Got around to reading this and I was surprised to find such a weak argument that science could determine morality. He embarrassingly uses a chess game and that you can make good or bad moves, as an example or morality. However this is false because there is no evil or praiseworthy goodness of the moves you make in Chess, you either make good or bad moves to win the goal of the game. It's also like saying I'm having an argument with orthonorm and my logic is bad, it's not morally
bad but logically
The most dangerous part about Harris' assertion of human flourishing, is the darker side of his argument that is namely: eugenics. So in order for the "well being" of the human, or in fact mankind, it must eliminate the undesirable qualities from the genepool. This means increasing the abortion rate and infantile genocides in the name of a race that would be free from any genetic disorders, abnormalities, defects and handicaps. This is how one would justify human attrocities in the name of flourishing.
It's a red herring on Harris part to presume that you need God to discern moral duites. However to ground moral values objectively
, you need to have a trandescdent source, namely God.
One more example is how atheists blink when they stare in the face of atheism and see its consequences. So few modern atheists have the courage that Nietzche had to look atheism in the face and undestand the consequences of death of God and they cannot live with the moral nihilism that results. So you get these salvage operations which make grauititous assumptions about the nature of the good and human flourishing and therefore try to provide a secular subsitute for a religious foundation on morality.
Here was a fantatic amazon.com review from an atheist...it's pretty lengthy, but I wanted to showcase the last part of the review because of the truth it contains:
"Of course, a belief that makes people happy is no more likely to be true than one that makes people miserable, but if you're writing a book about the importance of well being, how can you pooh-pooh free will and then fail to address these issues? Oh, at some point he gives a back-pedaling, apologetic disclaimer that (don't slit those wrists yet, folks!) human choices are still meaningful, but it rings false...coming, as it does, directly after a detailed argument that our "choices" arise from things we have no control over. He wants to have his cake and eat it too.
The book is a conversation starter, to be sure. But by the time I got to the end, I was left with no real answers and with a feeling that Harris, like everyone else, is just frantically dog-paddling to escape the quagmire of moral emptiness that's forever sucking at our postmodern minds--while tipping an intellectual bow in its direction.
Here's the point where a reluctant nihilist fails to find moral direction in science and has another beer.