Sanctity Of Science

By: Archmage

A Satire

Brian Westgate

November 12th, 2002

Sanctity of Science: A Satire


Sanc"ti*ty, n.; pl. Sanctities. [L. sanctitas, from sanctus holy. See Saint.] 1. The state or quality of being sacred or holy; holiness; saintliness; moral purity; godliness.

To sanctity she made no pretense, and, indeed, narrowly escaped the imputation of irreligion. --Macaulay.

2. Sacredness; solemnity; inviolability; religious binding force; as, the sanctity of an oath.

3. A saint or holy being. [R.]

About him all the sanctities of heaven. --Milton.


What is the Sanctity of Science? Is it some “Ultimate Truth”? It seems that some scientists are researching for long hours of their lives in order to contribute to mankind’s knowledge of this Sanctity of Science. They work hard in order to get small bits of the sacred whole. As Barbara Ehrenreich states, “through research, we seek to know that ultimate Other, which could be called Nature if the term didn’t sound so tame and beaten, or God if the word weren’t loaded with so much human hope and superstition” (406). This “Other,” or “It,” makes science itself seem like a religion. Even the objectivity of science has subjective concepts imbedded into it. The It is the subjective concept of science. It is the “Ultimate Truth”; It is all knowledge; It is the Sanctity of Science that scientists seek.

Religion is not a bad thing. It gives people hope, reason for life, and often makes people try to better themselves. Science not only seems like a religion, but it is a religion. We should follow this religion and pursue the Sanctity of Science. Science gives meaning to our lives: to research and practice our human characteristics in order to develop our knowledge. We have the gift to do this research, and it should be practiced to give meaning to our lives.

It is very difficult to have people look after the future instead of themselves. People are generally selfish and only look after themselves. It is natural to be selfish. Success in finding more of the Absolute Truth has tempting rewards. Ehrenreich makes a strong point by saying that “the worldly rewards of success have expanded to include fat paychecks … as well as power and celebrity status. And these are the circumstances that invite deception” (407). Is there anything wrong with lying to benefit oneself? Ehrenreich says that “lies . . . are the great lubricant of our way of life” (406). When in search for the Ultimate Truth, lying does no one any good.

It is relatively easy to lie in science. The Sanctity of Science offers the rewards of such things as “fat paychecks” and “power” with ease. However, we should not lie. Most scientists, as we should hope, pursue the Truth and develop the Sanctity of Science. Lies in scientific research do nothing to advance our knowledge. They in fact cripple it because new science is founded upon old science. If the old science is false and inaccurate, the new science will be as well. Eventually, things will collapse and all our efforts devoted to the Sanctity of Science will fall. Such as in mathematics; a lie in new mathematical theory will cause failure in any application. Anyone who tries to use the newfound false theory to conclude more theories will also have his or her theories false. Thus, any lies in scientific research will cripple mankind in the near future. The personal gain achieved by lying will destroy our future.

Animal research is critical in our scientific research, no matter how large the sacrifice. Ron Karpati states for us: “much is made of the pain inflicted on these animals in the name of medical science” (436). Our knowledge of science has become greatly expanded by a means that would not be possible without the sacrifices made by animals. We should practice more animal research in the name of the Sanctity of Science because it gives us so much knowledge. We are killing animals to save human lives and advance our knowledge of science.

The Sanctity of Science is the meaning of our lives. Our responsibility as humans is to advance the Ultimate Truth. Much of this can be done by this animal research that people often say is “unnecessary.” What people see as cruel to animals is often not cruel. These animals do not have the gift of the human qualities, such as emotions, the Sanctity of Science gives us. Their sacrifice to better our knowledge for the Ultimate Truth is crucial. Not only do animal activists interfere, but the animals themselves do as well. Animals often attack scientists or make their work displeasing. A necessary procedure to help us carry out our sacrifices to the Sanctity of Science with ease is carried out, as Jean Bethke Elshtain tells us: “to make sure that human sensibilities would not be troubled by the groans, cries, and yelps of suffering animals … researchers have for a century subjected dogs and other animals to an operation called a centriculocordectomy, which destroys their vocal chords.” (425-426). Nothing should interfere with our meaning of life: our search for the Ultimate Truth.

Anyone who believes the above points is heartless, cruel, and insane! Since when do we hold an imaginary concept more valuable than both human and animal lives? Only a heartless person can pursue science not to better the lives of people but to grow knowledge. Only a cruel person can treat animals and people without respect and use them to their own ends. Only an insane person can brutally torture and massacre animals for the sake of a concept. These acts are obviously immoral when taken to the extreme to benefit the “Sanctity of Science.”

Still, the preceding satire has a few points. We should not lie in our scientific research. Science should be used to benefit mankind and put to practical use. We obtain knowledge to better ourselves and not to benefit some Sanctity of Science. The fact that new science is built on old science and corrupt data will only lead to more corrupt data is true. It would be wrong to lie for personal gain instead of telling the truth for the gain of others and the future. Ethical animal research should be conducted to benefit human kind. Vital cures and preventions have been found from animal research, and we should be thankful to those animals. There are certain limits, however, where animal research no longer becomes ethical but becomes cruelty. We need to be aware of when it is ethical and when it is cruel.

Use common sense. Being an extremist to the Sanctity of Science is immoral as well as being an extremist of practicality of science. Both should be used; both can have their benefits. The Sanctity of Science gives us interest and inspiration and some meaning to pursuing science. Being practical in science and applying our discoveries to benefit ourselves is also a large part in our scientific goals. Neither should be ignored. Practicality and the search for the Ultimate Truth should be balanced properly. All things should be in moderation.

Work Cited

Ehrenreich, Barbara. “Science, Lies, and the Ultimate Truth.” Science and Technology Today. Ed. Nancy R. MacKenzie. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995. 405-407

Elshtain, Jean Bethke. “Why Worry about the Animals?” Science and Technology Today. Ed. Nancy R. MacKenzie. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995. 424-432

“”. November 11th, 2002.


I would like to thank Dr. J. H. Gaines for her time and effort put into reveiwing this essay for me. Thank you, Dr. Gaines.

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