ELSEWHERE: Here Are 20,000 Reasons Harris Won’t Give up His Scientism

While our James Hoskins has pointed out that Steven Pinker could stand to take a few theology lessons, Ross Douthat’s been straightening out Sam Harris on his confused scientism. Apparently he thinks that science can determine human values in a meaningful way, to such a degree that he’s willing to pay $20,000 to anyone who can refute his central argument. Of course, that gives him 20,000 reasons to not buy the argument.

About Derek Rishmawy

Derek Rishmawy is the Director of College and Young Adult ministries at Trinity United Presbyterian Church in Orange County, CA, serving college kids for the gospel. He’s been graciously adopted by the Triune God. That God has also seen fit to bless him with lovely wife named McKenna. He got his B.A. in Philosophy at UCI and his M.A. in Theological Studies (Biblical Studies) at APU. His passions are theology, the church, some philosophy, cultural criticism, and theology. He has been published at the Gospel Coalition, Mere Orthodoxy, and Out of Ur blog. He writes regularly at his Reformedish blog. You can connect on Facebook and can also follow him on Twitter at @DZRishmawy.

  • Guest

    Your point is…?

  • ThisIsTheEnd

    You obviously didn’t get the memo that Scientism is a threat. Even though hardly any scientist or philosopher buys into scientism. But it’s a threat nonetheless.

  • http://derekzrishmawy.com/ Derek Rishmawy

    My point is for you to go read the article I linked. Sorry if I made that unclear.

  • http://derekzrishmawy.com/ Derek Rishmawy

    Scientism = a particularly popular brand of reductionism that is quite popular among the new atheist set. They don’t call it that, but that’s what it is. Most good philosophers don’t hold it, you’re right. And scientists who know better don’t. It just so happens that the ones who know better don’t get a lot of press.

  • ThisIsTheEnd

    My impression is that what’s popular among the new atheist set, or for that matter the evangelical set, doesn’t really amount to much in the world of science and philosophy.

  • Jess Rice

    I think it’s only fair to point out that Harris will not be judging the arguments.

    From the contest rules:

    9. With you as the judge, how can we trust that the best attack on your thesis will see the light of day?

    Having fielded several accusations that this contest will be rigged—if not by design, then by my own ignorance and bias—I reached out to the philosopher Russell Blackford for help. Russell is among the most energetic critics of The Moral Landscape, and I am very happy to say that he has agreed to judge the submissions, introduce the winning essay, and evaluate my response.

    Of course, only I can say whether I find the winning essay persuasive enough to trigger a change in my position (and the larger prize). But if I’m not persuaded, I’ll have to explain why, and Russell will be there to see that I do so without dodging any important points.

    - See more at: http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-moral-landscape-challenge1#sthash.pHXbV6td.dpuf

  • http://derekzrishmawy.com/ Derek Rishmawy

    Sure, But it matters in the real world where people live and think and love and act–those are our readers.

  • http://derekzrishmawy.com/ Derek Rishmawy

    Thanks for the update!

  • ThisIsTheEnd

    I’m dubious about even that.


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