Quotes by: Sam Harris

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Sam Harris
Harris in March 2016
Born Samuel Benjamin Harris[1]
(1967-04-09) April 9, 1967 (age 49)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Author, cognitive neuroscientist, non-profit executive, philosopher
Citizenship United States
Education Philosophy (B.A. 2000), Neuroscience (Ph.D. 2009)
Alma mater Stanford University
University of California, Los Angeles
Genre Non-fiction
Subject Neuroscience, philosophy,[2] religion
Notable works
The End of Faith Letter to a Christian Nation Islam and the Future of Tolerance
Notable awards PEN/Martha Albrand Award
Spouse Annaka Harris (m. 2004)
Children 2
Website
SamHarris.org

Anyone familiar with my work knows that I am extremely critical of all religious faiths.
Sam Harris
Nothing guarantees that reasonable people will agree about everything, of course, but the unreasonable are certain to be divided by their dogmas. It is time we recognized that this spirit of mutual inquiry, which is the foundation of all real science, is the very antithesis of religious faith.
Sam Harris
It's simply untrue that religion provides the only framework for a universal morality.
Sam Harris
My concern with religion is that it allows us by the millions to believe what only lunatics or idiots could believe on their own. That's not to say that all religious people are lunatics or idiots. It's anything but that.
Sam Harris
Almost all our suffering is the product of our thoughts. We spend nearly every moment of our lives lost in thought, and hostage to the character of those thoughts. You can break this spell, but it takes training just like it takes training to defend yourself against a physical assault.
Sam Harris
The usefulness of religion - the fact that it gives life meaning, that it makes people feel good - is not an argument for the truth of any religious doctrine. It's not an argument that it's reasonable to believe that Jesus really was born of a virgin or that the Bible is the perfect word of the creator of the universe.
Sam Harris
Many of my fellow atheists consider all talk of 'spirituality' or 'mysticism' to be synonymous with mental illness, conscious fraud, or self-deception. I have argued elsewhere that this is a problem - because millions of people have had experiences for which 'spiritual' and 'mystical' seem the only terms available.
Sam Harris
We are now in the 21st century: all books, including the Koran, should be fair game for flushing down the toilet without fear of violent reprisal.
Sam Harris
Any conception of human well-being you could plausibly have, the Taliban patently fails to maximize it.
Sam Harris
Science is the most durable and nondivisive way of thinking about the human circumstance. It transcends cultural, national, and political boundaries. You don't have American science versus Canadian science versus Japanese science.
Sam Harris
As a parent, it's my responsibility to equip my child to do this - to grieve when grief is necessary and to realize that life is still profoundly beautiful and worth living despite the fact that we inevitably lose one another and that life ends, and we don't know what happens after death.
Sam Harris
Many scientists have been drawn to Buddhism out of a sense that the Western tradition has delivered an impoverished conception of basic, human sanity. In the West, if you speak to yourself out loud all day long, you are considered crazy. But speaking to yourself silently - thinking incessantly - is considered perfectly normal.
Sam Harris
There's no way to reconcile Islam with Christianity. This difference of opinion admits of compromise as much as a coin toss does.
Sam Harris
It is still fashionable to believe that how you organize yourself religiously in this life may matter for eternity. Unless we can erode the prestige of that kind of thinking, we're not going to be able to undermine these divisions in our world.
Sam Harris
The science of morality is about maximizing psychological and social health. It's really no more inflammatory than that.
Sam Harris
Most seem to think that while a person may not be responsible for the opportunities he gets in life, each is entirely responsible for what he makes of these opportunities.
Sam Harris
Muslim moderates, wherever they are, must be given every tool necessary to win a war of ideas with their co-religionists. Otherwise, we will have to win some very terrible wars in the future.
Sam Harris
The moment we realize that the only things we can intelligibly value are actual and potential changes in the experience of conscious beings, we can think about a landscape of such changes - where the peaks correspond to the greatest possible well-being and the valleys correspond to the lowest depths of suffering.
Sam Harris
I consistently encounter people in academic settings and scientists and journalists who feel that you can't say that anyone is wrong in any deep sense about morality, or with regard to what they value in life. I think this doubt about the application of science and reason to questions of value is really quite dangerous.
Sam Harris
There is no reason whatsoever to think that Buddhism can compete successfully with the relentless evangelizing of Christianity and Islam. Nor should it try to.
Sam Harris
It's not so much religion per se, it's false certainty that worries me, and religion just has more than its fair share of false certainty or dogmatism. I'm really concerned when I see people pretending to know things they clearly cannot know.
Sam Harris
We're right to say that a culture that can't tolerate free speech is... there are a wide range of positive human experiences that are not available in that culture. And we're right to want those experiences.
Sam Harris
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