Quasi-Religious Arguments in Social Debates About New Technologies
SpeakersJohn H. Evans, Professor of Sociology, University of California at San Diegohttp://sociology.ucsd.edu/faculty/bio/evansj.shtml
Organised byESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum
ESRC Genomics Policy and Research ForumThe University of EdinburghCollege of Humanities and Social ScienceSt John's LandHolyrood RoadEdinburgh EH8 8AQ Tel: 0131 651 4747
In the US and the UK there is a debate about the proper use of religious arguments in public debates about new technologies. In this talk I begin by discussing five possible relationships between religious and secular arguments.
The most difficult of these relationships to understand – probably because it is the most common – is the “translation” of religious arguments into secular arguments. How does such translation occur? In my quest to more thoroughly understand this process I turn to what the critics of translation see as happening, as viewed through the lens of complaints about“quasi-religious” arguments about new technologies. My tentative conclusion is that the differential use of the term by religious and non-religious persons suggests that the term“translation” must be further clarified.