I’m still wrestling with Sam Harris’s and Richard Carrier’s ideas that there can be a scientific foundation for morality. I guess I am concerned with the claim that we can science our way to a moral society; I am more comfortable with the idea that we can develop an objective criterion for judging an act as not moral, or not just, or not contributing to the wellbeing of individuals or cultures. Can I, as a godless humanist, say that this is wrong?
An Islamist rebel administration in Somalia has had a 13-year-old girl stoned to death for adultery after the child’s father reported that she was raped by three men.
Yes, I’m sure I can. It is morally reprehensible, it is not fair or just, it does great harm not just to the victim but to the people who perpetrate such hateful acts, and to the rapists who are granted freedom to destroy more lives. The culture that would tolerate and encourage such behavior is not one I want to be a member of, and not even one that I want to share the planet with.
It is very hard to think about it purely rationally, though, when all you can feel is grief for a lost life and so many minds destroyed by hatred.