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SKEPTIC RESEARCH CENTER REPORT (CUPES-005)

Censorship Attitudes and Voting Preferences

Civil Unrest & Presidential Election Study (CUPES)

In this fifth report from the Civil Unrest and Presidential Election Study, we examine attitudes about censorship, in particular, peoples’ level of support for freedom of speech and freedom of thought. Due to the politicized nature of this topic — especially in recent months as social media censorship has been debated in the halls of government and academia — we thought it would be relevant to consider how people’s attitudes towards censorship varied with regard to their reported voting preference in the 2020 presidential election. Check out our findings.

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DISTINGUISHED SCIENCE LECTURE SERIES

Sam Harris — The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values

Sam Harris’s first book, The End of Faith, ignited a worldwide debate about the validity of religion. In the aftermath, Harris discovered that most people — from religious fundamentalists to nonbelieving scientists — agree on one point: science has nothing to say on the subject of human values. Indeed, our failure to address questions of meaning and morality through science has now become the most common justification for religious faith. It is also the primary reason why so many secularists and religious moderates feel obligated to “respect” the hardened superstitions of their more devout neighbors. In this lecture, based on his explosive book, The Moral Landscape, Sam Harris tears down the wall between scientific facts and human values, arguing that most people are simply mistaken about the relationship between morality and the rest of human knowledge. Harris urges us to think about morality in terms of human and animal well-being, viewing the experiences of conscious creatures as peaks and valleys on a “moral landscape.” Just as there is no such thing as Christian physics or Muslim algebra, there can be no Christian or Muslim morality.

This lecture was recorded on October 24, 2010 as part of the Distinguished Science Lecture Series hosted by Michael Shermer and presented by The Skeptics Society in California (1992–2015).

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