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The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values (2010)

por Sam Harris

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1,7014110,486 (3.76)13
Sam Harris dismantles the most common justification for religious faith--that a moral system cannot be based on science.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 41 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I'm struggling to overcome the overt racism of an author who seemingly gets his information on Islam from Fox news. The book reads like an attempt to vilify Muslims and polarize religions. While Christianity doesn't get out scot-free, it escapes the false claims and sweeping generalizations made about their Abrahamic brethren, Muslims. The author seems to have little worldly experience and little capability to consider ideas from any perspective other than his own. Given this, it's an effort to put stock into his arguments and hear out his ideas. ( )
  LaPhenix | Jul 8, 2024 |
Okay, I'm convinced. The basis of morality should probably be based on the spectrum of effect that our actions have on the well-being of other conscious beings. We don't rely on centuries-old folklore to define our medical treatments; why rely on the same for our moral values? Some actions create greater happiness and well-being than others, and the extent to which actions lead to happiness is something that psychology and neuroscience can help measure and evaluate. The basis of a well-considered and defensible system of moral behaviour may therefore be validly based upon science, as opposed to faith in some imaginary creator. I may need to read this again, but I feel like I've got an ample amount of philosophy to chew on for the moment. Recommended. ( )
  ropable | Aug 20, 2023 |
I agree in principle - but that's it: a principle.
The book is a long long long sequence of "it can be done: you'll see". Not much else in there... ( )
  kenshin79 | Jul 25, 2023 |
On the plus side this book was very thought provoking. On the negative side it read more like a work of philosophy than science. Not what I was expecting or hoping for. ( )
  kevinkevbo | Jul 14, 2023 |
Reading Sam Harris is an intellectual treat, a feast for the brain cells, an oasis amidst today's current 'sea of twaddle'. His arguments sizzle and his support for them is full, complete and unemotional. He is the absolute best author to return to after reading a bunch of escapist things, even good escapism so that the intellect can be re-calibrated, often with the bar raised from its previous place.
This book argues for a science-based approach to determining morality. It is an interesting argument, clearly well thought out, strong and enticing, but I still have reservations.
While, as Harris argues, a science of morality may be possible, human beings do things that are totally irrational, often very impulsive and frequently even in violation of their own best interests. Harris realizes this, but I believe that there are practical models for morality that can be more fully and regularly applied by people in their normal decision making.
Using Harris' technique, consider this: Captain Kirk (Star Trek) makes a decision. Mr. Spock gives him one of the "Spook is puzzled looks" and says, "Is that logical, Captain?" A science of morality is Dr. Spock, Captain Kirk is the rest of us.
Still, I like the thinking and arguments. It was a pleasure to get back to reading Harris after such a long time since my last visit to his work.
Still, however, for a clear presentation on human morality, I recommend the incomparable six stages of morality developed by Lawrence Kohlberg as well as the clear reasoning and concrete examples of Jacob Bronowski. Kohlberg's book is difficult to obtain and expensive, but a search of him and a glance at the Wikipedia article will give people the idea of the power of his work. Bronowski's book, The Ascent of Man" became a PBS series a few years ago.
( )
  PaulLoesch | Apr 2, 2022 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 41 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
The Moral Landscape is a well-written and thoughtful exercise in secular moral realism, but it attempts to do something far more ambitious—it purports to give us the basis for a science of morality. While the subtitle of Harris' book insists otherwise, science cannot determine human values—it can do no more than tell us how to best implement the values we already have.
adicionada por rybie2 | editarNew Rambler, Bryan Druzin (Mar 28, 2016)
 
In sum, Harris's fight against relativism, his desire to inform morality with the sciences, and his quest to bring philosophical and scientific topics to those outside the academic world are all praiseworthy goals and should be mimicked by Christian thinkers. However, Harris's tendancy [sic.] to write as if there are simply no other arguments around besides his own, certainly no rival ethical (much less scientific) theories, is nothing less than astonishing. It relieves him of any epistemic obligation to answer serious objections to his ethical theory.
adicionada por Christa_Josh | editarWestminster Theological Journal, Patrick Arnold (Sep 1, 2011)
 
In the end, it’s odd that one can share so many of Harris’s views and yet find his project largely unsuccessful. I certainly share his vision of the well-being of conscious creatures as a sensible end for ethics. And I agree that science can and should help us to attain this end. And I certainly agree that religion has no monopoly on morals. The problem—and it’s one that Harris never faces up to—is that one can agree with all these things and yet not think that morality should be “considered an undeveloped branch of science.”
adicionada por danielx | editarNew York Review of Books, Allen Orr (May 12, 2011)
 
Yet such science is best appreciated with a sense of what we can and cannot expect from it, and a real contribution to the old project of a “naturalized ethics” would have required a fuller engagement with its contradictions and complications. Instead, the landscape that the book calls to mind is that of a city a few days after a snowstorm. A marvelously clear avenue stretches before us, but the looming banks to either side betray how much has been unceremoniously swept aside.
 

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Sam Harris dismantles the most common justification for religious faith--that a moral system cannot be based on science.

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