The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
7 Points

Scientist have the moral duty to point how stupid are pseudosciences.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/27/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,087 times Debate No: 27561
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)




It is easy to find pseudosciences trying to prove the extraterrestrials already invade us, or that the bible is 100% accurate, or that alternative medicine works, etc.

Scientist are paid by the state and they should return the favor by helping layman to understand what science really is, and by mocking non scientific beliefs.



Scientists have one moral. Find and deliver truth at any cost.

The problem with objective truth is this; a subjectively interpreted set of results might be open to error also there might be anomalies (hence quantum physics arguably makes all Newton's physics and basic knowledge appear false ultimately, especially claiming visible light to be a wave and to claim time to exist).

A scientist has a moral duty to NOT INTENTIONALLY be a pseudo scientist. They do not have the moral duty to point out the stupidity in other scientist's conclusions, if anything this is immoral and goes against the nature of accepting anything COULD be true in science.
Debate Round No. 1


This time I would appreciate to have a conversation rather than a debate.

We agree on something, Scientists, should deliver their findings. I'm not going to say truth, because we always work with probabilities under 100%.

They key word is “deliver”. Deliver to who? To whoever pays you? And if that is the case what happen when their work is found though government taxes?

Should those scientist share their work with the people who pay taxes?

Coming back to the topic of pointing stupidity.

I would say that Medicine is one of the best products, science ever made.

It cost a brutal amount of money, because medicine have to be design and tested.

Once we discover that bacteria, virus, etc exits, we put in the bin the theory of demon possession (at least in the 1 world countries).

Pointing that demon possession theories were totally stupid was part of growing up.

Science is not just creating new stuff, it also requires to destroy old useless stuff.

Going back to the argument about anomalies. It is true that we don't have the answer for every think, but some times we have massive evidence against popular believes or the believe is too stupid to even bother to test it such: placing a magnet in your chest will cure you from AIDS.

Please can you explain your last sentence, I didn't get what you were trying to say.



Even thinking demons control us or that magnetic fields can cure AIDs should not be deemed 'pseudoscience' 100%. Nothing is 100% true in same way nothing is 100% false. Anything COULD BE TRUE or COULD BE FALSE!

so for a scientist to tell another that they are a pseudoscientist or that their work is false is to break the code of nothing being 100% certain in science and he is actually being IMMORAL to that aspiring scientist by crushing his dreams, and potentially world-changing findings, too early on.
Debate Round No. 2


Actually that is not true, science works with probabilities, if something is true with a confidence of let's say 99.99% then you says it is true. It is true in a scientific sense not in a matematical one. And is somethink is false with the same confidence levels then you says that is false. And then if you run further experiments usually the probabilities become evern more extream. Anythink else evil.



Yes, scientists who believe in certain things such as demonic influences are usually not basing it on evidence but how do you know that based on what they know they are not 99.99% sure of the 'fact' that there are demons? Ultimately it's up to individual scientists not to be pseudoscientists nor advocate pseudoscience in any form or shape. However, is also not at all the moral duty of a scientist, unless their work directly disproves a theory, to poke their nose into other's scientific work and term it 'fake' or 'pseudo'.

I think our differing opinion lies in that I think one should have moral duty to do the right thing, not the moral duty to poke their nose where it's not wanted (although I am rather immoral in that sense in my day-to-day life teehee).
Debate Round No. 3


This is not really a debate that I'm looking to win,

I'm just frustrated, about my workmates not giving a dam about other people.

Recently the sister of my friend decided to go to a witch doctor, which apparently is substantially cheaper than a regular doctor. The treatment includes blood interchange between the patient and the witch. Thanks to magical powers given by God to that particular witch you should be cure of everything.

The evidences that the witch magic works are the previous patients, which are so happy that keep bringing new people.

If I tell her that the witch is abusing of her faith, and its all placebo (but with a high risk of getting AIDS) then I look like and arrogant jerk, it doesn’t matter how much effort I would put on saying it in a nice peaceful way.

Scientists are arrogant because they believe science is the only way to know things, that is true, for me science means to be honest, and to try to disprove yourself before making a claim. So probably i'm just arrogant, but you already know that from reading me in previous debates.

If I don't say something I feel like a criminal by letting people to kill themselves in they own ignorance, and if I say something everyone else think that I'm mean even my workmates.

Apparently is a very popular aptitude among scientists do let layman belief any stupidity as long as layman don't think bad about them.

I think this concept should be easy to understand, If you see a child plunging a knife in a plug, is your moral duty to tell the child that he/she can get an unpleasant electrical shock? How about if the child is not one of your relatives? How about if the child becomes angry with you for saying so?

You don't need to be a scientist to know that alternative medicine doesn't work, but if you have a Ph.D. It is almost guaranty that you know it.

Another topic I want to bring is that I don't know what to think about my workmates making bad excuses in support of homeopathy, “you know placebo is the best medicine”, or “he was going to die anyway, alternative medicine is less painful than chemotherapy” (which is not true, if you are going to die with 95% probability the doctor will give you drugs to don't suffer, which I bet are 1000 times better than homeopathic pills.

Why are they so dishonest? Well if they will be honest they may have problems with their girlfriends, just in the same way Darwin never said he don't belief God exist.

Last year, I attend a motivational talk at the university from a celebrity.

The provost was there, the speech was ok, except that he claim that you can change you salary by thinking about money or anything else about reality, just like the law of attraction.

Every one was clapping including the provost, the speaker didn't manage to answer any question from the public... honestly, I was feeling depress, universities should stand for research and truth, not just for looking good and money, if I can think about any word which describes this situation well that word is CORRUPTION, we are all becoming too selfish looking only on our personal interest, specially our money and don't bothering about what is real and what is not, which is the main reason why universities exist.

A person who don't do the right thing because is afraid of other's people reaction is a slave. I think we are all slaves.

Dam if you do the right thing dam if you don't.

Of course not every one is that corrupt, John Maddox, the editor of Nature, accept a paper on homeopathy, but adding a note saying that not a single reviewer belief what the article says and further investigation will be publish,

The public humiliation was bad for Jacques Benveniste (author of the publication, who’s salary was paid by an homeopathic company) but it was good for the rest of humanity because it doesn’t work and we repeat the experiments showing that it doesn’t work!

So after all there are still a few honest people in the world.

By the way, the amount of time spend by homeopathic doctors listening their patients do have a positive impact on their health, that is all positive stuff I can say about alternative medicine.

I don't want to win this debate, I don't think this is a debate and I'm not trying to humiliate you as I usually do in any other debate you already know because you post comments on them.

There is anyone here who can give me a decent argument for against the motion, something that can convince me, not just the audience?

Saying that demons can exist, or that we can't prof something at 100% so we should give up science doesn’t help, actually it makes it worse.

From the coments in other debates, I know you come from a very advance country, and I'm sure you can convince me that this is not that tragic.

I also wanted to say that pseudoscientist usually don't have any university education, they just make it all up and claim super natural powers and experience based knowledge.



What the Witch doctor has done to manipulate your sister is disgusting. I, as an avid fan of science and the scientific way of thinking avidly agree with you on that. She should definitely be stopped. HOWEVER, LAWYERS and POLITICIANS are the ones with the moral duty of making things such as practise of voodoo medicine and witch doctor methodology of treatment illegal. It is NOT THE MORAL SUTY of a SCIENTIST to poke their nose into it, only to alert the people who decide what is allowed and what is not and then leave it from there.

To me, a scientist's role is simply this; to find truth and only worry about the proven and 99.99% certain in this Earth and the rest of the universe. They should not concern themselves with other's work (unless they look to it for information or inspiration) especially not to say "YOU ARE STUPID STOP THIS!" in fact no scientist of any kind is stupid, there is nothing stupid about reaching a conclusion only HOW ONE reached it and to regulate this is the duty of the makers of the law in terms of medicinal practises and legal credential requirements to carry out medicinal treatment in first place.

In my view instead of worrying your sister that her belief is wrong (trust me I know form experience this only makes them hate you) you should instead say "the witch doctor is probably very good at what she does, but I as your loving brother am also very good at what I do and know and that is clinical medicine and non-magical science. Please try my loving ways before hers, I'll even help you pay for it." I know form experience of dealing with VERY religious people in real-life debating that to disprove something one avidly puts faith in is near-impossible unless they are weakly believing in it in the first place. Instead, you should merely state that although their belief is definitely true you can only offer nurturing and advice from what you know and/or are good at. Try my methodology and you will realise that pointing out stupidity as opposed to encouraging cleverness is not the moral duty of the scientist.

Thank you for this debate I can definitely empathise with your issue with the sister and how this inspired your outlook on this debate. I VERY RARELY appreciate my opponent's views publicly but definitely I would probably have your exact views if anyone I loved was falling for such a disgustingly unscientific trick. However, I have realised that pointing out flaws in others is less productive than merely pointing out a lack of flaws and trying to avoid any mistakes in yourself.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by RationalMadman 3 years ago
I think people should be allow to say whatever they want. Not act or live however they want. that is how.
Posted by david.palbino 3 years ago
how can you have freedom of speech without freedom of religion? that's like saying a free egg omelette.
Posted by RationalMadman 3 years ago
I don't live in USA I don't know.

I don't believe in freedom of religion. Only freedom of speech.
Posted by david.palbino 3 years ago
In Europe almost all research is found by the state, very little private investment goes to universities, plus the government also pays the university fees of the students, except UK.
I'm aware is not the same in USA.
Posted by david.palbino 3 years ago
Is this true? do lawyers and politicians have the duty to make voodoo illegal? I'm asking because it sounds to me that we are breaking freedom of religion, after all, the church also claim to have a magic oil to cure everything.
Do you know any country who implement such policy while having freedom of religion and freedom of expression?
Posted by johnlubba 3 years ago
The aim of science/scientists, is to know things as they are, and also to know how to put them to good effect.
Posted by Heineken 3 years ago
"Scientists are paid by the state"....stopped reading.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by GorefordMaximillion 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Since nothing is 100%, why do anything? Also, part of giving us truth is showing us untruths. Con makes a good point in that perhaps a pseudoscience must be at least somewhat shown wrong before being dismissed though.
Vote Placed by emj32 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This madman is indeed rational