Sam Harris discusses his latest book, The Moral Landscape.
About The Moral Landscape:
Sam Harris tears down the wall between scientific facts and human values, arguing that most people are simply mistaken about the relationship between morality and the rest of human knowledge. Harris urges us to think about morality in terms of human and animal well-being, viewing the experiences of conscious creatures as peaks and valleys on a "moral landscape". Because there are definite facts to be known about where we fall on this landscape, Harris foresees a time when science will no longer limit itself to merely describing what people do in the name of "morality"; in principle, science should be able to tell us what we ought to do to live the best lives possible.
Listen to the The Moral Landscape.
©2010 Sam Harris (P)2010 Simon & Schuster, Inc.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
Sam Harris is a very intelligent man and a serious scientist. I agree that belief in god(s) is totally unnecessary to developing an appropriate moral system and that, indeed, some/most religions are indeed immoral when taken to dogmatic excess. I disagree with his militant atheism which he basically turns into his religion. I make that statement not only based on The Moral Landscape but on the sum of all of his writings and lectures on the topic of morality and religion.
The cases that Harris makes against Christianity's excesses in Letters to a Christian Nation and Islam's excesses in Islam and the Future of Tolerance are valid. But in his The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason Harris fails to make the case against the excesses of militant atheism which is also a religion, his religion. During the French Revolution militant atheists lopped off the heads of thousands of their fellow citizens. Communists, militant atheists, have killed millions in the USSR, China, Cambodia, and elsewhere.
We cannot know that which is unknowable. That is true about the existence of god(s) whether it is a theist who claims that higher power definitely exists or about militant atheists like Sam Harris who claim to know that such a higher power does exist.
Nevertheless, I find atheists like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens well worth listening to and reading.
I read science, biographies, histories, mysteries, adventures, thrillers, educationals, linguistics but not no way, not no how, romances.
I listened to this presentation and I read the book. In fact, I've read everything Harris has written. And here's the thing, this is not that great of a presentation. But the book is well worth it. Harris attempts to generate from scratch a whole new way of examining morality and ethics and building a moral code from the ground up in a logical, scientific way. And he succeeds. The book, Moral Landscape is great. But this intro to it is lacking in the excitement and genius of the full book. Skip this, buy the book.
A book like this is necessary to make the future a better one. Harris is brave and brilliant. His presentation here is a perfect description of the contents and intent. Get the book.
The audio quality here is similar to a phone conversation, and while Sam is able to touch upon a few of the elements in the book, there is no real depth. Just buy the book!
I like listening to the short, free interviews with an author who's book I am unsure whether or not to try out. This interview swayed me to not get The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris. I can tell he is passionate about what he writes and has a large following but I'm not sure it is for me.
The Moral Landscape is the most honest and relevant book on morality that has ever been. To dislike the book is to misunderstand what it is stating. A healthy future can only be attained through an evolving rational discussion, equality for everyone, and an ability to learn from (but not hold on to) the past.
There are parts of the book that are hard to listen to, but make the answers in the book that much more important.
Thank you Mr. Sam Harris.
Some how I can't get past the fact that Sam Harris is the same person that said "If I had a magic wand with which I could eradicate either religion or rape, I would chose religion".
See Bethany Saltman, "The Temple of Reason" The Sun 369 (Sept 2006) pg 16.
Evidently , while his belief in his atheism is worth any price (rape), religious belief is too costly...
Even many of his fellow atheists said he went too far with that comment and really strains his credulity on topics of "morality". Sam's got a good voice and I liked the narration, he did well with that. I personally know and have read too many of his comments like the one above to really want to be a part of hating others based on their personal beliefs. I found his motive transparent and disappointing.
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