Francis Bacon, the founder of modern science and inventor of binary code, said in his essay "Of Atheism" that "none deny there is a God, but those for whom it maketh that there were no God." Aldous Huxley confessed to this inclination in Ends and Means (1937):
I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; and consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics. He is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do. For myself, as no doubt for most of my friends, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom. The supporters of this system claimed that it embodied the meaning - the Christian meaning, they insisted - of the world. There was one admirably simple method of confuting these people and justifying ourselves in our erotic revolt: we would deny that the world had any meaning whatever.
As a thought experiment, imagine if God decided to appear to humanity, but didn't want to cause panic by surprising us, so he first arranged a meeting with the world's top scientists. (I'm sticking with pre-woke pronouns but not capitalizing 'he.') He says "Good news! I have a plan, we're going to turn swords into ploughshares. There's only one catch. Some of you will be out of work, the armaments people, the GMOs, the transhumanism stuff, geoengineering, many of the cutting-edge fields are not compatible, but I have a plan for those people too. They can learn to code, and we will give them some UBI. Talk it over and we'll meet again in three days."
What do you think The Science would say? Would the New York Times scramble up something like "Divine Presence Linked to Q-Anon Neo-Nazis, Experts Warn"? It's reasonable to guess that any such intervention would be met with hostility on the part of the scientific community. Actually, I think something like this has been going on for half a century with the crop circles, centered in England, our financial and intellectual capital. I don't believe in wormholes, at least not the traversable sort, so I don't believe in aliens here on earth, and I don't think we have the technology to pull these off. Not only that, some crop circles have advanced our knowledge of mathematics.
When this 300-foot design appeared in 2011, The Science determined that it was an approximate rendering of "Euler’s Identity (e ^ ( i * Pi ) + 1 = 0), widely thought be the most beautiful and profound mathematical equation in the world." (As an aside, I'm glad I'm not a scientist so I don't have to pretend Euler's Identity is beautiful or profound. It's clever at best, this is obviously science assuming the mantle of art and philosophy and religion, the humanities.) The UK's Independent reported of the Identity image:
Dr John Talbot, a maths research fellow at University College London, [gave] his take on the matter. He said: “Looking at the crop circle, the link with Euler’s most famous identity seems to make perfect sense. However, the way the formula has been executed is partially incorrect. One of the discrepancies is that one part of the formula translates as ‘hi’ rather than ‘i’, which could be somebody’s idea of a joke.”
Exactly as I thought, God is toying with these people, and they know it, but they dare not admit it because for many of them, it spells their end. Even without the God question, science has many serious ethical problems that are ignored because of money and ambition.
David Benetar is an eccentric philosophy professor at the University of Cape Town. Wikipedia tells us that from an early age he has espoused the philosophy of "antinatalism," which means that we're better off dead, it's better never to have been born, because according to Benetar's pre-teen calculus, suffering exceeds pleasure. He is firm on this point. Interestingly, Wikipedia tells us that his father is Solomon Benetar, "a global-health expert who founded the Bioethics Centre at the University of Cape Town." So it's good to get more confirmation that bioethics is about killing people. Also noteworthy, for those with some scrap of knowledge of the Bible, is that Solomon was the guy who wrote Ecclesiastes, which sort of encapsulates David Benetar's philosophy. Why was Solomon so forlorn? Well, like an absolute idiot, he let the Phoenician black magic infect Israel, after God had appeared to him twice. I've commented about this before.
At any rate, professor Benetar tells a story. He was asked to contribute a chapter for a book about experimentation on primates, specifically about the ethical considerations of such research. I don't know what the editors were expecting from a guy who says we're better off dead, but they didn't approve his chapter and the book was issued without any significant commentary about ethics. I have been ribbing Benetar but his comments here are apposite:
It is not surprising that many scientists (like many nonscientists) lack a deep commitment to the ethical evaluation of their work. Because current orthodoxies about what is ethical in science are probably not all correct, a thoroughgoing ethical evaluation of scientific practice would at least sometimes be critical—and sometimes extremely critical. Naturally, scientists involved in widely accepted but ethically problematic practices would be deeply threatened. Their options would be (a) to abandon the problematic practices, (b) to abandon ethics, or (c) to select an alternative ethical evaluation that endorses the practices. The first choice would threaten their livelihood or professional development; the second, their sense of themselves as scientists of integrity. The upshot is that the third option is psychologically easiest, especially given the human capacity for self-deception.
The problem, however, is that selective ethics is bad ethics for just the same reason that selective science is bad science. In ethics, as in science, the evidence must precede the conclusion. In other words, those interested in truth, whether scientific or ethical, cannot first accept a view and then selectively muster evidence in support of it.