Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Moral Landscape

Neuroscientist and author Sam Harris challenges head on the prevailing notion that facts and values are somehow distinct non-overlapping magisteria and therefore science – since it presumably only operates in the sphere of facts – is incapable of informing and guiding us along the journey to higher levels of moral enlightenment. Harris brings forth the notion that not only is science up to the task, but more importantly provides us the framework and empirical foundation that no other "moral" system invented over the course of human history has and now tantalizingly offers us the toolset to allow humanity to bridge the cultural, religious and nationalistic barriers that are keeping us divided, weak and in constant states of conflict.

Depending on the depth you wish to proceed on the topic you can (1) watch the shorter TED presentation Harris gave in February 2010, (2) then move to the second video Harris gave later that year where he was given much more stage time than the limited timeframe provided by TED and lastly (3), if you still want more, then I highly recommend picking up a copy of Harris's book, "The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values". I did and it is an amazing mind-expanding read. Two thumbs and two toes up!


Sam Harris – Science Can Answer Moral Questions

Sam Harris – The Moral Landscape

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