29 10 11 - 08:44
"Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act." - Albert Einstein
Scientists should be careful outside of science. It's a rare person that can balance both science and the less reactive thoughts need for politics or philosophy in one head. Einstein couldn't; every single statement I've seen from him is positive demagoguery to be sure, but ineffective as policy.
The statement above is no exception. It's pure manipulation. If you are privileged -- hey, I'd like to be privileged; that makes me feel powerful, smart, rich and beautiful -- then you have a "duty" to "act," neither of which are defined, but we assume the popular meaning e.g. give $5 to the homeless and spend $95 on yourself. Whatever you do, DO NOT design a better world so the homeless are handled in a better fashion.
Sometimes the best duty is to oneself. Rise above. Let nature handle the rest. You cannot fix the homeless, for example, by giving them $5 -- or $5 trillion. The defect is in them, with a few exceptions who are only temporarily homeless.
If you want to design a better social order, go for it. But basing that order on pity for the weak is a way to be merely a wanker, jerking off with their misfortune for your own feelings of superiority.