Hawke's Bay Next Skeptics in the Pub the Gintrap 64 Quay West Ahuriri Napier Thursday 26th April 7pm
Next Skeptics in the Pub the Gintrap 64 Quay West Ahuriri Thursday 26th April 7pm (seperate Room for the Group)
Here is out topic for the next Skeptics in the Pub.
I have enjoyed Sam Harris's thinking on whether there can be a science of good and evil.
"It seems to me patently obvious that we can no more respect and tolerate vast differences in notions of human well-being than we can respect or tolerate vast differences in the notions about how disease spreads, or in the safety standards of buildings and airplanes."
"If we were to discover a new tribe in the Amazon tomorrow, there is not a scientist alive who would assume a priori that these people must enjoy optimal physical health and material prosperity. Rather, we would ask questions about this tribe’s average lifespan, daily calorie intake, the percentage of women dying in childbirth, the prevalence of infectious disease, the presence of material culture, etc. Such questions would have answers, and they would likely reveal that life in the Stone Age entails a few compromises. And yet news that these jolly people enjoy sacrificing their firstborn children to imaginary gods would prompt many (even most) anthropologists to say that this tribe was in possession of an alternate moral code, every bit as valid and impervious to refutation as our own. However, the moment one draws the link between morality and human well-being, one sees that this is tantamount to saying that the members of this tribe must be as fulfilled, psychologically and socially, as any people in human history. The disparity between how we think about physical health and mental/societal health reveals a bizarre double standard: one that is predicated on our not knowing—or, rather, on our pretending not to know—anything at all about human flourishing."
So our topic is
"Can there be a science of good and evil? Is science a better way to understand how humans can flourish than our traditional ways? If we agree how might we promote science into the debate?"
See Sam's TED Talk