Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Harris's mythology betrays him

I have been reading Stanley Hauerwas's The Peaceable Kingdom. It washes my soul after the subjection of gunk thinking it received from reading Sam Harris's The Moral Landscape. What I like about Dr. Hauerwas's book is how he, rightly in my opinion, locals ethics in both who we are and the story we tell about ourselves. It made take notice of the narrative that fuels Harris's writing as well as my own.

I view my life inside a greater story of God's story with mankind. Jesus, as the incarnate God, establishes his relationship with us out love. His relationship opens a door for us to transcend our base self center illusionary self, into what God created us to be. God does so by Jesus' life, death and resurrection. Salvation comes Jesus.

Sam Harris views history as the fight of humans to free themselves from superstition and religion through science and reason. His myth comes from an old enlightenment reading of history and popular during the Victorian age. The story was popularized in my youth by Carl Sagan and his Cosmos series on PBS. The irony is that this mythological story has more to do with belief than with historic fact. The story upholds evidence and reason, but then it has to ignore it. Example is Sam Harris strange use of the history of Slavery. He chastises Christianity for getting slavery wrong and then points to some passages in the bible. Slavery, he claims, is the easiest moral judgment and Christianity got it wrong. All pretty damning, if it weren't for history. Both the movement to end the slave trade in Brittan and slavery in this country were movements led by Christians who cited their faith as the reason for their opposition to slavery. These movements were founded by Charismatic movements like Quakers, Methodist and others. Most of the enlightened figures around that time were absent from this movements. For Sam Harris to say Christianity got it wrong can only come from his narrative and not from the evidence. The seeds of his mythology misled him.

2 comments:

naturalspacerc said...

Para no perderse en discusiones sordas sin fin sobre quien tiene la razon, religiosos o evolucionistas, vale la pena centrarse mejor en el juego que hay detras de bambalinas. Para ello, una buena fuente puede ser Jean Staune (graduado en paleontología, matemáticas, informática, gestión, ciencias políticas y economía). Fundador y Secretario General de la Universidad Interdisciplinaria de París, fue profesor de filosofía de la ciencia en el MBA del HEC(1).

Su ultimo libro, "La science en otage, Comment certains industriels, écologistes, fondamentalistes et matérialistes nous manipulent" (La ciencia como rehen, Cómo algunos líderes de la industria, ambientalistas, fundamentalistas y materialistas nos manipulan), es el resultado de casi veinte años de investigación y reuniones en muchos países con decenas de personalidades que representan todos los campos científicos más importantes. Dirigió el trabajo colectivo "Ciencia y búsqueda de sentido" (Presses de la Renaissance, 2005), que incluye 15 co-autores de los cuales 4 son Premios Nobel.

El analiza las derivas epistemológicas(1) y los procesos de desinformación en dos áreas que han sido particularmente mediatizadas en los últimos tiempos : el recalentamiento terrestre y los mecanismos de la evolución de las espécies. Un cuestionamiento es central : como unas informaciónes de importancia vital pueden ser simplemente escondidas al público en general debido a una oposición entre los partidarios de la "verdad oficial" (por lo general dominantes de los medios de comunicación) y los oponentes del pensamiento único (a menudo no creíbles debido a sus excesos)?

Preguntas pertinentes:
-cuales medios de comunicacion y editoriales (de ambos lados) estan favoreciendo este tipo de confrontacion al desacreditar al otro a ultranza?
-cuales industrias farmacéuticas tendran ganancias substanciales al obtener el respaldo popular y politico (gracias a un lobbying multimillonario) para desarrollar medicamentos que se basan en estudios cientificos como el de Stephanie Ortigue, de la Universidad de Syracuse, en Nueva York, segun la cual "La base del amor está en el cerebro!!"

_________
(1)Hautes Etudes Commerciales (Altos Estudios Comerciales)
(2)muestra cómo los "escépticos del clima y el recalentamiento" por un lado, y los "creacionistas y darwinistas" por otro ladoi, denuncian los errores de sus oponentes evitando al mismo tiempo poner de relieve el hecho de que los mismos procesos existen en su propio campo.
*http://www.staune.fr

Ichthus said...

The is-ought fallacy is a real fallacy, and is why knowledge is justified, true belief. In order to be knowledge, a belief must both be justified by the evidence, and true by correspondence. If we consider justified a belief that only corresponds, we commit the is-ought fallacy. If we consider a belief true merely due to evidence in favor of it, we commit the ought-is fallacy. Related to moral truth--if a justified (answering the question of Ethics--"How and why should we be or behave with the Other and self?") moral standard doesn't describe anything in reality, to consider it "true" commits the ought-is fallacy. If we take something from reality and call it moral truth, neglecting to consider whether it is justified (answering the question of Ethics), we commit the is-ought fallacy. In order for there to be moral truth, it must both correspond to (a) real being, and it must be justified (answering the question of Ethics). Its correspondence is not its justification (is=/=ought), and its justification is not its correspondence (ought=/=is).

http://www.theswordandthesacrificephilosophy.blogspot.com