In his new book, The Moral Landscape (Oct., 2010), Harris writes about How Science Can Determine Human Values. He seems to be saying that ALL WE NEED IS SCIENCE. Really?

By the way, Sam, it would have really been impressive had you subtitled your book: How Science Can Help Determine Human Values, agreed?

http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/the-moral-landscape/

BTW, as a life-long student of psychology (my major at university), pneumatology, astronomy, economics and the like, I am very much a fan of science. Omniscience--one of the attributes that theologians assign to the god-hypothesis--literally means all-science, or knowledge. Progressive theology and pneumatology are no fans of any kind of fundamentalism, and they are definitely NOT anti-science.

ABOUT GOD, or G0D--note the acronyms
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Those who know my posts know that the O--in the acronym GOD--which I use rather than the noun, God--stands for totality, or infinite Being in which creation, the macrocosm or existence, has its being. At the level of quantum physics I write G0D--god in through and within all that IS, at the microcosmic level.

Which immediately prompts the questions: Science of what? Some sciences--biology, biochemistry and the like--have to do with the nature of things, the body--the things we have and what we do with them. Some, for example, psychology and pneumatology have to do with the the mind and spirit--how we relate to others and to GOD.

Looking back, when scientists, past and present, speak of human values, what values did scientists who supported Hitler and other kind of fascist-like dictatorships, including the Stalin-kind of atheistic communism, espouse?

With the above in mind, here is a summary of what I know about Sam Harris:

Along with other prominent members of the New Atheism movement—Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christoper Hitchens—he is considered one of the most ardent critics of religion in the 21st century. Born in 1967; an American; a neuroscientist; a non-fiction writer, who is also interested in neurotheology, and religion. He is a graduate in philosophy (Stanford); has studied Eastern and Western religious traditions, along with a variety of contemplative disciplines, for twenty years.

A proponent of scientific skepticism, Harris wrote the best selling book, The End of Faith (2004), and Letter to a Christian Nation (2006). The latter, written as a rejoinder to the critics of his first book, describes Christians as being,

"murderously, intolerant of criticism. While we may want to ascribe this to human nature, it is clear that such hatred draws considerable support from the Bible. How do I know this? The most disturbed of my correspondents always cite chapter and verse.”

Harris makes an outspoken attack on religion of all styles and persuasions and freely admits that he is advocating a form of intolerance. But not, as he says, the kind of intolerance that gave us the Gulag. Rather he is arguing for a conversational intolerance, one in which our everyday discourse and our convictions really scale with the available evidence.

He says that we ought to be able to demand intellectual honesty across the board, and ignore the prevailing taboos and political correctness which seem to prevent us from openly criticizing religion.
In his new book, The Moral Landscape (2010), Harris writes about How Science Can Determine Human Values.

He makes the assumption that science is a source of moral values. But does he mean, "the material sciences only?" Is there no room for pneumatology--study of the spirit?

As a scientist, he calls for a rational, open-ended and honest inquiry. Good! Who get to define was is meant by 'god' when we explore the GOD-hypothesis?

If Sam Harris—an obviously respected critic of religion—is willing to agree that, within the numerous religious communities—also sources of human values—it is highly probable that there are any number of lovingly-tolerant and humane protagonists who appreciate constructive criticisms, I say, let the “conversational intolerance, the rational, open-ended and honest inquiry” begin.

It could be a win/win experience for all involved.
www.lindsayking.ca


Edited by Revlgking (10/27/10 09:45 PM)
Edit Reason: Always a good idea!
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G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org