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Author/DatePost
Matt Dean
Oct 19 2011
Reminder: Book Group meets this Sunday!

The following e-mail announcement was sent by Matt Dean to the Book Group mailing list:

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This coming Sunday, October 23rd, the book group will meet to discuss The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values by Sam Harris.

Sam Harris’s first book, The End of Faith, ignited a worldwide debate about the validity of religion. In the aftermath, Harris discovered that most people—from religious fundamentalists to non-believing scientists—agree on one point: science has nothing to say on the subject of human values. Indeed, our failure to address questions of meaning and morality through science has now become the primary justification for religious faith.

In this highly controversial book, Sam Harris seeks to link morality to the rest of human knowledge. Defining morality in terms of human and animal well-being, Harris argues that science can do more than tell how we are; it can, in principle, tell us how we ought to be. In his view, moral relativism is simply false—and comes at an increasing cost to humanity. And the intrusions of religion into the sphere of human values can be finally repelled: for just as there is no such thing as Christian physics or Muslim algebra, there can be no Christian or Muslim morality. Using his expertise in philosophy and neuroscience, along with his experience on the front lines of our “culture wars,” Harris delivers a game-changing book about the future of science and about the real basis of human cooperation.

The book was released in paperback in mid-September. Amazon sells it for $10.20, with used copies available for less than $9 and used hardcover copies available for about $6. There are several copies available in the Dorchester and Charleston public library systems.

We'll meet from 4 to 5:30 pm. As always, we'll meet at the West Ashley Barnes & Noble, located at 1812 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. And as always, we'll go out to dinner afterward.

Hope to see you there!

Matt Dean

SHL President and Book Group Coordinator

P.S. The book for November is Still Life with Oysters and Lemon: On Objects and Intimacy by National Book Award-winning poet Mark Doty. This collection of essays sells for $11.20 on Amazon, with used copies available for about $5. Prices on bn.com are comparable.

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