"Why are they wasting their potential when they could be curing cancer?" is a false dichotomy. It's the choice between a) understanding the universe or b) curing cancer (or whatever example you choose). Cancer research is not being harmed because of this research whereas if the scientists involved were attempting to cure cancer instead then this research would not be conducted at all. That is an either/or scenario. Clearly people are researching both, ergo your argument, by definition, is a false dichotomy.
Thats not essentially my argument, thats exactly my argument. It's not a false dichotomy because I'm not saying there are ONLY two options.
What about authors? Artists? Poets? All of these brilliant minds wasting their potential when they could be curing cancer. Who would want to live for longer in a world with no desire to understand and appreciate the beauty of life and the universe? Certainly not me.
And how do you know that any answers this research gives us will be of no practical use?If everyone had your attitude then we wouldn't have the modern and advanced society (essential, ironically, to extending and increasing the quality of life). Electricity had no immediate use so we wouldn't have electrical appliances and equipment today. Quantum mechanics had no immediate use so we wouldn't have transistors (which are key to computing) today. Understanding the atom had no immediate use yet without it we wouldn't have chemistry as we know it today (including all of those drugs and treatments vital to extending life). None of the examples I gave were researched with the aim of saving lives and ironically these examples have been absolutely critical for saving lives on a massive scale yet no one foresaw this at the time.
They could work on stuff that would answer questions AND save lives, but they aren't. I feel that it's a waste of time because it will help zero people. And I feel that the worlds smartest people should work on making the world a better place. I don't think they will ever answer anything and they are just running to nowhere on their hamster wheels in the name of science. Thats an opinion, not a fact.
What good will it do the world to know we are in a simulation when we are all dead? I think saving lives is far more important than answering questions that won't have any real effect. I personally feel that people that are as smart as they are have a moral obligation to help the society that educated them and I don't think this helps anyone. That's just like, my opinion, man.