing off their own fingers, etc. Where is the medical necessity?

    Or how about the whole learned helplessness thing. Shocking dogs randomly to mess them up psychologically. Yeah, people would be dying in the streets if we didn't do that one.
    And this is supposed to mean what, exactly?
     
  10. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    You're understanding is not complete padawan ... there is no alternative to live animal testing for toxicity or to determine potential side effects in drugs. Research on the subject could have told you that. On the other hand corrosivity testing has a good alternate which is being used by many industries; I'm not sure where your source for 'most places do not use alternatives' came from, perhaps you've been mislead.

    We weren't. This is a thread about athiests being smarter than religious people -- at least according to the article quoted. Since we were also talking about religion does that mean past immoral behaviour from any religion in the past is fair game here? That would be opening up a bag of worms that theists could not possibly overcome. Acts of individuals are not representative of the group (or the acts of subsets do not represent the larger populous).

    There is an old story about a student of Hippocrates who ask, 'Master, what is toxic?' The reply from the great physician was, 'All things are toxic, what matters is the dose.' The comment of 'millions of tons of toxic chemicals' is a red herring, please be specific. I'm certain with the few chemists on the boards we could tell you how those millions fo tons of toxic chemicals (or at least some of them) are actually used. Industry doesn't just make toxic chemicals to anger the tree huggers.

    If you want to use ancient history to attack a profession then start with physicians; back in Alexandria they used to conduct vivisections on criminals. You can also continue to use individual examples of the horrors of research but perhaps you could actually list the individual research studies and what was the goal of the research. Back in high school I did an english paper on abortion, the teacher wrote a response that stayed with me: "This looks like you got your information from a pamphlet. Please choose your sources carefully and list them." Your response reminded me of that paper, I get the feeling that your repeating what you've read in pamphlets or found on PETA's web site.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  11. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    Just wanted to point out a factual error or at least a misleading expression in the comic above. Hitler, while technically a Catholic, was not what I would call Christian. He was a Catholic by convenience, he needed the Catholic support in order to take over and once in power stayed a catholic in order to use the church to keep the people in line. German national socialism at the time had an interesting approach on religion which varied from person to person. Himmler had a deep fascination to occultism and ritualism which he expressed in the SS, Rosenberg (chief racial theorist) had germanic neopagan tenets while Hitler himself was closer to an atheist. He expressed contempt for both men above for their beliefs and was equally critical of christian faith. Not that it proves anything mind you, just that I'm not sure a demographic box checking is quite a sufficient method of correlating religion with morality.
     
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  12. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    The Scientific Method was intended for scientific research - the clue is in the name. Otherwise, it would be called the Clear Thinking Method, the Reasoning Method, the Hypothesis Testing Method, or whatever. It is used in other fields because it's a good method, but that doesn't make all those fields become true scientific research. Is every homeless person who visits the Salvation Army automatically a Christian? No, they need the food and shelter, much like commercial product testing needs the Scientific Method for the results.
    Absolutely. But people will go to extreme measures to save lives, and you can expect that thousands of monkeys will go down the experimentation meatgrinder if it might help save human lives. If lives are not at stake, but human beaty, you can still expect many monkeys to get skinrashes from lipstick and other make-up testing. You can thank Biblical (and other large, organized religions' holy books) morality for making us think that humans are more important than animals. Ancient Animist beliefs held a lot higher regard for animal life - even hunters would say little prayers after each kill.
    That commercial product testing is not about science, but about human health & safety, which people go to extreme measures to protect. Using scientific methods is just common sense, to get better results. If a church gets doors made of oakwood, does that mean the church is actually a logging company? That's how much sense your comparison makes ("Product testing on animals = Science").
    And I wonder why my comment was ignored about animal welfare being just a straw man argument. You biting down on on this talking point seems to be an admission of how weak your position was on religion in general. If you could just knock down the animal welfare straw man, at least it might look like a minor victory in the religious debate. I happen to be a Biologist, and I did my scientific study out of a non-sadistic interest in animals. I don't appreciate being likened with an animal torturer just so you can save face in a debate.
    This topic is about religion; animal tests are not forbidden, or in any way oppose, most religions. I believe the Bible specifically states that all of the living things on Earth are meant to be used by humans in some way or another. Genesis 9:1-29: "The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything."
    Basically, God made humanity custodians of his living creations, and it's up to us to decide what to do with them.
    The comic's actual website reports that Hitler's religious status is in dispute. Many readers wrote in to correct him.
    Some smaller religions, like Jehova's Witnesses, also found themselves on trains to Auschwitz, for refusing to approve of Nazi ideologies. Catholicism is a very smooth religion: It fits into any world view as if Catholicism + [world view] were always meant together. Many mainstream protestant and reformed churches also fell in line.
     
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  13. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    You said it yourself- the scientific method is intended for scientific research. How exactly are those particular forms of tests not research? I'm not seeing the reason for the distinction other than the fact that it conveniently washes the hands of the institution from it's destructive uses.

    That's a pretty big assumption. I think the research speaks for itself on the issue of religion- the fact that it brings greater happiness, aids your mental health, makes you better able to cope with stress, and the multitude of other things studies have shown on the matter make it valuable and a potentially great boon to humanity, irregardless of the existence of a deity or not. I don't think what comes out of the LHC, the fact that living things evolve, or any other information that comes out of science has yet or will ever tell us anything about what may lie outside the realm of current experience which it understands. The very idea of there being some kind of conflict between science and religion only makes sense to me when religions make statements about physical reality that can be verified or debunked, which is a very small part of what religions are about.


    Dioxin (found in nearly every human being), plutonium and it's isotopes, depleted uranium, etc. etc. It would almost be easier to list ones that didn't have insanely destructive uses and consequences.

    That wasn't my goal with that, I was only using it to point out that animal testing went back far before mandatory testing laws so it can't be blamed on that alone.

    Sure, but before I do, what research goals in your mind would justify the torture and/or killing of an animal? Just so we're on the same page.
     
  14. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    That's an easy one. The continuation of the human race. Period. Studies that help us fight diseases which are bar none the biggest obstacle to our existance as a race in the future. Otherwise we die off. An Earth heavily populated with monkeys and mice and no humans does us what? Squat, that's what. I know for certain that I can live with the fact that a monkey got a rash so my kid could live. That is the bottom line of it.
     
  15. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    editing

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 14 minutes and 45 seconds later... ----------

    The species may have perservered, but it wasn't nice, and not even too long ago (65 years ago) parents who would have 10 - 16 children just to hope that some of them would survive into their teens - medical science changed all that.

    In the UK, a scientist has to prove that there is no alternative for his test before he can get a licence.

    You make a mistake here, your mistaking higher brain functions with reaction to stimuli, it is illegal to use 'higher mammals' for testing. You cannot compare the functions of a lesser nervous system to the human brain, they lack the higher brain functions that give sentience, they cannot identify the emotion concepts of pleasure or pain, they display an instinctive reaction to the stimuli, does a plant feel pain? no, but it still reacts to stimuli that a higher being would interpreate as pain. Any tissue with a nervous system will immediately react to physical stimui, the difference between higher species and lesser species is the emotional reaction involved, we experience pain in a completely different way to what a mouse does, a mouse will run instinctively for its life if you prodded it with a knife, we will experience not only the instinctive self preservation, but also emotional effects such as fear - lesser species are not capable of that.

    To sum up, we feel pain, a (I'm going to single our rodents for this because I don't want to type a list of various small mammals, primates, fish, amphibians and reptiles) do not, they merely react to physical stimuli.

    I have searched for an experiment I know was carried out but I can't find it on the net, I get thousands of non relevant results so if anyone knows this I'd appreciate a link to it. Where a group of scientists made a severed human hand react to 'pain' the hand was only recently severed and its nervous system was for the most part intact and they used electrical current and pins I can't remember exactly how they did it, school was a long time ago.

    Dioxins are not intentionally made, they are by products of many different kinds of human behaviour, they can be created naturally (wildfire, animal feces - infact fertilizing soil with manure will contaminate any future crops or grazing animals with dioxins) or due to manufacture processes and combustion, in short we've all created dioxins, if youve ever lit a barbeque, had a camp fire or a bon fire you have created dioxins. Their effects on the human body are well docummented through animal testing we know that they can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interference with hormones and also cause cancer.

    plutonium is a naturally occuring chemical element with radioactive properties, we don't create it.

    uranium is also a naturally occuring chemical element with weak radiocative properties, we don't create that either.

    Links to studies are very important here.
     
  16. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    If you insist on holding me acountable for every side effect of every form of testing based on the Scientific Method, then it's only fair to hold you accountable for every aspect of religion.

    Let's start with animal sacrifices and ritual slaughter of animals for food. That's a lot of unnecessary suffering the animals must endure, just so your dinner is halal/kosher.
    So, what do you have to say about marital abuse? If you're religious, you condone it.
    The crusades and the inquisition weren't enough historic warnings to get you to steer clear of harmful religious philosophies?
    How about child abuse within the church - that's not a clear enough signal that your spiritual advisors are just serving their own interests, not yours?
    There's so much more I can add to this far-from-complete list, but I can't be bothered to dig down into a talking point. Suffice to say animal suffering pales in comparison with the quantity of abuse committed by so-called religious people.

    Hilariously vague definitions - I'm sure science just happened to produce objective articles that confirmed what you already knew about religions. Similarly, other boons to humanity with the same benefits include:
    - Family culture & nepotism
    - Masturbation
    - Financial theft
    - Television
    - Beer
    - Stamp collecting
    - A pet gerbil
    - Walking in the park
    - Divorce
    - A fun job

    To summarize, all these things bring a form of comfort, and religion is nothing other than comfort for those who want it.
    The philosophical questions that religions answer, are questions/notions that children often have, before understanding that the world doesn't always have answers.
    Sometimes people just don't know, and it can be hard to accept that. Sometimes people hurt you and won't get punished. Sometimes your parents won't be there to protect you, and there's no invisible daddy in the sky to look out for you, keep an eye on you so you don't misbehave, and provide solace when you feel you need it. It doesn't stop me from doing my best to be a good person, even if there will be no reward in the end.

    So, shall we all believe in stories about an all-powerful creator who protects and judges us? Or shall we try to live with the uncertainty of our small existences, accepting the fact that we aren't the centre of the universe, and sometimes we just have to take care of ourselves as best we can?

    Yes, religions take care not to tread on the realms of reality, to prevent their flock's bubble from bursting. If nothing is being said that can or may be verified in any way, then nothing is being said at all. It doesn't matter how much meaning you bring to the stories in holy books, they are simply overrated works of fiction.
     
  17. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    As a Vegan and an anti-vivisectionist myself, I do feel the need to interject at least a little. I don't consider animal testing damning to science itself, but the point needs to be acknowledged that a lot of wholly unnecessary animal testing is indeed conducted. Take the cosmetics industry -- the European Union bans animal testing for its cosmetics industry, yet the industry continues to thrive there. Many companies within the US have caved to pressure from activists and have ceased animal testing. New products continue to be introduced to the market despite this, and no one seems to be getting hurt by the lack of LD50 testing on various cosmetic items and beauty products.

    By and large, tests on cosmetics products are entirely unnecessary. We don't really have a pressing need for a better body wax, and alternative means of determining the toxicity of these products already exist. I say this not because I oppose science or progress, but because there are countless companies that continue to successfully bring new cosmetics, soaps, shampoos, and other personal hygiene products to the market without employing animal testing. I contend that any unnecessary animal testing is unethical. This doesn't mean that science is itself unethical, or that all animal testing is unethical -- what I mean to say is that conducting an LD50 test to determine how much zinc will kill a bunny in order to roll out a new dandruff shampoo is both entirely unnecessary and entirely unethical.

    Even within the pharmaceutical industry, there is a good bit of redundant, unnecessary, and by extension unethical research being conducted. Not all of it is, of course, but perfectly viable alternatives to animal experimentation are routinely ignored. Orthodoxy is a problem in all fields, and science is just as afflicted as other professions. Researchers find occasion to turn their noses at new techniques because they are outside the norm, just as entrenched professionals in any field will do. When refusing to consider new techniques or to re-visit or challenge currently accepted models leads to unnecessary animal testing, science suffers a failure of ethics.

    Anyway, that's just my two cents. What I saw in the recent exchange was one side arguing that science was utterly unethical for practicing animal experimentation, and the other side vehemently defending these methodologies without compromise. Essentially, an unfair ideological argument against animal research being argued against with an unfair ideological argument in favor of it. We're all better than this, or at least I thought we were.
     
  18. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    Does that refer to me? So, when I said that animal testing can be justified by having a mother cry for the life of her dying infant, I guess my cynicism couldn't be read in the text.
    Also, I didn't defend these experiments, but tried to separate commercial product testing from regular science, for exactly the reasons you are stating, and more.

    Shoshino made a distinction between sentient and non-sentient life, being the ability to experience emotions. I happen to disagree with that concept, as my earlier story of a cow crying while it watched its calf bleed to death would contradict it. I feel it's an old-fashioned distinction that is hardly a realistic dichotomy. It's our reasoning capabilities that distinguish us from other animals, not emotions. Anyway, Shoshino also wasn't vehemently defending animal testing either.
     
  19. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    But do we really know that they stopped testing products on animals altogether, or just in the EU? Because it makes jack all difference to multinationals who dominate the cosmetics industry if animal testing is banned EU-wide. It isn't in Africa, Asia, US, Canada, etc. They can simply conduct their tests there.

    Just like "banning" torture in no way stopped it anywhere. Merely outsourced it. I can't imagine EU-wide bans on animal testing being anything more than an inconvenience in today's globalized world.
     
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    I don't think science is unethical, I think it lacks ethics. It's a valueless institution, meaning the morality of it's use is utterly subservient to the one who has the resources to harness it, which is usually corporations and the state, meaning it's morality in modern times is usually dependent on the morality of corporations and the state. Is the real world as a whole, along with all beings who live on it, better off because of science? I wouldn't say so. If it's not, does it deserve the glorification it gets? After all, it's often the atheists themselves to call science a tool. But a tool is only worthwhile in the purpose it serves in the world.

    I've been thinking about that, and i'm not so sure I agree. Just like the point you made about atheism and religion being polyphyletic and monophyletic respectively, the same analogy applies here. All the sciences have one thing in common- the scientific method. They all use it, all apply it, it's essentially the basis for their entire institution and all of it's respective disciplines. Religions have no such uniting factor. Some claim to be the only truth, others don't. Some believe in a higher being, some don't. What muslims do because of islam has no bearing on Buddhism. What the ancient aztecs did because of their religion has no bearing on the ethics of Jainism. These faiths are not even close in similarity as, say, biology and chemistry. Those fields were deduced from the same (empiricist) line of thinking. However, the thought processes behind differing religions vary wildly.

    Let's look at it this way. Scientists (and atheists) are a small minority of the global population. But those scientists who commit those crimes are responsible for the millions of deaths that happen each year. I'm not sure how many people die explicitly due to religion a year, but if it were in the millions it would surprise me, and even then you have to account for the fact that there are many more of them than there are of the other side. I don't know where you're getting the idea that it pales in comparison.

    How about this- global warming is caused by CO2 emissions mostly due to the oil economy that ONLY scientific processes can create. Is putting the entire ecosystem at risk a big enough problem for it not to pale in comparison to the monster that is religion? Because personally, science without values seems to me to be a far bigger problem. Now, I know, science itself doesn't advocate this because it's a valueless institution, being used by people with commercial motivations. But that's the whole problem with using science as a starting point for ethics, our philosophy of life, etc.- it gives us little useful information on it's own as it is always used by people with motivations of their own.

    Your contemptuous attitude towards religious people permeates your every post. I assure you the millions of people on this earth who happen to be religious aren't, in fact, delusional morons who can't think beyond what their priests tell them as a general rule. If your starting assumption is that the other side is completely delusional and only atheists or agnostics like you have the truth what does that say about your own open-mindedness?

    Again, you do not know the motivations or thought processes behind all religious people. Some people aren't looking for comfort but to better themselves, just to give an example.
     
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