I’ve recently read The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris. I found it quite inspiring and empowering for us atheists to have a same in moral matters of the world.
I especially like his idea of a moral elite advisory group that gives moral direction to the world. I think this a great and beneficial idea.
I like also the idea of ‘well-being’ being the basis for our moral code.
I can see also how evolution can select for different moral codes due to for example different family groupings – eg a women going to live with her mother in laws family might sexual select for an aggressive manly man – whereas a women living solely with her mate might sexual select for a more passive man who was good a doing housework. This may indeed lead to differences in moral codes. But this doesn’t mean that Harris’ idea of moral elite advisory groups redundant – we might just have more of them – or even a system set up similar to courts with lower and higher courts that share and compare moral codes – to the highest one that can give us an ultimate decision. Morals would evolve over time, as laws do, with changes in evolutionary changes in humans.
Goodness knows how we will change into the future and what moral codes might spring from them. EG a vegan lifestyle may in 600 years change their biology to be better adapted to being vegan, whilst all the vegans who didn’t have this capacity died out due to lack of adaptive ability, and thus didn’t reproduce – meaning that their moral code involves being caring towards animals and not eating them.
I’m interested to hear your views of Harris’ book and any other implications of insights that you had whilst reading the book.