Nibbida wrote:You may disagree with the undertaking and even have legitimate concerns with it. So be it. All the better, in fact. But to dismiss it as fringe or treat it as if it didn't exist is inaccurate.
I'm not keen to delve into this much deeper, because it seems tangential to the thread topic. But let me suggest an experiment. We both go to our local university's library, psychology department. There we try to assess the number of books on well-being and compare it to the number of books on a mainstream topic such as cognitive psychology and to the number of books on an esoteric subject such as transpersonal psychology. Where would you expect the numbers to come in? You could also quickly check the Wikipedia list of disciplines in psychology
or the index of psychology topics
. I don't even find "well-being" or "happiness" in there, but I do find transpersonal psychology. What does this suggest?
alan wrote:Do you define everyone who is good at presenting his point of view as a Sophist?
Certainly not. A sophist is someone who uses philosophical arguments and rhetorics to push an agenda regardless whether the arguments or the agenda are sound. In modern days, the closest thing we have are spokespersons and speech writers. Harris is pretty much a spokesperson for his own cause. He doesn't appear to shy away from arguments that are less than sound, such as the one in the Ted talk we discuss here. However, I agree with Harris in many points, for example that faith propositions must be scrutinised, that atheism is the default position, that there should be no tolerance towards fundamentalism, that education and public institutions ought to be secular and a bunch of other little things. I don't agree with some of his philosophical ideas.
alan wrote:After that maybe you can clarify your understanding of the difference between Morality and Ethics.
The word morality can mean a bunch of things from virtue to ethical doctrine, moral proposition, or code of conduct. The meaning of ethics is perhaps more precise, as it denotes the theory of morality, or the branch of philosophy that deals with moral questions. However, it's also sometimes used to mean a set of moral codes of an individual or group. You can hardly blame me for the semantic blur, that's just how these words are commonly used.