The Moral Landscape

How Science Can Determine Human Values

Author: Sam Harris

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 143917122X

Category: Religion

Page: 307

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Calls for an end to religion's role in dictating morality, demonstrating how the scientific community's understandings about the human brain may enable the establishment of secular codes of behavior.

The Moral Landscape

How Science Can Determine Human Values

Author: Sam Harris

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9781439171233

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 5496

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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 Moral Landscape

Author: Sam Harris

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1409011143

Category: Philosophy

Page: 384

View: 6544

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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.

Lying

Author: Sam Harris

Publisher: Four Elephants Press

ISBN: 1940051010

Category: Philosophy

Page: 108

View: 4551

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As it was in Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary, and Othello, so it is in life. Most forms of private vice and public evil are kindled and sustained by lies. Acts of adultery and other personal betrayals, financial fraud, government corruption—even murder and genocide—generally require an additional moral defect: a willingness to lie. In Lying, best-selling author and neuroscientist Sam Harris argues that we can radically simplify our lives and improve society by merely telling the truth in situations where others often lie. He focuses on "white" lies—those lies we tell for the purpose of sparing people discomfort—for these are the lies that most often tempt us. And they tend to be the only lies that good people tell while imagining that they are being good in the process.

What Makes Us Moral?

Science, Religion and the Shaping of the Moral Landscape: a Christian Response to Sam Harris

Author: Craig Hovey

Publisher: SPCK Publishing

ISBN: 9780281068982

Category: Ethics

Page: 144

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Theologian and ethicist Craig Hovey exposes the flaws in the idea that science alone answers our moral questions. He directly engages the latest book by Sam Harris, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values, on a host of questions.

Morality Without God?

Author: Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Publisher: OUP USA

ISBN: 0195337638

Category: Philosophy

Page: 172

View: 2598

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A common refrain against atheism and secular humanism is that without belief in God, "everything is permitted." Walter Sinnott-Armstrong dismantles this argument and argues instead that God is not only not essential to morality, but that our moral behavior should be seen as utterly independent of religion. This short, accessible book is on a major aspect of the arguments against atheism and will interest those intrigued by the "new atheism" (Harris, Dawkins, etc).

Free Will

Author: Sam Harris

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451683405

Category: Science

Page: 83

View: 7947

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The physiologist Benjamin Libet famously demonstrated that activity in the brain's motor regions can be detected some 300 milliseconds before a person feels that he has decided to move. Another lab recently used fMRI data to show that some "conscious" decisions can be predicted up to 10 seconds before they enter awareness (long before the preparatory motor activity detected by Libet). Clearly, findings of this kind are difficult to reconcile with the sense that one is the conscious source of one's actions. The question of free will is no mere curio of philosophy seminars. A belief in free will underwrites both the religious notion of "sin" and our enduring commitment to retributive justice. The Supreme Court has called free will a "universal and persistent" foundation for our system of law. Any scientific developments that threatened our notion of free will would seem to put the ethics of punishing people for their bad behaviour in question.In Free Will Harris debates these ideas and asks whether or not, given what brain science is telling us, we actually have free will?

Braintrust

What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality

Author: Patricia S. Churchland

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400889383

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 6711

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What is morality? Where does it come from? And why do most of us heed its call most of the time? In Braintrust, neurophilosophy pioneer Patricia Churchland argues that morality originates in the biology of the brain. She describes the "neurobiological platform of bonding" that, modified by evolutionary pressures and cultural values, has led to human styles of moral behavior. The result is a provocative genealogy of morals that asks us to reevaluate the priority given to religion, absolute rules, and pure reason in accounting for the basis of morality. Moral values, Churchland argues, are rooted in a behavior common to all mammals--the caring for offspring. The evolved structure, processes, and chemistry of the brain incline humans to strive not only for self-preservation but for the well-being of allied selves--first offspring, then mates, kin, and so on, in wider and wider "caring" circles. Separation and exclusion cause pain, and the company of loved ones causes pleasure; responding to feelings of social pain and pleasure, brains adjust their circuitry to local customs. In this way, caring is apportioned, conscience molded, and moral intuitions instilled. A key part of the story is oxytocin, an ancient body-and-brain molecule that, by decreasing the stress response, allows humans to develop the trust in one another necessary for the development of close-knit ties, social institutions, and morality. A major new account of what really makes us moral, Braintrust challenges us to reconsider the origins of some of our most cherished values.

Ethics

Inventing Right and Wrong

Author: J.L. Mackie

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141960094

Category: Philosophy

Page: 256

View: 828

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An insight into moral skepticism of the 20th century. The author argues that our every-day moral codes are an 'error theory' based on the presumption of moral facts which, he persuasively argues, don't exist. His refutation of such facts is based on their metaphysical 'queerness' and the observation of cultural relativity.

Letter to a Christian Nation

Author: Sam Harris

Publisher: Alfred a Knopf Incorporated

ISBN: 0307265773

Category: Religion

Page: 96

View: 6320

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Argues that the increasing power of Christian fundamentalists in American politics threatens the country's citizens, blames the Bible for promoting intolerance of other faiths, and describes atheism as "an admission of the obvious."

Waking Up

A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion

Author: Sam Harris

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451636032

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 256

View: 1989

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For the millions of Americans who want spirituality without religion, Sam Harris’s latest New York Times bestseller is a guide to meditation as a rational practice informed by neuroscience and psychology. From Sam Harris, neuroscientist and author of numerous New York Times bestselling books, Waking Up is for the twenty percent of Americans who follow no religion but who suspect that important truths can be found in the experiences of such figures as Jesus, the Buddha, Lao Tzu, Rumi, and the other saints and sages of history. Throughout this book, Harris argues that there is more to understanding reality than science and secular culture generally allow, and that how we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the quality of our lives. Waking Up is part memoir and part exploration of the scientific underpinnings of spirituality. No other book marries contemplative wisdom and modern science in this way, and no author other than Sam Harris—a scientist, philosopher, and famous skeptic—could write it.

Well-Being and Theism

Linking Ethics to God

Author: William A. Lauinger

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 144110030X

Category: Religion

Page: 224

View: 8227

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Examines how theories of well-being relate to ethics as well as to theism.?

The Science of Good and Evil

Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share, and Follow the Golden Rule

Author: Michael Shermer

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9781429996754

Category: Psychology

Page: 368

View: 2742

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From bestselling author Michael Shermer, an investigation of the evolution of morality that is "a paragon of popularized science and philosophy" The Sun (Baltimore) A century and a half after Darwin first proposed an "evolutionary ethics," science has begun to tackle the roots of morality. Just as evolutionary biologists study why we are hungry (to motivate us to eat) or why sex is enjoyable (to motivate us to procreate), they are now searching for the very nature of humanity. In The Science of Good and Evil, science historian Michael Shermer explores how humans evolved from social primates to moral primates; how and why morality motivates the human animal; and how the foundation of moral principles can be built upon empirical evidence. Along the way he explains the implications of scientific findings for fate and free will, the existence of pure good and pure evil, and the development of early moral sentiments among the first humans. As he closes the divide between science and morality, Shermer draws on stories from the Yanamamö, infamously known as the "fierce people" of the tropical rain forest, to the Stanford studies on jailers' behavior in prisons. The Science of Good and Evil is ultimately a profound look at the moral animal, belief, and the scientific pursuit of truth.

Islam and the Future of Tolerance

A Dialogue

Author: Sam Harris

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674737067

Category: Religion

Page: 144

View: 6144

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In this dialogue between a famous atheist and a former radical, Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz invite you to join an urgently needed conversation: Is Islam a religion of peace or war? Is it amenable to reform? Why do so many Muslims seem drawn to extremism? The authors demonstrate how two people with very different views can find common ground.

Secular Philosophy and the Religious Temperament

Essays 2002-2008

Author: Thomas Nagel

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0195394119

Category: Philosophy

Page: 171

View: 5754

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This volume collects essays and reviews by Thomas Nagel in three controversial subject areas: first, religious belief and its relation to science and philosophy; second, the interpretation of liberal political theory, especially in an international context; third, the question of what it is to be human--the form of human consciousness and the source of human values.

Aristotelian Philosophy

Ethics and Politics from Aristotle to MacIntyre

Author: Kelvin Knight

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 074563821X

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 694

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Aristotle is the most influential philosopher of practice, and Knight's new book explores the continuing importance of Aristotelian philosophy. First, it examines the theoretical bases of what Aristotle said about ethical, political and productive activity. It then traces ideas of practice through such figures as St Paul, Luther, Hegel, Heidegger and recent Aristotelian philosophers, and evaluates Alasdair MacIntyre's contribution. Knight argues that, whereas Aristotle's own thought legitimated oppression, MacIntyre's revision of Aristotelianism separates ethical excellence from social elitism and justifies resistance. With MacIntyre, Aristotelianism becomes revolutionary. MacIntyre's case for the Thomistic Aristotelian tradition originates in his attempt to elaborate a Marxist ethics informed by analytic philosophy. He analyses social practices in teleological terms, opposing them to capitalist institutions and arguing for the cooperative defence of our moral agency. In condensing these ideas, Knight advances a theoretical argument for the reformation of Aristotelianism and an ethical argument for social change.

Common Values

Author: Sissela Bok

Publisher: University of Missouri Press

ISBN: 9780826214256

Category: Philosophy

Page: 134

View: 5514

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In Common Values, Sissela Bok asks what moral values, if any, might be capable of being shared across national, ethnic, religious, and other boundaries, under what circumstances, and with what qualifications.

Rational Mysticism

Dispatches from the Border Between Science and Spirituality

Author: John Horgan

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: N.A

Category: Religion

Page: 292

View: 6470

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The author of The End of Science offers an intriguing investigation into the latest research into the mechanics and meaning of mystical experience, looking at such fields as chemistry, physics, theology, and psychology to narrow the division between reason and enlightenment.