Translation exercise.

Here’s a chance for you budding linguists to practice your translation skills. Translate this press release into honest plainspoken English. Your multiple choice answers are below the fold. Ready?

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops issued a document Friday warning against what they consider the moral dangers of embryonic stem cell research, saying it treats human beings as commodities and reduces procreation to a manufacturing process.

With elections looming this fall, the bishops said they are not asking Catholics or the public to choose between science and religion. Instead, they are urging people to examine how society should conduct medical research.

When the bishops say they are “not asking Catholics or the public to choose between religion and science,” what does that really mean?

A. Religion and science are non-overlapping magesteria: what happens in one is of no concern to the other.

B. Religion and science are the same thing.

C. People should choose both religion and science, provided that religion has the authority to decide what questions science will ask and what answers it will find.

D. Science and religion must both be free to pursue their own lines of inquiry without interference from the other.

E. Other (describe in comments section)

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Posted in Unapologetics. 6 Comments »

6 Responses to “Translation exercise.”

  1. PalMD Says:

    While the doctrine of NOMA predates Gould in the Catholic Church, this does not appear to be an example. D and B are certainly not the case.

    C is always the answer to this question. Religious authorities believe they have access to information not available to non-believers, which makes their knowledge inherently more “valuable” than, say, mine.

  2. B8ovin Says:

    E, other. What that statement means is they ARE asking Catholics to chose between science and religion, as they have just used a religious trope to define stem-cell research rather than a scientifically sound definition. It’s like saying, “Pizza is made with poisonous cheese. But, I’m not asking you to chose between pizza and hamburgers.” In their case they are saying “Science wishes to make you a commodity and to make reproduction into industry. We respect you. We’re not asking you to chose between science and religion.”
    As for the public at large, they’re just hoping their seeming authority is acknowledged.

  3. PalMD Says:

    I might have to change my answer…

  4. John Morales Says:

    E. Other.

    Or, more specifically, all A..E – I think it’s deliberately vague wording which they hope the reader will consider not inconsistent with their own perceived view.

    “not asking Catholics or the public to choose between religion and science”

    This is of course disingenuous, since the very disclaimer implies they consider their statement will/should prompt Catholics or the public to consider a choice appropriate.

    It takes advantage of cultural norms in your nation including the conceit that religion is an appropriate guide to morality.

    To paraphrase, the post’s quote is “Religion says this is evil. But you don’t have to choose between science and religion. But it’s voting time soon, so instead, think about it.”

    Further, “On Thursday, a proposed state constitutional amendment in Colorado that would define a fertilized human egg as a person was certified for the November ballot.”

    It seems apparent that they hope to influence how readers vote by issuing this release. Which, really, is as it should be – it’s part of their job.

    Perhaps I’m being cynical, but I doubt it.

  5. John Morales Says:

    Um, I see B8ovin has already said what I did, but more succintly.

    I can only say I didn’t see that comment before I posted mine.

  6. melior Says:

    Yep, B8ovin beat me to it too. Well said.