The assassination of Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the lead scientist for Iran’s nuclear weapons program, has set off a fierce debate over whether his killing was morally justified.
On Saturday, Fakhrizadeh was murdered by a still-unidentified group of assassins near Iran’s capital city of Tehran. He was the principal architect for Iran’s nuclear weapons program, having assumed the role decades ago.
The pro-Tehran crowd has leveraged his standing as a scientist to argue that people like Fakhrizadeh belong to a protected class of individuals, and should not be subject to assassination campaigns. On the other side of the fence, some voices in the anti-Tehran coalition have labeled him a mere “terrorist,” in stripping Fakhrizadeh of his scientific credentials.
The truth is that Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was indeed a scientist, but also, an evil man hell-bent on delivering a genocidal regime the capacity to deploy and use nuclear weapons. Therefore, his assassination was morally justified. The “father of the Iranian bomb,” who holds a nuclear engineering doctorate, was the principal scientist for Iran's nuke project for decades. The nuclear physicist has utilized his talents in order to assist an Islamist supremacist regime’s goal of committing murder and mayhem and expanding its sphere of influence through the eventual deployment of nuclear weapons.
Fakhrizadeh joins a long list of scientists who used their abilities and education in order to conduct evil deeds. While society often perceives scientists as individuals who belong to a higher, unquestionable moral order, sometimes, the opposite is true. Bruno Tesch, a renowned chemist, invented Zyklon B, a weaponized pesticide that was used to commit genocide in gas chambers during the Holocaust. Trofim Lysenko, the famed Soviet biologist, advanced a “scientific” agrarian program resulting in famines that killed millions. Dr. Josef Mengele was one of countless Nazi regime doctors who tortured and murdered his “patients” in the name of science.
There are also scientists who unintentionally subject society to great harm, as evidenced by the thousands and thousands of science-based PhDs who have signed off on inhumane lockdowns and other methods of societal devastation in order to combat a virus with a 99.9% recovery rate. And before any of you accuse of me of linking Dr. Fauci with Mr. Fakhrizadeh, no, I do not support the physical targeting of anyone in the pro-lockdown crowd. The point is that scientists can, and do, intentionally or unintentionally, contribute great harm to society.
Scientists, like any other human being, need to be grounded in a morally sound pursuit of knowledge and human advancement. Both history and our current affairs in 2020 have provided countless examples that scientists can contribute to evil, too. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was a scientist, a very evil scientist.
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