Science is About Killing People, Mr. Stein?

Most of the time, people don’t say what they really mean.  When I first read Atlas Shrugged, I thought that it was unusual that the villains were so open about their goals.  Ever since then, I’ve kept my eyes open for it.  And Charles at LGF today writes about Ben Stein’s latest statement:

“…the last time any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed … that’s where science leads you.”

This is wrong on so many levels.  First, Mr. Stein, the Nazis were not scientists!  They were a bunch of murderous thugs who adopted a facade of science.  They fooled many Germans with this charade.

I am not sure if they fooled you.  That is, it’s hard to tell if you sincerely believe what you’re saying, or if you are seeking to tar science with the Nazi brush.  You know, the dishonest tactic of associating an idea you can’t disprove with something that everyone hates?  Kinda like, you know, argumentum ad hominem

Second, Mr. Stein, have you not been aware of the progress of science in the last 63 years?  You know, like when scientists told you to take this vaccine so you would be immune to polio, or when they said that you shouldn’t smoke because you could get cancer or emphysema?  Or, I know, how about when scientists said that if you arrange atoms of silicon, germanium, copper, etc. in just this certain way, they semiconduct.  That’s how you write your poisonous libels, and that’s how your fans read your words.  It’s also how movies are made and viewed, in case you might have something to do with making movies.  Are the people involved in making chips Nazis?  Or perhaps you mean that no scientists are involved?

Third, and most importantly, you appear to be trying to make a normative judgement.  The evils of Naziism are where science “leads you.”  Perhaps you are unaware of the muslim world.  Blissfully without science, they are enjoying the full compassion and wonderfuln utopia that the absence of science makes possible.  Perhaps you are also unaware of the Dark Ages and Medieval period.  This was when science was considered blasphemy.  The absence of science was and is characterized by starvation, disease, and brutality.  Life without science is miserable and short.

I bet you know this.  I bet this is what’s happening.  You said something that is indefensible, and you were called on it.  You had a choice.  You could admit you were wrong.  But you didn’t say something, you made a movie.  So perhaps you felt it was better to keeping digging deeper rather than write off your movie?

Only muslims and flat-earthers can agree with you now.  You have completely marginalized yourself.

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