Tag Archives: Morality

Sam Harris, the fact-value distinction, and the problem with a science of morality

A few years ago, Sam Harris published a book, ‘The Moral Landscape‘, which argued that science could determine moral values.  To say that it received substantial criticism, from scientists, philosophers, and others, would be an understatement. Late last year, Harris issued … Continue reading

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The ethics of allowing uncontacted natives to remain uncontacted

This video has also been around a while, but I just saw it this weekend. Watching this, I had three conflicting sets of emotions.  The first is amazement that there are still tribes in the wild that have not yet been contacted … Continue reading

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American positions on moral issues and tensions between the moral foundations

Gallup did a poll on American positions on various moral issues, finding that Americans are now more accepting than ever on a range of issues. Most of these I don’t find particularly surprising.  Of course, it turns out that Democrats … Continue reading

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My philosophy, so far — part II | Scientia Salon

Massimo Pigliucci is doing an interesting series of posts on his philosophical positions. In the first part [19] of this ambitious (and inevitably, insufficient) essay I sought to write down and briefly defend a number of fundamental positions that characterize … Continue reading

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The scope of objective facts and morality

Our recent discussions, particularly on the thread about Jonathan Haidt’s response to Sam Harris’s challenge, left me thinking about the various scopes of objective facts.  In retrospect, it’s a bit obvious to me now that a key question in moral … Continue reading

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Why I think Sam Harris is wrong about morality | The Righteous Mind

Several commenters  have said I should not just critique the excessive certainty of the New Atheists. I should respond directly to Sam Harris’s Moral Landscape Challenge. I should say why I think the argument he makes about a science of … Continue reading

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This View of Life: Why Sam Harris is Unlikely to Change his Mind

The New Atheist Sam Harris recently offered to pay $10,000 to anyone who can disprove his arguments about morality. Jonathan Haidt analyzes the nature of reasoning, and the ease with which reason becomes a servant of the passions. He bets … Continue reading

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The foundations of morality

Last week, I made a post on the fact that we have desires, urges, impulses, motivations, that are inherently not rooted in reason or logic, that while reason and logic are extremely useful, they are tools of these desires, these … Continue reading

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Moral values aren’t absolute, but aren’t arbitrary either

I’m working on another post with details about foundational moral instincts, but after some discussion on the ‘Morality arises from instincts‘ post, I realized that I failed to make a couple of things clear.  So, I’m inserting this additional post … Continue reading

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Morality arises from instincts

What is morality?  Look it up on Wikipedia or most dictionaries, and you’ll get something about whether acts or intentions are right or wrong.  But what is right and wrong?  Right and wrong for what?  The usual answer is right … Continue reading

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