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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 (2246 )
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Performance
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  •  
    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
  •  
    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 2017

    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
  •  
    R. Daniel East Texas 03-28-15
    R. Daniel East Texas 03-28-15
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    "Life changing."

    This book made me an instant Sam Harris fan. Harris speaks calmly while cutting into the meat of some heavy ideas. Brilliant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul St. George's, NL, Canada 09-18-13
    Paul St. George's, NL, Canada 09-18-13
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    "Bad Audio Quality"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    The problem isn't the book, it's the audio quality. You can actually hear people having a conversation in the background of Sam Harris speaking from time to time. Where is he recording this, a classroom?


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan 05-28-13
    Dan 05-28-13
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    "Illogical Mumbo-Jumbo"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The thesis was not thought through very well at all. The author uses the term "SCIENCE", as though he were speaking about a religion and not a structured method of determining cause and effect. For example he writes, [Athough SCIENCE has sometimes exhibited racist or sexist ideas...."]. Science does not exhibit any ideas; people do. But, if you replace the word SCIENCE, with any of the world's religions, the sentence may have some validity.The author uses words like SCIENCE, MORALITY, ETHICS, WELL-BEING, all as uppercase nouns [Science ordered a BLT sandwich at the Deli, even as Islam still maintains it is wrong to eat pork; and by-the-way, some people are still circumcising there little girls]. This kind of thing goes on thoughout the book. I bought this book because I really enjoyed his other book "The End of Faith". But I really wish someone close (such as a friend or editor), would have given him a few constructive boots in the pants.


    7 of 14 people found this review helpful

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