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Banning science because of racist origins

I was looking for 'the best atlas of human anatomy', and I found that one of the top books ever written in medicine is the 'Atlas of Topographical and Applied Human Anatomy' by Eduard Pernkopf is no longer available in the market. BANNED :-(

Yes he was wrong and unethical when he used the bodies of more than 800 victim of the nazi terror, spending two decades in dissecting corpses and letting a team of artists draw. But that finished. It is done. What is left is the science and knowledge he discovered.

Do you think that banning the knowledge in this book from the public is the right decision?

Shouldn't we take the knowledge discovered a step further and discover new facts in an ethical way?

Should other books be banned because of their history or background?

Is banning scientific books like this better than banning the books, websites, video's...etc that tell the history of the terror of the Nazis? (there are thousands online and in different languages)

Are we being ethical by banning historic achievements? ( we don't have to promote them, only present and make them available)

Isn't it more ethical to stop the wars that WE CREATE all around the world? (dead people are burnt, burried, 'thrown in the sea (political rumour) .....etc

To all of those who participated in this debate: Thank you very much!!

Some members deleted their comments, so I did the same.
However, I have copied the full conversation to an MS Word document (42 comments)
I may also delete the whole conversation before it gets closed (unless you ask me not to do that)

Again, Thank you for your participation! I appreciate your ideas and thoughts

Critical thinker AND PROUD :P


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    Nov 24 2011: Ye sI believe this material should be banned simply for the way in which it was obtained. I am all in favour of free speech ,and free ideas. But I`m sure with the knowledge obtained about human anatomy over even just the past few years would not be nessessary to have this book sitting on library shelves. It is an Insult to the people whose lives were forfieted in the obtaining of this knowledge and the manner in which a lot of it was done. Some might argue that child porn is educational and should be permitted to be viewed by all and anyone.But you forget there is a human suffering side to this kind of thinking. Perhaps the most horrific of our present times. Should these people be allowed to publish and display this type of material and suggest that it holds some sort of educational value or that it is an expression of ones freedom of thought and the writing word or for art. Pls give me a break . Sometimes a line must be drawn in the sand especially where human suffering and degredation is involved and where the only out come for the reader or viewer is either revultion or perhaps sedistic pleasure.
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      Nov 24 2011: I think you may be missing one of the crucial differences here. Society in general rejects things like child pornography, but we don't unilaterally reject anatomy textbooks. I think we are rational enough to see the difference. Yes, atrocities were committed in both cases, but the presentation and intended use is quite different. The larger point here is that an organization or government is deciding to ban certain things and not others. In my view, when we start limiting freedoms, it can become a slippery slope. What would come next, banning documentaries on the holocaust? Burning books? That's not what a civilized society does. We can't turn away from atrocities or ignore history; we have to do our best to learn from them, so that future ones can be prevented. Banning this book isn't going to retroactively prevent the holocaust, nor will it incite people to follow the practices of the writer, but it could help people become interested in the medical sciences and go on to save lives. What better way to pay tribute to those who suffered than to use this text to do good?
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        Nov 28 2011: No I think I am not missing the point precisely because. If society were given the facts about the ehtics and origin of this book it would indeed reject it just as it would reject child pornography.since there is plenty of other material tfy the interests of anyone whishing to study anatomy then what is the real use of such a book. It seems to stand for the author of this thread as some sort of symbol of ethics,that while we would ban this book we would not ban something else. He would have it published because something else of equally offensive material sees the light of day. I would simly say that two`` wrongs` do not make a ` right`.
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        Nov 28 2011: Is it simply because it is a book that you object to its banning or the intelectual content Somethings are just to offensive for proper civil society. Just as if you were sitting in a resturant and I bent over infront of you to wipe my A___ .would i`m sure cause you offence even to the point of having me banned from the resturant in the future. Even though some might say I was just using my free will to do as I pleased. However there are certain habits that we have laws against and public exposure and nasty practices that we do behind closed doors need to stay behind closed doors.As a society we generally agree. Therefore I believe the publishing of this book to sit on public library shelves for all to see is one of those liitle things in life which benefit no one except to use as a poor argument for free speech and freedom of thought. Why do we allow wars and filth of all kinds to flow into our lives and not certain other things I don`t know. Who knows maybe wiping my a___ in front of you may bring about some positive change, there may even be some intrinsic value in doing a stury of such practices , but so far it is not allowed as far as I know. for obvious reasons we take for granted.

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