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- K-TRON "hexag1" - The best idea ever?Sam Harris is making the case that there could and should be an entire branch of science devoted to determining human values. He is saying that science can - in principle - discover what we *should* value. This is very different from arguing that science can help us achieve what we already value. That is already obvious, as anyone who has been to the doctor, or benefited from modern agriculture could tell you. Nor is he saying that science can give us insight as to what human beings value, and how their moral reasoning orates. Harris' claim is so bold and ambitious, that if he is right, it will (if a science of values emerges, and is put into practice) transform mankind enormously for the better.
The philosopher Daniel Dennet is fond of saying that Charles Darwin's idea of natural selection is the best idea anyone ever had. I agree with him. However, if Sam Harris is right, then Dennett will have to move Darwin to second place. What idea or set of ideas could be more valuable than a science of value? If there is anything more valuable, it will itself be a subset of the science of values.
Harris' comparison of ethics with the science of human physical health is also very helpful. Many objections to his proposal can be shown to be nonsense when we draw an analogy with medicine. For example, if someone is depressed, we might say that they should take an anti-depressant to make them happier. Critics of a science of human happiness will probably be quick to jump on this and say, well, if drug-induced happiness is what we're after, why don't we all just shoot heroin all day? This kind of objection relies on a far too narrow conception of happiness. By analogy, the same critic would have to argue that we should all be shooting steroids, since a doctor might at some point recommend strength training to a weakened patient.
- Jane Piller-Wilson - Be Gokhalesque!Esther Gokhale has done everyone a favor by making the Gokhale Method available in a book. The book is clear, well documented through beautiful photographs and illustrations, and is true to the information given in her classes.
Does the Gokhale Method work? My 16 year old would offer an enthusiastic YES! Eight months of working with top notch doctors and physical therapists only exacerbated his injury. We were told to seek alternative approaches and fortunately found Esther. By learning to sit, stand and move in ways that took pressure off the disc, healing could finally begin. And it did! It is wonderful to see him competing in sports again.
In our household, living without back pain has meant learning to be Gokhalesque.