Rational Religion

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Science and Technology: Medical Distinctions


Many people commonly thought of as scientists are not scientists at all but technicians.   


Note that I didn't say, "just technicians." There is nothing inherently inferior in being a technician.  Often it is more demanding than being a scientist.  Very often it is more valuable to society.  But it is a different mind set. 


This is why so many medical doctors can be both excellent physicians and devout religionists, in any and all of the world's major faiths.  A good doctor is a mechanic, and perhaps more than a bit of an artist.  She or he masters a given body of knowledge about human physiology, updates it periodically as new information becomes available, and uses it to try to fix what is wrong with us - to the best of his or her expertise.


Of course some medical doctors are scientists, but that doesn't necessarily make them better doctors.  


Sometimes it makes them worse; they are continually impelled to try experimental stuff on their patients, and the statistics tell us that experimental stuff is overwhelmingly wrong.


   They are the ones who provide the "updated information" that other physicians ultimately incorporate into their practice, but they leave a lot of mayhem in their wake. 


It is no accident that the Hippocratic oath contains the admonition, "Above all, do no harm."