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Should Sciences Teach Compassion???

Posted April 30, 2012 by slowlygetnthar in Open

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commented on May 11, 2012
by dustproduction

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17

I was recently listening to a young medical student justifying the killing of lab animals in the name of science. Her argument was that it is not the place of scientists to teach compassion, therefore, when teaching dissection or running experiments, they should not be the ones worrying about the lives and well-being of these animals or transmitting such concerns to their students. Their business is to carry out experiments that better mankind through medicine.

I think that we must all teach compassion, every day, via whatever it is we do.

If sciences are to make us smarter and more informed about our world, are they not also to make us more connected and concerned for it and all its beings? Should the sciences also teach us compassion? If so, why? If not, why not?

  • 17 Comments  
  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction May 11, 2012


    I might say the same thing to you Slow

  • slowlygetnthar May 11, 2012


    Be patient. Someone may think what you posted is important and reply to it.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction May 10, 2012


    I have made several points not just one. Feel free not to respond if you wish.

  • slowlygetnthar May 08, 2012

    @dustproduction.
    You seem to be stuck at the same point, over and again, without any clarity. You are the one that asserted that I assertedthat ethics are not being followed. I did not assert that. You surmised it. You want to argue about something that you asserted. You just keep going round & round like a dog chasing its tail. I am not wasting my energy on it any further.

    I don't eat meat and am appalled at the treatment of animals in our culture, in general.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction May 05, 2012

    You first wrote, ".... there are ethical issues at stake that must be considered"
    Followed by, "I am hoping others will follow ethics established in their respective fields"

    My response, Re: "I am hoping others will follow ethics established in their respective fields. "
    Where are the ethical rules that are not being followed, and in what fields? I'm confused, you expect "science" to teach compassion, but are now saying that there are ethics established and they are simply not being follow. Can you be specific?

    Then you wrote this, "There are ethics in established disciplines, but we need to constantly re-examine and recalibrate them."
    By saying, " I am thinking of a friend of mine who spent a decade blinding chickens in one eye for scientific research."
    Are you inferring that ethical procedures are not doing followed, or that this type of "scientific research" is not, occurring to you, a compassionate practice?

    Do you see the limitation of your comments?
    CLEARLY you are in error to state, "You are the one that asserted that people were not following established ethics in fields."
    I posed a question to you because you are unclear about what you understand.

    FYI: The UK has gone further than any other country to write such an ethical framework into law by implementing the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. It exceeds the requirements in the European Union's Directive 86/609/EEC on the protection of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes, which is now undergoing revision (Matthiessen et al, 2003). The Act requires that proposals for research involving the use of animals must be fully assessed in terms of any harm to the animals.

    I will suggest to you that blinding chickens are the tip of the iceberg and that the food industry raises and slaughters the very food people eat with even less compassion. Why are you not pointing out this problem and instead attack scientific research?

  • slowlygetnthar May 04, 2012


    I did write that I think compassion should be taught. Basically, it is necessary across disciplines.

    You are the one that asserted that people were not following established ethics in fields. What do you think? Are they being followed?

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction May 03, 2012

    Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't you write:
    "Yes, I would expect geologists and cosmologists to also teach compassion."

    Now you are saying: "you made the assertion, not I, that I.... " expect 'science' to teach compassion,"

    Unless I am mistaken you wrote that you expect (science) to teach compassion.

    Similarly, you wrote: " "There are ethics in established disciplines, but we need to constantly re-examine and recalibrate them."

    My question to you is, if there are "ethics in established disciplines" are they not being followed?

  • slowlygetnthar May 02, 2012

    Dustproduction, you made the assertion, not I, that I.... " expect 'science' to teach compassion, but are now saying that there are ethics established and they are simply not being follow."

    So, explain your assertion. Can you be specific?

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction May 02, 2012


    Yes, my dyslexia with the written word. I should take more care in proofreading. It should read: "You are seeking to impose your beliefs on others....."
    Compassion exists on a personal level. Your friend does not have to be doing this work, your friend choice to.
    Just like you have the personal choice to be vegan. But that is not the same as saying people to be more compassionate in their food choices. Should they, perhaps. It probably creates more suffering than the chicken experiment you are upset about.
    BTW, I am not "up in arms." Attacking me is deflecting attention away from the weakness of what you have written I am just trying to point of the holes in your argument by examining what you have written. How can I express my points of view to a question that is riddles with confused thinking.
    You have not cleared up the confusion about the following:
    .... you expect "science" to teach compassion, but are now saying that there are ethics established and they are simply not being follow. Can you be specific? In the first place you argue that this question is predicated on the thoughts of a young medical student, yet you've added the medical profession is taught compassion. So, is it that the student has not receive the compassion lessons yet?
    While you say, "There are ethics in established disciplines, but we need to constantly re-examine and recalibrate them." Who is the "we."

    Let's put your complaint into perceptive: Millions died in the Holocaust and the world vowed to never let it happen again. But we continue to see more killings being repeated again and again, in Rwanda, in Cambodia, in Kosovo....

    The only comment you have made here that makes sense for me is, " we must all teach compassion, every day." This is your only real point. This include science and everyone else.

    http://charterforcompassion.org/

  • slowlygetnthar May 01, 2012


    I can't understand this sentence due to grammatical construction: "you are seeking to opposing your beliefs are others by stating..."

    There are ethics in established disciplines, but we need to constantly re-examine and recalibrate them. I am thinking of a friend of mine who spent a decade blinding chickens in one eye for scientific research. In this case, shouldn't someone have stopped after many years fewer than 10 and asked himself, "Gee, how many chickens do we really need to blind for a study?"

    Why are you so up in arms? What is your point? You are big on attacking viewpoints without presenting your own and establishing premises to support whatever yours may be.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction May 01, 2012

    Re: "I am hoping others will follow ethics established in their respective fields. "

    Where are the ethical rules that are not being followed, and in what fields? I'm confused, you expect "science" to teach compassion, but are now saying that there are ethics established and they are simply not being follow. Can you be specific?
    In the first place you argue that this question is predication on the thoughts of a young medical student, yet you've added the medical profession is taught compassion. So, is it that the student has not receive the compassion lessons yet?

    And you are seeking to opposing your beliefs are others by stating, "I think that we must all teach compassion, every day." Underline "I think."
    Isn't the student allow to hold a different belief?

  • slowlygetnthar May 01, 2012


    If you take a look at the oath, as a whole, it is advocating conscious & ethical care. The fact that, even in wartime, doctors treat and are to treat the wounded enemies is an act of compassionate care.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction May 01, 2012

    Specifically where in the The Hippocratic Oath would you say addresses compassion?
    I note that in a past issue of IONS's "Consciousness & Healing" No# 23 Summer '09 it calls for the following:

    "All health care practitioners should be educated in the importance of compassionate care that addresses the biopsychosocial dimensions of health."

    http://media.noetic.org/uploads/files/SHIFT23_SIMIC_HealthCareRevolution-lores.pdf

  • slowlygetnthar May 01, 2012


    No, I am not seeking to impose my ethic on others. I am hoping others will follow ethics established in their respective fields. Even in fields that may, at first glance, seem not to need ethics, with regard to other life forms, there are points of contact where lack of compassion can be detrimental.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction May 01, 2012

    Yes, but you are seeking to oppose your ethic on to others with a different ethic.

    In the Jewish faith "Shechita" is where a animal must be killed with respect and compassion by a shochet (Hebrew:שוחט ritual slaughterer), a religious Jew who is duly licensed and trained.

    Should we all adhere to a similar practice? And what else should we all do?

  • slowlygetnthar May 01, 2012

    Yes, I would expect geologists and cosmologists to also teach compassion. In any discipline, there are ethical issues at stake that must be considered. In this part of the country, those involved in mining, for example, not only disrupt ecosystems, but often, are responsible for clean-up, reforestation, or other restorative work. There is a role for compassion in this this. Simple rockhounds are also disrupting ecosystems in their minor picking away at natural formations, too. In cosmology~~depending on how you define it, there are also roles. I think of Laika the Russian space dog, for example, and chimps that perished in man's attempt to develop the means to send man into space.

    Because we are humans, no matter what we do here, we disrupt the lives of other life forms and beings, so I think scientists should be taught compassion.

    Those in medicine are taught compassion. The Hippocratic Oath is a reflection of this.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction May 01, 2012


    Science is a large field. Obviously neuroscience looks at where empathetic feelings arises from in the brain.
    Would you suggest the geologist or cosmologist teach compassion? I think not.
    So what question are you really asking? I'll ask this one: Are those in the medical profession taught compassion?

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