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Forum LockedEthical, Theological Implications of Atom Smasher

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Aug-2008 at 20:58

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

To be frank, when dealing with physics on this level, no amount of common sense can compensate for the sheer vastness of technical and academic knowledge required. This is not like fixing a broken down clothes dryer, it can't be figured out intuitively, IMHO.

 

By “using common sense” I meant that people who will analyze the implications of this project should use a good dose of it before they jump to conclusions or conspiracy theories.  I did not mean that any old schmuck could magically be able to understand the all of the science that is involved.  Heck, I have two and a half degrees and I would never claim to understand all of the physics and such!  Nevertheless, I don’t think one needs too many degrees or an understanding of science to make judgments about what can be done with technology when it is wielded by humans who are susceptible to human nature.

 

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

I could understand concerns about a lone scientist or pair of scientists losing sight of what is important in the pursuit of experimental glory. But this project requires a whole legion of scientists and the backing of enormous funding and permission from governments in advanced liberal democracies. Surely out of that vast multitude of scientists, investors and government officials there is bound to be someone qualified who would step forward to oppose the project. And yet the complaints have always come from unqualified people who have no real insight or involvement in the project.

 

True, but if we look at another scientific endeavor that does have moral implications—the cloning of animals—we can see that certain people in the scientific community apparently have no qualms about taking the next step towards the cloning of humans.  There have been outcries from both lay and scientific circles regarding the morality and responsibility of this.  Nevertheless, there are some scientists who insist that this next step must be taken and vow to see it through.

 

Who is to say that this atom collider project will not be taken steps further to where the dangers are amplified?  What if a faction of scientists is able to pull the wool over the naysayers’ eyes or silence them?

 

Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

Ha! The Taliban of America are at it again!

Honestly when I first heard that some right wing americans opposed CERN I thought it was a joke or propaganda. Surely, no-one could possibly oppose the most exciting development in Physics.
This is simply religious medievalism opposing knowledge yet again. CERN is not going to destroy the world, and even if it does, its worth it!

God bless France, Switzerland and all countries involved in CERN (including the US), and all the people who have supported it, and protect them from the extremists.

 

Next time surprise us with something we didn’t think you would say.

 

Originally posted by JanusRook JanusRook wrote:

Also this is not going into the realm of the supernatural. Just because we do not understand it does not mean it isn't a part of the natural world. God gave us the natural world so that we might master it and become the caretakers of creation. That is why this shouldn't cause any concern sub-atomic particles are just as natural as the sun, the oceans and a tree so there are no questions of morality in this project.

 

So is there a sense of responsibility?  Is there a definitive stopping point?  Indeed, we should be responsible stewards of the natural world.  For me, responsibility implies that there are boundaries or limits that must be observed.  Conversely, when scientific research is deemed successful by the community which produced it, it follows that the community will continue the research and take it to the next level.  What is this next level?

 

Originally posted by Benedictus Benedictus wrote:

Firstly, we must ask ourselves if this is something which is actually necessary. If they are indeed creating a very small black hole, what is to stop it from growing? We cannot even begin to understand the magnitude of power contained within black holes (we are light years from the nearest one) and just because one hasn't supposedly "hurt" us yet, doesn't mean it can't happen.

 

Good point.  Although they tell us that there is nearly no chance that a Black Hole—or one supposedly of “destructive” proportions—will be created, what about when they decide to continue the research and to augment it?  Yes, sub-atomic particles are natural, but are still the building blocks of matter and reality as we know it.  When we start fiddling with these—just like in human cloning—there has to be clear ideas of boundaries and responsibility in mind.  The mentality of “anything for the benefit of humanity” does not cut it in my opinion.

 

Originally posted by Benedictus Benedictus wrote:

Secondly, if this does create a black hole, why are we so curious to generate one? Don't we know what one already does? Have we not observed this already? Why are all these modern nations pushing funding and resources for this? It seems more as though it could be some sort of superweapon technology disguised as a "harmless" scientific test.

 

Indeed, although I am not a scientist, and leaving aside all the Hollywood interpretations of scientific phenomena, I can safely say that the scientific community has been quite clear that Black Holes and so-called Dark Matter are some of the last entities which they know exist, yet do not know much about.  Black Holes in particular are called “the most destructive forces” in the universe.

 

Sure, the present “Atom Smasher” might not do any harm right now and might yield some interesting results.  But again, and I am sounding like a skipping record here, what about when the research is continued and the technology modified?

 

Originally posted by Cezar Cezar wrote:

The purpose of the experiment(s) are quite clear.

 

Fine.  If the purpose of experiments is quite clear, what might be the logical conclusions?  What will be the encouragement to continue the research and “improve” upon the initial findings?

 

Originally posted by Cezar Cezar wrote:

Maybe building churches?

 

No, professing willful atheism.

 

Originally posted by Cezar Cezar wrote:

Debating especially with religious people? How dare they thinking, they should just stick with the creed!

 

Look, this was as predictable as Omar’s comment above.  We all have heard ad nauseam the snide remarks of intelligentsia against the great unwashed religious people.  Please spare us a repeat performance.

 

Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

God has already laid out his rules and they firmly and unquestionably encourage scientific research! Who are you to create boundaries that God didn't?

 

How did he “create boundaries that God didn’t?”  I think the example of the Tower of Babel, plus God’s revelation to Job, are clear indications of where the boundaries are and the punishment for crossing them.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Aug-2008 at 11:08
Byzantine Emperor, it is not my intention to belittle the minds of religious persons. I just think that opinions expressed regarding things like the CERN accelerators should stick to science. And no matter what moral implications may result we cannot just stop scientific research just because we are afraid of what we don't know.
Try this page and the links provided there, maybe you will get a clearear picture of what those people working underground are doing: http://public.web.cern.ch/PUBLIC/en/LHC/Safety-en.html
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Aug-2008 at 08:09
Originally posted by BE BE wrote:

Originally posted by Constantine XI

To be frank, when dealing with physics on this level, no amount of common sense can compensate for the sheer vastness of technical and academic knowledge required. This is not like fixing a broken down clothes dryer, it can't be figured out intuitively, IMHO.

 

By “using common sense” I meant that people who will analyze the implications of this project should use a good dose of it before they jump to conclusions or conspiracy theories.  I did not mean that any old schmuck could magically be able to understand the all of the science that is involved.  Heck, I have two and a half degrees and I would never claim to understand all of the physics and such!  Nevertheless, I don’t think one needs too many degrees or an understanding of science to make judgments about what can be done with technology when it is wielded by humans who are susceptible to human nature.

Likewise I would not, with my two and a half degrees, seriously consider my opinions and observations of CERN's research to be anything more than unqualified waffle. It requires such a different education to the one I possess that I can only meekly admit my ignorance and encourage those with the relevant knowledge to be responsible. I am proud of both my education and common sense, but I know these things are almost totally invalid when passing judgements on the technical aspects of CERN's work.
Byzantine Emperor, the final line of what I quote you as saying hints strongly at the conclusion that: "people are prone to error and irresponsibility, so their power should be curtailed so they don't endanger us all". While I agree to this in principle, in this particular instance I cannot agree that human nature presents a danger because of the safeguards in place. That and the fact that everyone qualified says it is safe - and that is no small number of people."
 
Originally posted by Byzantine Emperor Byzantine Emperor wrote:

]
Originally posted by Constantine XI

I could understand concerns about a lone scientist or pair of scientists losing sight of what is important in the pursuit of experimental glory. But this project requires a whole legion of scientists and the backing of enormous funding and permission from governments in advanced liberal democracies. Surely out of that vast multitude of scientists, investors and government officials there is bound to be someone qualified who would step forward to oppose the project. And yet the complaints have always come from unqualified people who have no real insight or involvement in the project.

 

True, but if we look at another scientific endeavor that does have moral implications—the cloning of animals—we can see that certain people in the scientific community apparently have no qualms about taking the next step towards the cloning of humans.  There have been outcries from both lay and scientific circles regarding the morality and responsibility of this.  Nevertheless, there are some scientists who insist that this next step must be taken and vow to see it through.

 

Who is to say that this atom collider project will not be taken steps further to where the dangers are amplified?  What if a faction of scientists is able to pull the wool over the naysayers’ eyes or silence them?

I think the comparison with cloning is a bit off. The reason is because there is consensus among the scientists involved in CERN's project that the endeavour is safe and responsible. By contrast, scientific opinion on the cloning of human remains divided and controversial.

The concern about the development of the project going from something safe to something cataclysmic (akin to going from producing the first arquebus to testing the A bomb) is a fair concern. But I would need to know how exactly this might eventuate before opting to pull the plug on the project. The argument "something might go wrong at some point for reasons not yet envisioned or defined" is a rather weak one to oppose scientific progress. It seems likely to me that a project with such wide involvement and regulation would be one where an emerging danger is quickly discovered and widely known about - the potential for cover up for something this big seems to me minimal. But should a danger be discovered, then we may need to consider halting the project.
However, that is only in the event of a tangible danger. At present no tangible danger has been identified or even imagined, and this is insufficient ground for halting the project.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Sep-2008 at 20:42
Well, tomorrow is the big day when the Hadron Collider will finally be fired up.  Has anyone noticed the increased publicity it has received in the news lately?  I read an article the other day about some scientists filing an injunction in a European court saying that it is unethical to run such an experiment.  Several of the headlines read that scientists working on the project hope to recreate the conditions of the "Big Bang" among other things.  We shall see what happens.
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Look, this was as predictable as Omar’s comment above.  We all have heard ad nauseam the snide remarks of intelligentsia against the great unwashed religious people. 
 
 
And vice versa.
 
 
I've been following this thread for a few weeks.  I find it interesting that some are attempting to dismiss the validity of the experiment on religious grounds.  Religion has no place in science.  [That said, it doesn't mean that a scientist can't be a religious person.]
The knowledge acquired in the last 20 years puts this in a different realm than say, the first atomic reaction achieved by Fermi, in a basement under a football stadium in the middle of Chicago.Confused
I'm the son of a Physics Prof. and where I don't have as good a grasp as Omar I understand why he feels as strongly as he does.  I know enough to understand why this is so important but not enough to be able to explain it clearly.
I do know this is as important as solving a problem about quarks and proving that teseraks can and do exist. [Exp. Dr. Who's spacecraft if real, would be one]
 
 


Edited by red clay - 10-Sep-2008 at 02:47
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Originally posted by red clay red clay wrote:

I've been following this thread for a few weeks.  I find it interesting that some are attempting to dismiss the validity of the experiment on religious grounds.  Religion has no place in science.  [That said, it doesn't mean that a scientist can't be a riligious person.]
 
Well, I wouldn't say that religion has no place in science; I would prefer to say that it is unrelated to the focus of this particular experiment. That said, ethics do have a place in science, and ethical positions may be informed by religious consciousness. If someone criticizes the project on the grounds that it is an attempt to discredit a religious ideology, that would be a religious criticism; if they criticize it on the grounds that it could cause a massive disaster, that is an ethical criticism. Scientists do need to take the latter into account when they conduct their experiments, and if they do not they lose the right to regulate themselves. The two examples I provided are extreme, and there are many shades of grey, but I think that we often confuse religion itself with morality, ethics, or a host of other disciplines which religion legitimately informs.
 
As for the Atom Smasher experiment currently taking place, I must confess that I don't know enough about it to definitively offer a position one way or the other.
 
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Operational for two hours and the world didn't get sucked into a black hole.
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Originally posted by BE BE wrote:

Next time surprise us with something we didn’t think you would say.

I don't think I have ever said that before.
Quote How did he “create boundaries that God didn’t?”  I think the example of the Tower of Babel, plus God’s revelation to Job, are clear indications of where the boundaries are and the punishment for crossing them.

God does not punish people for science or Engineering, quite the opposite. The story of Babel is warning against thinking that you are as good as or better than God, it is not warning people against building a tower (we have towers that are far bigger than Babel could ever have been). There is no parrellel between studing God's creation (CERN) and this story.

Opposing CERN is to be in direct opposition to God's directions to seek out learning & wisdom. Trying to invent a law/boundary that not only has no empirical backing, but is also in direct contradiction to religious law.
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Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

Operational for two hours and the world didn't get sucked into a black hole.
 
Yes, but if you read farther than the news headline, you will see that they have not actually caused the particle beams to collide yet.  This comes later and is the source of all the controversy, contrived or real.
 
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

God does not punish people for science or Engineering, quite the opposite. The story of Babel is warning against thinking that you are as good as or better than God, it is not warning people against building a tower (we have towers that are far bigger than Babel could ever have been). There is no parrellel between studing God's creation (CERN) and this story.

Opposing CERN is to be in direct opposition to God's directions to seek out learning & wisdom. Trying to invent a law/boundary that not only has no empirical backing, but is also in direct contradiction to religious law.
 
I'd like to think that perhaps I did not explain myself well enough the first time.  However, I think it might be your prerogative to slight religious belief (mainly Christianity) and those who hold it at all opportunities which has gotten in the way.
 
At any rate, I will try again.  I am NOT opposed to the accumulation of wisdom and knowledge.  If this was not the case I would not be pursuing a doctorate in history right now and you could lob the treasured "hypocrite" label my way.  The Tower of Babel and the Job account illustrates what can happen when man begins with himself as the center of the universe so to speak and bases all law, morality, and ethics from himself.  It is hubristic and amounts to fatalism when he does this, building upon a foundation of flimsy sand.  With man at the center as the only ontological constant, with all of his infirmities, not to mention the prevalence of his sinful nature, where does the end result of science lead when it is said to be "for the benefit of humanity" and the accumulation of knowledge alone?
 
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Originally posted by Akolouthos Akolouthos wrote:

 
Well, I wouldn't say that religion has no place in science; I would prefer to say that it is unrelated to the focus of this particular experiment.
That's an appropriate rephrasing.
 
But if religion has a place in science, then science has a place in religion, whenever religion makes ontological claims about the universe.
Quote
That said, ethics do have a place in science, and ethical positions may be informed by religious consciousness.
True. Especially on a broad definition of 'religious'. However on a narrow definition of 'religious' ethical positions may have nothing to do with religion.
 
The issue here, if there is one, is about the ethics of the experiment not about religion. Ethics and religion are not the same thing.
Quote
If someone criticizes the project on the grounds that it is an attempt to discredit a religious ideology, that would be a religious criticism; if they criticize it on the grounds that it could cause a massive disaster, that is an ethical criticism.
I'm not sure I agree with that however. If you criticise something on the grounds it might cause a disaster that's a practical criticism. If you criticise something on the grounds that it is intended to cause a disaster, that's an ethical criticism.
 
Moreover, if the criticism of the project is on the grounds that it is an attempt to discredit a religious ideology, that's a political criticism, to do with rights to opinions. A religious criticism would be if the experiment ran contrary to some religious imperative like forciing people to eat pork to see what dietary difference it made.
 
I don't know of any religious imperative that prohibits experimenting with hadrons. 
Quote
Scientists do need to take the latter into account when they conduct their experiments, and if they do not they lose the right to regulate themselves.
Hmmm...as long as you're not saying they are required to take your (or anyone else's) ethical precepts into account. People can only lose rights as a result of their criminal behaviour - or possibly because they are insane.
Quote
 The two examples I provided are extreme, and there are many shades of grey, but I think that we often confuse religion itself with morality, ethics, or a host of other disciplines which religion legitimately informs.
Yes.
Quote
As for the Atom Smasher experiment currently taking place, I must confess that I don't know enough about it to definitively offer a position one way or the other.
I think I know enough about it to know that we are dealing with another millenarist scare story.
 
-Akolouthos


Edited by gcle2003 - 10-Sep-2008 at 14:32
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Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

The issue here, if there is one, is about the ethics of the experiment not about religion. Ethics and religion are not the same thing.
 
I think Akolouthos already said that ethics and religion are not the same thing, although there are people who cite religious beliefs as the foundation for their perspective on morality and ethics.
 
Let me clear the air by saying that I was not trying to confuse the two on purpose.  It is just that I take the position mentioned above, that my sense of morality and ethics is informed and underscored by what I believe as a Christian.  Take that for what you will.
 
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I'm not sure I agree with that however. If you criticise something on the grounds it might cause a disaster that's a practical criticism. If you criticise something on the grounds that it is intended to cause a disaster, that's an ethical criticism.
 
What I was originally putting forward was the criticism that the experiment might cause some kind of disaster not necessarily now, but in the future if the scope is allowed to expand without certain controls.  I was not saying that the scientists had some kind of malicious intent.  In the end, the project and its implications seem quite open-ended without any long term controls, whether they be religious or secular.
 
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I think I know enough about it to know that we are dealing with another millenarist scare story.
 
I hope that this was not aimed at me.  Believe it or not, I agree with your criticism of some of the more extreme, fanatical "scare stories" that have been levelled at the project.  And, speaking of millenialist stories in particular, I thought those were pretty outlandish back in 1999 as well.
 
My reason for posting the biblical verses was to provide a background for my misgivings and suspicions of the project.  As I mentioned before, the foundation for my sense of morality and ethics is my Christian belief.
 
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Hello to you all
 
a fascinating thread. Never thought that there are people who are opposed to scientific progress in the west and on religious ground too. Islamists are more excited about this project than the scientists themselves but some of our co-forumers thinks we will be sucked in a great black hole!
 
Yazidis in Iraq are a very interesting people. If you draw on the dirt around him a circle and he is in the middle of it he will remain in the circle till you break it or somebody else even if it means staying there for ours. It seems that this is a general human condition. Humans always draw such circles around themselves with doom and gloom to anyone who dares get out of them. And once in a lifetime a courageous guy dares and breaks that circle and nothing happens to him and we immediately turn from threats to the guy to us laughing on our ridiculous fears.
 
 It is true, a man's worst enemy is ignorance.
 
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but some of our co-forumers thinks we will be sucked in a great black hole!
 
 
Couldn't be any worse than eight years of the Bush Administration.Big%20smile
 
 
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Originally posted by Akolouthos Akolouthos wrote:

Originally posted by red clay red clay wrote:

I've been following this thread for a few weeks.  I find it interesting that some are attempting to dismiss the validity of the experiment on religious grounds.  Religion has no place in science.  [That said, it doesn't mean that a scientist can't be a religious person.]
 
Well, I wouldn't say that religion has no place in science; I would prefer to say that it is unrelated to the focus of this particular experiment. That said, ethics do have a place in science, and ethical positions may be informed by religious consciousness. If someone criticizes the project on the grounds that it is an attempt to discredit a religious ideology, that would be a religious criticism; if they criticize it on the grounds that it could cause a massive disaster, that is an ethical criticism. Scientists do need to take the latter into account when they conduct their experiments, and if they do not they lose the right to regulate themselves. The two examples I provided are extreme, and there are many shades of grey, but I think that we often confuse religion itself with morality, ethics, or a host of other disciplines which religion legitimately informs.
 
As for the Atom Smasher experiment currently taking place, I must confess that I don't know enough about it to definitively offer a position one way or the other.
 
-Akolouthos
 
 
Would you like syrup on that waffle?  Ako, I no more expected you to agree with that than you expect me to agree with your reply.
Pure science is based on that which can be tested or proved.  There is no room for unprovable mystic beliefs.  The two must and can be kept separate.  Who knows? In doing so the existence of an omnipotent supreme being just might be substantiated.  Pure science conceivably could do that, religion cannot. 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Sep-2008 at 03:24
It looks like this atom smasher project has proven fatal...... when mixed with nonesense hysteria, superstition and doomsday talk. A girl in India killed herself over this.
 
 
What this demonstrates is that human beings inflict needless harm and pain on themselves when they fail to approach events with rational thought. Should we be worried about real dangers where the is evidence to show harm may come to people? Sure, that is called prudence.
 
The opposite is called hysteria and mysticism, when a person abandons their capacity to assess a situation based on reason and evidence and instead surrenders to whatever primitive subjective vibe happens to take them.
 
Caution of real dangers, which are illuminated by solid evidence and a thorough grasp of all variables involved in a situation, equals prudence. This is generally a good thing. It is when a person abandons these rational faculties to submit to primal subjectivity and fear that people regress into a primitive state, and needless loss and pain are incurred. Let's hope this first victim of hysteria and superstition is also the last.
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Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by Akolouthos Akolouthos wrote:

 
Well, I wouldn't say that religion has no place in science; I would prefer to say that it is unrelated to the focus of this particular experiment.
That's an appropriate rephrasing.
 
But if religion has a place in science, then science has a place in religion, whenever religion makes ontological claims about the universe.
 
I certainly agree. A perfect example would be how science has given us the ability to revisit Old Testament physical cosmology.
 
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by Akolouthos Akolouthos wrote:

That said, ethics do have a place in science, and ethical positions may be informed by religious consciousness.
True. Especially on a broad definition of 'religious'. However on a narrow definition of 'religious' ethical positions may have nothing to do with religion.
 
The issue here, if there is one, is about the ethics of the experiment not about religion. Ethics and religion are not the same thing.
 
Agreed. Although I believe that while you and I would probably find a great deal of common ground on this topic, we may have a bit more trouble doing so on topics such as embryonic stem cell research. Still, we agree as to the basic principle.
 
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by Akolouthos Akolouthos wrote:

If someone criticizes the project on the grounds that it is an attempt to discredit a religious ideology, that would be a religious criticism; if they criticize it on the grounds that it could cause a massive disaster, that is an ethical criticism.
I'm not sure I agree with that however. If you criticise something on the grounds it might cause a disaster that's a practical criticism. If you criticise something on the grounds that it is intended to cause a disaster, that's an ethical criticism.
 
 
Hm. I both see and agree with the distinction you are making. I think the disconnect could be that you and I were focusing on the question from different, though not contradictory angles. In defining the "could/might cause a disaster" scenario, I was presuming a situation -- to be clear, a hypothetical situation for the purpose of clarification -- in which scientists would have knowledge that there were real concerns with the possibility of such a disaster, and decided to go ahead anyway. For us to say that an unethical decision was made, we would need to prove that the scientists proceeded recklessly, and in the face of grave concerns. If they thought that they had the situation in hand -- i.e. that sufficient precautions had been taken, that the benefits outweighed the risks, etc. -- then there would be a practical rather than an ethical concern. Admittedly, the line between the two cases is ill-defined, but for the purposes of theory do we agree on this particular subject? Please offer any clarification you wish.
 
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Moreover, if the criticism of the project is on the grounds that it is an attempt to discredit a religious ideology, that's a political criticism, to do with rights to opinions. A religious criticism would be if the experiment ran contrary to some religious imperative like forciing people to eat pork to see what dietary difference it made.
 
I don't know of any religious imperative that prohibits experimenting with hadrons.
 
I think you've clarified this much better than I did initially -- honestly, I typed the last post out fairly quickly, and struggled for a way to define the terms. That said -- and at the risk of adding more categories LOL -- I have a further distinction to draw. If an experiment were criticized on the grounds that it was attempting to discredit a certain religion (by forcing people to eat pork), that would be, as you have noted, a political criticism. If the criticism was directed at the experiment because it forced people to eat pork, it would be a religious criticism. I think I'm still being unclear, for which you have my apologies; here's an example:
 
Political Criticism (also ethical)
"This experiment must be stopped. It is a shameless attempt to discredit the Jewish faith by trivializing the importance of the dietary laws."
 
Religious Criticism (also ethical and moral)
"This experiment must be stopped. It forces the faithful Jews who are involved to break the dietary laws, which is a grave sin against the Lord."
 
Once again, please offer any correction or clarification you wish.
 
As you noted, there is no specific prohibition on experimenting with hadrons, so I think we are dealing with ethical, moral, and political issues rather than religious issues.
 
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by Akolouthos Akolouthos wrote:

Scientists do need to take the latter into account when they conduct their experiments, and if they do not they lose the right to regulate themselves.
Hmmm...as long as you're not saying they are required to take your (or anyone else's) ethical precepts into account. People can only lose rights as a result of their criminal behaviour - or possibly because they are insane.
 
Once again, I think you and I would find more common ground on this issue than we would on others, but yes, that is what I am stating. I think where we would disagree on other issues is where, precisely, lie the bounds of a system of ethics that may be objectively determined.
 
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by Akolouthos Akolouthos wrote:

As for the Atom Smasher experiment currently taking place, I must confess that I don't know enough about it to definitively offer a position one way or the other.
I think I know enough about it to know that we are dealing with another millenarist scare story.
 
Then I will take your judgement on that -- you seem to be a reasonable and rather erudite chap. Smile As I alluded, I am much more prepared to discuss the ethical theory surrounding this case than I am to discuss the specifics of how that ethical theory should be applied. In the former case, all that is required is a basic familiarity with ethical and moral philosophy, as well as an optional -- as some view it -- foundational system for those worldviews. In the latter case, specific knowledge of the project itself is required, which means, in this case, a thorough knowledge of physics. The critic need not be as knowledgable as the scientists involved in the project, but he must be a great deal more knowledgable than I. Wink
 
-Akolouthos


Edited by Akolouthos - 12-Sep-2008 at 03:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Sep-2008 at 03:46
Originally posted by red clay red clay wrote:

Would you like syrup on that waffle?  Ako, I no more expected you to agree with that than you expect me to agree with your reply.
Pure science is based on that which can be tested or proved.  There is no room for unprovable mystic beliefs.  The two must and can be kept separate.  Who knows? In doing so the existence of an omnipotent supreme being just might be substantiated.  Pure science conceivably could do that, religion cannot. 
 
Well, first: While science could certainly establish the presence of an extremely powerful being, it could just as certainly not prove that being to be omnipotent. In this case, religion and philosophy are the appropriate disciplines for exploring the subject, though neither can ever prove the existence of such a being empirically -- at least not to the point that it would satisfy most modern empiricists -- and I use the term here in a different sense than the common one, as I trust you can derive from the context.
 
All that said, I don't have any idea where you got the subject of your clever little metaphor. There was no waffle, and if you look back and take notice I wasn't even directly criticizing your post -- simply offering the clarification of a distinction that I feel is often overlooked. Of course, if you do not believe that the distinction is legitimate, we may discuss that, but I presumed that you did. And I never said that unproven mystical beliefs should be included in science. I didn't speak either for or against the validity of religious criticism.*
 
I guess I just honestly don't see where you take issue with my earlier post. Nothing in your reply contradicts anything that I have said. Furthermore, it doesn't even -- yet, at least -- contradict anything that I believe but did not say. And I actually did expect -- perhaps a bit too charitably, eh? Wink -- that you would agree with what I wrote, since it is reasonable, and fits with what you had written earlier.
 
-Akolouthos
 
Addendum: OH! Almost forgot: Maple with lots of butter, please. LOL
 
*Refer to what I hope will be an ongoing discussion with gcle2003 for a clarification as to what I feel constitutes a "religious criticism" against a particular experiment.


Edited by Akolouthos - 11-Sep-2008 at 03:51
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Sep-2008 at 04:27
Originally posted by BE BE wrote:

However, I think it might be your prerogative to slight religious belief (mainly Christianity) and those who hold it at all opportunities which has gotten in the way.

My prerogative? I have an exclusive right to slight religious belief? I don't think you meant prerogative.
Are you trying to accuse me of being biased against religion? I hope so , it'd be so ironic.
Quote The Tower of Babel and the Job account illustrates what can happen when man begins with himself as the center of the universe so to speak and bases all law, morality, and ethics from himself.  It is hubristic and amounts to fatalism when he does this, building upon a foundation of flimsy sand.

Exactly. I am saying that opposing CERN is basing "law, morality, and ethics from himself", not the other way around.

Honestly, the LHC is not going to destroy the world, and if it does, and your religious, why does it matter?
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

But if religion has a place in science, then science has a place in religion, whenever religion makes ontological claims about the universe.

Which is fairly important and should happen more often in my opinion.

Originally posted by CXI CXI wrote:

It looks like this atom smasher project has proven fatal...... when mixed with nonesense hysteria, superstition and doomsday talk. A girl in India killed herself over this.
 

This is insane. I have to admit I thought technophobia had been mostly wiped out over the last 150 years - appears not.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Sep-2008 at 11:19
Akolouthos,
 
I couldn't find anything to disagree with in your post so I won't Smile 
 
In fact you took the clarification a bit further, especially in regard to reckless behaviour knowing what the dangers are. A more homespun example would be reckless or dangerous driving. Still, these are in fact declared illegal - crimes - by legislation, and are therefore criminal.
 
I'm always uneasy about punishing people for doing things that have not been made illegal by due process.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Sep-2008 at 03:38
Why thank you, Graham. Smile
 
I wonder if you would be interested in collaborating with me on a thread in the future. As we have noted, one of the most difficult thing to determine in this discussion is the location of ethical boundaries that may be objectively determined, as well as the precise degree of relation between religious, moral, and ethical concerns. If you would be interested, I think it would be fascinating to explore this topic further sometime in the near future.
 
-Akolouthos
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