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← Michael, we hardly knew ye

pekkaa's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by pekkaa

I can't deny that a scientist giving credibility to the Templeton Foundation should be criticized. However, I don't agree all the points Jerry made:

After all, don’t you have to trust people to do business? Isn’t a good businessman one who earns his customers’ trust by behaving fairly? Maybe, but is that really morality? Isn’t morality something that you intuitively feel is the right thing to do, not just a way of behaving that helps you make money? Is it something you do—like driving below the speed limit—simply because you know you’ll be sanctioned if you don’t? Is Apple moral? Is General Motors moral? The questions make no sense. These corporations may act morally by donating money to good causes and so on, but it’s ludicrous to claim that selling cars or computers promotes morality.

Does it really matter if we behave morally right because of reward instead of "intuitively feeling" that something is moral? Most people, religious people especially, think that reward/punishment (heaven/hell) is necessary prerequisite for moral behavior. I don't agree, but I don't think that makes religious people automatically immoral. Sam Harris believes that science can, at least in theory, provide answers to moral questions. If we do something because science tells it's morally right (increases well being), is it less moral than something we do because we "intuitively feel" it's right?

Tue, 31 Aug 2010 10:23:06 UTC | #508429