Sam Harris talks to Michael Shermer about morality, or meta-morality. They’re both experts in the subject, so the combination must be super-expert.
Shermer: The criterion I use—inspired by your starting point in The Moral Landscape of “the well-being of conscious creatures”—is “the survival and flourishing of sentient beings.”
He says that as if the idea originated with Sam Harris. It didn’t.
Today we no longer accept the witch theory of causality because science debunked it. In its stead science created natural and more accurate explanations for such phenomena as weather and diseases. Science has also debunked other superstitious beliefs, such as demon possession; the need for animal and human sacrifice to appease God; that Jews caused the Black Death; that African Americans are an inferior race; that women are the weaker gender…
Science has debunked the superstitious belief that women are the weaker gender…but not the superstitious belief that being intellectually active is more of a guy thing?
Why? Why the one and not the other? Aren’t they linked? Aren’t they variations on a single theme? Aren’t both equally stupid?
I think the answer to all those questions is Yes. Given that, I would love to know why Shermer got in such a rage at me for criticizing him for making that claim.