Posts Tagged ‘science of morality’

Sam Harris Responds

Monday, February 28th, 2011

In his latest Response to Critics , Sam Harris spends some (too much) time on the nutbars before getting to the serious cases like Russell Blackford.

And before starting with his main response he provides this convenient summary:

For those unfamiliar with my book, here is my argument in brief: Morality and values depend on the existence of conscious minds—and specifically on the fact that such minds can experience various forms of well-being and suffering in this universe. Conscious minds and their states are natural phenomena, of course, fully constrained by the laws of Nature (whatever these turn out to be in the end). Therefore, there must be right and wrong answers to questions of morality and values that potentially fall within the purview of science. On this view, some people and cultures will be right (to a greater or lesser degree), and some will be wrong, with respect to what they deem important in life.

If this is accurate then I expect the answer to my earlier question is “no”, because there are no “right and wrong answers” to the question of how to relatively weigh the “various forms of well-being and suffering”.

But I’ll read the response further just in case. (more…)