Another TED talk you should see

Here is another good talk from TED which will make you think. Sam Harris talks on how Science Can Answer Moral Questions.

PS if anyone can tell me how I can embed TED talks into my posts rather than posting links I’d be most grateful!


2 responses to “Another TED talk you should see

  1. Thanks for the link. I would be interested to know what you thought of what Harris said.

    I felt that he avoided all of the difficult questions. I haven’t read his book, and maybe they’re all addressed there, but I would have been more impressed if he had at least alluded to some of these difficulties in his talk.

    For example, he simply assumes a kind of utilitarian model of ethics, but that is by no means the only approach to the subject. Equally, although he gave some examples of moral questions that he thought science could not answer, he said nothing about how those boundaries might be drawn in general.

    On the embedding thing: you’ve probably tried this, but don’t you click on the ‘share’ button and use the WordPress id that’s generated?

  2. I think that it’s welcome to hear someone talk about an intrinsic link between science and morality, it’s intelligent to talk about morality admitting of exceptions, and it’s healthy for us to strive towards a better statement on moral issues. I think Western intelligensia has been confusing reasons with justifications for a long time. And so I like his points about moral viewpoints and moral expertise.

    But I agree with you that he doesn’t go deep enough in many areas. Can morality really be reduced to “well-being of conscious creatures”? For instance, is there nothing that says that unconscious elements such as our environment do not fall under a moral compass – and not just one that benefits us?

    But like all moral arguments he has to say “if > then” and you have to accept that the “if” is right before you can wholly agree with the “then” and of course here he doesn’t have to argue that.

    So I posted it because it makes you think and analyse and because it’s so important to regularly challenge our assumptions and test our beliefs in order to grow spiritually. It’s not something to be frightend of as I think people often are. It’s something to be cherished and embraced.

    And I tried that copying thing but it didn’t seem to work! Anyone else got any ideas….?

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