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characters The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values

New York Times bestselling author Sam Harriss first book The End of Faith ignited a worldwide debate about the validity of religion In the aftermath Harris discovered that most peoplefrom religious fundamentalists to non believing scientistsagree on one point science has nothing to say on the subject of human values Indeed our failure to address uestions of meaning and morality through science has now become. In a word where all cultures should be respected and who are we to judge Harris cuts through the ethereal nonsense and gets to the root of morality with the use of reason and science I learned a lot from this one

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The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values

Of religion into the sphere of human values can be finally repelled for just as there is no such thing as Christian physics or Muslim algebra there can be no Christian or Muslim morality Using his expertise in philosophy and neuroscience along with his experience on the front lines of our culture wars Harris delivers a game changing book about the future of science and about the real basis of human cooperati. This book is well written However Harris makes the same mistake as Dawkins does when arguing against Christianity He takes extreme Christian views and then knocks them down I could just as easily do this with extreme atheist views Christianity is based on Jesus Christ and the four gospels I would like to see the talented Sam Harris engage with these

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The primary justification for religious faithIn this highly controversial book Sam Harris seeks to link morality to the rest of human knowledge Defining morality in terms of human and animal well being Harris argues that science can do than tell how we are; it can in principle tell us how we ought to be In his view moral relativism is simply falseand comes at an increasing cost to humanity And the intrusions. A couple of points I felt obliged to highlight just in case anyone from the field of ethics was wondering whetger they needed to read this Harris takes on the Humian division of fact values claiming to show that there is no such gulf Then as I read it he explains as we would all agree that things being better rather than worse broadly in the sense of the amount of overall suffering though he words it often as general well being is the only rational choice then there s really no problem and we can on with taking a rational scientific approach to bfringing that about There s something attractive about this at a glance Think of Jean Bourdian s perfectly rationanal donkey euidistant between two bales of hay starving to death because it cannot decide which way to turn it lacks a rational basis Sam Harris makes the point that if one direction is appreciably better of course rational animals will always turn that way The analogy is mine don t buy this book to read about donkeys However that s not the issue That a world of less suffering and better outcomes is the obvious he s clearly striving to be perfectly rational and unbiased ought come to say a little about his moral system The better world with and higher peaks on the moral landscape not nieve utopian world of perfect morality just the best we can do is not uncontroversial Nothing is said though I ll concede I didn t force myself to read every page so perhaps I ve just missed this on the clash between intrinsically immoral and conseuentially immoral He comes out on the latter side but I m not sure if he was trying to leave some scope for both or if he d just not thought about it Or maybe he just doesn t think there s any grounds for non conseuentialist ethicsFor the general reader it s alright could be better structured I certainly didn t find it arduous reading but not everybody would find it light reading partly because it is a little frenetic in it s lay out Though there s subdivisions and section headings and chapters just the points are a bit all over the place It s certainly not some mad steam of consciousness Just a little fragmentaryApologies for any typos muspellungs writing this on the Kindle


10 thoughts on “The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values

  1. says:

    Harris has discovered a new religion science! For Harris science can answer ALL questions. Except it can't. The scientific method, which Harris mentions once but worships at its alter, is a tool of discovery ie descriptive not prescriptive. Harris doesn't understand that. Nowhere in the book does Harris offer any details or methodology by which the scientific method can be used to answer such questions as "What is goo

  2. says:

    The pursuit of “well being” holds, but Sam’s dogmatic prejudice against religion is a disservice to his otherwise rational and p

  3. says:

    In a word where "all cultures should be respected" and "who are we to judge", Harris cuts through the ethereal nonsense and gets to the root of

  4. says:

    Sam Harris once again writes a great book. This work was easily accessible and simple to understand. It can arguably be con

  5. says:

    I just wanted to say that this book was a pretty solid read. I feel as though a lot of the reviewers that didn't like the book were expecting something else. In part, that's Harris' fault for titling the book so

  6. says:

    A couple of points I felt obliged to highlight just in case anyone from the field of ethics was wondering whetger they needed to read this. Harris takes on the Humian division of fact / values claiming to show that there is no such gulf. Then, as I read it, he explains; as we would all agree that things being better rather than wors

  7. says:

    I remember arguing about the truth of moral principles in my first year of a philosophy degree and being left floundering. S

  8. says:

    A very interesting and timely book. Like all great ideas this one is not without its controversy. It's interesting to note that fifty years ago

  9. says:

    This book is well written. However Harris makes the same mistake as Dawkins does when arguing against Christian

  10. says:

    A well structured and reasoned argument for the integration of scientific insight into truths about human well being. Unfortunately did not proceed further to address some of the research undertaken and it’s implication. A focus on that would have provided the book with utility