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?

“Grendel” Discussion Chapters 1-2

john-gardner-grendel

For discussion and reflection (and maybe a journal entry or two):

  • Why does the ram make Grendel angry..why is he so angry period?
  • Contemplate Grendel as other characters from lit. Does he remind you of anyone? For me, it’s Holden from Catcher in rye, The narrator from notes from underground; what is genesis of frustration in all these characters?
  • What does Grendel think of the humans behavior as they’re observing him in the tree
  • Pg. 13– “I understood that the world was nothing: a mechanical chaos of casual brute enmity in which we stupidly impose our hopes and fears” discuss
  • Page 16 is crucial… “suddenly I knew I was dealing with the most dangerous creatures I had ever met— pattern makers”
  • Middle of 17 also.. “all that I had come to understand— the meaningless object ness of the world, the universal brutality
  • Why, at the bottom of 18, does he state aloud what perceptions he is experiencing?
  • What is meant by, “ I observe myself experiencing what I observe”?

How America Lost Its Mind: The history of belief trumping truth

truth-final-cover

Great question.  Is it? Do you believe that currently in our society, there is a stark (clear delineated) difference between belief and truth?

Before we discuss that, YOU need to understand the difference. So, what is the difference between belief and truth? 

For a much more at length discussion and analysis of this concept, read the Atlantic article below: 

How America Lost Its Mind

When finished, you need to CHOOSE 2 questions from the learning helper below to respond to in paragraph form. 

How America Lost Its Mind