The Moral Landscape
The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values is a book by Sam Harris. In it, he promotes a science of morality and argues that many thinkers have long confused the relationship between morality, facts, and science. He aims to carve a third path between secularists who say morality is subjective (e.g. moral relativists), and religionists who say that morality is given by God and scripture. Harris contends that the only moral framework worth talking about is one where ""morally good"" things pertain to increases in the ""well-being of conscious creatures"". He then argues that, problems with philosophy of science and reason in general notwithstanding, 'moral questions' will have objectively right and wrong answers which are grounded in empirical facts about what causes people to flourish.Challenging the age-old philosophical notion that we can never get an 'ought' from an 'is', Harris argues that moral questions are best pursued using, not just philosophy, but the methods of science. Thus, ""science can determine human values"" translates to ""science can tell us which values lead to human flourishing"". It is in this sense that Harris advocates that scientists begin conversations about a normative science of ""morality"".