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The Moral Landscape Audiobook

The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values

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Publisher's Summary

Sam Harris’s first book, The End of Faith, ignited a worldwide debate about the validity of religion. In the aftermath, Harris discovered that most people—from religious fundamentalists to nonbelieving scientists—agree on one point: science has nothing to say on the subject of human values. Indeed, our failure to address questions of meaning and morality through science has now become the most common justification for religious faith. It is also the primary reason why so many secularists and religious moderates feel obligated to "respect" the hardened superstitions of their more devout neighbors.

In this explosive new book, 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.

Bringing a fresh perspective to age-old questions of right and wrong and good and evil, Harris demonstrates that we already know enough about the human brain and its relationship to events in the world to say that there are right and wrong answers to the most pressing questions of human life. Because such answers exist, moral relativism is simply false—and comes at increasing cost to humanity. And the intrusions of religion into the sphere of human values can be finally repelled: for just as there is no such thing as Christian physics or Muslim algebra, there can be no Christian or Muslim morality.

©2010 Sam Harris (P)2010 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Sam Harris breathes intellectual fire into an ancient debate. Reading this thrilling, audacious book, you feel the ground shifting beneath your feet. Reason has never had a more passionate advocate.” (Ian McEwan)

“A lively, provocative, and timely new look at one of the deepest problems in the world of ideas. Harris makes a powerful case for a morality that is based on human flourishing and thoroughly enmeshed with science and rationality. It is a tremendously appealing vision, and one that no thinking person can afford to ignore.” (Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of How the Mind Works and The Blank Slate)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (2082 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sally Ca. 01-10-16
    Sally Ca. 01-10-16 Member Since 2015
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    "The reading was awful"

    It was read so fast that there was not enough time to take in the ideas. It was so frustrating that I didn't finish it, which is a pity

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    johnb. 07-02-15
    johnb. 07-02-15
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    "Fascinating at every turn"

    This book was phenomenal. A beautiful and rich blend of philosophy and science that lends itself to intriguing argument on nearly every page.

    The concepts themselves are novel and well developed. The opposing arguments well considered. You can certainly hear Sam's overall ideology throughout, not least of all when approaching religion head on, but even so it doesn't seem to sour the purity of his thoughts with any sort of poisonous bias, simply the inherent kind that is inescapable.

    The audio version being narrated by Sam made the experience better than I'd imagine it would've been otherwise. The regular speed sounded painfully slow for some reason, as if he were drowsy (atop his already naturally slow cadence). 1.25x speed sounded more like his regular dialogue and 1.5x was perfectly swift workout losing any mental footing when attempting to keep up with his postulates.

    Highly recommended, probably the most interesting read of the year for me thus far.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Work_Zombie 06-30-15
    Work_Zombie 06-30-15
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    "I love this book!"

    This book really got me thinking. It definitely changed my views on how I see the world. Sam Harris is a genius!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 05-19-15
    Michael 05-19-15
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    "Thank you Sam!"

    Listening to books like this are very inspiring and make me feel much more optimistic for the future. Sam discusses complex and sensitive real-world issues and articulates them in such a way that is truly awe inspiring. I think this book is easy enough for anyone to understand and so I would would recommend to anyone. I feel like he speaks for many individuals(myself included) that want everybody to understand that through only the power of science and reason can EVERYONES lives be improved.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johan 05-18-15
    Johan 05-18-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Harris' most important work"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Moral Landscape?

    Harris mixes profound insights with a dry humor that really underlines many of his more brilliant points. Not that he needs humor to make them, but it makes reading the book that more enjoyable.


    What does Sam Harris bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I used to be annoyed by Sam Harris' voice, but I've come to love it after listening to many of his lectures. He's very calm in his speech, almost to the point of being lulling. Also, having the book read by its author is always a plus as far as I'm concerned.


    Any additional comments?

    This is one of the best books on the subject on human morality one can read. Even if you don't agree with Harris you would be the poorer for letting it pass you by.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andre Wallace Simonsen 05-13-15 Member Since 2016
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    "A must read for everyone"

    Sam Harris makes a strong case for ending the appearant collective blindness regarding morality and cultural practices (such as female genital mutilation).
    One can only hope that anthropologists and others in the social studies read this book.
    My only concern is that the book shows a lot of examples of what should constitute moral valleys and not enough examples of moral peaks and how to progress from the first to the second.
    Nevertheless this would need a lot more research and should be a separate book.
    10/10

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dillan Fernando 05-05-15 Listener Since 2009
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    "Informative but unrealistic."

    There are a lot of good points in this book, but the author doesn't give a valid argument for the necessary exist and of an objective moral landscape.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Pen Name 04-12-15
    Pen Name 04-12-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Insightful"

    The author covered a wide range of angles to provide a thorough understanding of the topic. Great audio book.

    VZ

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer indiana 04-06-15
    Amazon Customer indiana 04-06-15 Member Since 2016

    sugar junkie

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    "I couldn't get through it."
    What would have made The Moral Landscape better?

    A more interesting reader.


    What was most disappointing about Sam Harris’s story?

    I don't know. I couldn't get through the audio.


    What didn’t you like about Sam Harris’s performance?

    No emotion or interest in the reading that it bored me to tears. I couldn't stay focused on it. I tried 3 times to listen to it and just couldn't get through it.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    boredom


    Any additional comments?

    I'm sure the material in it is something I would have been interested in but the reading of it was anything but interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dustin 04-02-15
    Dustin 04-02-15 Member Since 2014

    Books on tape are awesome! Audible sometimes sucks because it won't let you purchase Audiobooks after you already ordered them!

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    "Excellent"

    Sam once again takes us through the logical progressions of a difficult topic. He cuts through the fallacies and fairytales that often hijack our thought process. I would recommend this book to anyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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