Category Archives: morality

The Anti-Sam Harris Points Us To A Real Moral Operating System

Google Engineering Director Damon Horowitz tackles the idea of using numbers and science to make ethical decisions and comes up with a delightfully different answer than Sam Harris did in The Moral Landscape. Watching Horowitz’ TED talk, I’m energized and … Continue reading

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Dancing on Osama’s Grave

I believe in the Golden Rule and doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. I abhor the death penalty, which I think does more harm than good. Last night when I heard the news that Osama … Continue reading

Posted in good vs. evil, morality, psychology | Tagged | 4 Comments

The Trajectory of Moral Progress

The thought for the day is from my recent interview with Duke Professor Ruth Grant: (W)e have ambivalence about whether we are on a trajectory of moral progress or a trajectory of moral corruption. We have some sense that things … Continue reading

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No Man’s Land

Keith adds an intriguing comment to an old post about Sam Harris: The specific answer as to why people get angry about such issues is, I think, that the topic of morality seems to sit in a no man’s land … Continue reading

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Sam Harris and the Incredible, Shrinking Idea

I’m going to do something I rarely do. I’m going to recommend that you NOT buy a book. That’s because there is no there there, no beef on the bun of Sam Harris’ already bestselling The Moral Landscape. Harris throws … Continue reading

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Coming Attraction: A Review of The Moral Landscape

I’ve finished the book that’s set off  a tsunami in the world of goodness thought, and I’m working on a review. I’ve already got a title: “Sam Harris and the Incredible Shrinking Idea.” Stay tuned.

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The Stickiness of God

Happy Monday to you! In today’s Must Read, Emory University Professor Frans De Waal writes in The New York Times that human morality wasn’t born in religion. But that doesn’t mean we’ll ever be free of God. (F)emale chimpanzees have … Continue reading

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Sam Harris and the Truck-Sized Hole in the Book

Flaming arrows are heading Sam Harris’ way because of his new book, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values. The problem, says my old blogging friend Josh Rosenau, is the truck-sized hole in the middle of Harris’ argument. … Continue reading

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A New Moral Landscape from Sam Harris

Sam Harris’ new book, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values, is out today. I’m anxious to read it, but Harris’ tendency to squeeze the complexity out of life may render his musings unpalatable. Witness these thoughts from … Continue reading

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Another Person’s Goodness

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt and his colleagues irritate me. Their reasoned, exhaustive work on morality makes it impossible for me to do what I want to do: Claim the high ground, declare that my idea of goodness is the only definition … Continue reading

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We Live or Die By Our Stories

I suspect most of you will remember the first news story I’m going to tell, but I wonder if you have even heard of the second. I didn’t until I stumbled on the story this week in a new book. … Continue reading

Posted in Becoming Good, empathy, morality | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Once Again Sam Harris Tries To Explain His New Book

Sam Harris’ pre-release publicity tour for his new book The Moral Landscape continues, as he once again tries to explain his point. This new Q & A on his website provides a good overview. I find his discussion of the … Continue reading

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We May Be Hard Wired To Be Moral

Yale Psychologist Paul Bloom believes human beings are hard-wired to be moral. During the discussion of his work at the Edge Foundation conference on the New Science of Morality, Bloom clarifies that he’s more hesitant about his conclusions than he … Continue reading

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Goodness Comes from the Gut, or Does It?

Is goodness a gift from God, the result of reasoned thought, or something else far more visceral? And if the gut reigns, then how can we ever pull ourselves out of the moral mud? Two reports this week offer perspective, … Continue reading

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Sam Harris and the Dangerous Quest

I’m beginning to understand Sam Harris’ argument. He’s seeking an alternative to religion as the basis for morality, and he’s seeing morality as the core issue of our time. In a presentation and lengthy discussion at the Edge Foundation conference … Continue reading

Posted in Becoming Good, good vs. evil, morality | Tagged , , | 9 Comments