Interesting article pertaining to TML

 
 
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Rickylad
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09 February 2011 05:00
 

Hi

I saw this and thought it was quite interesting and without the usual religious bias that is often levelled at Mr Harris ( as if the divisive system of ethics they have is any better).

Anyhow, its quite good and I for one would be interested in heraring peoples opinion, but lets try to keep it punchy and not so lengthly diatribe fitting in as many long words as possible:)

http://ockhamsbeard.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/morality-health-and-sam-harris/

For the record I am still with Sam, but this guy has a point of sorts.

 
Midwest Skeptic
 
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Midwest Skeptic
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11 February 2011 23:46
 

I agree with Harris on many points, but I think his meta-ethics fall short.  I am an anti-realist about morals.  Of course I hold many moral values, but view them (and all values) as subjective, not objective.

Additionally, I am an atheist, an engineer (and hence value science and factual understanding very much), I’ve had a decades-long interest in ethics (specifically meta-ethics), I am a liberal, and I see no reason to tolerate things I believe to be wrong.  Harris thinks we should speak out (or more) against the poor treatment of women in the Muslim world - so do I.

I share most of Harris’ normative values, I just disagree with his meta-ethical frame work.  I don’t think his theory has succeeded in proving what he wanted to prove.

 
 
 
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Rickylad
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14 February 2011 04:43
 

I am still waiting on my book to get delivered..is it not out in the UK or something?:(

I hear you and like(almost)anyone you are entitled to say what you like on this. It does seem however, if people are not unanimous in acceptance of an ethical position, it is thrown out entirely. I am referring to religious folks of course eager to defame anything the Humanist movement undertakes..


I think people should make it clear that in criticizing the work of Harris (or others) that they are emphatically not saying ” scripture is better than that” by default in some roundabout and misguided way.
We know that isnt the case, but I get a very strong feeling that is what they glean from it and subsequently pass on wherever they can. I think sometimes we are lacking in solidarity. Not to say for a moment we are not free to disagree, far from it, but at least try to present a united front..

Keep it up Sam, your making a difference.

 
 
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gragor
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15 February 2011 16:58
 
Midwest Skeptic - 12 February 2011 04:46 AM


I share most of Harris’ normative values, I just disagree with his meta-ethical frame work.  I don’t think his theory has succeeded in proving what he wanted to prove.


I think you misunderstand a “theory”. A theory is a supposition. Therefore, Harris is not necessarily trying to prove anything. Originally “theory” meant “vision”. To theorize was to visualize, or “have vision” (a “visionary”). Harris is merely being correct as a Theorizer by acting as a visionary. A visionary for a future state of mankind. A mere vanguard for change (among many other vanguards). Only when there is actual universal change (change that can be experienced universally, rather than merely personally) will there be proof. In the meantime, prior to such “proof”, or universal change, there is moral change on a personal level. Peronal change is, of course, indeed possible. This is because personal change is proof to the person who has changed. It doesn’t appear possible that every individual experiences change all at the same time. But inevitably we will all change. And, as a consequence, such change will seem universal when everyone eventually catches up. Maybe this is why “we” are called the “human race”. Once we really all do experience each other as “One” then there maybe no need for any “catching up”. Therefore we will not need to be “humans racing”. We will finally just rest with being Human.

 
Midwest Skeptic
 
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Midwest Skeptic
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27 September 2011 21:28
 
gragor - 15 February 2011 09:58 PM
Midwest Skeptic - 12 February 2011 04:46 AM


I share most of Harris’ normative values, I just disagree with his meta-ethical frame work.  I don’t think his theory has succeeded in proving what he wanted to prove.


I think you misunderstand a “theory”. A theory is a supposition. Therefore, Harris is not necessarily trying to prove anything. Originally “theory” meant “vision”. To theorize was to visualize, or “have vision” (a “visionary”). Harris is merely being correct as a Theorizer by acting as a visionary. A visionary for a future state of mankind. A mere vanguard for change (among many other vanguards). Only when there is actual universal change (change that can be experienced universally, rather than merely personally) will there be proof. In the meantime, prior to such “proof”, or universal change, there is moral change on a personal level. Peronal change is, of course, indeed possible. This is because personal change is proof to the person who has changed. It doesn’t appear possible that every individual experiences change all at the same time. But inevitably we will all change. And, as a consequence, such change will seem universal when everyone eventually catches up. Maybe this is why “we” are called the “human race”. Once we really all do experience each other as “One” then there maybe no need for any “catching up”. Therefore we will not need to be “humans racing”. We will finally just rest with being Human.

A “visionary” is only as good as what his vision is based on.  I think Harris has botched the meta-ethics and his theory is therefore undermined.

You have an extremely limited view of theory - where did that definition come from.  In the field that I work in (science and engineering), a theory is something that can be tested, proven or dis-proven.

Getting the result that you predict doesn’t necessarily prove a theory - things may happen via a different mechanism than what was postulated.