Coming up this week…

I’m taking the weekend off as part of my Thanksgiving holiday (i.e. making time to do all the work that I was supposed to have tackled during the Thanksgiving holiday).  I’m going to set myself the more modest goal of getting caught up on replying to recent comments (so if you’ve been waiting for a response to a question, check back on the thread on Monday, and hassle me if I haven’t gotten to it.

On Monday, I’ll be starting two posts that will be crossover posted to both the Eight Questions series and the Sin and Immorality series when I tackle the last two questions of Egnor’s eight:

Does Moral Law exist in itself, or is it an artifact of nature (natural selection, etc.)?

Why is there evil?

I have a couple more posts planned out to follow and flesh out my discussion of immoral acts, and then I’ll have to find a new series topic.  Perhaps the next book on my list, Sam Harris’s The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values. I’d love to see a book that lays out an atheist grounding for absolute morality (especially since I know this is the major weak point in my personal philosophy), but I’m doubtful I’ll be satisfied by Harris’s argument.

Ah well.  Fingers crossed!

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  • Why are you doubtful of Harris's arguments before having read the book?-I have not read Harris before, but I am personally doubtful because I find these types of arguments from atheists *tend* to be made by folks that don't actually believe in objective morality but feel compelled to make a statement to those that do, by pretending that they do.

  • @Charles:From what I've read of other people's reviews and commentaries, Harris is taking the position that morality is a matter of reducing 'harm' or things that interfere with 'flourishing.' I agree, but, although there are many definitions of 'harm' that are uncontroversial (murder, rape, etc), I think most of the tough question about morality are about the more contested possible harms (types of sexual activity, ways of constituting community, responsibility to intervene in the lives of others, etc).I'm curious how he establishes his list of 'harms,' which seems much more interesting than his main thrust: how empirics can help us reduce harms once we know what they are.But we'll see.