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← Pope says some science shatters human dignity

Pope says some science shatters human dignity - Comments

SurfDude's Avatar Comment 1 by SurfDude

Proof if any was needed that NOMA is bullshit.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 08:31:00 UTC | #114248

JemyM's Avatar Comment 2 by JemyM

The next pope I will pay notice to will have to be a woman one.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 08:55:00 UTC | #114267

beebhack's Avatar Comment 4 by beebhack

Totally right, Benny. And the suppression of barrier contraception, particularly in the developing world, is another good way of safeguarding human dignity.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 08:56:00 UTC | #114270

ianmkz's Avatar Comment 3 by ianmkz

Condoms are also no doubt an affront to human dignity. Nothing like a bit of AIDS to bring you closer to your creator... well the Pope's creator anyway

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 08:56:00 UTC | #114268

al-rawandi's Avatar Comment 5 by al-rawandi

Science shatters Pope!

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 09:00:00 UTC | #114274

HourglassMemory's Avatar Comment 6 by HourglassMemory

I find it curious that the pope, and quite honestly the majority of human beings, has a problem with humans being just another 'thing' in the universe.

Somehow consciousness cannot be illusions created by the physical brain and such.
But this is absolutely comprehensible.

I do believe that conciousness is a sort of illusion created by the material brain, but that doesn't depress me. I keep using my brain, since evolution has given that to me!!!

I like to think that when people say "Oh, that's putting it way too heartlessly. It rips us humans of our dignity." It's the moment where you can notice that we've went up the throne before asking ourselves if we were kings.

Now that we've asked ourselves what we are, people still like the colourful tapestry and the golden throne and the crystal chandeliers and the detailed and expensive royal clothes and furs.

The only problem I have is that we put ourselves in a pedestal, in a throne

All I ask of people is if they can step down of the throne. They can even take the furs with them....but do not stand on the throne.


There isn't one.

You'll only look silly if you think you're a king when you're actually sitting on the ground.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 09:06:00 UTC | #114280

pwuk's Avatar Comment 7 by pwuk

I think Hitchens summed it up, "that's as useful as the Pope's testicles"

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 09:16:00 UTC | #114287

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 8 by Diacanu

So, I just skimmed, but let me guess, no reason WHY it violates human dignity, no exact specifics on WHAT "values", it violates, and if so WHY, just "just because I say so", morals, right?

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 09:21:00 UTC | #114292

Gustaf Sjoblom's Avatar Comment 9 by Gustaf Sjoblom

"When human beings in the weakest and most defenseless state of their existence are selected, abandoned, killed or used as pure 'biological material,' how can one deny that they are being treated not as 'someone' but as 'something,'" he said." It is something, not someone. I don't deny that.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 09:21:00 UTC | #114293

annabanana's Avatar Comment 10 by annabanana

This guy is the George W. Bush of Catholicism, truly I tell you.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 09:25:00 UTC | #114297

Quine's Avatar Comment 12 by Quine

What the Pope will not mention is that, under natural conditions, only about one in four embryos will carry to birth. With a world birth rate of 120M/yr this gives us a rough estimate of 30 million embryos every month that do not make it to become "someone." Perhaps he should have a little talk with his deity about this problem.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 09:33:00 UTC | #114308

hungarianelephant's Avatar Comment 11 by hungarianelephant

This speech is actually cannier than might at first appear.

Outside the confines of this site, science has a lousy public image. Many people are deeply uncomfortable with what it seems to offer, and in particular with the delivery of technology without regard to the consequences and their apparent treatment by science/scientists as units rather than as people. And like many public images, there is a kernel of truth.

Ratzinger is seeking to align his own perverted vision of the world with something that many people haven't yet properly conceptualised. He knows he's not going to get anywhere by banging on about abortion, so specifics are hidden within a list of what some will consider Frankenstein science.

We are not the target audience here.

[Edited to put html back in. Wtf is up with this?]

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 09:33:00 UTC | #114306

AshtonBlack's Avatar Comment 13 by AshtonBlack

Whilst I agree with a need for an ethical discussion about the application of science, doing it based on a book, written by people so far behind us in history, astounds me. Dogma is the enemy of science! (Oh and my humble opinion, this guy is such a fucktard.)

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 09:36:00 UTC | #114312

Incredulous's Avatar Comment 14 by Incredulous

This makes depressing reading. It is so obvious that he doesn't care that science is probably the most ethically bound and regulated activity on the planet, so wrapped up is he in his role as paternal protector of the universe and all its contents. If his beliefs were subject to the same kind of scrutiny as science then maybe he would appreciate the process of finding out the truth a little better rather than have us mistakenly believe he is the chosen messenger of the eternal truth. Wtf. His hysterical reaction to embryonic stem cell research is laughable when you consider that he really does believe that 64 cells constitutes a dynamic, living, sentient human presence. I probably swat more complex and living beings when I'm bored or irritable. Not only that, but isn't it better to accept the inevitable and accept embryonic stem cell research is going to happen eventually, why not accept i needs to happen now? He really does believe that sex invokes a divine presence which interjects at the point of conception, to create a human soul. Oh please! The man's a bloody idiot and a controlling bloody idiot at that!

On Monday he warned against the "seductive" powers of science, saying it was important that science did not become the sole criteria for goodness.
No-one ever said it wanted to do that, but it's just about the only human activity to consistently deliver what we need. Maybe religion should learn a few lessons and learn to tell the truth and offer real solutions not artificial obfuscation. Maybe he realises religion doesn't have such a great part to play in mankind's future?

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 09:43:00 UTC | #114322

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 16 by Steve Zara

I don't think that the Catholic church is in any position to preach about human dignity. I don't see how telling people they must be God's breeding machines, or telling gay people that their desires are evil, or telling women they can't participate in the hierarchy of the Church, is encouraging human dignity.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 09:48:00 UTC | #114327

Melomel's Avatar Comment 15 by Melomel

Proof if any was needed that NOMA is bullshit.
Um, no. It still holds that when religion tries to say things about the real world, they're unequivocally full of shit - which is what NOMA says. Religion is welcome to have authority over colorless green ideas sleeping furiously.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 09:48:00 UTC | #114326

AnthSynthasome's Avatar Comment 17 by AnthSynthasome

Come on everyone - let's take it easy on the ol' Vicar of Christ. He's just anxious and nervous because his cherished gaps are being filled by those indefatigable rascals - the scientists!

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 09:50:00 UTC | #114330

benji's Avatar Comment 18 by benji

Well I think it could have been worse. . He's maybe right on the fact that the ethical issue isn't that clear, but I doubt it is up to religion to discuss about it. . This will make it look like it is a issue for or against god, while it is actually about a philosophical debate over the very definition of "being". . However, we do not have to stress a lot about it, since alternative ways in research have been found. This should calm them all.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:12:00 UTC | #114349

82abhilash's Avatar Comment 19 by 82abhilash

It seems like a very catholic thing to say. I mean we might reason that the potential suffering of an embryo with 20 cells and no pain receptors can take a lesser priority than the real suffering of an actual sick human being.

But allow me to put a catholic spin and turn the issue backwards. The soul comes into the world at conception. My destroying the embryo you kill the soul. That is murder. What about the sick person suffering and dying you might ask? Well that person is very special. Their suffering is a reflection of Christ's love for them. And just like Christ suffered and died and absolved the world of sin, so will their suffering in this life absolve them of sin and bring them closer to God. That is a privilege that few can have.

So there, a fancy way of saying, a sick person dying because no one helped him or her is a good thing (indeed divine!!). While destroying an embryo the size of a pin head, with no conception of life or pain is very bad indeed. Bad argument, but I must admit I too will feel much better if embryos could be left out of stem-cell research.

Here is where we can find common ground though, non-embryonic stem cell research can side-step the issue completely. (Interesting to note though is it not that progress in that sphere has come from countries which do not have belief systems that inhibit embryonic stem-cell research?)

In the meanwhile let the Pope speak his heart out. Let him express himself completely and without ambiguity, so that people all over the world knows what the Catholic church is all about.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:31:00 UTC | #114368

Dune010's Avatar Comment 20 by Dune010

What is "human dignity"?

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:31:00 UTC | #114369

sarah95's Avatar Comment 21 by sarah95

"It was the Pope's latest foray into scientific issues."

we can only hope so...

"On Monday he warned against the "seductive" powers of science, saying it was important that science did not become the sole criteria for goodness."

what a lovely straw man he's built! he might consider standing it next to his christmas tree. o yes, science is aiming to be "the sole criteria for goodness"...what nonsense. it only shows how threatened he really feels.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:34:00 UTC | #114371

sarah95's Avatar Comment 22 by sarah95

woops! i thought the first quote i referenced was "last" not "latest foray"...sorry.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:35:00 UTC | #114374

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 23 by Steve Zara

What is "human dignity"?
I am not sure. But I know that being the toys of some superbeing doesn't fit the definition for me.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:35:00 UTC | #114375

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 24 by Diacanu


What is "human dignity"?
Well, you know, not being hung up in straps and being electrocuted and peed on. ....well, some people actually like that... You know, I don't know...

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:36:00 UTC | #114376

al-rawandi's Avatar Comment 25 by al-rawandi


Keep your Saturday nights to yourself.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:38:00 UTC | #114379

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 26 by Diacanu

al-rawandi- Not my kink. I'm more of a MILF hunter.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:41:00 UTC | #114382

epeeist's Avatar Comment 27 by epeeist

Comment #120200 by 82abhilash

The soul comes into the world at conception.
First show me a soul, then show me entering the world. Oh, and as Quine says, what is god doing about the souls of embryos that naturally abort, do they go to Limbo, Purgatory, Hell or Heaven, what is the pope saying this week?

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:43:00 UTC | #114385

MAS2007's Avatar Comment 28 by MAS2007

Someone should point out the pope and like ilk abandoned their dignity when they took up superstitious beliefs.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:45:00 UTC | #114388

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 29 by Diacanu

And let's not forget the protecting of all those child rapists.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:46:00 UTC | #114390

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 30 by Quetzalcoatl

PZ Myers talked about this on Pharyngula a few days back. He made the good point that even though this guy is head of the Catholic Church, you have to wonder how many people actually listen to him. A lot of Catholics (at least in Western countries) don't listen to him about birth control, for instance.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:47:00 UTC | #114391