Tag «The Moral Landscape»

Podcast: Moral Philosophy & The Moral Landscape

Thomas Smith, host of the podcast Atheistically Speaking, had me on to talk about moral philosophy and Sam Harris’s The Moral Landscape. Previous guests of the program include philosopher Massimo Pigliucci, a critic of Harris. Thomas is a supporter of Harris’s scientific theory of morality. He and I had a friendly and fruitful discussion that …

The Fight for Moral Truth

In my essay for Sam Harris’s Moral Landscape Challenge, I assumed that serious competing theories of morality and value exist. Sam rejects this assumption. He contends that the only serious ethical theory is the one he accepts—consequentialism (explained after the jump). Sam also rejects my assumption that ethics must be prescriptive. He says an ethical …

Science, Philosophy, & Reality

Sam Harris has published his response to my winning essay in the Moral Landscape Challenge. I’d like to thank Sam for issuing the challenge and replying to my essay. I’d also like to thank Russell Blackford for all his hard work as contest judge. In my essay, I say that Sam has “not brought questions …

The Worst Possible Misery for Everyone is Bad (Reasoning)? – Part 1

Sam Harris’s “worst possible misery for everyone” argument (WPME, for short) attempts to defend this conclusion: Increases/decreases in the well-being of conscious creatures fully determine which states of the world are morally better/worse. The argument is named for its key premise: “The worst possible misery for everyone is bad.” In this post, I’ll lay out …

4 Ways to Win the Moral Landscape Challenge

Let me first say that this post’s title is a little misleading. The Moral Landscape Challenge refers to Sam Harris’s public invitation to refute, in no more than 1,000 words, the central thesis of his book, The Moral Landscape, in which he argues that science can answer moral questions. The prize for the best essay: $2,000 …