Sam Harris writes a thoughtful essay regarding how religion and science may deal with culture. It is an article that distills the theme of his new book, The Moral Landscape. He doesn’t make the usual argument that science and religion need to provide explanations for why we have morality. instead, he focuses on the outcomes of action, which will have a direct impact as to the viability of a single person, or a multitude of individuals. We can certain assess fear and anxiety, nutritional nourishment, shelter, the level of violence encountered by individuals, how much one works, and so on. We do, in general, have some idea of the circumstances under which the most individuals can maximize their positive outcomes (probably with some basic level of food and shelter with a minimum of physical strife.) This is truly a subtle, but a significant, difference in explaining the commonalities of “morality” based on either religious or biological first principles.
Finally, Roger Ebert brought some attention to Krishna Shenoi’s appreciation about Superman and Christopher Reeve.