The Moral Landscape

In this highly controversial book, Sam Harris seeks to link morality to the rest of human knowledge.

Author: Sam Harris

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9781439171233

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 851

Sam Harris’s first book, The End of Faith, ignited a worldwide debate about the validity of religion. In the aftermath, Harris discovered that most people—from religious fundamentalists to nonbelieving scientists—agree on one point: science has nothing to say on the subject of human values. Indeed, our failure to address questions of meaning and morality through science has now become the most common justification for religious faith. 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. In this explosive new book, Sam Harris tears down the wall between scientific facts and human values, arguing that most people are simply mistaken about the relationship between morality and the rest of human knowledge. Harris urges us to think about morality in terms of human and animal well-being, viewing the experiences of conscious creatures as peaks and valleys on a "moral landscape." Because there are definite facts to be known about where we fall on this landscape, Harris foresees a time when science will no longer limit itself to merely describing what people do in the name of "morality"; in principle, science should be able to tell us what we ought to do to live the best lives possible. Bringing a fresh perspective to age-old questions of right and wrong and good and evil, Harris demonstrates that we already know enough about the human brain and its relationship to events in the world to say that there are right and wrong answers to the most pressing questions of human life. Because such answers exist, moral relativism is simply false—and comes at increasing cost to humanity. And the intrusions 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 cooperation.

The Ethics of Bioethics

Through twenty-five lively essays examining the field's history and trends, shortcomings and strengths, and the political and policy interplay within the bioethical realm, this comprehensive book begins a much-needed critical and ...

Author: Lisa A. Eckenwiler

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press

ISBN: 9780801886126

Category: Medical

Page: 352

View: 874

Through twenty-five lively essays examining the field's history and trends, shortcomings and strengths, and the political and policy interplay within the bioethical realm, this comprehensive book begins a much-needed critical and constructive discussion of the moral landscape of bioethics.

The Moral Landscape

Imagine that you are a contestant on a game show and presented with three closed doors: behind one sits a new car; the other two conceal goats. Pick the correct door. and the car is yours. The game proceeds this way: Assume that you ...

Author: Sam Harris

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1409011143

Category: Philosophy

Page: 384

View: 635

Sam Harris's first book, The End of Faith, ignited a worldwide debate about the validity of religion. In the aftermath, Harris discovered that most people - from religious fundamentalists to nonbelieving scientists - agree on one point: science has nothing to say on the subject of human values. Indeed, our failure to address questions of meaning and morality through science has now become the primary justification for religious faith. In 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 more than tell how we are; it can, in principle, tell us how we ought to be. In his view, moral relativism is simply false - and comes at an increasing cost to humanity. And the intrusions 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 cooperation.

What s with Free Will

Ethics and Religion after Neuroscience Philip Clayton, James W. Walters. “mutually incompatible doctrines,” which is yet ... Harris, The Moral Landscape, 2, 56, 62, 65, 74, 129. 30. Harris, The Moral Landscape, 40, 27, 62, 45. 31.

Author: Philip Clayton

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1532681623

Category: Religion

Page: 222

View: 265

Are humans free, or are we determined by our genes and the world around us? The question of freedom is not only one of philosophy’s greatest conundrums, but also one of the most fundamental questions of human existence. It’s particularly pressing in societies like ours, where our core institutions of law, ethics, and religion are built around the belief in individual freedom. Can one still affirm human freedom in an age of science? And if free will doesn’t exist, does it make sense to act as though it does? These are the issues that are presented, probed, and debated in the following chapters. A dozen experts―specialists in medicine, psychology, ethics, theology, and philosophy—grapple with the multiple and often profound challenges presented by today’s brain science. After examining the arguments against traditional notions of free will, several of the authors champion the idea of a chastened but robust free will for today, one that allows us still to affirm the value of first-person experience.

Debunking a Moral Landscape

(pages 32-33) Let's reflect on this perspective for a moment or two. If one values the truth, ... The fact of the matter is, we don't know, and one might add that this is what books like The Moral Landscape are trying to figure out.

Author: Anab Whitehouse

Publisher: Bilquees Press


Category: Philosophy

Page: 304

View: 241

Debunking A Moral Landscape takes on the ideas of Sam Harris using his own chosen tools -- namely, reason and science. When those tools are turned back on his book, The Moral Landscape, one comes to understand that his perspective is very much like an onion since, after one peels away the various decaying layers of philosophy, reasoning, and science, there is really nothing left at the heart of his worldview. Sam Harris has been raised by many his many followers and admirers to an emperor-like status. Nonetheless, in reality, this would-be emperor has no genuine clothes of royalty since the material from which his conceptual garments are woven are fairly common, if not threadbare. In fact, his ideas are clothed in a way that gives them the appearance of being fashioned in a very sturdy and reliable manner, but such appearances are little more than an illusion. He often claims that his kingdom is ruled through reason and science. Yet, when the topography of his ideas are carefully explored, there are many problems to be found hiding in the nooks and crannies of his thought processes. His reasoning is not always rational; his science is not always factual; and his explanations are often problematic. Furthermore, he asserts that faith is for the naive and foolish, but his perspective is glued together by a variety of different grades of faith -- some of them quite faulty -- which he calls by other names such as: well-being, probability, theory, hypothesis, science, randomness, evolution, neurobiology, reason, and so on. Sam Harris has harsh words for religious extremists -- as well he should. However, he apparently fails to understand how his own position incorporates a brand of irreligious fundamentalism that is inclined to be just as blind and unyielding as the religious people whom he wishes to criticize. Debunking A Moral Landscape doesn't just criticize the perspective which is developed in Sam Harris' latest book, The Moral Landscape, the former book introduces a variety of constructive ideas with respect to moral philosophy, political philosophy, evolution, science, the process of reasoning, and methodology that grows out of the process through which the problems and errors that are present in Sam Harris' The Moral Landscape are corrected and refined.

How Reason Can Lead to God

So the moral landscape has two dimensions: (1) moral senses and (2) moral qualities. The existence of a moral landscape (of either dimension) inspires a question: why is there a moral landscape? Why is anything good?

Author: Joshua Rasmussen

Publisher: InterVarsity Press

ISBN: 0830866426

Category: Religion

Page: 208

View: 135

Do you value reason, science, and independent thinking, yet you hope there could be a greater purpose to the universe? Beginning with his own story of losing the belief in any ultimate purpose in life, philosopher Joshua Rasmussen builds a bridge to faith. Using only the instruments of reason and common experience, Rasmussen constructs a pathway that he argues can lead to meaning and, ultimately, a vision of God.

Gender and Landscape

Renegotiating the Moral Landscape Josephine Carubia, Lorraine Dowler, Bonj Szczygiel ... country gardens 44–5; forms of travel 110, 113–20; graffiti273,275–6, 277, 279; and landscape 2; and morality in colonial Ceylon 8, 19–33 Mason, ...

Author: Josephine Carubia

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134300832

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 876

Gender and Landscape is a feminist inquiry into a long-ignored area of study: the landscape. Although there has been an exhaustive investigation into issues of gender as they intersect with space and place, very little has been written about the gendering of the landscape. This volume provides a bridge between feminist discussions of space and place as something 'lived' and landscape interpretations as something 'viewed'.

Contractarianism Role Obligations and Political Morality

Contractarian theories do, and contractualist theories don't, hold that it's the deliverances of the deliberators in a state of nature thought experiment that determine some part of the moral landscape. 2. The motivational profile that ...

Author: Benjamin Sachs

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1000476774

Category: Philosophy

Page: 168

View: 650

This book argues that contractarianism is well suited as a political morality and explores the implications of deploying it in this way. It promises to revive contractarianism as a viable political theory, breaking it free from its Rawlsian moorings while taking seriously the long-standing objections to it. It’s natural to think that the state owes things to its people: physical security, public health and sanitation services, and a functioning judiciary, for example. But is there a theory—a political morality—that can explain why this is so and who the state’s people are? This new contractarianism deploys a reversed state of nature thought experiment as the starting point of political theorizing. From this starting point it develops a political morality: a theory of the common ground of the role moralities attached to the various roles within the state. Contractarianism, so understood, can provide a basis for already popular ideas in political theory—such as political and legal liberalism—and overturn conventional wisdom, for example that the state is obligated to secure justice and that animals should have no legal standing. Contractarianism, Role Obligations, and Political Morality will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working in moral and political philosophy.

God Science and Religious Diversity

He writes, “So in a sense, morality is an illusion—or at least our sense that morality is objective is an illusion, ... Moore, that objectively real moral values are not natural entities. ... Harris, The Moral Landscape, 2. 26.

Author: Robert T. Lehe

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1532619588

Category: Philosophy

Page: 198

View: 233

Two major obstacles to belief in God in the twenty-first century are the idea that science is incompatible with religious faith, and the idea that the diversity of religions undermines the credibility of belief that any one religion could be truer than the others. This book addresses both of these challenges to belief in God and explores a connection between them. It argues that science and religion are not only compatible, but that some recent scientific discoveries actually support belief in the existence of the Creator God. The diversity of religions is widely believed to undermine the credibility of religious truth claims because of the assumed lack of any way to settle disagreements between different religions. This book argues that one rational way to adjudicate disagreements between the claims of diverse religions is to assess their consistency with contemporary science. The book considers how Christian theism and Buddhism fare in harmonizing their metaphysical frameworks with contemporary scientific cosmology. Although both theistic and Buddhist worldviews resonate with many recent scientific discoveries, the Big Bang theory and cosmic fine-tuning favor the Christian doctrine of creation.

The Ethics of Public Health Volumes I and II

The moral landscape and the horizon are no longer recognizable," note Charles MacKay and Gerald S. Schatz. Among these changes are "(t)he expanded commercialization of the research enterprise."17 Consequently, it is inappropriate to use ...

Author: Michael Freeman

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351890506

Category: Law

Page: 1166

View: 383

With a number of public health panics emerging in the past few years, most recently the panic over 'swine flu' in 2009, the publication of this two volume collection is extremely timely. These two volumes cover the complete range of issues relating to the ethics of public health. Topics include the relationship with bioethics, questions of governance, public health and human rights, surveillance and privacy, prevention and its limits, confinement and liberty, as well as detailed case studies of previous and continuing crises relating to HIV and AIDS, SARS, bioterrorism, climate change, avian flu and tobacco control. There are sections also on genetic health, public health and equity, and public health and the developing world. The two volumes include nearly 75 articles by leading thinkers, and are accompanied by Michael Freeman's detailed introduction and full bibliography.

Reconciliation and the Search for a Shared Moral Landscape

The " conflict triangle " and the " moral landscape " 3.1.2.Peace , violence and reconciliation ....... .82 3.2 . A “ moral landscape ” in a context of conflict ..... ..86 3.2.1 . Experiences in the course of past and present conflicts ...

Author: Maria Ericson

Publisher: Peter Lang Pub Incorporated

ISBN: 9783631377093

Category: Social Science

Page: 499

View: 255

This book focuses on reconciliation in Northern Ireland and South Africa. The overarching aim is to identify «formal and material conditions», or prerequisites, for reconciliation and moral community (or more precisely a «shared moral landscape»). In both countries obstacles to reconciliation can be found in the following elements of a «moral landscape»: Experiences of trauma, separation and inequalities; divergent views of the conflict and of «the other»; opposing identifications and loyalties; certain norms for interaction and contestant interpretations of values such as «peace» and «justice». This book describes how these obstacles have been addressed in: 1) Efforts, particularly by ecumenical groups, to bridge the Catholic/Protestant divide in Northern Ireland. 2) The work of, and debates surrounding, the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. On the basis of these dialogues in adverse circumstances, this study then suggests some prerequisites for «emancipatory conversations» - a central question in the search for a global ethics.

Internet Security

Chapter 2 : The Conceptual and Moral Landscape of Computer Security Herman T. Tavani What is computer security ? What kinds of moral issues arise because of security concerns involving computers ? This chapter addresses both questions ...

Author: Kenneth Einar Himma

Publisher: Jones & Bartlett Learning

ISBN: 9780763735364

Category: Computers

Page: 292

View: 437

This collection of papers, articles, and monographs details the ethical landscape as it exists for the distinct areas of Internet and network security, including moral justification of hacker attacks, the ethics behind the freedom of information which contributes to hacking, and the role of the law in policing cyberspace.

Legislating Morality in America Debating the Morality of Controversial U S Laws and Policies

For example, Sam Harris's book The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values is essentially an ... Retrieved from -god-and-morality-2/ Epperson v.

Author: Donald P. Haider-Markel

Publisher: ABC-CLIO

ISBN: 1440849714

Category: Law

Page: 297

View: 730

This title undertakes an impartial, authoritative, and in-depth examination of the moral arguments and ideas behind the laws and policies that govern personal, corporate, and government behavior in the United States. This A-Z encyclopedia surveys the moral arguments that provide the foundation for many of the most important and/or divisive laws, policies, and beliefs that govern modern American society. The work discusses such controversial and important issues as abortion, civil rights, drugs and alcohol, euthanasia, guns, hate crimes, immigration, immunization, natural resource use and protection, prostitution, same-sex marriage, and workplace laws. In the process of surveying historical and current beliefs about appropriate legislative responses to these issues, this work will help readers to understand how conservative and liberal conceptions of justice, fairness, and morality are at the center of so many hot-button political and social issues in 21st century America. The essays featured in the volume cover wide-ranging and controversial topics related to constitutional and religious freedoms, issues of crime and punishment, sexuality and reproduction, environmental protection and public health, national security and civil liberties, social welfare programs, and education. Context-setting overview essay introduces the question of whether (or to what degree) legislation inevitably carries a moral element and discusses examples of legislation in US history with a significant alleged "moral" grounding, ranging from the Emancipation Proclamation and Prohibition to anti-smoking laws, the Civil Rights Act, and the Affordable Care Act Each entry not only summarizes economic, legal, and sociological arguments for or against positions on these issues but more importantly focuses on the ethical/moral arguments championed by various sides A chronology of events situates morality historically as a force in US legislation An annotated bibliography suggests resources for further study, related to concepts of morality and their impact on American laws

Exploring Christian Ethics

1 In this section, I present some arguments I develop at greater length in What Makes Us Moral? Science, Religion and the Shaping of the Moral Landscape: A Christian response to Sam Harris (London: SPCK, 2012). 2 Sam Harris, The Moral ...

Author: Craig Hovey

Publisher: SPCK

ISBN: 0281071039

Category: Religion

Page: 320

View: 130

Talking about ethics tends to involve talking about what we should or, more often, shouldn't do. We talk about setting limits on actions that, for whatever reason, we think are either wrong or somehow harmful to ourselves or others. The aim of this book, however, is to explore Christian ethics within a wider, more positive framework – one that that views Christianity's moral resources as part of the good news that it proclaims to all creation. Ethics, says Hovey, need not be characterized primarily by negative prohibitions, limits, and tiresome hand-wringing. Rather, it's about a joyful and worshipful way of living, which flows naturally out of the abundant goodness God’s life and character, as revealed in Jesus. Contents Introduction Part 1 What Makes Christian Ethics Christian? 1. The Bible 2. Following Jesus 3. Some Key Theological Themes Part 2 What Makes Christian Ethics Ethics? 4. Classical Roots 5. Modern Options 6. Contemporary Challenges Part 3 The Stuff of Christian Ethics 7. Baptism and Identity 8. Mercy and Peace 9. Justice from Above (Order) 10. Justice from Below (Liberation) 11. Sexuality 12. Vulnerable Life 13. Challenges Posed by Science and Technology

The Monotheists Jews Christians and Muslims in Conflict and Competition Volume II

There are still strains of the older biblical morality in the Gospels, that the wages of sin were visited on the next ... (John 9:2)— but the moral background of the Gospels is an unmistakable eschatological landscape that passed ...

Author: F. E. Peters

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400825717

Category: Religion

Page: 432

View: 981

The world's three great monotheistic religions have spent most of their historical careers in conflict or competition with each other. And yet in fact they sprung from the same spiritual roots and have been nurtured in the same historical soil. This book--an extraordinarily comprehensive and approachable comparative introduction to these religions--seeks not so much to demonstrate the truth of this thesis as to illustrate it. Frank Peters, one of the world's foremost experts on the monotheistic faiths, takes Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and after briefly tracing the roots of each, places them side by side to show both their similarities and their differences. Volume I, The Peoples of God, tells the story of the foundation and formation of the three monotheistic communities, of their visible, historical presence. Volume II, The Words and Will of God, is devoted to their inner life, the spirit that animates and regulates them. Peters takes us to where these religions live: their scriptures, laws, institutions, and intentions; how each seeks to worship God and achieve salvation; and how they deal with their own (orthodox and heterodox) and with others (the goyim, the pagans, the infidels). Throughout, he measures--but never judges--one religion against the other. The prose is supple, the method rigorous. This is a remarkably cohesive, informative, and accessible narrative reflecting a lifetime of study by a single recognized authority in all three fields. The Monotheists is a magisterial comparison, for students and general readers as well as scholars, of the parties to one of the most troubling issues of today--the fierce, sometimes productive and often destructive, competition among the world's monotheists, the siblings called Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

On Moral Medicine

Theological Perspectives on Medical Ethics M. Therese Lysaught, Joseph Kotva, Stephen E. Lammers ... First of all, he posits the moral landscape as bifurcated into “two tiers” mirroring traditional distinctions between public and ...

Author: M. Therese Lysaught

Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing

ISBN: 0802866018

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 1162

View: 365

In print for more than two decades, On Moral Medicine remains the definitive anthology for Christian theological reflection on medical ethics. This third edition updates and expands the earlier awardwinning volumes, providing classrooms and individuals alike with one of the finest available resources for ethics-engaged modern medicine.


African American Women and Earth-Honoring Faiths Harris, Melanie L. CHAPTER TWO ... In his work The Spirituality of African Peoples: The Search for a Common Moral Landscape,2 he argues that all African communities share common ethical ...

Author: Harris, Melanie L.

Publisher: Orbis Books

ISBN: 1608336662

Category: Religion


View: 439

The Ethics of Technology

Conditions (i) and (ii) are straightforward, but condition (iii) is somewhat less transparent. ... Although the rejection of (iii) would no doubt yield a less complex picture of the moral landscape, it seems that such a position would ...

Author: Martin Peterson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190652284

Category: Philosophy

Page: 256

View: 511

Autonomous cars, drones, and electronic surveillance systems are examples of technologies that raise serious ethical issues. In this analytic investigation, Martin Peterson articulates and defends five moral principles for addressing ethical issues related to new and existing technologies: the cost-benefit principle, the precautionary principle, the sustainability principle, the autonomy principle, and the fairness principle. It is primarily the method developed by Peterson for articulating and analyzing the five principles that is novel. He argues that geometric concepts such as points, lines, and planes can be put to work for clarifying the structure and scope of these and other moral principles. This geometric account is based on the Aristotelian dictum that like cases should be treated alike, meaning that the degree of similarity between different cases can be represented as a distance in moral space. The more similar a pair of cases are from a moral point of view, the closer is their location in moral space. A case that lies closer in moral space to a paradigm case for some principle p than to any paradigm for any other principle should be analyzed by applying principle p. The book also presents empirical results from a series of experimental studies in which experts (philosophers) and laypeople (engineering students) have been asked to apply the geometric method to fifteen real-world cases. The empirical findings indicate that experts and laypeople do in fact apply geometrically construed moral principles in roughly, but not exactly, the manner advocates of the geometric method believe they ought to be applied.

Positioning the History of Science

To me ethical questions were something new. Sam on the other hand had already spent the better part of a lifetime reflecting on the moral landscape of science, in his case bomb physics.2 He was, of course, never involved in any bomb ...

Author: Kostas Gavroglu

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 1402054203

Category: Science

Page: 188

View: 936

This volume, compiled in honor of Sam Schweber, an outstanding historian of science, physicist and exceptional human being, offers a comprehensive survey of the present state of the history of science. It collects essays written by leading representatives in the field. The essays examine the state of the history of science today and issues related to its future.

Deep China

The Moral Life of the Person Arthur Kleinman, Yunxiang Yan, Jing Jun, Dr. Sing Lee, Everett Zhang ... social stigma and, 257 money, fetish for, 48 morality/moral landscape, 2, 20, 36–40; 68–72; change in, 10, 40; communist/ socialist, ...

Author: Arthur Kleinman

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520950518

Category: Medical

Page: 322

View: 338

Deep China investigates the emotional and moral lives of the Chinese people as they adjust to the challenges of modernity. Sharing a medical anthropology and cultural psychiatry perspective, Arthur Kleinman, Yunxiang Yan, Jing Jun, Sing Lee, Everett Zhang, Pan Tianshu, Wu Fei, and Guo Jinhua delve into intimate and sometimes hidden areas of personal life and social practice to observe and narrate the drama of Chinese individualization. The essays explore the remaking of the moral person during China’s profound social and economic transformation, unraveling the shifting practices and struggles of contemporary life.