The most recent episode of Fate/zero presents a most interesting scenario. On the island on which Kiritsugu grew up, the townspeople, led by a Catholic father, are suspicious of the boy’s father, who is a mage. He is creating flowers which grow to a certain age and never wilt, and at first, we think that through his trials, he will perfect a way to help people.
The father takes aside the mage’s assistant (who happens to be Kiritsugu’s boyhood crush) and advises her to stay away, less she be possessed by demons. The comparison seems clear – the advancement of humanity, in the form of magic (which in this case is analogous to science) is being halted by backward religion. Superstitious morals are getting in the way of progress and, well, compassion.
Of course, the rest of the episodes goes a different route and validates the villagers’ concerns. Also, science/magic = vampires and uncompromising search for the root.
But returning to the beginning of the episode, I was reminded of stem cell research and the worries of many religious folk concerning the destruction of embryos.
I wonder what you readers think about this divisive issue.
At what point does morality need to be taken in account in regards to science? What role should religion play in the direction a country takes in regard to “morally problematic” scientific research and development?