Got a great question about my previous post regarding Ethics and whether I think it is a question of science:
“Hey Nick you have any thoughts on the use of science/logic as a basis for morality? Sam Harris tries to argue for it in his new book but I personally think he’s kind of a jerk who has good reasons for disliking organized religion but also demonizes spirituality which I can’t really get behind. You seem like the firmly logical type yet your personal philosophies also seem pretty steeped in eastern systems of thought that are very spiritual. Thoughts?”
I think if there is such a thing as morality and ethics — I do, without doubt — it will be a question of science, more so than logic.
I am, fundamentally a materialist in the Hobbesian sense — which is to say, Anti-Dualist — there is no separation of Mind and Body, they are the same thing… and the mind is a product of our physical existence.
One of my reasons for being so into Zen and Taoism is precisely because they embrace the same thing. The “spiritual”, to them, as it is to me, is about a cultivation of this connection between mind and body as two parts of a whole, that are intertwined, full of feedback loops, and inseparable — rather than as something metaphysical or “other wordly” — indeed, it is hyper-worldly, about THIS world and this life.
It is why Zen methods work so well as TRAINING. They treat the mind like a muscle that is to be worked and built
I’d argue that Modern science would agree with this.
To me our ETHICS is similar to our language instinct, our instinct towards mathematics, music, and other skills that transcend culture. Specifics get muddled, and that’s what we always fight over… but I think the science will start to bear out that there is a kind of universal ethical sense in humans.
However, just like language, mathematics, music, physical skills like climbing trees, etc… to see the best results, we need both training and an environment that fosters our potential.
Now go lift something heavy,