sam harris's challenge

In late 2013, I completed a first draft response to Dr Sam Harris's book, The Moral Landscape.  By sheer coincidence, a few weeks later Dr Harris announced an open challenge on his website ( regarding that work.  He stipulated that essays be less than 1000 words in length, and attacks limited to his "central argument."  This was unfortunate as my full response was over 40 pages long and addressed more than the core of his moral theory.

But that did not deter me, and I entered an essay containing a general outline of my arguments against his described moral system. I believe that it reveals crucial flaws running through his position, which taken together suggest a moral system that is scientifically questionable in theory and undesirable (if not impossible) in practice. 

Unfortunately my essay was not selected, so I am placing it on this site (titled "challenge essay") along with my original full response (titled "full response").  The full version contains extended arguments against Dr Harris's moral theory, plus responses (equally important IMHO) to the repeated charges he makes against moral relativism, moral skepticism, and multiculturalism.