Announcement: Your votes are in! The January 2019 Philosophy Book of the Month is The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World by David Eagleman and Anthony Brandt.
- Site Admin
- Posts: 4225
- Joined: January 20th, 2007, 6:24 pm
- Favorite Philosopher: Diogenes the Cynic
-- 01 Apr 2015 04:35 pm --
Overall, I like the book. I think it actually moved at a good pace for such--at times--dense, well-researched material.
However, I feel Shermer was inconsistent in the level of rational arguments provided to support his moral conclusions. He provided a lot of science and empirical evidence to explain certain things, but so often just took some things for granted. You can argue some of your premises in an argument as well as you want, but the argument still fails to be convincing if just one of the premises is not fully backed up. For a book about "morality", I think the premises actually tended to be weaker on that side. There is so much vagueness in helping people survive and flourish that I feel it was not rational for him to so often, after granted providing so much science about the long-debated consequences of a certain action, that the action was thus "immoral", but that ignores the various philosophical problems with actually weighing the survival and flourishing of humans even when you agree on the math (exemplified by countless classic utilitarian thought experiments).
Check it out: Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often thought?