Book Review: The Moral Landscape

By Grant Steves
 
moral_landscape.jpgThe Moral Landscape, by Sam Harris, ©2010, 304 pages, Free Press.

In two forthcoming books, by Patricia Churchland (Braintrust) and Joshua Greene (unknown publisher), there will be a discussion of neuroscience and morality. Their research parallels in time Sam Harris’ research for The Moral Landscape. In this review I will reference their research to compare and contrast it with Harris’ views.
 
Sam Harris has published another thought-provoking book. With his doctorate completed in the field of neuroscience, he has taken his research and presented it in a very readable and well argued book.
 
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Minnesota Atheists Speaking Against Religious-Based Blue Laws

beer.jpgMinnesota Atheists testified on March 16th at the State Capitol in favor of repealing the blue law that forced liquor stores to be closed on Sundays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and to close early on Christmas Eve.  This is some of the press coverage we received:
 
 
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News and Notes

By George Kane
 
george_head_small.jpgIn early February, a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio that Judge James DeWeese must remove from his Richland County Court of Common Pleas courtroom a poster that includes the Ten Commandments. The court ruled in American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation, Inc. v. James DeWeese that defendant DeWeese violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment when he put up a display entitled “Philosophies of Law in Conflict” that contrasted the “Moral Absolutes” of the Ten Commandments with the “Moral Relatives” of humanism.
 
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Charter Schools and Religion

The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota (ACLU-MN) filed a lawsuit in January 2009 in Federal District Court against Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA) and the Minnesota Department of Education, stating that the charter school has violated the Establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution by using taxpayer money to illegally promote religion. The Minnesota Department of Education was named as a co-defendant because it has failed to provide proper oversight by disbursing taxpayer funds despite TIZA using such public funds for religious promotion. TIZA has been shown to advance, endorse, and prefer the Muslim religion over other religions or nonsectarian approaches in connection with school activities.
 
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President's Column: Reaching Out to Religious People

By August Berkshire
 
august_head.jpgHow important is it to dialogue with religious people? I like to say that I don’t care what people believe; I care how they vote: what they believe affects them; how they vote affects me. But since what religious people believe often affects how they vote, we can’t ignore what they believe – at least so long as they are numerous enough to sway elections.
 
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