What is Morality?: David Deutsch on Morality

In my last post, I ended by asking this question: What we really need is a way to justify (i.e. explain) morality without having to appeal to morality via a circular argument.  

I wanted to take a bit of an aside now and give some interesting thoughts from physicist and philosopher David Deutsch. Don’t expect any perfect answers here, but he does (I feel) point us in the right direction so I’m going to include an extended quote from him. (All quotes taken from The Fabric of Reality, p. 359-362)

Bear in mind that David Deutsch believes strongly in objective morality. But here, he muses about the problems of trying to work it into a scientific framework. Continue reading

Sam Harris on Science and Morality

Warning: The attached link to Sam Harris’ video includes some fairly small ‘magazine images’ to demonstrate Western views on the female body. He does not condone western views as morally correct, and in fact I think his point of view is in alignment with our values. But I was not comfortable including the video directly on a Mormon website where people might click on it and watch it without realizing what they were about to see.  

Sam Harris’ speech on science and morality made the rounds amongst Internet circles a while back. A non-LDS friend brought it to my attention and was curious what I thought of it. He later told me that he found it enlightening, but felt there was something wrong with it, though he couldn’t put his finger on it.

The idea that “science” (and by that we really mean scientific epistemology of conjecture and refutation) has the ability to explain and answer questions of morality is very appealing to me because it fits properly into my view of an explainable reality, including an explainable God.

I believe that this first part of Sam Harris’ presentation is spot on. I agree with him that “Values are facts about well being of conscious creatures.” Continue reading