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"Dirty" Scientific Advancement


Creeping On You
I was watching an episode of Star Trek: Voyager earlier today, and in it, the holographic doctor had to consult the knowledge of a Cardassian scientist. The patient who needed treatment didn't want to be treated using his methods however, because he had attained his expertise through cruel treatment of the B'jourans. At the end of the episode, the doctor felt guilty for having used the cardassians techniques. He felt that it validated the torture the cardassian had performed. So he deleted the knowledge from the database. (Conviently, voyager never ran into any pure ecsoskeleton lifeforms for the remainder of the show...)

So that's my question to you. If inhumane or questionable tactics are used to attain knowledge and advance science and general knowledge, should the fact that inhumane tactics were used, discredit the knowledge? Should we avoid using those techniques because of it?

I've heard things before about the germans experimenting on humans during ww2. I don't know if it's true and I don't feel like searching for facts right now. However, if it's not true, lets be hypothetical about it instead. If some of those experiments resulted in techniques capable of helping keep more patients alive, should we just let patients die so that we don't justify the horrible experiments?

I think that we should use those techniques despite the method through which they were learned. I think it degrades the memories of those who suffered. They suffered at the hands of horrible people. If we deny the use of the knowledge attained, it means that they suffered even more needlessly. I'm not condoning horrible actions for the pursuit of science, but what's in the past is in the past. You should always try to extract something good from something horrible.
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Registered Member
I think we should use it for one main reason - if they discovered something, there's no way for someone later to honestly "rediscover" it. It's already public knowledge, so we would be forever cutting ourselves off from that information.

That said, if someone wanted to opt out of treatment based on that, I would totally understand their stance and be okay with it.


Registered Member
Should medical advancements made through immoral means be used? Yes. It is a sad fact that there are a great many people in the world who are willing to do whatever it takes to attain their goals. The area of medicine is a slippery one.

So, I will reask the question like this. A person seeking advancement in the medical field tied a young teenager town. Offers no sedation as this could alter the effects of the experiment. Said person then applies enough force to the kid to crush most of his/her body without the kid dying, leaving them on the edge of life. This person then runs a full series of test to try and find a way to 'heal' this kid back to where they were, rather than just attempt to keep the kid from dying. Ultimately, the kid dies and the 'person' resposible feels he/she has compiled enough information to 'heal' someone from these injuries and return them to the exact same health they were before the incident. So, said person again ties a young teen down, and performs the experiment all over again. This time, the kid is fully healed with no signs that anything ever happened physically. This is a big break through in the world of medicine and healing.

Now, your teenage daughter/son is out on a date one night and as he/she is walking down the street, a drunk driver swerves off the road and hits your child. Thanks to the above mentioned experiment there is a known way to heal your child, however the way this 'cure' was obtained is well known public knowledge and the person responsible for the torture/murder is now in jail. Does the fact that this knowledge was gained in such a immoral and cruel way mean that you would not like the doctors to use this knowledge to save your child?


Registered Member
Without a doubt, my answer is this question is 'yes'. As morally unforgivable the techniques used to attain this knowledge may have been, we cannot simply block it out. No matter how we got it, the fact remains that we have it now. The fact also remains that this could be used to save a life, and therefore undoing the act that brought this scientific advancement forward. We cannot simply delete it from a computer's memory. We are people, and the people who are responsible for saving others on a daily basis don't forget things like this as easily as a computer such as the one referred to in "Star Trek". This is like when we are children and hear a noise in the night. We close our eyes and pretend that it isn't happening. Well, deep down, we know that if anything really was there, whether we could see it or not is irrelevant.

I say we use what we have. We do not justify it when terrible things that have happened, and we do our best not to repeat them, but we learn from them. If we do not learn, all of their pain was for nothing. If we were to throw out all of the knowledge that has come through torture and butchery and any other less-than-moral act, we would still be in the dark ages.
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