1. moarscienceplz says

    Funny, yes, but isn’t this true of pretty much all science? Lavoisier measured the temperature of the water at the top and bottom of a waterfall to test the conservation of energy, something no normal human would even think to do. Newton shoved an iron bodkin under his eyelid and pressed on his eyeball to see if he could cause color distortions. I forget the details, but I remember that some agricultural college installed a 10 cm port into the side of a cow through to its stomach so they could sample semi-digested cow fodder easily. Heck, PZ Myers just let a spider egg sac hatch in his lab, letting dozens of baby spiders loose in a building he shares with many normal people. Scientists do weird shit a lot. 😀

  2. says

    Scientists do weird shit a lot

    Scientists try to understand the universe. Inasmuch as sometimes that understanding brings recommendations (do not lick a 30amp circuit!) it is morally neutral. The reason why you should not lick that 30amp circuit or try to fly faster than the speed of light is because it’s a bad idea or won’t work – appeals to selfishness.
    Moral philosophy seeks to enshrine recommendations (“you should not lick a 30amp circuit because that is only something naughty people do!”) without having to test them – sort of a moral induction – hence, the weird thought experiments. I am sure that if you put a bunch of moral philosophers and game theorists on a piece of track with a trolley, you would get completely different results and recommendations than you’d get from their armchair philosophomacation.

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