Aborted Fetuses, Nazi Experiments and other fun advances in science

So, there was talk about use of aborted fetuses in the research for the J&J vaccine. I brought up the whole moral issue of using ill gotten research for beneficial purposes. The following link is a pretty good analysis of a Jewish perspective.


Some things to consider, the morality of abortion, itself is debatable. And the abortions were not done to gain the samples.

Nazi experiments were torture, pure and simple. The scientific process was questionable, but that doesn’t mean someone couldn’t have used the research to better mankind.

What is bettering mankind? Artificial insemination or something as important as curing cancer or dementia.

A last point I’ll raise. Is there a separate argument that the Nazi research should have been destroyed when discovered; but if it wasn’t and true good can now come from it, is it a different story.

Where is the line?


The line for you is where you draw it.

The line for society is where the majority draws it.

the end.

The Nazi’s had some results that pose a moral dilemma. But the real fun one to debate is the results from the Japanese unit 731.

The Nazi’s used condemned prisoners. (Still far from okay.) They had some interesting/valuable results mostly on survivability data for adverse conditions. Consumption of sea water, hypothermia, battlefield wound treatment. Relatively small scale for the most part.

The Japanese used entire towns. They did base research on infectious disease. Lots of breakthroughs and high quality data. Amazing what can be accomplished with absolutely no regard for human life or suffering. (Kind of like the line from harry Potter. Voldemort accomplished great things. Terrible, but great.)

I tend to think that the experiments were horrid and should never have been done. The people who conducted them deserved severe punishment. But to throw out the information after they were already done would be to make the suffering of the subjects completely pointless.

wait, what??

The National Holocaust Museum has lots of exhibits on the different experiments performed. It’s gruesome, but it’s something worth visiting for everyone someday.

Well that’s what they called them. Jews and gypsies in concentration camps were condemned prisoners. Of course that was only because of laws the Nazis passed. So, once again, be careful with definitions.

Unit 731 literally bombed a few cities as part of the experiments and testing they did.

Off-topic from what the OP was intending, so I hope this doesn’t cause much thread drift, but for the life of me, I will never understand how the Nazis got so many people to carry out what they did. You’d think there would’ve been defectors that would have slipped away and said what was going on. I guess EVERYBODY was just that afraid that it didn’t happen? I don’t really know. The Holocaust Museum didn’t explain that, which I found disappointing. Nowhere seems to explain it.

In terms of the actual operators of the war crimes I think that is delved into by this experiment:

Milgram experiment - Wikipedia.

I think many post-WW2 just thought German people were evil? Maybe? But it’s really just flawed human nature.

trump would have done the same thing with Mexicans or Muslims and 70m people would have blindly supported him. He tear gassed protestors to pose with a bible and people thought no big deal. The biggest con man in history and they are still giving him their money.

I have never seen it so clearly

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Gassing the protestors was really egregious. Trump would not have committed genocide, though, I am convinced of that. He even got us into a LOT less foreign conflict than past administrations. Sorry, I know this isn’t the point of your thread, but I’ve always thought that comparison was not appropriate.

I don’t think Trump ever cared enough to gas people. He simply wasn’t ever that serious. Though I guess it might have (could still) come up by accident.

I agree Trump did the same basic brainwashing that created nazis.

To dagget’s other question, I think it was easier keep secrets back when communication technologies were limited. I’m guessing also that not all that many understood (let alone could somehow document) just how many jews were being murdered. Thousands probably wouldn’t have made much news. Millions would be dismissed as propaganda.

Qanon-like, a lot of people believed Hitler’s conspiracy against the Jews
Many were indifferent , not happening to us. But for fear would turn in a Jew.
Quite a few protested or hid Jews and more would fearing the knock on the door at night
Are you going to rally, knowing the Military will shoot you down without a thought?
You don’t have papers to leave the country
Possessions are taken away from the Jews, now you get a nicer place to live.
You comply and get food, clothing, promotions.
There are many great stories of the righteous gentiles, but to do so risked so much

Rainer Werner Fassbinder in the 70s and 80s directed films that depicted the period prior to Hitler coming to power, almost as a side plot, particularly Berlin Alexanderplatz a TV miniseries. I find little else covers the period well

I think abortion is a much misunderstood issue.

Even the official Roman Catholic position acknowledges that the start of human life or personhood is not known by the church. It is not a metaphysical position. And there are very good reasons to think that a single human life does not begin at conception. The existence of twins and chimeras for example.

The RC position is a moral one. Personhood is “probable”, which really means possible, and so abortion is not allowed if there is even the chance that it is murder. It is really an argument about moral reasoning under uncertainty.

It has been transformed into a metaphysical argument because of political need. Maybe psychological need too.

From the new catholic encyclopedia:

After a certain stage of intrauterine development it is perfectly evident that fetal life is fully human. Although some might speculate as to when that stage is reached, there is no way of arriving at this knowledge by any known criterion; and as long as it is probable that embryonic life is human from the first moment of its existence, the purposeful termination (is immoral).

Again the term “probable” has a special, technical meaning here.

Is it me, or does the Catholic church just evolve its positions along with the zeitgeist so as to try to avoid being called extreme?

They have the same problem as the Scotus-- super vague source material.

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The best thing about Trump is he enlightened so many people about the evil that pulses through the dark world they so willingly ignored as they stood at the edge.

This is my opinion. It’s incomprehensible what was done and there is absolutely no condoning it whatsoever. But what’s done is done and there’s no undoing it.

It’s not clear to me how ignoring the scientific data helps or honors those people nor how using it hurts or dishonors them.

I think i’ve read that with the nazi experiments, the conflict is not as great as it seems because the science was not particularly good.

Also science tends to be about curiosity. My inclination is that curiosity by itself is not enough to justify using nazi results. If it were really a question of clear benefit, such as the nazis found the cure for cancer, then we’d probably be morally justified in using that, although we’d have to try to make it as right as we could, perhaps by donating to Jewish welfare in some way. But this doesn’t seem to be the reality.

I thought I’d read that their data on how much cold a person could stand before succumbing to hypothermia was basically the only (and therefore the best) data available, and it’s obviously not an experiment that any scientist would ever want to attempt to replicate. So while there may be flaws, it’s really all there is to go on.

Have you ever eaten human flesh? If I could convince you I sourced the flesh legitimately would would you taste it? Would you sit at my table and feast with me?