Hello fellow freethinkers. This month we were going to be reading "The Moral Landscape" by Sam Harris. This book was suggested by long time CFI Montreal member and co-inventor of the Tab Handler, Tim Skene. At the last book club we started to go on tangents about morality. Obviously the book club is more fun when we are engaged in great discussion and debate. This book was chosen to give us just that. One thing that I find in the book club is we are all in agreement on most topics and ideas. It seems like we are all there to pat one another on the back. Every once in a while this is a nice thing to have but for this book club I want to see BLOOD! ... Ok maybe just good discussion and debate. (No blood please). Not only am I going to ask everyone to PLEASE read the book, but I am also going to ask everyone to think of a topic (or moral conflict) that we can bring up in a debate type format. Here are some of the suggestions I have thought about.
1) The choice of dropping the atom bombs over Japan by the American in World War Two.
2) The idea of reparations for things such as slavery, Native American Heritage, and the holocaust being passed onto future generations not involved in the original situation.
4) The rights of Churches to discriminate against performing gay marriages.
These are just some ideas that I think would be great to discuss the moral issues behind. I invite everyone who plans to come out to think of some of their own. What I would like to do is put the ideas in a hat and pull one out at a time to discuss, This way we will all have to be on the top of our game.
Below is a brief summary of the book.
Sam Harris’s first book, The End of Faith, ignited a worldwide debate about the validity of religion. In the aftermath, Harris discovered that most people—from religious fundamentalists to non-believing scientists—agree on one point: science has nothing to say on the subject of human values. Indeed, our failure to address questions of meaning and morality through science has now become the primary justification for religious faith.
In this highly controversial book, Sam Harris seeks to link morality to the rest of human knowledge. Defining morality in terms of human and animal well-being, Harris argues that science can do more than tell how we are; it can, in principle, tell us how we ought to be. In his view, moral relativism is simply false—and comes at an increasing cost to humanity. And the intrusions of religion into the sphere of human values can be finally repelled: for just as there is no such thing as Christian physics or Muslim algebra, there can be no Christian or Muslim morality. Using his expertise in philosophy and neuroscience, along with his experience on the front lines of our “culture wars,” Harris delivers a game-changing book about the future of science and about the real basis of human cooperation.
Here are some youtube links of Sam Harris.
Come Join your local CFI Montreal Freethinkers at Vego Restaurant. ( Metro station Berri-UQaM), where a book title will be selected for each one of us to read, and then engage in discussions and debates afterward.
Feel free to contact Andrew Cody if you have any questions or suggestions. We will be meeting every third Sunday of the month. If you're not a CFI member yet, please consider joining us today! Click on http://cficanada.ca/support