All posts tagged: Racism

Should the results of Nazi experiments ever be taken up and used?

During World War II, Nazi doctors had unfettered access to human beings they could use in medical experiments in any way they chose. In one way, these experiments were just another form of mass torture and murder so our moral judgement of them is clear. But they also pose an uncomfortable moral challenge: what if some of the medical experiments yielded scientifically sound data that could be put to good use? Would it be justifiable to use that knowledge? Using data It’s tempting to deflect the question by saying the data are useless – that the bad behaviour must have produced bad science, so we don’t even have to think about it. But there is no inevitable link between the two because science is not a moral endeavour. If scientific data is too poor to use, it’s because of poor study design and analysis, not because of the bad moral character of the scientist. And in fact, some of the data from Nazi experiments is scientifically sound enough to be useful. The hypothermia experiments in …

Racism and Teaching Anti-Racism

WE ARE NOT BORN RACIST People are not born racist. As former U.S. President Barack Obama, quoting Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa, tweeted shortly after the tragic events in Charlottesville August 12, 2017 in which the university town was overtaken by white supremacists and hate groups, resulting in the killing of a counter protester, Heather Heyer, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” Very young children do not naturally choose friends based on the color of their skin. In a video created by the BBC children’s network CBeebies, Everyone’s Welcome, pairs of children explain the differences between themselves without referring to the color of their skin or ethnicity, even though those differences exist. As Nick Arnold writes in What Adults Can Learn About Discrimination From Kids, according to Sally Palmer, Ph.D., lecturer in the …