Saturday, January 29, 2011
Epistle to a Sam Harris Nation: Debunking the Moral Landscape by Bill Whitehouse (Anab) now in the Kindle Store
'Epistle To A Sam Harris Nation: Debunking The Moral Landscape' takes on the ideas of Sam Harris using his own chosen tools -- namely, reason and science. When those tools are turned back on his book, 'The Moral Landscape', one comes to understand that his perspective is very much like an onion since, after one peels away the various decaying layers of philosophy, reasoning, and science, there is really nothing left at the heart of his worldview.
Sam Harris has been raised by many of the citizens of a 'Sam Harris Nation' (i.e., his many followers and admirers) to an emperor-like status. Nonetheless, in reality, this would-be emperor has no genuine clothes of royalty since the material from which his conceptual garments are woven are fairly common, if not threadbare. In fact, his ideas are clothed in a way which gives them the appearance of being fashioned in a very sturdy and reliable manner, but such appearances are little more than an illusion.
He often claims that his kingdom is ruled through reason and science. Yet, when the topography of his ideas are carefully explored, there are many problems to be found hiding in the nooks and crannies of his thought processes.
His reasoning is not always rational; his science is not always factual; and his explanations are often problematic. Furthermore, he asserts that faith is for the naive and foolish, but his perspective is glued together by a variety of different grades of faith -- some of them quite faulty -- which he calls by other names such as: well-being, probability, theory, hypothesis, science, randomness, evolution, neurobiology, reason, and so on.
Sam Harris has harsh words for religious extremists -- as well he should. However, he apparently fails to understand how his own position incorporates a brand of irreligious fundamentalism which is inclined to be just as blind and unyielding as the religious people whom he wishes to criticize.
'Epistle To A Sam Harris Nation: Debunking The Moral Landscape' doesn't just criticize the perspective which is developed in Sam Harris' latest book, 'The Moral Landscape.' The former book introduces a variety of constructive ideas with respect to moral philosophy, political philosophy, evolution, science, the process of reasoning, and methodology that grows out of the process through which the problems and errors that are present in Sam Harris' 'The Moral Landscape' are corrected and refined.