Many, many thanks to Willard, for providing us with a link to a sensible answer to the awful muddle that the people who seem bound and determined to avoid thinking clearly are propagating.
Sam Harris received a degree in philosophy from Stanford and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA. He is the co-founder and CEO of Project Reason, a nonprofit devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. He’s something of a favorite among the committed atheists, a group with which I do not associate myself. Still, much as I don’t care for the religion-baiting of Dawkins and the handwaving philosophy of Dennett, I find that this talk brilliantly elucidates some ideas I’ve been struggling to express even before this week’s kerfuffle.
In the end, there may well be an is/ought distinction, but there is also an ought/oughtn’t distinction, and that’s the important one.
Update: see also Harris’ lengthy piece on HuffPo