In a powerful attack on Nietzsche’s fact-value distinction and the oft-repeated canard that it is dangerous to derive an “ought” from an “is,” in the video below Sam Harris argues that, in fact, we know perfectly well what things make for human flourishing, and there are objective moral consequences that follow from this knowledge. Indeed, we know what makes for human flourishing as certainly as we know what makes for human physical health. And so, as with physical health, science can also inform what we should value for human flourishing. Postmoderns, Nietzscheans, anti-essentialists, and religionists worried to see science encroaching on the territory of values, will absolutely hate this Sam Harris talk. But it has got me thinking.
I think that this also goes well with Harris’s talk: