Deus Ex Machina

"This is the generation of the great LEVIATHAN, or rather, to speak more reverently of that mortal god, to which we own under the immortal God, our peace and defense." -Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan

On using the Expertise and Discoveries of People who are Less than Savoury:

I don’t really understand the structure of the argument by people who uses examples like Alan Turing or Tim Cook to say that those who object to homosexuality should therefore not use their computational discoveries or buy an Apple product. (I don’t buy an Apple product myself but that’s a different story.)

The fact is that we make use of research and technology of people whom we find unsavoury all the time. Take for example the interwar doctor Alexis Carrel, who pioneered some of the techniques for heart surgeries. He was also a eugenist and had very similar views to the Nazis, so much so that they even suspected him of collaborating with them. Is anyone going to refuse a heart surgery with his techniques simply because he was a eugenist?

Or even grislier, Nazi doctors and researchers have conducted many human experiments, like with hypothermia, and have collected invaluable data upon it. Are we to not use their data simply because they’re Nazis? It is not like not using their data will lessen the pain of the victims or bring them back to life.

A discovery is a discovery, a research data is a research data, it is true and valid no matter how it was obtained. The regulation of the ethics of research as well as the virtue or vices of the researcher is one thing, but once the data is collected and the discovery made, what does that have to do with the way in which it was collected or with who actually made it?

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This entry was posted on January 29, 2015 by in Uncategorized.
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