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We place ever-greater faith in the decisions of individuals.We have rejected a world in which decision is the providence of the few.During the course of that discussion, Diamond revealed that he had been forced to increase security at his personal residence when some colleagues threatened him 10 years ago.
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describing her great difficulty in getting students to accept the expert consensus on many issues in her field of study.
Biology has been a great source of tension in intellectual spaces for a long time now, and this doesn’t seem due to change anytime soon.
More often than not, biology seems to be the lynchpin upon which the fiercest disputes among intellectuals turn. Sam Harris recently interviewed author Jarred Diamond on his podcast.
We have accepted that we don’t know where everyone should live, what they should study, and how they should dress, and so we leave it up to them.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that many intellectuals dislike the idea that biology plays a determinative role in human affairs. They contend that applying scientific knowledge and understanding to a broad array of social issues (a process they call “scientism”) also erodes our agency.Bohr asserted that we could not know the position and velocity of a sub-atomic particle simultaneously with any certainty. Today, most professional physicists believe that processes at the sub-atomic scale don’t always occur in a definite, linked sequence of cause and effect events.The future cannot be precisely known or determined from the present.Diamond hasn’t been an enthusiastic promoter of biological explanations for human affairs.On the contrary, his 1997 book, vigorously disputed the notion that biology alone can explain the power and wealth of nations and ethnic groups.The concepts behind free will and determinism can be fascinating, and by tasking your students with researching and writing about these topics, you'll be encouraging them to develop a deeper understanding of the influence and relevance of these philosophies.Free will and determinism have been discussed and debated for millennia and there are a plethora of sources on these topics.Given the absurdity of such a mental process, Harris rejects the possibility of its existence.This view is actually very close to the majority of philosophers and scientists who think about such things.Diamond attests that the vitriolic criticism he has endured is partly because his hypothesis supports “geographic determinism” and his adversaries are hostile towards a view of history and society which implies that the “human spirit counts for nothing.” This identifies the crux of the great modern-day “war of ideas.” Some intellectuals pursue accuracy because they require certainty, and this need lends itself to a belief in determinism Academic disdain for determinism caused biological explanations of human behavior to fall out of vogue among the intelligentsia during the twentieth century.Consequently, Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill are held in higher esteem than Charles Darwin when it comes to understanding human affairs.