Pharyngula

Pope Ratzi confirms the bankruptcy of religion for me once again.

Benedict told a gathering of Catholic pharmacists that conscientious objection was a right that must be recognized by the pharmaceutical profession.

“Pharmacists must seek to raise people’s awareness so that all human beings are protected from conception to natural death, and so that medicines truly play a therapeutic role,” Benedict said.

Benedict said conscientious objector status would “enable them not to collaborate directly or indirectly in supplying products that have clearly immoral purposes such as, for example, abortion or euthanasia.”

There is an interesting moral argument against enablng euthanasia, I think, but it doesn’t apply here: pharmacists, as responsible and informed as they are, are not doctors, and are expected to dispense drugs as the doctor requests. It’s fair that a pharmacist would warn the client (“This drug can kill you”) or verify the prescription (“This combination of drugs can have risky effects—I’m going to call your doctor and make sure this is what she wants”), but this whole business of pharmacists refusing to do their job because of religious scruples is not tolerable.

The pope, being a deranged medieval nutcase at heart, of course carries his instructions far beyond the degree that should be allowed.

“We cannot anesthetize consciences as regards, for example, the effect of certain molecules that have the goal of preventing the implantation of the embryo or shortening a person’s life,” he said.

>

Right. Let’s shut down the selling of birth control at Catholic pharmacies, and let’s have Muslim bagboys shut down the sale of alcohol at stores (and the Muslim cabbies can end the transport of alcohol), and let’s turn every flaky religious nut into a vigilante for his own weird personal beliefs, enjoined to enforce them on every other person in his neighborhood, whether they share his dogma or not.

This is simply a religious injunction to be intolerant, a denial of the plain fact that many non-Catholics (and, of course, even many Catholics) do not obey papal rules. But then, that’s what religion teaches: to be intolerant and to deny reality.

Comments

  1. #1 David Marjanovi?, OM
    October 30, 2007

    Wait, so is he objecting to the regular ol’ Pill?

    To everything. Everything except the calendar method.

    Though he probably knows that in this case he was talking about the morning-after pill… I hope.

  2. #2 David Marjanovi?, OM
    October 30, 2007

    Wait, so is he objecting to the regular ol’ Pill?

    To everything. Everything except the calendar method.

    Though he probably knows that in this case he was talking about the morning-after pill… I hope.

  3. #3 David Marjanovi?
    October 30, 2007

    When I taught developmental bio and we talked about the effects of estrogen, inevitably leading up to a discussion on birth control pills, about 99% of my kids were like, “OH! THAT’S how it works???”

    At a university?

    Over here how all manner of contraception works is taught in the 8th year of school.

  4. #4 David Marjanovi?
    October 30, 2007

    When I taught developmental bio and we talked about the effects of estrogen, inevitably leading up to a discussion on birth control pills, about 99% of my kids were like, “OH! THAT’S how it works???”

    At a university?

    Over here how all manner of contraception works is taught in the 8th year of school.

  5. #5 LM
    October 30, 2007

    David Marjanovi?: Ayuh. These were mostly juniors and seniors, too!

  6. #6 Ichthyic
    October 30, 2007

    I’m picturing devout “conscientious objectors” in influential positions at telecom companies, deciding to shut down your net access because they find your browsing habits deeply troubling.

    that’s not so far from fiction in this country, and already fact in others.

    Cisco has already supplied the technology for the Chinese Govnmt to do just that.

    It’s a real problem, and likely you will start seeing the siren bells ringing more loudly on US blogs within the next year or two.

    We WILL have to fight to keep the internet open, have no doubt about that.

  7. #7 Ichthyic
    October 30, 2007

    Do you believe the employers of a doctor should be legally entitled to fire him if he refuses to administer the lethal injection in a death penalty case?

    yup.

    just like the manager of the bookstore should be just fine firing someone for refusing to sell a book that bookstore carries.

    the choice is to make a statement through your actions. If you are correctly fired for making your statement, that’s a consequence of your action.

    are you trying to say that actions should not have consequences?

    that employee has every right to complain about the death penalty OUTSIDE of performing his job, but does not have the right to refuse to do the functions his job entails without repercussion.

    if a pharmacist doesn’t want to sell birth control devices/drugs, they are welcome to complain/protest about it OUTSIDE of their job, hell, even teach classes about their position if they wish, but refusing to perform the duties their job entails is grounds for being fired.

    It’s really quite simple.

    I’ve been fired myself from several positions for protesting perceived wrongs of various types. I never expected to be exempt as a matter of “free speech”, since i specifically USED the job position in order to make my point.

    If I didn’t want to get fired, I would have protested the perceived wrongs on my own time. If I got fired for protesting ON MY OWN TIME, then I got a case for discrimination.

  8. #8 Ichthyic
    October 30, 2007

    Very, very, very strong doubt, in fact.

    go try looking at the direction internet consolidation is taking, and come back when you have the slightest clue.
    or heck, go take a visit to China to see how the technology works and can readily be applied anywhere.

    what? you think you somehow have control over how the major internet routers work, do you? do you even know what a router is? how the internet infrastructure itself is constructed?

    man, your level of preconceptions are just amazing. I thought maybe it was just related to one, or at most a few topics, like agriculture or sociobiology, but it’s like you learn 99% of what you know from watching TV or something.

    Me? I spent 5 years in IT management and saw what’s coming firsthand. there is reason to be concerned, but if you want to keep your head in the sand, frankly I guess I shouldn’t really give a shit based on your level of knowledge anyway.

  9. #9 Ichthyic
    October 30, 2007

    you know what, Jason?

    I could prove it quite easily, but I won’t bother. Frankly, the more i see you respond on Pharyngula, whether about animal rights, or vegeterianism, or sociobiology, or anything, the more I see you really have the amount of knowledge my 12 year old nephew has of most (all, that I’ve noticed so far) of the things you choose to respond to.

    don’t your friends call you on your BS often enough?

    seems pretty obvious here, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they do.

    seems to me your challenging me on my own profession is more projection of the fact that you know nothing about the subject, as appears to be the case whenever you choose to weigh in here.

    hey, guess what? before I was an IT manager I was a shark biologist working with a private NGO, and before that I worked with an NGO working to form a federally funded institute for environmental research similar to NIH, and before that I was a graduate student working on ontogentic color change in damselfishes at UC Berkeley.

    yes, people actually DO have lives outside of your own mind, Jason, and sometimes they actually do have varied experiences.

    now, and probably not for the last time, I suggest you try to get a real life.

  10. #10 Ichthyic
    October 30, 2007

    Ichthy, was that before or after you were the CEO of Microsoft?

    it was before you decided you had half a brain in your head, if that helps.

  11. #11 Ichthyic
    October 31, 2007

    btw, Jason, I forgot to add that before I was an IT manager, but after the shark biology gig, I helped build websites for rockstars in Flash.

    worked on the first major promo sites for NSYNC, Divine, the Back Street Boys (fan club site), Rod Stewart…

    just more fodder for your head to wrap itself around.

  12. #12 Ichthyic
    October 31, 2007

    If the wishes of the objector can be accommodated without an undue burden on the employer, the customers or the other employees, why not do that?

    it’s that “undue burden” part you need to flesh out.

    put yourself in the employer’s shoes. I know it’s difficult for you to imagine things outside of your own head, but try at least.

  13. #13 Ichthyic
    October 31, 2007

    Consider a plastic card,

    consider the internet, where tens of thousands are already ordering prescriptions from Canada using a plastic (credit) card.

    yes, the neighborhood pharmacist is likely to become obsolete.

    not sure that’s a good thing, though, since they often represent the last “check” on incorrect prescriptions, drug interactions, etc.

    let alone the fact that, hell, I like my neighborhood pharmacist.

  14. #14 Matt Penfold
    October 31, 2007

    Ichthyic,

    Not only are pharmacists a check against incorrect prescribing they are, in the UK at least, a useful resource for getting help for minor ailments which helps relieve GPs of some of their workload.

  15. #15 Stephen Wells
    October 31, 2007

    If it helps to make Jason’s little head explode, I can testify that I have encountered Ichthyic on other forums, and he does indeed know his stuff, sharkwise. Also I personally know two scientists (one physicist, one biochemist) who’ve since transitioned into business IT for banks.

  16. #16 Ichthyic
    October 31, 2007

    Not only are pharmacists a check against incorrect prescribing they are, in the UK at least, a useful resource for getting help for minor ailments which helps relieve GPs of some of their workload.

    oh yes, that’s one of the reasons I’ve gotten fond of my local pharmacist.

    recent cuts in funding have reduced his staff levels by 50%, which I fear is an ongoing trend here in the states.

    It will end badly, IMO.

  17. #17 Ichthyic
    October 31, 2007

    If you want to adopt a sneering tone of superiority, Jason, it’s always a good idea to make certain first that you’re not talking out your arse.

    but then he’d never say anything.

    oh, wait…

  18. #18 Ichthyic
    November 2, 2007

    I said, a while back:

    We WILL have to fight to keep the internet open, have no doubt about that.

    and Jason the ever superficially informed responded:

    Er, no thank you. I believe I will have doubt about that. Very, very, very strong doubt, in fact.

    not that I think Jason is trolling this thread anymore…

    but just in case, this just popped up in the major tech news for today (again, not that I think Jason ever bothers to keep track of the things he tries to expound on):

    http://www.news.com/Thanks-to-BitTorrrent,-Net-neutrality-debate-reignites/2100-1034_3-6216750.html

    he controversial issue of Net neutrality is surfacing again amid allegations that phone companies and cable operators are throttling BitTorrent traffic and perhaps even censoring politically charged language.

    seriously, this is an issue happening as I write this, and those interested in the issue of net neutrality (or who think they might be) should take a bit of time to familiarize, before the issue is decided for us all by the big telecom cos., and we end up with an internet that starts to look more and more like cable news.

    now, don’t think this has to do with just “file sharing” issues, and only applies to “pirates”, otherwise one could make the same conclusion about the illegal wiretapping by the current administration.

    It’s about control of a currently open and (relatively) uncontrolled medium.

  19. #19 Ichthyic
    November 2, 2007

    For those who have managed to avoid that sordid story, Hans Kung is a famed liberal Catholic theologian/philosopher. Back in the 70′s (I believe), young Ratzi was unable to find a job – his brand of conservatism wasn’t in style. The generous Hans hooked him up with an academic position which allowed the young Ratzi to flourish.

    hmm, reminds me of what Marks tried to do for Dembski back at Baylor with the “informatics lab”.

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