Science can answer moral questions | Sam Harris

Science can answer moral questions | Sam Harris

37 thoughts on “Science can answer moral questions | Sam Harris

  1. You take moral truths to be self evident, but anyone can easily scientifically argue that we should put cholera in the water for any number of logical and rational reasons, if they hold different values that you.

    The fact of values doesn’t answer where the value comes from, it just acknowledges that value exists.

    (P.s.) i know he wont read any of this. Just thinking it through.

  2. There will be no progress until a medical cure for psychopathy is generated. Also, there will be no total resolution until ALL people realize we have to stop competing and collaborate.

  3. The guy at the end asked some interesting questions but also displayed some very under minding and disrespectful behavior through body language and the framing in which he asked his questions. Politically he may have had to seem that way due to the mentioning of the Middle East. Sam gave excellent responses and tried not to leave too much of anything up for interpretation through out the entire talk. In conclusion this was an excellent mind expanding talk that would benefit anyone truly searching for truth with the slight addition of a rude person at the very end.

  4. The idea of moral relativism is what measures our diversity of opinions through different cultural landscapes and we were fragmented because of this which questions or contradicts the universal/absolute conception of Morality

  5. Chris Anderson is a businessman not a deep thinker. He uses his position as Ted creator to try to discredit Sam in his way at the end. I listened to his podcast with Sam and it's just a pity to hear him trying to play the intellectual one!

  6. Question, question… Kind of reminds me of the jewish of questions.
    Might be his nose, would make sense too why some (((lies))) should be ok.

  7. I appreciate the sentiment behind the video, but that is one extremely oversimplified idea of ethics and morality. I wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to these ideas or even comment about it if they weren’t dangerous, but they are. Combining a blatant dismissal of complexity with a doctrine that demoralizes the idea of tolerance and creates a ranking amongst worldview (all while having no distinct reasoning or logic aside from a few circumstantial analogies) is a recipe for bigotry and social division. There’s so many things left unaddressed or dismissed in this video about the nature of mankind that about 30 minutes on Crash Course Philosophy could more effectively address. I like the sentiment and I agree that we need to find some sort of basis for morality that we can all share if we’re going to help society function as a whole- but not by being simpleminded like that.

  8. I feel like he made some good points but at the same time said a lot of easily refutable points as well. There are a lot of holes in his speech for sure.

  9. Thank you. I can now reference this video when people disagree with me that there exist objective moral truths. Extrapolating further, there must be objective good and evil. That's a strong pointer in favor of a religious worldview being close to the objective reality in which we live.

  10. He may be right but his definition of corporal punishment is way off, raising large bruises and breaking skin on a child is not legal anywhere in America. Spanking like with a wooden spoon or a switch and pinching are legal however

  11. Only uneducated people who do not understand the scientific method can say that science can not answer moral questions.
    Morals are the concept of right and wrong, and although right and wrong is subjective for each person, we certainly know that there is a one and only solution that will be beneficial and hence right for the majority. That is how our whole civilization is constructed, for the benefit of the majority. If that is the case, than all we have to do is find the objective right and wrong answers for the majority.

    And now answer me what tool do humans use to find an objective truth? "knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation" is definition of science, in other words the objective description of reality.

    In the example of womens rights that he talked about, those practices are directly detrimental to the majority in their population, both to women and the men that love them (fathers, brothers) etc, hence that practice is objectively wrong.

  12. It seems like what Harris has done here is to define utilitarianism again. One of the great critiques of utilitarianism has been that utility (a synonym for flourishing) is difficult to calculate and so as a practical system of ethics it is difficult to implement. With brain imaging it may become easier, but we have to remember that what looks like healthy behavior is harder to define than Harris seems to believe. Should we just maximize enjoyment? Should we maximize productivity? What exactly does human flourishing mean? Harris has a sort of hand-wavey argument here that conceals the fact that he’s just pushing value judgements into the ill-defined sphere of “human flourishing.”

  13. I don't remember in all this him ever defining what morality is and why it is what it is, or why we should accept why it is what it is other than science deals with facts…

  14. Blah blah blah. Unnecessary words.
    It’s very simple. Below are actual beliefs past and present.

    —invisible Gods —talking snakes —talking
    bushes that are on fire —gods with 4 arms and the face of an elephant—People coming back to life —people dying and turning into dust but reincarnated as a bird or a water buffalo or a duck—global flood killing millions of children and babies— a man surviving 3 days inside a whale that swallows him —a monkey face god who helps you maintain celibacy—
    a god who controls the wind speed an air temperature—a woman turning into a block of pure salt—a woman who controls all the waters of the world— a half horse half man creature—a seven headed beast who comes out of the sea with crowns on its head,
    actual dragons flying around breathing fire—god who lives in the sun , a man flying through the heavens pulled by powerful flying goats while shooting lighting down on his enemies.
    I’m tired now sorry.

  15. This guy needs to do a lot more research. It's definitely illegal to punish any student with pain in any way. This includes paddling. If he can't get that right he's probably missing a lot more. He's trying to win the audience with fake news and it's working. Don't believe anything you hear.

  16. Islam nowhere teaches honor killings. you can't label the acts of a particular group of people to their ideologies.
    just like if we have more gamers in Korea doesn't mean the Korean government made a law for its citizen to be a gamer from age 15 – 30.
    The best thing about you is, you did misrepresentation of Islam very well

  17. I feel like he only gives the direction for general morality, and I'm afraid many parts of the world have already mostly adopted that. His metaphor for food/poison is not really working, though, since some foods can be worse for you (or a bit more 'poisonous') than others while remaining more or less healthy. There is a continuum of healthiness, and that's where a lot of debate and clash comes in, since we don't actually know what's healthier or equally healthy, or more moral, to bring it back. At least in the long term.

  18. I am an immigrant from a culture that doesn't oppose reasonable disciplinary action such as spanking a child, this is to teach the child the concept of boundary, the idea of right and wrong, the idea of consequences of one's own action, I don't advocate the physical aspect of this, however, I myself see plenty of sorry grow-ups without disciplinary actions in their upbringings, we must morally define what is reasonable disciplinary action raising our children for our own & their sake.

  19. Intelligent and logical man. Shame he generalizes Muslims(that is his daily thing) cause that undermines him. He could had easily used any example for his logic, yet threw all of his speech he (mostly and in peak places with even slight touch of drama) chose to use examples of poor peasant radical Muslims to point what is wrong, evil, dark, obscure…
    I am free minded, logical person (at least I hope so) and to me radical Islam is not even among first 20 examples of wrong doing in the world…
    Lecture with beautiful logic and the ugliest agenda.

  20. His idea is that the emotions of empathy, sympathy and compassion are the true bedrock of morality. The problem with that is that feelings have no authority over us. Who has a moral obligation to obey a feeling? In fact, it's usually best to suppress feelings. For example, it's usually best to suppress panic, resentment, and rage. You should suppress your empathy also. So once you suppress your feelings in order to make a clear-headed decision, Harris's entire foundation for making the decision is gone.

    This lecture is so arrogant. For thousands of years philosophers and everyone else has known that science does not say whether something is right or wrong. Oh but none of those ancients knew about empathy which was only recently discovered by Sam Harris as the true foundation of moral action.

  21. Values (in general meaning) are not well-being… He just took utilitarianism (a specific set of values) and tried to convince people that its obvious its the only possible set that exists… Its not… This is rather nasty eristics.

  22. Start to fight the white knights, the social justice warrior, and when you've exterminated them.. MAYBE there will be a light at the end of the tunnel… But untill they are free to talk and to say things, this world will be lead by non sensical discussion and "don't hurt my feelings" .

  23. I do not think an atheist has an argument when it comes to morality, as they are thing in this world that cannot be understood, for instance, a cuckoo bird, the minute its born it knows it has to kill every other egg and if you watch how clever or cruel the cuckoo bird carries out that task you become amazed at the way it does it, the same with a caterpillar, for its life it eats leafs small insects until its strong enough to build a cacoon then it seals itself in until its starving and tries hard to break out it struggles real hard and if you try to help it it will fall down and die if you leave it to struggle it will turn into a butterfly,
    they are many examples in nature deep in the oceans or amazons that will make you come to the only conclusion GOD, an atheist thinks its all a massive accident,

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