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Old 12-13-2004, 12:03 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Do you really feel there is any professor at M.I.T. who, with enough torture, won't tell you that 2+2=5?
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Old 12-14-2004, 09:13 AM   #42 (permalink)
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I see what you're saying, but poorly designed experiments aren't relevant.
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Old 12-17-2004, 02:50 PM   #43 (permalink)
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everybody likes hotdogs, but just doesnt want to know where it comes from. cept the damn vegies.
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Old 12-23-2004, 12:19 AM   #44 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locobot
Nothing in your hypothetical "animal testing" example fits the criteria of malicious harm. I'm even fine with experiments with humans that result in grievous bodily harm and even death if the experiment is conducted ethically. Doctors who study medicines for terminal illnesses often knowingly give their patients a placebo instead of anything that might cure them. The difference is that those patients give their consent and know that the medicine they receive might be a sugar pill. If their consent is a result of coersion then the experiment is unethical and therefore unvalid.

Of course ethical standards are a highly charged political subject, but they must be in place in order to gather scientific data. Some ethical standards come from our laws, but the vast majority comes from the scientific community itself. Scientists decide the validity of others' scientific work, this applies to all methodology including ethics.
In the area of psychology there were many experiments conducted that currently would not be allowed, caused mental anguish to the participants, but are still considered valid and referenced today.

I personally think science should be divorced from morality of any kind, and worry only about results. Obviously, data needs be accurate and if behaving in a moral fashion is the best way to obtain valid information that should be used, but if that's not possible I don't think information gained from "immoral" practices should be disregarded if it's accurate.
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Old 12-27-2004, 11:55 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locobot
No, obviously. If you have ethical standards on how you obtain information and you use information obtained through unethical methods then you are condoning and participating in those unethical methods. The ends do not justify the means. Ethical standards are just as important as any other scientific standard or method. No knowledge exists in a vacuum. To use this knowledge would create more problems than it might solve.

Concentration camp "experiments" were not ethical therefore they were not scientific.
Those involved and guilty of conducting a study involving torture should be prosecuted and punished severely. Future attempts should be discouraged through the threat of prosecution and punishment.

Refusing to utilize possessed knowledge to end someone's suffering is as unethical as inflicting suffering upon someone in order to gain that knowledge.
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Old 01-18-2005, 08:49 PM   #46 (permalink)
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I was really hoping someone would talk about the Genie experiment. Let me break it down for you thusly:
1. A girl, born retarded, is kept chained to a potty chair for 12 years, not allowed to talk, fed through a hole in the door, rarely cleaned, and never spoken to. She is beaten for making any noise at all.
2. A concerned neighbor (finally) alerts the authorities, and the father, facing extreme charges of child abuse and negligence, commits suicide, and the mother blames it all on the now dead father.
3. "Genie," who had never actually been named, was adopted by a group of linguistic scientists and tested to see whether she could learn to speak (She couldn't even make noise).
4. In the end, she still is unable to speak (she's in her late 20's/early 30's now), but we know now that speech cannot be learned at or beyond puberty "Critical Period Theory"
I would posit that this was valid scientific use of torture results. You can rephrase the question to exclude this, as science was not the malicious factor in this case.
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Old 01-24-2005, 07:45 AM   #47 (permalink)
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I agree with filtherton wholeheartedly. Being a biologist myself, I find it easy to see how insights gained by unethical research preactices could be scientifically valid. I think the issue Locobot is raising concerns more of a general unethicality rather than a specific one. Let me elaborate...

I believe filtherton is trying to say that research that is unethical in its treatment of the subject, yet still adheres closely to the accepted standards of the scientific method and other defining, relevant scientific practices is still accurate in its findings.

I believe Locobot is questioning the integrity of the individuals who will carry out wuch research, implying that if they are willing to torture their subjects, it is also likely that they are willing to lie about their findings.

Did I get that correct, fellas?

...and Locobot, torturing a scientist to make him say what you want is not science; It is a biased for of interrogation at best, and therefore does not apply to the current discussion as far as I can tell.

I hope I managed to clear some things up.
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Old 01-24-2005, 09:28 AM   #48 (permalink)
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C4 Diesel, you truly are king of kings.
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Old 01-24-2005, 08:25 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filtherton
C4 Diesel, you truly are king of kings.
Why thank you. I try my best.
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Old 01-25-2005, 05:53 PM   #50 (permalink)
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This might be off topic but an idea that can fit nonetheless.

This might not classify as torture but I believe that criminals that are held in prison for life without parole or are on death row can not and should not be considered a human being. Just wait before I am labeled.

One must have done something rather heinous to be incarcerated for life or to death: either serial rape, murder, etc. So you have taken away the rights of another human being--and I argue that it is only fitting that those rights should be forfeited from the convicted. And I know the Constitution, no cuel and unusual punishment. I don't believe in protecting the rights of someone that confesses to inhuman crimes, and shows no remorse for these acts.

Bam! Now all the prisoners that are on death row can be used for medical/scientific experiments or organ harvesting--whatever we need. I find it infuriating that my tax dollars are going to feed, to care, to clothe, to cater the lowest scum of the country. I dont know about you, but who has more right to live: Prisoner A who raped and killed 8 women without mercy, or Patient A, age 10, who needs a new kidney.

Think about that. It is required by the courts that a person cannot be executed if he or she is either mentally or physically unsound. So it is then our money, sports fans, that pays to nurse them back to health just so we can kill them. I say use them. And I would be willing to submit to such rules of life and end there of. If I were convicted of heinous acts, sentenced to death or life without parole, I'd rather have some part of me benefit someone else--slightly atone to the crimes I've committed.

I figure some good can be found in the usage of human degradation. Then cases of wrongful imprisonment come in.
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Old 01-25-2005, 05:57 PM   #51 (permalink)
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Location: middle of Whywouldanyonebethere
Quote:
Originally Posted by Locobot
Do you really feel there is any professor at M.I.T. who, with enough torture, won't tell you that 2+2=5?
Read George Orwell's 1984. In it it doesn't matter what is said... as long as you agree with it. I figure, if the research has been done, despite the immoral means it was obtained, it should be used. But I would not use torture to further research, except on people who have forfeited their rights as a human being.
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