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Science can answer ethical issues | Sam Harris

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http://www.ted.com Inquiries of great and evil, correct and mistaken are commonly assumed unanswerable by science. But Sam Harris argues that science can — and should — be an authority on ethical problems, shaping human values and placing out what constitutes a great lifetime.

TEDTalks is a each day online video podcast of the very best talks and performances from the TED Convention, wherever the world’s top thinkers and doers give the converse of their lives in eighteen minutes. Featured speakers have incorporated Al Gore on climate adjust, Philippe Starck on structure, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her individual stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on A person Notebook per Little one, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Invoice Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the “Sixth Feeling” wearable tech, and “Shed” producer JJ Abrams on the allure of thriller. TED stands for Know-how, Entertainment, Structure, and TEDTalks address these subject areas as perfectly as science, small business, growth and the arts. Shut captions and translated subtitles in a wide range of languages are now accessible on TED.com, at http://www.ted.com/translate. Look at a highlight reel of the Major ten TEDTalks at http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/top10

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27 comments:

  1. The problem here is, the right and wrong of scientific knowledge can be measured. You can do experiment to determine if a scientific fact is right or wrong, but how do you measure the well being of a society living under a certain moral code compare to another society living under a different moral code? If you cannot measure the relative well being, then claims that one moral code is better than another have no real bias to stand on. All we have left is our own moral instinct to guide us.

  2. Science can support reasons as why morality is in fact: important, but cannot directly define what the moral standards of a society should be. Which is why philosophy is turned to in matters of morality because it actually actively studies a concept of right and wrong. Science wouldn't be able to provide proper answers for most questions of morality, in which philosophy has a bigger reach.

  3. Look Sam, as you rank those other life forms, remember that we evolved from one-celled life forms. Be careful that you don't de-value where you came from. Your opinion might not be a fact. But it's a fact that you have that opinion. My values might only be an opinion. But it's a fact that I have my opinions. Who's to say who's opinion is more factual? Neither is 100%. What happens when your opinion clashes with my opinion? Your "facts" will not convince me to prefer red over blue, or urban life over rural life, or "whatever" over "something else". Nor will my "facts" convince you otherwise. It's too easy to dismiss opinions as non-factual, just to dismiss "the other's" preferences. That's how we convince ourselves that "we" are right, and "they" are wrong. That's a form of bullying because "they" can't prove that their opinions matter. So people like you project the illusion of logic to justify your opinions and baffle "the other's" as if they were not like you in any way that matters. Are you sure you're not turning science into your own religion? That way, you never have to do any soul-searching, because after all, nobody has ever proved that you even have a soul. One less opinion to deal with. How convenient. As long as you have no soul, you don't have to deal with yourself. That's someone else's problem. Just remember: Wherever you go, there you are. And as long as Mutual Admiration Societies exist, you'll never be alone. But that will still not help you deal with "them/others".

  4. Harris's position appears simple: he calls for some people, because of their understanding of science, to be heeded when telling other people how (but not necessarily what) to think and calls for other people to be ignored because of their lack of such understanding.

  5. Harris can't understand that
    it was a moral decision to abide by logic and reason, and the method created by that way of thinking (scientific method), can't surround the element that gave birth to it in the first place.
    What came first ? cientific truth or moral truth ?. i'm sure we all know the answer.

  6. If you use human well being as an axiom, then the answers to many moral questions become obvious.
    But it IS an AXIOM. It's not TRUTH, there's no objective truth when it comes to morality.

    Also… we get it Sam. You hate muslims.

  7. This is a TED talk I did not like. There were assumptions and a skew world view. Science and religion crammed into twenty minutes leads to a waste of time. His talk should have been about ethics instead of morality which resides in a bowl of opinions and as many humans who care to offer one.

  8. According to one of the skeptic journals; people those believe in God made fine logical decisions as atheists do in their businesses. Which means, people those who have fallen in wrong decision(way to eat food) does not mean him or herself(digesting system) has fully changed fitting into that wrong way. But of course, while having philosophical conversation, they seem to be not matured. By the way, his thoughts and interest in brain science and buddah proves he is my clone (joke).

  9. I think he's hijacking the anti-Islamic tendencies of this generation. It's hard to believe he'd have any scientific reason to dislike Islamic beliefs more than any other religion. For that matter, Christianity is much, much more murderous and demonic than Islam. For instance, the entireties of the North, Central, and parts of South America along with millions of people were all subjected to total genocide and forced religious brainwash. So did Africa, New Zealand, Samoa, and many other parts of the world. Christianity as a doctrine of beliefs that they must convert others is no different than the belief of Muslims to jihad. In fact it's the same exact belief it's just that one of these has done all their murdering, torturing, and brainwashing and the other in is half-way done and stopped to be called bad. I've read many books and wikipedia pages of countries like I've listed above: American Holocaust, A Cross of Thorns, etc. and it turns out that Muslim Jihad is literally the same exact practice of Christian missionary with the exception that the Christians are more or less done and millions of people have been beaten and starved to death already so it's hard to encapsulate the real damage they've caused. Hundreds, literally hundreds, of languages of the world were directly destroyed by the Christian doctrine by way of these missionaries forcing people with torture to only speak out of the bible and be beaten and separate from their family if they speak anything else. It's so sick and real that I can't even begin to tell you how contradictory it is to talk about Islam in a negative light anywhere without bringing up Christianity.

  10. No humans no god. No humans no morals. Simple as that sorry sam morals are as fictional as gods. Thats why there are so many morals just like the different gods. So i dont care that gravity exists or not but i still am forced to follow the law of gravity. But im not forced to follow any moral "law". Science cant prove everything. So go ahead and make fun of people who believe in made up gods just remember morals are just stories.

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