Sam Harris: Science Can Answer Life's Important Questions

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It's often argued that science can provide a lot of insight into the world, but ultimately cannot answer life's most important questions: What is the meaning of life? What is and isn't moral behavior? What is worth killing or dying for? Sam Harris makes a convincing argument otherwise.

Questions of good and evil, right and wrong are commonly thought unanswerable by science. But Sam Harris argues that science can -- and should -- be an authority on moral issues, shaping human values and setting out what constitutes a good life.


Sam Harris Needs More Material
Posted by bonnie on 2010-04-16 18:43:26
Like everyone else, he fails to understand that socialization plays a large role in the values we hold; so, truly, nothing is self evident. I'd recommend the book "The Trial Of Socrates" since it talks about "how can their be truth if the Gods can't stop arguing?"

So I suppose Sam Harris supports intellectual fascism or something.
Posted by Phil23 on 2010-04-22 11:19:02
Wouldn't that be a false dichotomy?
Intellectual fascism? or facing reality?
Posted by econtrerasd on 2010-04-24 22:59:11
Well I belive that rules for regulating a system are already in place and weather those rules where impossed by a regime (think about Roberspierre Terror) or given by a god or deduced through meditation they already provide answers and guidelines for all people who are "ruled" by that specific set of rules.
The out of the box thinking here is that science can provide another set of rules which would "regulate" or model human behavior, of course the devil here would be what would be considered good and evil.. preserving life?, preserving culture?, preserving purity?, and how would the rules regulate?, by punishment.. then if that is the case, how harsh?
Whomever created the previous set of rules be it gods, tribunals, etc.. they all have taken in account this factors and produced a balance. For example radical laws, vs trials.
If some set of guidelines as to where humanity wants to be are set first, and what would be allowed that might be the best chance to use science to create the rules..
re: "If some set of guidelines as to where humanity wants to be"
Posted by bonnie on 2010-05-01 20:27:49
we are creatures of experience; i.e the folks studying travel to mars realized that it wasn't possible to put everything (food, water, etc...) aboard a ship and go there. yes, science gets lucky occasionally but it makes mistakes daily and nobody knows what the final verdict for science will be. i.e. we might concluded that we were stupid for putting our faith in it.
I'm with Bonnie on this
Posted by Ryan on 2010-05-05 16:18:45
To me, morality is simply a conditioned behavior stemming from self preservation and other selfish motives. Humans, being social creatures, are forced to encourage other people's well-being, as we inherently need others to survive. We can give to charity, serve for a nation or sacrifice eating for a god, but we do so for selfish reasons. While I am saying we are entirely selfish in our actions, I'm not saying being so is bad; in fact, it's necessary to human survival for us to tie other people's well being into our own...


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