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  1. #1
    Epiphany
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    Default Science and Morality

    Sam Harris: Science can answer moral questions | Video on TED.com

    I watched this video, but I don't understand how science defines morality.

    Thoughts anyone?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Actually. I agree with his position and views.

    He's sort of claiming that there are optimum paths for peaceful civilizations. That while we debate about "What's immoral about such and such", ultimately that we know that the best moral position is emotional and physical well being. Science deals with measuring emotional and physical well being. So you can use that to determine which is the 'moral' path as such. He seems to be taking a practical approach towards morality basically...?

    Still he's taking a moral position and using science to achieve that. But ultimately it's like someone mentioned earlier on: There's nothing saying why "flourishing societies" should be achieved.

  3. #3
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    If the morals being chosen are falsifiable then you can use science to answer moral questions if they are more of a philosophical or spiritual nature then you will be SOL attempting to use science to determine what is and is not morally correct as it relates to morals that are in the "eye of the beholder" and not objectively verifiable....

    Thus certain morals are a lot like beauty or tastes in food, fashion, etc... you can obtain a consensus on what the average citizen finds attractive, tasty, or even fashionable but you cannot prove or disprove it scientifically since the process is entirely subjective...

    In science in order for something to be "true" it must be independently verifiable at every instance there cannot be exceptions to the rule or the rule must be redefined...
    Thus it is logical to think that whatever moral systems offer and sustain the greatest happiness for the majority of people will be the most successful and those that do not will not but it says nothing about what those morals will be...

    Therefore, the only way you can be scientific about analyzing your morals is if you start with the assumptions that certain morals are already true or false and based on that move forward with constructing a society based on those and then analyze said society to see if that society is realistically sustainable if built on said morals... that is not really science per se... because it can't tell you what morals are and are not valid it can only tell you what will likely happen with morals you've already "certified"...
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    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    I'm not a moral ethics pro, as I don't really have any, but regardless of the approach you take with morals and ethics, they all begin with a subjectively defined assumption, do they not? You can say "the moral good is what increases happiness for the most amount of people" but how do you objectively arrive there?



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    Member Manis's Avatar
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    We can analyse cultures scientifically to learn how to make a more utilitarian society, not a more moral one. Morality is an abstract idea that science simply cannot touch upon, as Spin says, science can no more tell you what is objectively moral than it can tell you what is objectively beautiful. I love science and I do believe it can solve most of our problems, but people like Richard Dawkins and the chap in the video who want to turn it into some kind of religion scare the hell out of me.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    I'm not a moral ethics pro, as I don't really have any, but regardless of the approach you take with morals and ethics, they all begin with a subjectively defined assumption, do they not? You can say "the moral good is what increases happiness for the most amount of people" but how do you objectively arrive there?
    The real question is, how do T dominants come to be, when human beings are inherently subjective beings

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