"Letter to a Christian Nation". Faith, if it is ever right about anything, is right by accident.”, “When the pancreas fails to produce insulin, there is no shame in taking synthetic insulin to compensate for its lost function. “The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values”, p.195, Simon and Schuster. is generally a scientific one. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, “Faith, if it is ever right about anything, is right by accident”, “If our well-being depends upon the interaction between events in our brains and events in the world, and there are better and worse ways to secure it, then some cultures will tend to produce lives that are more worth living than others; some political persuasions will be more enlightened than others; and some world views will be mistaken in ways that cause needless human misery.”, “our moral reasoning is plagued by two illusions. But if a person's primary motivation in holding a belief is to hue to a positive state of mind, to mitigate feelings of anxiety, embarrassment, or guilt for instance. This is precisely what we mean by phrases like "wishful thinking", and "self-deception". If he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. It depends on many factors - ranging from genetics and neurobiology to sociology and economics. World Random Economics Morality As an atheist, I am angry that we live in a society in which the plain truth cannot be spoken without offending 90% of the population. In the aftermath, Harris discovered that most people—from religious fundamentalists to non-believing scientists—agree on one point: Science has nothing to say on the subject of human values. The science of morality is about maximizing psychological and social health. October 11, 2010. Such a belief is like thinking that forcing a dog's tail to wag by moving it with your hand will make the dog happy.”, “Just as there is no such thing as Christian physics or Muslim Algebra, we will see tht there is no such thing as Christian or Muslim morality.”, “We must continually remind ourselves that there is a difference between what is natural and what is actually good for us.”, “We will embarrass our descendants, just as our ancestors embarrass us. It’s not clear what conclusion Harris is trying to establish. This is a norm of cognition as well as the core of any scientific mission statement. It is also the primary reason why so many secularists and religious moderates feel obligated to “respect” the hardened superstitions of their more devout neighbors. I was one of those who had unthinkingly bought into the hectoring myth that science can say nothing about morals. Theoretical physicist, Director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University, author of The Physics of Star Trekand Quantum Man: Richard Feynman’s Life in Science. Reason has never had a more passionate advocate. The Moral Landscape Quotes Showing 1-30 of 49 “Faith, if it is ever right about anything, is right by accident” ― Sam Harris, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values 42 likes It's really no more inflammatory than that. For example, here is Immanuel Kant channeling Hume in his Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals: To see the distinction Kant is making here, imagine that you’… In the aftermath, Harris discovered that most people—from religious fundamentalists to non-believing scientists—agree on one point: Science has nothing to say on the subject of human values. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ridiculous or offensive.” Evolution may have selected for territorial violence, rape, and other patently unethical behaviors as strategies to propagate one’s genes—but our collective well-being clearly depends on our opposing such natural tendencies.”, “Choosing beliefs freely is not what rational minds do.”, “To point out nonepistemic motives in another’s view of the world, therefore, is always a criticism, as it serves to cast doubt upon a person’s connection to the world as it is.”, “The moment one begins thinking about morality in terms of well-being, it becomes remarkably easy to discern a moral hierarchy across human societies.”, “Meaning, values, morality, and the good life must relate to facts about the well-being of conscious creatures—and, in our case, must lawfully depend upon events in the world and upon states of the human brain.
"Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival" symposium, November 2006. Because such answers exist, moral relativism is simply false—and comes at increasing cost to humanity. Many people do not feel the same way about regulating mood with antidepressants (for reasons that appear quite distinct from any concern about potential side effects). Sam Harris (2005). "Print: Atheism's Poster Boy Sam Harris on the Science of Morality". August 25, 2010. We read the Golden Rule and judge it to be a brilliant distillation of many of our ethical impulses.
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