Investigating the Moral Landscape: Knowledge systems, authority and a better way forward?

Watch the above TED Talk by Sam Harris titled, “Science can answer moral questions” and consider the following: 

  1. Summarize his thesis in 1-3 sentences
  2. What are the strengths of Harris’ argument?
  3. What are the weaknesses of Harris’ argument?
  4. Ok, so lets say you agree with all he has to say, where does that leave us? What are next steps?

Is Moral War Possible?


IS morality in war an oxymoron?  Answer this. Now think back, was there a time when war was practiced within the confines of moral laws of engagement? Was there a time when war was total and absolute?  Where does the world stand today in opinion regarding this question? Where do you stand? 

We’ll watch hitler’s speech to Germany rationalizing his use of total warfare against England: 

We’ll then read about the brilliant American Author Kurt Vonnegut’s experiences in WW2 with the fire bombing of Dresdan:

Resource #1:

Resource #2:;c=mqr;c=mqrarchive;idno=act2080.0049.111;rgn=main;view=text;xc=1;g=mqrg

We’ll discuss the above and then view similar practice from a different perspective via former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara’s WW2 experience in the Pacific realm via the award winning documentary Fog of War. 

When finished with our learnings, we’ll self reflect via the following learning helper: 

Morality in War?

What to do about ISIS?


ISIS is horrible. Evil. Terrible and Destructive. 

But no one debates this fact. What they do debate is what to do about it?  Will putting troops on the ground and initiating a massive offensive against the group and the land they hold be akin to attacking hitler after his annexation of Austria? Or, will the result be more similar to the Iraq war–creating a power vacuum that makes matters worse? 

The article below by Graham Wood of the Atlantic in incredibly thorough and comprehensive. If you’re curious about who ISIS is, what they want and what to do about them, read this article: