By Massimo Pigliucci
Rationally Speaking Blog
Originally posted October 11, 2013
Yes, yes, we’ve covered this territory before. But you might have heard that Sam Harris has reopened the discussion by challenging his critics, luring them out of their hiding places with the offer of cold hard cash. You see, even though Sam has received plenty of devastating criticism in print and other venues for the thesis he presents in The Moral Landscape (roughly: there is no distinction between facts and values, hence science is the way to answer moral questions), he is — not surprisingly — unconvinced. Hence the somewhat gimmicky challenge. We’ll see how that ones goes, I already have my entry ready (but the submission period doesn’t open until February 2nd).
Be that as it may, I’d like to engage my own thoughtful readers with a different type of challenge (sorry, no cash!), one from which I hope we can all learn something as the discussion unfolds. It seems to me pretty obvious (but I could be wrong) that there are plenty of ethical issues that simply cannot be settled by science, so I’m going to give a few examples below and ask all of you to: a) provide more and/or b) argue that I am mistaken, and that these questions really can be answered scientifically.
The entire article is here.