I read science, biographies, histories, mysteries, adventures, thrillers, educationals, linguistics but not no way, not no how, romances.
This is a fast, straightforward read that might just change the way that you view the world. It starts with a simple, yet novel statement about the nature of morality and knowledge and then systematically guides you through a well-reasoned argument that sets about a logical and humane philosophy for the modern age. All you have to do is get past a relatively uninspired reading (sorry, Sam Harris, you - like many authors - aren't great at reading your own book.) Once you ignore that factor, this book redefines morality and sets a new goal for treating your fellow human beings with decency and respect.
The general thrust of this book is simple: thus far in human history we have relied on science and rational understanding to explain the things we ALREADY value, but don't presume that such methods of thinking can tell us what we SHOULD value. However, in this wonderful argument, Mr. Harris says this message is patently false. It ignores a sentiment we already know in our hearts to be true, it asks us to tolerate intolerance in our world and it allows bad ideas and bad morality to foster. Combining neuroscience with a better understanding of human happiness, we can know what makes us healthier and happier people and we can get BETTER at it.
I have been a fan of Mr. Harris' for many years and I have read his other two books, both of which are very good. But unlike his other writing, where he decries the things that people already believe - and yet shouldn't - here is argues a positive statement, about things we should pursue and value. It's his most "useful" writing to date. Highly recommended!
Really important arguments put forth. When he provides examples, it's more compelling. Tough to grasp some of the material by listening. He's very articulate, but the concepts can get complicated.
Really appreciate this book; taking back morality from the religious. In planting the idea that individual morals and "good" societies can be measured, studied and evaluated based on scientific criteria, Sam Harris fertilizes a discourse that has so far been lacking among secular humanists and new age liberal relativists. Scientists can and should study societies to determine which moral practices are favoured over others. As usual, cogently written, persuasively argued, with clear language.
This book is so much more than its title, another book that I would re-read regularly. It's almost impossible to read this book if you have preconceived notion of what Morality is or who should define it. Also, if you start the book thinking that Sam Harris is trying to reconcile the differences between science & religion, then you’d be disappointed. He may seem a little more soft-spoken compare to Richard Dawkins, he doesn’t hide his disgust toward scientists who tiptoe around religion when it comes to research findings.
I always liked the audiobooks that are read by the author, but this was almost an exception to that rule. After the first sentence, I thought I was listening to a very calm Nicolas Cage & that was rather distracting. His voice was also a bit too soothing, given a boredom inducing topic such as “Science & Morality”, if I wasn’t so curious about what he had to say & concentrating on the content, his voice alone would have lulled me to sleep right at Chapter 1.
Overall, even though some of the arguments are a little repetitive and out of place within the chapter layout, I thoroughly enjoyed learning about his point of view on the matter. I need to digest this material further & re-evaluate my own stand on the issues.
Very thoughtful book, with very compelling ideas presented in calm but strong crystalline prose.
I wish others wrote as clearly or tackled hard ideas so well.
This is a most utilitarian response to the sometime-mean-spririted atheism of other essays. The gist is that we need to foster and embrace a scientific approach to morality and values.
Sam Harris makes a convincing case for using Science as a tool to guide moral choices, based on the simple criterion of human Well-Being. Excellent discussion of Moral Relativism,
The material is VERY interesting. However, when the book ended, I felt as though I missed something. I don't think the author went as deep on some subjects as he could have. There were several moments where I felt like I had spaced out and missed a transition to a new subject. The entire book was like one giant hypothetical question. It really makes you think, but if you want concrete answers or conclusions, this is not the book for you. The author was non-judgemental, but almost to a fault. I enjoyed it and I am also listening to The End of Faith, by the same author.
The author is also the narrator, which seems to be a great advantage in this book. He can convey his ideas with much more tact through his own emphasis. It's also a great listen. I am glad I listened to it.
Much more conviction. Although I simultaneously read and listened to the book. That seemed to make his points more understandable, as it can get dense at points.
Yes. This book is great & rich with information. The author is also an expert at explaining things clearly & logically. This is a great book!
Not necessarily. You need to stop and think a lot, go slow sometimes, sometimes flip back and review, look at the topic headings sometimes - all harder to do in audio than print
So clear, so well thought out, well supported with research and pertinent anecdotal material
Too much like a read speech, monotone, with little humor and less emotion, both of which would have helped - would help any non-fiction narrative. Might have been better with a professional reader - although I did like feeling the presence of the author
The assertion that most scientists since Gould have given up the idea that morality could be a legitimate area for science
I am absolutely delighted with this book. I had no expectation it would affect me so profoundly, how much I would treasure the clarity and depth of the thinking. I find myself clapping my hands, and shouting YES! unexpectedly as I listen. I could not be more happy with this acquisition. Makes me want to hear more from Sam Harris.