Author Topic: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion  (Read 1364 times)

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Offline Frank

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When it comes to nanotechnologies, Americans have a big problem: Nanotechnology and its capacity to alter the fundamentals of nature, it seems, are failing the moral litmus test of religion.
In a report published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, survey results from the United States and Europe reveal a sharp contrast in the perception that nanotechnology is morally acceptable ("Religious beliefs and public attitudes toward nanotechnology in Europe and the United States"). Those views, according to the report, correlate directly with aggregate levels of religious views in each country surveyed.
In the United States and a few European countries where religion plays a larger role in everyday life, notably Italy, Austria and Ireland, nanotechnology and its potential to alter living organisms or even inspire synthetic life is perceived as less morally acceptable. In more secular European societies, such as those in France and Germany, individuals are much less likely to view nanotechnology through the prism of religion and find it ethically suspect.


http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=8531.php
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Offline Irish

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2008, 02:37:35 PM »
Another example, coupled with the opposition to stem cell research, of religion getting in the way of scientific progress for the greater good of society.  We have to ability to help out thousands of individuals with the research in these two fields and yet the money and research isn't there simply because religions oppose it, citing "God's will" or "playing God" as the reason.  What a bunch of B.S.
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Offline Davedave

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2008, 03:18:25 PM »
I like that there's not even any explanation for what the problem is.  Fundamentalist rejection of scientific advancement has jumped the shark.

Offline Davedave

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2008, 03:20:00 PM »
Actually, though, if you look at the graph, countries on the right side of the line (like the US) are actually more accepting of the technology than you would expect for countries of their religiousness.  If indeed these two things are properly covariable, though we are more religious than the other nations listed, we are better than average, given the curve created by the others.

Offline velkyn

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2008, 04:21:45 PM »
Actually, though, if you look at the graph, countries on the right side of the line (like the US) are actually more accepting of the technology than you would expect for countries of their religiousness.  If indeed these two things are properly covariable, though we are more religious than the other nations listed, we are better than average, given the curve created by the others.

because we have more hypocrites? 
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Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2008, 04:45:13 PM »
Interesting that the UK is far to the left of the line. I wonder how many bought into the "grey goo" horror stories once attributed to Prince Charles.
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Offline spider

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2008, 05:36:28 PM »
nanotech.... immoral...    lol wut?

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The technology is also becoming more pervasive, with more than 1,000 products ranging from more efficient solar panels and scratch-resistant automobile paint to souped-up golf clubs already on the market.

So I guess then that driving to the golf course in a car powered by photovoltaics would be extremely evil. 

Offline L6

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2008, 05:49:14 PM »
Naturally any technology that threatens to make humans smarter (better genes, better computation) is going to be opposed by those who value ignorance.
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Offline Davedave

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2008, 05:59:43 PM »
because we have more hypocrites? 

That's one interpretation.  I just thought I'd point out that, according to this chart, this chart indicates that we are not as against this technology as the trend indicated by the other countries included in the examination would suggest.  It is too easy to simply characterize us as the worst because we are the most religious, when in fact, it appears that we are better than most, given our religiousness.  This chart shows that there appears to be a relationship between national religiousness and moral concerns about "nanotechnology".  Given that, if we are more religious than most, it stands to reason that we also have a bigger problem with "nanotechnology" than most.  Though this is true, it is also true that this is not as pronounced in the US as the trend predicts it would be.  This is a positive sign and one that might be lost by a lay reading of the article and examination of the accompanying chart.  Those of us with some scientific acumen ought to be careful not to simply blindly cheer on misleading characterizations when the information to the contrary is easily available to us.  It is a service we can and should render to the community.  In this case, I feel that many would have failed to notice what I pointed out.  Clearly, the author of the text did.  Americans do indeed have a problem.  Our problem is our increased religiousness.  We actually have LESS of a problem with "nanotechnology", given the correlative relationship indicated by the data, than several of the other nations listed.  The UK seems to have the biggest problem with nanotechnology specifically, controlling for overall religiousness.  We don't need nanowerk.com to tell us about the US problem with religion.  If nanowerk.com intended to write an article about the connection between moral problems with nanotechnology and religion, that's fine.  But there's no reason to single America out as having a problem with nanotechnology, based on the data presented.  Both countries that were lauded by name (Germany and France) actually fell on the bad side of the chart, while two of the four criticized (US and Italy) were among the best, controlling for religiousness, and the other two (Ireland and Austria) were quite close to the norm of the trend.  If the article was ONLY about nations having moral problems with nanotechnology, the article would be right.  However, to include religion in the analysis and then to specifically ignore that same analysis for the purpose of sensationalizing the results and demonizing the US is wrong.

Offline rickymooston

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2008, 06:01:31 PM »
I like that there's not even any explanation for what the problem is.  Fundamentalist rejection of scientific advancement has jumped the shark.

Indeed, Do they know what nanotechnology is?

I am curious.
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline Davedave

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2008, 06:07:42 PM »
I'm not sure I know what nanotechnology is.  I sure as hell don't know what it means that it can "alter living organisms or even inspire synthetic life."

Offline L6

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2008, 06:13:13 PM »
Strictly-speaking it's simply nano-scale manipulation of matter and energy.
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Offline rickymooston

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2008, 06:49:03 PM »
Strictly-speaking it's simply nano-scale manipulation of matter and energy.

One of my friends is a professor at one of the ivy league universities in states researching that.

I don't know much but basically really small "chips" with very small "moving parts."


I was unaware of the biology aspect, they are not to my knowledge organically based.
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline Davedave

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2008, 06:49:48 PM »
I read that, and guess what?  Synthetic life just appeared right on my desk.  Amazing.  So THAT'S what the theists are worried about.  I'll just reach over and grab my stapler ...

Offline Irish

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2008, 07:40:10 PM »
I've heard a few interesting proposals of placing nano-scale capsules of various medicines and chemical compounds directly in a persons blood stream.  The capsules would have various sensors that could detect low oxygen levels, body temperature, chemical compounds, pH, etc.

The capsules would float around the bloodstream not impeding the human in any way except when there is an injury or infection.  The capsules would disperse their medicine/chemical compounds directly where needed to combat infections, heal wounds faster, prevent clots, repair brain and heart tissue after strokes or heart attacks, and maintain all sorts of hormones and compounds, like glucose in diabetics.

This is what nanotechnology is capable of in medicine.  Direct medicinal help to the body exactly when it is needed or wanted.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2008, 08:39:58 PM by Irish »
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Offline L6

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2008, 08:00:09 PM »
This is what nanotechnology is capable of in medicine.  Direct medicinal help to the body exactly when it is needed or wanted.
...which may require a "chip" implanted into your skin aka the mark of the beast! ;)
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Offline rickymooston

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2008, 06:13:01 AM »
I read that, and guess what?  Synthetic life just appeared right on my desk.  Amazing.  So THAT'S what the theists are worried about.  I'll just reach over and grab my stapler ...

Really, I'm scared, I'm talking to a synthetic life device right now, my computer.

We better start protesting, synthetic life is taking over!!!

Oh my God ... my entire cubicle is a synthetic jungle, ..., help, I'm being attacked.
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline source

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2008, 07:36:11 AM »
I'm a Christian and I don't see anything wrong with Nano or Stem research.

Offline Davedave

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2008, 11:42:39 AM »
Really, I'm scared, I'm talking to a synthetic life device right now, my computer.

We better start protesting, synthetic life is taking over!!!

Oh my God ... my entire cubicle is a synthetic jungle, ..., help, I'm being attacked.

Quick, Ricky, can you tell how inspired it is?

Offline Davedave

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2008, 11:44:24 AM »
By the way, I posted a comment about the interpretation of the study on that webpage and the editor came in and accused me of having conservative religious beliefs.  Pretty sensitive for an editor of a science mag.

Offline rickymooston

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2008, 12:48:11 PM »
Really, I'm scared, I'm talking to a synthetic life device right now, my computer.

We better start protesting, synthetic life is taking over!!!

Oh my God ... my entire cubicle is a synthetic jungle, ..., help, I'm being attacked.

Quick, Ricky, can you tell how inspired it is?

I donno, the machines are taking over.

Quick lets go join a protest group before its too late!!! Save the earth, save the earth,


How inspired? Well, I thought it was a classic.
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline WellManicuredMan

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2008, 07:25:38 PM »
I read that, and guess what?  Synthetic life just appeared right on my desk.  Amazing.  So THAT'S what the theists are worried about.  I'll just reach over and grab my stapler ...

Really, I'm scared, I'm talking to a synthetic life device right now, my computer.

We better start protesting, synthetic life is taking over!!!

Oh my God ... my entire cubicle is a synthetic jungle, ..., help, I'm being attacked.

We are Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile. Your life as it has been is over. From this time forward, you will service us.

Offline rickymooston

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2008, 02:21:30 AM »
I'm a Christian and I don't see anything wrong with Nano or Stem research.

Nano technology is not even biology, its physics

Stem? I think the only proablem is where cells come from
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline Omega

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Re: Nanotechnology appears to fail the moral litmus test of religion
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2009, 10:20:17 AM »
actually nanotech is hust metalic-silicon biotechnology.
all earth life is basically carbon based nanotecnology

silicon-metal nanotecnology has much bigger capabilities, but also higher cost.
its like if you make some product of plastic and same product of metal

it is quote possible that humans will drop their usual carbon based nanotech a,d convert their bodies into metal
because this will alow them to live in all planets with no air, and liquid nitrogen temperatures