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I haven't finished reading the comments here, so it's possible my mind will be changed.

I actually see the difference between these two arguments (represented by Sam Harris and Hume) as being a buckets issue. Sam Harris puts "ought" in the same bucket as "is." In most cases, the thing that causes harm or joy is relatively obvious, so there is no problem with having "ought" and "is" in the same bucket. The problem with having things in the same bucket in general is that we tend to forget that the bucket exists, and think the two concepts are always inherently linked. I think Sam Harris' view is a valid one, especially on an intuitive and emotional level. However, I think there is still an important distinction to made here and that arguing between these two points of view is still valid.

What principles guide the "oughts?" Let's look at abortion. People on one side say that ending life is obviously causing suffering by depriving a living thing of the rest of its life. People on the other side don't disagree with that principle, but they disagree that a fetus counts as a living thing, so when they look at a "suffering equation," the mother's feelings are taken into account, but the fetus' aren't. Both sides think their own "ought" logically follows from the observable "is." If we don't recognize that there is a bucket issue happening, then we continue to argue past each other without understanding the actual sticking point. In the context of objective morality or development of AI, the question of what principles guide the "oughts" is of utmost importance. We can't answer the question by ignoring that it is a question.

Sadly, there aren't a lot of books dedicated to suicide intervention, so it's harder to make a list for that.

I love your thoughts on this. As someone who has studied educational design and psychology, I'd like to offer a perspective on what you're describing.

In educational psychology, there are three categories of educational goals: knowledge, skills, and attitudes. (Presently, there is a bias against teaching attitudes, so the "KSA" is frequently changed to "knowledge, skills, and abilities," which is incorrect and redundant.)

It seems that your "What" book represents the knowledge of the field, the "How" the skills, and the "Why" the attitude.

I think you would be interested in reading about Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives. I think it would integrate well with the model you are creating, especially in light of the comments earlier about what "depth" means in this context and whether "What" or "How" is of greater depth. Either one can be shallow or deep as they relate to different kinds of learning.

Buddhism: What: What Makes You Not a Buddhist by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche (There are probably books with more detail and a more broad view, but I love this one for how it contrasts ideas from popular culture with Buddhism to highlight similarities and differences, making it very accessible); How: Meditation Is Not What You Think by Jon Kabat-Zinn; Why: Bring Me the Rhinoceros by John Tarrant (It's not explicit in explaining the why, but presents zen koans that cause you to enter the mindset of letting go of assumptions)

Crisis Intervention Counseling: What: Interviewing for Solutions by Insoo Kim Berg and Peter De Jong; How: Motivational Interviewing by Miller and Rollnick; Why: On Living by Kerry Egan

Teaching: What: Understanding by Design; How: Made to Stick by Dan and Chip Heath (not strictly a "How" book, but an excellent book to develop strategy for presenting curriculum); Why: Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire

I don't want your money - as soon as I finished this article I started thinking about the topics that I study the most and what books I would recommend to people. Also, I am a suicide intervention trainer by trade, so I have an obsession with figuring out how to teach people about empathy. :D

What is it about Protestantism that makes it different from all other religions in altruism, in your opinion?

I ask as someone who grew up in a very Protestant-dominant culture.

I think a little more goes into it with poker, at least with Texas Hold'em. The odds change every time a new card is laid down. The player who goes all-in before the flop might actually have a pair of Aces, but another player could still win with a flush once all the cards are down.

I'm not sure what your underlying point here is - I might not be disagreeing with you. One lesson I take from poker is that there is little cost to folding when the stakes are high, but a very large cost to betting and being wrong. It is safer to sit and watch for a while and wait for a hand you have great confidence in before challenging the "all-in" player.

Similarly, there seems to be greater social down-sides to believing something that turns out to be false than to be skeptical of something that turns out to be true.

How so? Would internalizing and understanding the color of the sky prevent him from exploring?

I would argue that the color of the sky does matter because all of the other reactions described are realistic reactions, and the shape of their society will be altered by this new information. It's possible that any other discovery he makes on the surface will never actually come to be appreciated or used by the rest of humanity as they fight while he's in the wilderness if he doesn't take into consideration what will happen when others see the sky..

Ferris definitely had the most pro-science reaction. I worry about drawing conclusions about the "best" approach out of these archetypes. Ferris is the one that doesn't think for a moment about the societal impact his discovery will have. That's OK, but it's not necessarily a good guiding principle for behavior. Everyone depicted had realistic reactions that would be viewed as better or worse by different groups.

I'm not saying that you're wrong - at all. My very first reaction was that Ferris is "right." But I think which one we think of as "right" says a lot about our existing values.