Sam Harris has apparently grown weary of what he considers ill-informed attacks on his book The Moral Landscape and its central thesis, that science can be used to definitively determine whether something is “right” or “wrong” morally. So weary, in fact, he’s willing to shell out his own cash and endure a public humiliation if he’s taken down.
On his website, he writes:
Anyone who believes that my case for a scientific understanding of morality is mistaken is invited to prove it in 1,000 words or less. (You must refute the central argument of the book—not peripheral issues.) The best response will be published on this website, and its author will receive $1,000. If any essay actually persuades me, however, its author will receive $10,000, and I will publicly recant my view.
And it didn’t stop there, because in an update, he tells us that a reader has put up a matching pledge, so those totals are now doubled.
Now, I’m a fan of Harris’s, and I pretty much bought hook, line, and sinker his whole Moral Landscape kit and caboodle. But I’m also a little hard-up, so maybe I should take even a disingenuous stab at pulling the intellectual rug out from under him, just to see if I can score some dough. Ah, who am I kidding?