Sam Harris and Alex O’Connor Debate Morality

by | Apr 4, 2024 | Announcements

I was delighted to see that Alex O’Connor recently debated Sam Harris about whether ethics is objective and, if so, on what grounds.

This is the same subject Alex and I will debate at LevelUp 2024, in Atlanta, June 19-22. It’s also among the most important and urgent subjects we face today—both as individuals and as societies.

Is it factually moral or factually immoral to pursue your own happiness—or is it a matter of opinion? Is it factually wrong to rape, mutilate, kidnap, and murder people—or does it depend on the context or norms of a given cultural? Are women properly regarded as sovereign individuals with absolute rights to their lives, bodies, and minds—or are such claims merely expressions of emotion?

The answers to all such questions depend on whether we can show that morality is objective.

Alex and Sam’s discussion is well worth a listen because, among other things, it highlights the need for genuine proof of an objective standard of moral value. Sam claims that the standard is “human well-being,” but he doesn’t prove it or even define the phrase clearly. And Alex is not convinced by the unproven claims. 

I look forward to discussing these matters with Alex at LevelUp, where I’ll argue that morality is provably objective because it is based on and derived from the demonstrable fact that the requirements of human life constitute the objective standard of moral value.

Alex, with his sharp and critical mind, will marshal the most pointed questions and strongest arguments to determine whether or not my case makes sense and is supported by evidence.

Of course, both Alex and I are after the same thing: clarity and truth. So there will be no “winner” here. Or, more precisely, both of us—and everyone in the audience—will win, as we bring reason to bear on one of the most important issues of the day.

Come and join us for this vital discussion—along with the rest of the program at the most life-enhancing conference of the year.

Register now and save 40% during the April Ascent.

On Solid Ground is a community blog where we publish articles by guest contributors as well as by the staff and officers of OSI. The ideas offered by guest contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the ideas of the staff or officers of OSI. Likewise, the ideas offered by people employed by OSI are their own, and do not necessarily reflect those of others in the organization.

Latest Posts