But it may shock you that some of the most mundane, everyday concepts are as big a mystery to scientists as they are to the average toddler. So obviously sleep must serve a key purpose for all living things, right? Well, it turns out science doesn't have a clue. Getty That's why science sits outside your room every night, watching.
Now, it's generally understood that questions of morality — questions of good and evil and right and wrong — are questions about which science officially has no opinion. It's thought that science can help us get what we value, but it can never tell us what we ought to value.
And, consequently, most people — I think most people probably here — think that science will never answer the most important questions in human life: Now, it's often said that science cannot give us a foundation for morality and human values, because science deals with facts, and facts and values seem to belong to different spheres.
It's often thought that there's no description of the way the world is that can tell us how the world ought to be. Science cannot answer all questions I think this is quite clearly untrue. Values are a certain kind of fact. They are facts about the well-being of conscious creatures.
Why is it that we don't have ethical obligations toward rocks? Why don't we feel compassion for rocks? It's because we don't think rocks can suffer. And if we're more concerned about our fellow primates than we are about insects, as indeed we are, it's because we think they're exposed to a greater range of potential happiness and suffering.
Now, the crucial thing to notice here is that this is a factual claim: This is something that we could be right or wrong about. And if we have misconstrued the relationship between biological complexity and the possibilities of experience well then we could be wrong about the inner lives of insects.
And there's no notion, no version of human morality and human values that I've ever come across that is not at some point reducible to a concern about conscious experience and its possible changes.
Even if you get your values from religion, even if you think that good and evil ultimately relate to conditions after death — either to an eternity of happiness with God or an eternity of suffering in hell — you are still concerned about consciousness and its changes.
And to say that such changes can persist after death is itself a factual claim, which, of course, may or may not be true.
Now, to speak about the conditions of well-being in this life, for human beings, we know that there is a continuum of such facts. We know that it's possible to live in a failed state, where everything that can go wrong does go wrong — where mothers cannot feed their children, where strangers cannot find the basis for peaceful collaboration, where people are murdered indiscriminately.
And we know that it's possible to move along this continuum towards something quite a bit more idyllic, to a place where a conference like this is even conceivable. And we know — we know — that there are right and wrong answers to how to move in this space.
Would adding cholera to the water be a good idea? Would it be a good idea for everyone to believe in the evil eye, so that when bad things happened to them they immediately blame their neighbors?
There are truths to be known about how human communities flourish, whether or not we understand these truths. And morality relates to these truths. So, in talking about values we are talking about facts. Now, of course our situation in the world can be understood at many levels — from the level of the genome on up to the level of economic systems and political arrangements.
But if we're going to talk about human well-being we are, of necessity, talking about the human brain. Because we know that our experience of the world and of ourselves within it is realized in the brain — whatever happens after death.
Even if the suicide bomber does get 72 virgins in the afterlife, in this life, his personality — his rather unfortunate personality — is the product of his brain.
So the contributions of culture — if culture changes us, as indeed it does, it changes us by changing our brains. And so therefore whatever cultural variation there is in how human beings flourish can, at least in principle, be understood in the context of a maturing science of the mind — neuroscience, psychology, etc.
So, what I'm arguing is that value's reduced to facts — to facts about the conscious experience of conscious beings.
And we can therefore visualize a space of possible changes in the experience of these beings. And I think of this as kind of a moral landscape, with peaks and valleys that correspond to differences in the well-being of conscious creatures, both personal and collective.
And one thing to notice is that perhaps there are states of human well-being that we rarely access, that few people access. And these await our discovery. Perhaps some of these states can be appropriately called mystical or spiritual. Perhaps there are other states that we can't access because of how our minds are structured but other minds possibly could access them.
Now, let me be clear about what I'm not saying. I'm not saying that science is guaranteed to map this space, or that we will have scientific answers to every conceivable moral question.These questions may be important, but science won't help you answer them.
Questions that deal with super natural explanations are, by definition, beyond the realm of nature — and hence, also beyond the realm of what can be studied by science. Mar 21, · The question is very appropriately answered by DAN BROWN in Angels and Demons.
If i had to summarize Brown's answer it would go like this: No science does not answer every question, take for instance "The luck concept", the "Creator's Existence" concept. The reality of God's existence is the most important question, since it has eternal consequences. The evidence for God's existence comes primarily from the design of the universe.
Mar 21, · The question is very appropriately answered by DAN BROWN in Angels and Demons. If i had to summarize Brown's answer it would go like this: No science does not answer every question, take for instance "The luck concept", the "Creator's Existence" concept. Time and money and maybe poor training. Time: No agency can do everything in every caninariojana.com law enforcement agency (and forensic laboratory) must balance their resources to best support society with accurate, timely and thorough forensic science support (and thoroughness is always sacrificed before accuracy and timeliness. TED Talk Subtitles and Transcript: Questions of good and evil, right and wrong are commonly thought unanswerable by science. But Sam Harris argues that science can -- and should -- be an authority on moral issues, shaping human values and setting out what constitutes a good life.
It is virtually impossible that all the physical laws would just happen to be tightly constrained by chance in order for. Find a Science Fair Project Idea.
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It cannot answer all our questions. Not by any stretch of the imagination. And the idea that we can’t know anything unless we have scientific evidence for it, is ridiculous.