Sam Harris has adequately demonstrated the inconsistency of claiming an objective morality within a materialistic worldview by conducting circular conversations on the sidelines, intermixed with the truth of neuroscience, the confusion of terms, appealing to the obvious, answering moral questions with non-moral answers, and supplying red herrings with his misinformed understanding of the Christian ethic. It appears that all of the frenzy could have been avoided if Harris had simply resolved to leave the term ‘moral’ out of his discussion, supplying an agreed upon scheme of maximizing human flourishing with scientific advancements. Nonetheless, the frenzy was intentional, not formed out of Harris’ ignorance, where he sincerely attempted to include morality in the discussion because morality supplied the ‘ought’ for his imperatives. Without ‘the well-being landscape’ functioning under the title of ‘the moral landscape,’ there is no ‘ought’ for Harris to appeal to in the occasion of needed correction. His effort is enthralling, but it will require more than the mere semantic performance of redefinition to transfer ‘is’ into an objective ‘ought.’
See the entirety of my criticism here.
See parts 1-5 here:
- The Good Life vs. The Bad Life
- Facts and Values
- Rejection of the Need for Justification
- Approaches to Ought: Mechanical vs. Transcendent