Does anyone else find........

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Si
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby Si » 26 Mar 2013, 4:36pm

But "faith" and "belief" seem to be interchangeable and you have used the term "scientist's beliefs". Likewise to say that you have faith in someone's results is not an unheard of occurrence.

Now you are just going to fall back on the argument that this is all just word games - well, yes that's the point, because we express everything via language, then even if the thing that we are trying to express is the pure unadulterated truth, the language will alter it.

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meic
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby meic » 26 Mar 2013, 4:42pm

No that was not just word games. Faith is different to belief, when God sends you challenges you are supposed to ignore the evidence and keep your faith.
A belief on the other hand is what you have from looking at evidence and if evidence changes then so does the belief.
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby kwackers » 26 Mar 2013, 4:45pm

Si wrote:then even if the thing that we are trying to express is the pure unadulterated truth, the language will alter it.

Numbering systems are absolute, regardless of the language. By extension it means a lot of scientific principles and measurements are also absolute. E=MC^2 regardless of whether you use English or Vogon.

The Voyager space craft carried a disk whose key to the language used was the hydrogen atom, theoretically it was possible to extract the information on it using nothing else but a few physical (and universal) constants, no language required...

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meic
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby meic » 26 Mar 2013, 4:55pm

At the simpler levels of science, the language is quite unambiguous but I do agree that as things get more complex there may be a problem with language.

Scientists do have very good discipline in their language (and suffer much abuse from the general public for being so) for this reason.

I have had an experience of this in my own brief and boring bit of university research, however the ambiguity of language which caused a problem at the beginning was rectified when the problem was recognised and then more precise terminology was used.
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby Vorpal » 26 Mar 2013, 6:55pm

JohnW wrote:
reohn2 wrote:
JohnW wrote: ...................But that's scientists.

No,that's capitalists!


Yes r2, but the scientists know who their masters and paymasters are - I don't see science as being a branch of philanthropy, nor scientists as philanthropists. If they were, would they be so intent on inventing and refining weaponry? - for which (and I say this in support of your proposition) they earn their twenty pieces of silver.


The scientists and engineers who do this this stuff generally believe that what they are doing is right. There might be a few who take the pay despite knowing they are doing something morally objectionable. But most just see it differently than you do. I've met engineers who work for Cargill (another big chemical & agricultural producer) who feel that because a seed has increased production by X% over its predecessor, they have benefitted the world. Just like the folks who get in their cars to go down to the shops because it's too far to walk, they simply don't realise or think about there might be another way.

Look at it another way....
Engineer A is a safety engineer who makes a living working for an oil company and working hard to prevent accidents.
Engineer B is a safety engineer who makes a living working for a machinery company because s/he won't work in oil & gas; even though there is good money in it, s/he doesn't want to contribute to the ruin of the planet.

Which is more ethical? The engineer who won't work in oil & gas? Or the one who accepts that oil production will continue until it can't, whatever s/he does. But at least s/he can do something to help it continue in a safer way.

Now, lets suppose that the engineer who works for the machinery company makes products that are sold mostly for construction. But a small number of them, less than 1% are purchased and used by the military. Is that okay? Is that ethical? Or is there a problem only if they are used for killing people. What if they are used to place armour across fortified positions so that people can safely sit and kill others? The machines aren't actually used to kill anyone.

Why is is okay for a scientist to take money for studying the impact of GM seeds on soil health if s/he works for a university, but not if s/he works for Monsanto?
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meic
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby meic » 26 Mar 2013, 8:11pm

Why is is okay for a scientist to take money for studying the impact of GM seeds on soil health if s/he works for a university, but not if s/he works for Monsanto?


Because Monsanto will have control over which results they are allowed to publish.
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby Vorpal » 26 Mar 2013, 9:07pm

meic wrote:
Why is is okay for a scientist to take money for studying the impact of GM seeds on soil health if s/he works for a university, but not if s/he works for Monsanto?


Because Monsanto will have control over which results they are allowed to publish.


I don't see that alone as problematic. Companies in every industry are careful about the results they allow to reach publication. Some don't allow any results to get to publication. Automotive companies do not publish their quality and reliability figures. They don't publish all of their test results. They publish the results that will sell cars. Medical and pharmaceutical companies do the same thing.

It would be unethical for any company to publish incorrect or altered results. It would also be unethical for a company to withhold results that show a problem, whether it's Monsanto, Toyota, or any other company.

But it's not unethical to work for them.
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meic
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby meic » 26 Mar 2013, 9:15pm

Is it unethical to continue working for them after they have withheld your negative results but published your positive ones?

Apart from that ethics are somewhat personal, I could never work in the meat trade or vivisection living by my moral code. Others would have no problems.
Similar situation with Monsanto.
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby Vorpal » 27 Mar 2013, 6:00am

meic wrote:Is it unethical to continue working for them after they have withheld your negative results but published your positive ones?


Yes, but I don't envy anyone in that kind of position. It is a choice between livelihood and ethics.

meic wrote:Apart from that ethics are somewhat personal, I could never work in the meat trade or vivisection living by my moral code. Others would have no problems.
Similar situation with Monsanto.


I agree!
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Si
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby Si » 27 Mar 2013, 9:04am

kwackers wrote:
Si wrote:then even if the thing that we are trying to express is the pure unadulterated truth, the language will alter it.

Numbering systems are absolute, regardless of the language. By extension it means a lot of scientific principles and measurements are also absolute. E=MC^2 regardless of whether you use English or Vogon.

The Voyager space craft carried a disk whose key to the language used was the hydrogen atom, theoretically it was possible to extract the information on it using nothing else but a few physical (and universal) constants, no language required...


Nope, a numbering system is only absolute until it is expressed and used. It is possible to extract information from anything from the voyager disk to the Sun editorial. The problem is that that information will mean different things to different people (beings).

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Si
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby Si » 27 Mar 2013, 9:08am

meic wrote:No that was not just word games. Faith is different to belief, when God sends you challenges you are supposed to ignore the evidence and keep your faith.
A belief on the other hand is what you have from looking at evidence and if evidence changes then so does the belief.


Nope. You are back to using specific criteria again. You do not ignore the evidence when having faith in God, rather you prioritise it - just as you do with your science. Different people will prioritise in different ways. Thus faith, if anything, is more applicable to the scientist than the worshipper, as the scientist is believing despite not having absolute proof, yet the worshipper does have absolute proof (again, what is considered absolute proof differs according to your ontology).

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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby kwackers » 27 Mar 2013, 9:59am

Si wrote:Nope, a numbering system is only absolute until it is expressed and used.

Eh? It's absolute in its usage - how can it not be??

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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 27 Mar 2013, 10:54am

Hi,
I never thought there was a God on earth who could type, but now I am not so sure...............
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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby kwackers » 27 Mar 2013, 11:15am

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
I never thought there was a God on earth who could type, but now I am not so sure...............

Typing? Why wouldn't they just will the words to appear...

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Re: Does anyone else find........

Postby reohn2 » 27 Mar 2013, 11:48am

kwackers wrote:
NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
I never thought there was a God on earth who could type, but now I am not so sure...............

Typing? Why wouldn't they just will the words to appear...

What? you mean you're not doing?
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