In this TED clip, author, secularist and CEO of Project Reason, Sam Harris discusses the relationship between science and morality, arguing that questions of good, evil, right and wrong can be observed and answered by science. He argues that matters of “human flourishing”–which have traditionally been considered the milieu of faith, religion and philosophy–can and should be a matter of scientific and factual observation.
In his talk, Harris asks a series of compelling questions:
- “How have we convinced ourselves that in the moral sphere there is no such thing as moral expertise or moral talent or moral genius, even?
- How have we convinced ourselves that every opinion has to count?
- How have we convinced ourselves that every culture has a point of view on these subjects that is worth considering?”
He also calls suggests to his peers that what the world needs now is for “people like ourselves to admit that there are right and wrong answers to questions of human flourishing and morality relates to that domain of facts.”
Calling into question the notion of moral relativism and suggesting that neuroscience rather than God and religion is the path to moral enlightenment, Harris is opening a new conversation about morality and science that I find fascinating. I am looking forward to reading his new book, The Moral Landscape, and will share more thoughts as I make my way through it. Until then, would love to know what you think…