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Showing posts with the label ethics

A Century of Science

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BBC News posted what a scientist thinks about we've learned in the last hundred years. That's hardly news.

What's remarkable is that he didn't go on to say that the sea will catch fire, or that if we don't recycle with greater zeal all the birds will die.

In short, that we're doomed. Doomed! DOOMED, I TELL YOU!!!!!

Not that BBC News goes in for that sort of thing. They're very British. Even so, an essentially upbeat look at a century of science and technology is somewhat remarkable.

The way I see it, science and technology are tools. Whether we use them to help or hurt each other is up to us.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Repeatable Results That Aren’t

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I'll be talking about scientific research that may not be "fake:" but isn't reliable, either. The good news is that many scientists want to fix the problem.

I'll also take a look at truth, beauty, Copernicus, and how a science editor sees faith and science.
Faith and science Truth and Beauty"...There Will be Babblers...."Being ScientificNews and views...
More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Natural Law, Our Rules

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Back in my 'good old days,' a half-century back, some claimed that science, technology, and a changing culture, made the 'outmoded morality' we'd been working with obsolete.

Others apparently believed that moral decay was caused by newfangled gadgets like the telephone and television: and, of course, 'Satanic' rock music....

...Folks who claimed that a changing world made 'conventional morality' obsolete were right: sort of.

That may seem odd, coming from a Catholic who agrees with Fulton Sheen....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Sandra and Tommy: Apes and Ethics

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A court in Argentina said that Sandra the orangutan is "una persona no humana (non-human person)" in 2014.1 Or maybe 2015. I'll get back to that.

Instead of going ape over that news, I learned a little about Sandra, the Buenos Aires Zoo, and the curious case of Tommy the chimp

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Synthetic Life, DNA Profiles

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Syn 3.0, developed by the Ventner Institute, has fewer genes than any 'wild' bacteria. The 'artificial' microcritter is another important step in understanding how life works.

On the other side of the Atlantic, folks in the United Kingdom will be deciding what to do about a bureaucratic SNAFU and their national DNA database....

...I've seen attitudes toward science and technology shift from silly optimism to equally-silly pessimism.

I am reasonably certainly that mutant safflowers won't destroy civilization. On the other hand, ethics matter as much now as they ever did....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Evil is Not Good

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On Wednesday, December 2, 2015, at about 6:59 p.m. UTC, 10:59 a.m. PST, two people killed 14 others at a holiday office party in San Bernardino, California.

The killers were located and stopped a few hours later, and died during an armed confrontation with law enforcement. I put names of the dead, and a few links, at the end of this post.1

I'm still experiencing anger, disgust, and several other emotions in connection with this latest mass murder. It's an unpleasant sensation, but I'd probably be more concerned if I didn't notice any emotional response.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Pig Organs, Ancient Immigrants

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We're years away from safe pig-to-human organ transplants: but scientists using CRISPR gene editing tech are working toward that goal.

Other scientists are discovering a chapter of humanity's family history: Eurasian immigrants returning to Africa, when the Shang dynasty and Egyptian Empire collapsed.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Remembering the Armenian Genocide, Looking Ahead

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The Armenian genocide's start is rather arbitrarily set as April 24, 1915. That's when Ottoman authorities rounded up and arrested about 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople, and eventually got around to killing them.

Armenians had been rounded up and butchered in odd lots before that, though.

The Ottoman Empire 's 1915 ethnic cleansing wasn't limited to Armenians. The Ottoman government exterminated Assyrians and Greeks whose crime was living in Ottoman territory and having the 'wrong' ancestry or faith.

It wasn't called a genocide at the time. That word first showed up in Raphael Lemkin's book, "Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation - Analysis of Government - Proposals for Redress" (1944). He defined it as "the destruction of a nation or an ethnic group." (Wikipedia)

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Raqa, Anger, and Whitewashed Tombs

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Once in a while I run into the notion that emotions, particularly strong or unpleasant ones like anger, are bad — or 'beastly,' not something people should experience.

Reality check.

Emotions are part of being human. There's something seriously wrong with someone who lacks emotions. It can be a sign of hebephrenia, or other serious disorders.

We may seem less emotional as we mature: but that's because most of us learn how to manage our emotions. Or mismanage them....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Morality isn't Just About "Morality"

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Where I grew up, on the Minnesota-North Dakota border, quite a few folks said "morality" when they were talking about about ethics and sex.

Their "morality" apparently focused on some zipper issues, plus a few cultural values. That myopic view of morality helped inspire stories of Chickenman's battle against "crime and/or evil," and that's almost another topic.

"Morality of the Passions" — Emotions, Ethics, and All That
The Catechism of the Catholic Church doesn't have particularly catchy titles for the different sections. For example — Part Three, Life in Christ; Section One, Man's Vocation Life in the Spirit; Chapter One, The Dignity of the Human Person; Article 5; is is called Morality of the Passions.

Some of these "passions" might involve sex: but what the word means here is "emotions:"...

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.