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Author Topic:   Scientific Morality? - (The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris)
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 1323 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 1 of 34 (664582)
06-01-2012 3:08 PM


I just finished reading Sam Harris' book, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values.

I consider Harris to be the most progressive (not in the political sense) of the so-called New Atheists and this book has reinforced my opinion on that matter. In it, Harris dismantles the framework that seems to be the cause of so many absolute versus relative morality debates. There is another way to think about morality that is distinct from the former dichotomy and has the potential to give us a common language for talking about morality. Harris presents a notion of a moral landscape, a conceptual space that has peaks and valleys that correspond to higher and lower states of well-being for people. Morality consists of the actions and behaviors we take that allow us to move away from valleys and toward peaks. Moreover, because well-being relies upon facts about the universe, science can be used as a tool to help us navigate inside this landscape.

I transcribed a few sections of the book because I think Harris describes it well. Emphasis is mine.

Sam Harris writes:


Even if each conscious being has a unique nadir on the moral landscape, we can still conceive of a state of the universe in which everyone suffers as much as he or she (or it) possibly can. If you think we cannot say this would be "bad," then I don't know what you could mean by the word "bad" (and I don't think you know what you mean by it either). Once we conceive of "the worst possible misery for everyone," then we can talk about taking incremental steps toward this abyss: What could it mean for life on earth to get worse for all human beings simultaneously? ... All we need imagine is a scenario in which everyone loses a little, or a lot, without there being compensatory gains (i.e. no one learns any important lessons, no one profits from others' losses, etc). It seems uncontroversial to say that a change that leaves everyone worse off, by any rational standard, can be reasonably called "bad," if this word is to have any meaning at all.

We simply must stand somewhere. I am arguing that, in the moral sphere, it is safe to begin with the premise that it is good to avoid behaving in such a way as to produce the worst possible misery for everyone. I am not claiming that most of us personally care about the experience of all conscious beings; I am saying that a universe in which all conscious beings suffer the worst possible misery is worse than a universe in which they experience well-being. This is all we need to speak about the "moral truth" in the context of science. Once we admit that the extremes of absolute misery and absolute flourishing are different and dependent on facts about the universe, then we have admitted that there are right and wrong answers to questions of morality.

The concept that Harris refactored in my mind was the notion that morality must be independently prescriptive and/or founded on some kind of deep philosophical principles, standards that we do not hold to other useful pursuits. He makes a compelling analogy to physical health that prompted me to read the book in the first place after hearing him make the same argument in a video I saw.

The video is well worth watching:

Here is also a debate between Harris and William Lane Craig on this very topic. What is very interesting is how Harris fields challenges. Very well worth watching in full.

But if you don't have the time, some relevant quotations from the book are here:

Sam Harris writes:

However, many people will continue to insist that we cannot speak about moral truth, or anchor morality to a deeper concern for well-being, because concepts like "morality" and "well-being" must be defined with reference to specific goals and other criteria -- and nothing that prevents people from disagreeing about these definitions.
...

The definition of "life" remains, to this day, difficult to pin down. Does this mean we can't study life scientifically? No. The science of biology thrives despite such ambiguities. Again, the concept of "health" is looser still: it, too, must be defined with reference to specific goals -- not suffering chronic pain, not always vomiting, etc. -- and these goals are continually changing. Our notion of "health" may one day be defined by goals that we cannot currently entertain with a straight face (like the goal of spontaneously regenerating a lost limb). Does this mean that we can't study health scientifically?

I wonder if there is anyone on earth who would be tempted to attack the philosophical underpinnings of medicine with questions like: "What about all the people who don't share your goal of avoiding disease and early death? Who is to say that living a long life free of pain and debilitating illness is 'healthy'? What makes you think that you could convince a person suffering from fatal gangrene that he is not as healthy as you are?" And yet these are precisely the kinds of objections I face when I speak about morality in terms of human and animal well-being.

Science cannot tell us why, scientifically, we should value health. But once we admit that health is the proper concern of medicine, we can then study and promote it through science. Medicine can resolve specific questions about human health -- and it can do this even while the very definition of "health" continues to change. Indeed, the science of medicine can make marvelous progress without knowing how much its own progress will alter our conception of health in the future.

I think our concern for well-being is even less in need of justification than our concern for health is -- as health is merely one of its many facets. And once we begin thinking seriously about human well-being, we will find that science can resolve specific questions about morality and human values, even while our conception of "well-being" evolves.

It is essential to see that the demand for radical justification leveled by the moral skeptic could not be met by any branch of science. Science is defined with reference to the goal of understanding the processes at work in the universe. Can we justify this goal scientifically? Of course not. Does this make science itself unscientific? If so, we appear to have pulled ourselves down by our bootstraps.

That last part is particularly important to me because I always struggled with some of those thought problems that people pose. Harris' mentions some of them such as, if you could switch a track so a runaway train to save or kill certain people in certain circumstances. The notion that we don't NEED to have a morality that answers ALL of these questions in order to have it properly grounded in reality is my big takeaway from Harris.

Harris also talks about how we might justify an active morality in this way.

Sam Harris writes:

The moment we admit that consciousness is the context in which any discussion of values makes sense, we must admit that there are facts to be known about how the experience of conscious creatures can change. Human and animal well-being are natural phenomena. As such, they can be studied, in principle, with the tools of science and spoken about with greater or lesser precision.
...
The fact that it could be difficult or impossible to know exactly how to maximize human well-being does not mean that there are no right or wrong ways to do this -- nor does it mean that we cannot exclude certain answers as obviously bad.
...
The difficulty of getting precise answers to certain moral questions does not mean that we must hesitate to condemn the morality of the Taliban -- not just personally, but from the point of view of science. The moment we admit that we know anything about human well-being scientifically, we must admit that certain individuals or cultures can be absolutely wrong about it.

I would go further than I think he does to say that I believe this is what we already do. Even people who believe in a divine absolute morality will respond in ways that suggest they unintentionally respect this principle in areas not clouded by their religion. For example, I know many Christians who would likely reject Harris' accounting of their moral frame of reference while also fiercely advocating for the rights of a child to an education on the basis that it improves the well-being of society as a whole.


So what do you all think? Has anyone else come across this idea before? Can we have a science infused morality?

I think the appropriate place for this would be in the Is it Science? forum.


BUT if objects for gratitude and admiration are our desire, do they not present themselves every hour to our eyes? Do we not see a fair creation prepared to receive us the instant we are born --a world furnished to our hands, that cost us nothing? Is it we that light up the sun; that pour down the rain; and fill the earth with abundance? Whether we sleep or wake, the vast machinery of the universe still goes on. Are these things, and the blessings they indicate in future, nothing to, us? Can our gross feelings be excited by no other subjects than tragedy and suicide? Or is the gloomy pride of man become so intolerable, that nothing can flatter it but a sacrifice of the Creator? --Thomas Paine

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 Message 22 by Stile, posted 10-26-2012 11:54 AM Jazzns has responded

  
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Message 2 of 34 (664584)
06-02-2012 9:15 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Scientific Morality? - (The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris) thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Kairyu
Member (Idle past 1035 days)
Posts: 162
From: netherlands
Joined: 06-23-2010


Message 3 of 34 (664586)
06-02-2012 10:33 AM


I also recently read a very short book written by Harris, concerning free will, or rather, our lack of it. And I must say I feel inclined to agree with him. Radically progressive indeed, since it turns morality on it's head.
  
Dr Adequate
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Posts: 15929
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(1)
Message 4 of 34 (664587)
06-02-2012 11:13 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jazzns
06-01-2012 3:08 PM


I read the book. Unfortunately I got it from the library, so I don't have a copy to hand.

He makes a good case. Nonetheless:

Sam Harris writes:

Even if each conscious being has a unique nadir on the moral landscape, we can still conceive of a state of the universe in which everyone suffers as much as he or she (or it) possibly can. If you think we cannot say this would be "bad," then I don't know what you could mean by the word "bad" (and I don't think you know what you mean by it either).

... if we found someone somewhere who would not admit that such a state of affairs would be bad, we would not be able to convince him otherwise with objective evidence as we might convince someone who denied that the sun is hot.

Also, if it is a fact that everyone concurs in this moral judgement, then this holds out little hope that they're going to concur in other moral judgements, because in fact they will not.

Now, to some extent Sam Harris deals with this diversity of opinion: he points out that many of our varying moral judgements are equally utilitarian in spirit, and are based on differences of opinion about fact. If someone will burn in hell for having the sort of sex they enjoy, then they shouldn't --- which is a consideration of well-being just like the proposition that if there isn't a hell he should get on with it and good luck to him. Science, by telling us that there is no afterlife of any sort, helps us to find out which advice to follow.

But there are other problems. What is well-being? Is it to be measured only in endorphins? Most people would stipulate other conditions as desirable, such as liberty, dignity, sanity, and so forth. Doubtless a heroin addict with a lifetime's supply of heroin would be happier than me on a continuous basis, but I wouldn't trade places with him, nor with a madman whose delusions made him happy. These are extreme cases, but then there are the gray areas. If a social system took away liberty in order to promote prosperity and happiness, would that be OK? How about depriving people of truth in order to promote contentment, as Plato would have done in his ideal Republic, deliberately inculcating a myth into his citizens for the sake of social stability?

Now, how do we make these sorts of value judgements, when the sorts of things that people want, and that we want for people, cannot be represented on a single scale?

Then again, there's the old problem of summing utilities. Would it be worth sacrificing one human life to cure a million people of a mild headache? No? How about dropping a brick on his foot? Or suppose that you could make everyone in the world but one as happy as they could possibly be --- at the cost of consigning that one person to the nadir of misery? OK then, what if it was a different person each day, selected by lot?

Now our ability to reach consensus on whether it would be bad if everyone was as miserable as possible doesn't mean that we have, or even that we might in principle develop, some way of answering more subtle and difficult moral questions.

Well, those are just some disjointed thoughts at random. I should really take another look at the book.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3500
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


(1)
Message 5 of 34 (664598)
06-02-2012 2:23 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jazzns
06-01-2012 3:08 PM


Anyone who thinks nuclear first strikes on Islamic nations are a rational and moral thing to do has no business telling anyone about morals, ditto anyone who thinks torture is justifiable. Harris fails both tests thus I give not the slightest shit about what he has to say on the matter. Backing Geert Wilder is just another example of his lack of judgement.
This message is a reply to:
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Kairyu
Member (Idle past 1035 days)
Posts: 162
From: netherlands
Joined: 06-23-2010


Message 6 of 34 (664605)
06-02-2012 5:34 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Dr Jack
06-02-2012 2:23 PM


About that, I recently read on wiki that talk about nuclear strikes was partially quotmined. He would not like it to occur, although he's still somewhat radical about it being ''the only option''. In context that would mean to prevent a Muslim country from striking first, if I'm getting my information right, but I need to read the book.

Supporting geerd wilders though.. I'm Dutch, I'm tormented with his antics in the news every few days or so. Supporting populism isn't exactly rational in his own logic(as far as I know his position on it), so it just seems he let's his dislike of Islam cloud proper detached judgement.


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Panda
Member (Idle past 1124 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 7 of 34 (664617)
06-03-2012 5:07 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Dr Jack
06-02-2012 2:23 PM


Here's Sam Harris' rebuttal regarding first strikes and torture:
http://www.samharris.org/...ll_text/response-to-controversy2

Some (hopefully) salient quotes:

Sam Harris writes:

While I think that torture should remain illegal, it is not clear that having a torture provision in our laws would create as slippery a slope as many people imagine.
...
It seems probable, however, that any legal use of torture would have unacceptable consequences.


It seems he is anti-torture because it is counter-productive, but not because it breaches human rights.

And as Kairyu said, Harris advocating nuclear first strikes on islamic countries is just a quote mine.
(You can read the relevant passage in the link above.)

Edited by Panda, : No reason given.


CRYSTALS!!

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Tangle
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Posts: 4642
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Message 8 of 34 (664619)
06-03-2012 6:23 AM


Harris has been discussing this for some time. For those who haven't seen it, here he is presenting his ideas on it at TED.

http://www.ted.com/...ris_science_can_show_what_s_right.html

I think it's all jolly interesting - particularly the harder neuroscience stuff.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 1323 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 9 of 34 (664623)
06-03-2012 10:28 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Dr Adequate
06-02-2012 11:13 AM


But there are other problems. What is well-being? Is it to be measured only in endorphins? Most people would stipulate other conditions as desirable, such as liberty, dignity, sanity, and so forth. Doubtless a heroin addict with a lifetime's supply of heroin would be happier than me on a continuous basis, but I wouldn't trade places with him, nor with a madman whose delusions made him happy. These are extreme cases, but then there are the gray areas. If a social system took away liberty in order to promote prosperity and happiness, would that be OK? How about depriving people of truth in order to promote contentment, as Plato would have done in his ideal Republic, deliberately inculcating a myth into his citizens for the sake of social stability?

I think the important point that I took away was that the existence of the gray areas doesn't change that there many things we can know. Harris also took certain pains to make sure the reader understood that even if there are questions we cannot currently answer, that does not mean no answer exists similar to paradoxes in science/math.

Then again, there's the old problem of summing utilities. Would it be worth sacrificing one human life to cure a million people of a mild headache? No? How about dropping a brick on his foot? Or suppose that you could make everyone in the world but one as happy as they could possibly be --- at the cost of consigning that one person to the nadir of misery? OK then, what if it was a different person each day, selected by lot?

Harris does discuss this in the book but for life of me I can't remember it. It must not have left that big of an impression on me.

I don't think there is one single metric of morality similar to how there is not one metric of health.

In some senses though, don't we already accept some real situations like this? I am personally a staunch advocate of vaccination policy when simply by bad luck will cause certain children misery who are allergic to them.

The main point I think is that while my feelings on this seem rational, justified, and moral; science cannot currently tell me why because we currently have no science of morality. In many cases Harris does in fact seem to punt. He is advocating for a science of morality in recognition of its current absence.

Well, those are just some disjointed thoughts at random. I should really take another look at the book.

I think I will also have to read it again to remember some of these finer points that you brought up. But its due back at the library and I'll probably just go buy it once I can get around to it.


BUT if objects for gratitude and admiration are our desire, do they not present themselves every hour to our eyes? Do we not see a fair creation prepared to receive us the instant we are born --a world furnished to our hands, that cost us nothing? Is it we that light up the sun; that pour down the rain; and fill the earth with abundance? Whether we sleep or wake, the vast machinery of the universe still goes on. Are these things, and the blessings they indicate in future, nothing to, us? Can our gross feelings be excited by no other subjects than tragedy and suicide? Or is the gloomy pride of man become so intolerable, that nothing can flatter it but a sacrifice of the Creator? --Thomas Paine

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-02-2012 11:13 AM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-03-2012 1:45 PM Jazzns has responded

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 1323 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 10 of 34 (664624)
06-03-2012 10:36 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Dr Jack
06-02-2012 2:23 PM


Harris is criticized quite a bit for a lot of things some of which are true and others not.

For the purposes of this discussion, those things do not address the idea at all. Harris could be a notorious drug lord and that wouldn't change the value of the ideas.

I don't revere Sam Harris because I have made a change in my life that doesn't put anyone on a pedestal for their own sake. The only reason he needs to be mentioned at all in this discussion is because he seems to be the originator of the idea.

So if you have something to say about the idea, please join us. If you are only interested in attacking the person with claims of his own personal failings (which others seem to have questioned) then please do that in a different place.

Edited by Jazzns, : No reason given.


BUT if objects for gratitude and admiration are our desire, do they not present themselves every hour to our eyes? Do we not see a fair creation prepared to receive us the instant we are born --a world furnished to our hands, that cost us nothing? Is it we that light up the sun; that pour down the rain; and fill the earth with abundance? Whether we sleep or wake, the vast machinery of the universe still goes on. Are these things, and the blessings they indicate in future, nothing to, us? Can our gross feelings be excited by no other subjects than tragedy and suicide? Or is the gloomy pride of man become so intolerable, that nothing can flatter it but a sacrifice of the Creator? --Thomas Paine

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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 Message 15 by Dr Jack, posted 06-03-2012 8:52 PM Jazzns has responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15929
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 11 of 34 (664630)
06-03-2012 1:45 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Jazzns
06-03-2012 10:28 AM


I think the important point that I took away was that the existence of the gray areas doesn't change that there many things we can know. Harris also took certain pains to make sure the reader understood that even if there are questions we cannot currently answer, that does not mean no answer exists similar to paradoxes in science/math.

Well, but it may well mean that. If his demonstration that for some questions there is a definite moral truth is based on the fact that we can all agree on the answers, then given that we cannot agree on other answers to other questions it looks like there is no definite truth.

If he had some other reason for asserting the existence of such truths, that would be a different matter. But when his basis for doing so is that we all agree, then aren't we obliged to conclude that where there is no such agreement there are no such truths?

In some senses though, don't we already accept some real situations like this? I am personally a staunch advocate of vaccination policy when simply by bad luck will cause certain children misery who are allergic to them.

For some values of "we", yes.

My point is not that utilitarianism is wrong because some people will make such decisions; it is that utilitarianism is indefinite because other utilitarians would make other decisions. Once we have decided that suffering is bad, there remain a lot of open questions, among which the ones I have raised are the most problematic. Would it be better to increase the total of suffering if by doing so one could share it out more fairly, reducing the number of people at the extremes of suffering and of well-being, or would it be better to do the exact opposite? And when we start thinking about particular cases, we find that we are looking at a big gray area. I guess we can all agree with Sam Harris that it would be good to increase the well-being of everyone, but in more complicated cases we have to start making value judgements --- judgements such that even complete knowledge of the facts, and a quantified linear scale of suffering thrown into the bargain, would not allow us to resolve with an easy conscience that we had made the right decision.


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Jazzns
Member (Idle past 1323 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 12 of 34 (664631)
06-03-2012 2:21 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Dr Adequate
06-03-2012 1:45 PM


Science as a toolkit
Well, but it may well mean that. If his demonstration that for some questions there is a definite moral truth is based on the fact that we can all agree on the answers, then given that we cannot agree on other answers to other questions it looks like there is no definite truth.

Right. I think he even says as much although I can't seem to find the exact quote. The search for "definite truth" is a distraction. There are many important moral truths (in the real scientific meaning of the word "truth") that are sufficient to help us ascend peaks on the moral landscape in a practical manner. We don't need to know the definitive answer to the moral question of these various population paradoxes to know that throwing acid in the face of Afgan girls for the "crime" of getting an education is in fact immoral from the perspective of the moral landscape. Just like in science, some questions will be answered to sufficient degrees while others may remain intractable forever.

If he had some other reason for asserting the existence of such truths, that would be a different matter. But when his basis for doing so is that we all agree, then aren't we obliged to conclude that where there is no such agreement there are no such truths?

I don't know when you read it but I think you may be mischaracterizing his argument. I think I even recall him saying that it is clear that a science of morality may discover "moral truths" that are not popularly accepted in the exact same way that some other scientific truths (evolution, global warming, etc) are not popularly accepted.

I don't think he mentioned it but I can imagine the topic of euthanasia fits that category just fine. It seems to me that forcing people to live through horrifying and painful terminal illness against their will is not promoting well-being and yet the popular opinion is that it should be illegal.

I guess we can all agree with Sam Harris that it would be good to increase the well-being of everyone, but in more complicated cases we have to start making value judgements --- judgements such that even complete knowledge of the facts, and a quantified linear scale of suffering thrown into the bargain, would not allow us to resolve with an easy conscience that we had made the right decision.

Sure. But I think there is something to be said about being confronted with those situations WITH complete knowledge of the facts rather than without. The science of morality, like other science, is a toolkit not a prescription. THAT to me is what is profound about this idea.

This is ESPECIALLY true when it comes to issues that contain ambiguity. Our strategies for dealing with complicated, ambiguous, or nuanced situations are really bad. Often times we don't even go with what is popular! All you have to do is take a look at the wretched state of the worlds financial systems to see evidence of that. Science is well equipped to deal with ambiguity or at the very least, it is the best of our intellectual tools we have created thus far.


BUT if objects for gratitude and admiration are our desire, do they not present themselves every hour to our eyes? Do we not see a fair creation prepared to receive us the instant we are born --a world furnished to our hands, that cost us nothing? Is it we that light up the sun; that pour down the rain; and fill the earth with abundance? Whether we sleep or wake, the vast machinery of the universe still goes on. Are these things, and the blessings they indicate in future, nothing to, us? Can our gross feelings be excited by no other subjects than tragedy and suicide? Or is the gloomy pride of man become so intolerable, that nothing can flatter it but a sacrifice of the Creator? --Thomas Paine

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 Message 11 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-03-2012 1:45 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
marc9000
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Posts: 858
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 13 of 34 (664632)
06-03-2012 3:44 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Jazzns
06-03-2012 10:36 AM


I don't revere Sam Harris because I have made a change in my life that doesn't put anyone on a pedestal for their own sake. The only reason he needs to be mentioned at all in this discussion is because he seems to be the originator of the idea.

He's not the originator - this kind of thinking has been going on since Darwin's time, even before Darwin's time. It has only....evolved. It was 1959 (I think) when Julian Huxley wrote these words;

quote:
The concept of evolution was soon extended into other than biological fields. Inorganic subjects such as the life-history of stars and the formation of the chemical elements on the one hand, and on the other hand subjects like linguistics, social anthropology, and comparative law and religion, began to be studied from an evolutionary angle, until today we are enabled to see evolution as a universal and all-pervading process.

Today it's called "Sociobiology".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociobiology

Or, it can be called "New Atheism".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Atheism

As it says, Sam Harris is one of the "four horsemen". Little doubt he would like sociobiology/new atheism to be taught as fact in science classes in the U.S. He'll probably have a long wait for that.


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Jazzns
Member (Idle past 1323 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


(1)
Message 14 of 34 (664634)
06-03-2012 4:08 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by marc9000
06-03-2012 3:44 PM


I don't think you are accurately describing the moral landscape idea at all. Did you read it or see either of the videos?

In fact, Harris' specifically notes that proper scientifically discovered "moral truth" may or even should transcend our evolved tendencies.

The example he uses in the book is the well studied notion that people's moral outrage does not scale when it logically should. People tend to react equivalently to various disasters that causing human suffering regardless of the scale of the suffering. Charities know this and appeal to our in-group tendencies which focus on personal stories/faces/anecdotes.

If we were to stick to sociobiology as a framework for morality, we might identify this behavior as "good" while according to the moral landscape, the inability of our altruism to scale is in fact "bad".

So-call "New atheism" is also not a moral framework. It is also neither new nor do all the people who are put in that category happy with the term "atheist".


(harris starts 4 mins in)

I appreciate your engagement but please understand the concept of the moral landscape before dismissing it as things that it is not.

Edited by Jazzns, : fixing youtube link


BUT if objects for gratitude and admiration are our desire, do they not present themselves every hour to our eyes? Do we not see a fair creation prepared to receive us the instant we are born --a world furnished to our hands, that cost us nothing? Is it we that light up the sun; that pour down the rain; and fill the earth with abundance? Whether we sleep or wake, the vast machinery of the universe still goes on. Are these things, and the blessings they indicate in future, nothing to, us? Can our gross feelings be excited by no other subjects than tragedy and suicide? Or is the gloomy pride of man become so intolerable, that nothing can flatter it but a sacrifice of the Creator? --Thomas Paine

This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by marc9000, posted 06-03-2012 3:44 PM marc9000 has not yet responded

  
Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3500
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 15 of 34 (664645)
06-03-2012 8:52 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Jazzns
06-03-2012 10:36 AM


When Harris is making claims about moral systems his moral viewpoints are not irrelevant personal attacks.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Jazzns, posted 06-03-2012 10:36 AM Jazzns has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by Panda, posted 06-03-2012 9:33 PM Dr Jack has responded
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