Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dr. Sam Harris: Atheist Morality - Part 4

Sam Harris says that he shares the concern of religious people that "unless we have a universal moral framework... a sense that good and evil and right and wrong really mean something, then humanity will lose its way."

But what does he mean by "lose its way?" This seems to imply that there is a "best way" that could be missed.  But how can that be, given Harris's naturalistic and materialistic world view?

Toward the end of the same video Harris and Dawkins chortle together over the idea that all decisions are made before the person is conscious of what they are.  At that point they are affirming their belief in determinism - that there is no "ought" - only what is.  According to them, while people THINK they are making real decisions, in fact it is only an accident of their biochemical existence that is traced back through the evolutionary process over millions of years.

Harris has posed the question, "Who says science has nothing to say about morality?"  The answer seems obvious to everyone except Harris and Dawkins.  EVERYONE says that.  The secularists and atheists in the scientific community are pretty much unanimous on this point.  Harris admits that himself in his little talk.  The various religious communities certainly do not look to science for the answers to questions about morality.

When you look at things a bit more closely, you realize that even Harris is unable to say that there is a scientific answer to the questions of morality because his naturalistic, materialistic presuppositions push him into a mechanistic determinism that robs him of any "ought."  If his world view is correct, then what exists is inevitable.  What people do or don't do is predetermined by biochemical accidents.

In his world without God there is no basis for saying that anything is right or wrong - or good or bad. Someone's behavior is just the result of his evolutionary background.  If Harris feels that the other person's behavior is "bad" his feeling is simply the result of HIS evolutionary background.   But there is no "universal moral framework" for secular atheism.

And humanity has indeed lost its way.

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