Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris

I do not agree with all the polemic ideas the writer Sam Harris divulges in his recent books, and some of them seems to me not conducive to a tolerant world in its most practical contemporary achievable term. However, some of his thoughts have merits, and one of them regarding the Utopian concept of "global civilization" is extracted from his interview in Salon below:
In your book, you mention a "global civilization" several times. You also wrote, "Human beings should eventually converge in their moral judgments." What do you mean by a global civilization?
I think we must form a global civilization. We have no choice. We have a global economy, we have a single environment, we have infectious disease that spreads with every airplane flight. The question is, How do we create a civilization in which the greatest proportion of people can thrive, and in which the causes for war become distant memories? Within a nation-state, wars can be a distant memory. The likelihood of a war between Vermont and Florida seems incredibly remote. Why is that? We understand the stability of a single state. We need to engineer a similar degree of stability at the international level. There has to be a way to enforce international law.
 Link to Salon Article: The Moral Landscape: Why science should shape morality http://www.salon.com/news/atheism/index.html?story=/books/feature/2010/10/17/sam_harris_interview

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