This thought was inspired by this debate, between Dr. Sam Harris and William Lane Craig, and this debate, between a lot of different people. I freely admit that I probably watch too many debates. Deal with it. 

To say that the explanation of morality in scientific terms instead of mysterious god terms, detracts from the beauty and significance of it, is the same as saying that the explanation in scientific terms of the human sex drive, detracts from its beauty and significance. The fact that we now understand the chemistry and physiology of the human sex drive, does not make it any less powerful, or sexual acts any less meaningful to us. The same can be said of our morality.

Views: 70

Tags: Morality, Science

Comment by Keath Vickery on December 2, 2011 at 11:51am

Omg that comparison changed my life. I now have an amazing foundation for those future arguments. 

Thanks a lot, Elizabeth!

Comment by John Galt on December 2, 2011 at 12:18pm

Thank you! 

Comment by Richard Porter on December 2, 2011 at 12:31pm

utterly brilliant!

Comment by Jake on December 2, 2011 at 6:10pm

Who is saying this "the explanation of morality in scientific terms instead of mysterious god terms, detracts from the beauty and significance of it"?

I watched the debate and neither Craig nor Harris made this claim.  Craig indicates that objective moral values and duties can only exist if a transcendental being such as God exists.  Harris indicates that objective moral values and duties are what maximizes human flourishing.  They are not trying to find the most beautiful explanation, they are trying to find the true explanation.

Why should we think of sex drive as anything more than an evolved instinct to reproduce?

Comment by John Galt on December 3, 2011 at 8:48am

Jake - I freely admit that you are correct. Neither Craig nor Harris made that claim. However, I didn't actually say that they did, only that I had watched their debate and been inspired by it. The second debate linked in my post is the one which probably had more to do with my thought, specifically the moderators introduction starting at about 1:45 of the video. He does not explicitly say "the explanation of morality in scientific terms instead of mysterious god terms, detracts from the beauty and significance of it" either, but he does touch closer to it. 

What really happened is that I watched those two debates, and as I was preparing to write about them, remembered a conversation I had had with one of my more religious friends, in which they did state that "the explanation of morality in scientific terms instead of mysterious god terms, detracts from the beauty and significance of it" or something very similar. I probably made it more eloquent. 

I should have been more specific. In any case, that phrase is one that I have heard from many different people, and I was surprised when Craig did not bring it up. 

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