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Smart young woman: Sam Harris’s book “The Moral Landscape” is “an immense waste of time”


Skatje Myers, daughter of a well-known Darwinist bloggers, rips a piece off new atheist Sam Harris’s The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values:

In “The Moral Landscape decreased my wellbeing,” she writes:

So, to summarise:

1. Utilitarianism is right, but not any more justifiable than anything else. But who cares what other people think, anyway?
2. Because utilitarianism is right, we don’t have to be loopy post-modernists.
3. Science can tell us what makes us happy. Here’s a smattering of scientific studies about the brain.

Why in the hell do they give out book deals so easily? This book isn’t about convincing others, or providing novel ideas. It’s about pandering to atheists with very little knowledge of philosophy and ethics and an abundance of arrogance, telling them science is with them, and then reiterating how immoral people who like FGM and throwing acid in girls’ faces are and how we don’t have to listen to them because We Are Right. This is nothing but a convoluted rehashing of utilitarianism that still falls to the same old criticisms, and an immense waste of time unless you really like a good ignorant circlejerk.

One philosopher calls her 200x the philosopher her dad is, though clearly still quite young.

More from Harris here.

Some say it’s actually worse than the kid thinks. See “Church of Flying Spaghetti Monster Stages Social Protest” where atheist wins right to wear spaghetti drainer in a driver’s licence photo (mocking religious headgear). The group is probably protected by the fact that its only dogma is the “rejection of dogma,” so it can avoid confronting the demand for drivers’ licences for fully veiled women – a genuine issue.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend? Skatje's analysis of Harris' work is basically from a more rigorous western philosophy perspective. It was definitely a cogent analysis, but then Harris' offered little that was new or persuasive other than to those who wanted to believe. But why take comfort in an analysis that must ultimately end up at nihilism? Skatje seems to want more, and to be deciding on what she values and the terms upon which she is willing to live with others. The good news is, she seems to value freedom, and such people are easier to live with. africangenesis
Agreed. Check out the article on her blog, she chin checks Sam Harris. Makes him her gimp. junkdnaforlife
So, what does PZ think of his daughter? How old is Skatje? This level of eloquence is extraordinary for a teenager. GilDodgen
It's a pretty spot-on review of the weaknesses of Harris' book, and you can hear exactly how it bears up under close scrutiny in his debate with William Craig on the foundation of moral values that took place at Notre Dame earlier this year. http://tinyurl.com/5trkb3a vicsemprini
News, Agreed. So in attempting to overthrow the perceived tyranny of Christianity (along with the principles, which are the cornerstone of our current democracy) they invite the worst tyranny of all: Sharia law. This is why Saudi Arabia remains a religious monarchy with no human rights to speak of and corrupt beyond measure. I know because I lived there. Saudi's are wonderful people in general, but they don't have an internal medium for dissidence, which is the basis for any real democracy; free speech. They reject the idea of free speech because they perceive that it will diminish the general genteel demeanor of the populace. And this is precisely what the HRCs' tried to do in Canada; create a genteel populace. Fine, but there's a price. The price for silencing the Neo Nazi's and White Supremacists is to invite the worst, most imoral and corrupt of regimes. Some Christians have a tendency to want to silence those they disagree with too, but I think most understand the danger. Darwinists are also trying to silence ID proponents and creationists in the name of science. Do they understand the danger? It won't lead to the utopian society based on science that they envision. History bears this out. "Thanks for reading Ez the Mighty." He certainly brings clarity. You ain't seen nothin' like the Mighty Ez. CannuckianYankee
Thanks for reading Ez the Mighty, Cannuckian, you won't be the worse for it. He sheds much light on routine denials of intellectual liberty, such as ID types have suffered. You are right, of course: The atheists end up legitimizing the burqa, though that is not strictly their intention if you ask them. Their record in opposing tyranny is one of unprincipled accommodation. Put another way, they hate Christianity so much that they can see no clear and present danger from religious systems that do not even in principle respect civil liberties. News
"The group is probably protected by the fact that its only dogma is the “rejection of dogma,” it can avoid confronting the demand for drivers’ licences for fully veiled women – a genuine issue." Well not really. What they're actually doing is legitimizing the dogma. Having been fully engrossed in the writings of Ezra Lavant the last couple of days, here's what I found regarding the issue of giving the enemy a dose of their own medicine: "There is another, radical option for reforming the HRCs - one that some believe may become necessary if the methods I've outlined above don't bear fruit. It would involved the "Army of Davids" engaging in the ultimate act of anti-HRC civil disobedience: to overwhelm the human rights commissions by filing thousands of complaints, against every single person who has ever filed a human rights complaint. Why not?...... Ultimately, though, I've concluded that this denial of service-style approach to fighting the HRCs is a bad idea. Smacking the commissions' defenders with thousands of complaints sounds exciting and deliciously mischievous. It would have the taste of vengeance. But it would also be unprincipled. By using the HRCs' immoral system - even as a gesture of protest - we would be implicitly legitimizing it." Shakedown: How Our Government is Undermining Democracy in the Name of Human Rights (pgs. 187,191) http://www.amazon.com/Shakedown-Government-Undermining-Democracy-Rights/dp/0771046197/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1310783641&sr=1-1 The FSM stupid human strainer trick is highly unprincipled. What this guy has only succeeded in doing is legitimizing the burqas. That's not a rejection of dogma. I don't believe that atheism provides a way to be principled the way Lavant envisions it. It's utilitarian to the max as the smart young woman so eloquently pointed out. Utilitarianism leads eventually to tyranny. Ethics derived from science is necessarily utilitarian. Just about every cautionary tail (eg. The Island of Dr. Moreau) we've seen in media and film over the last half century or so bears this out. You can be an atheist and have principled ethics, but you can't derive them from science. She couldn't have been smoking what Harris allows for his daughter. CannuckianYankee

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