Quotes by: Sam Harris

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It is time that scientists and other public intellectuals observed that the contest between faith and reason is zero-sum.
Sam Harris
While liberals are leery of religious fundamentalism in general, they consistently imagine that all religions at their core teach the same thing and teach it equally well. This is one of the many delusions borne of political correctness.
Sam Harris
There must be right and wrong answers to questions of morality and values that potentially fall within the purview of science. On this view, some people and cultures will be right (to a greater or lesser degree), and some will be wrong, with respect to what they deem important in life.
Sam Harris
I don't think there's an interesting boundary between philosophy and science. Science is totally beholden to philosophy. There are philosophical assumptions in science and there's no way to get around that.
Sam Harris
Spiritual life can certainly follow the pattern one sees in the fake martial arts, with most teachers making nebulous and magical claims that never get tested, while their students derange themselves with weird ideas, empty rituals, and other affectations.
Sam Harris
In my experience with print journalists, the distinction between remarks being uttered on- or off-the-record is held sacrosanct, but the distinction between truth and falsity sometimes isn't.
Sam Harris
Human well-being is not a random phenomenon. It depends on many factors - ranging from genetics and neurobiology to sociology and economics. But, clearly, there are scientific truths to be known about how we can flourish in this world. Wherever we can have an impact on the well-being of others, questions of morality apply.
Sam Harris
Religious ideas about good and evil tend to focus on how to achieve well-being in the next life, and this makes them terrible guides to securing it in this one. Of course, there are a few gems to be found in every religious tradition, but insofar as these precepts are wise and useful they are not, in principle, religious.
Sam Harris
The atheist, by merely being in touch with reality, appears shamefully out of touch with the fantasy life of his neighbors.
Sam Harris
I think there are universal principles that we should want to understand, but that are not necessarily good for us. We could recognise universal propensities which current cultures can't fully eradicate, which we would want to eradicate if we could. Let's say, a tendency for tribal violence. Or racism.
Sam Harris
Everything we do is for the purpose of altering consciousness. We form friendships so that we can feel certain emotions, like love, and avoid others, like loneliness. We eat specific foods to enjoy their fleeting presence on our tongues. We read for the pleasure of thinking another person's thoughts.
Sam Harris
As an atheist, I am angry that we live in a society in which the plain truth cannot be spoken without offending 90% of the population.
Sam Harris
The fact that one can lose one's sense of self in an ocean of tranquility does not mean that one's consciousness is immaterial or that it presided over the birth of the universe.
Sam Harris
The only thing that permits human beings to collaborate with one another in a truly open-ended way is their willingness to have their beliefs modified by new facts. Only openness to evidence and argument will secure a common world for us.
Sam Harris
Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply a refusal to deny the obvious. Unfortunately, we live in a world in which the obvious is overlooked as a matter of principle.
Sam Harris
The moral landscape is the framework I use for thinking about questions of morality and human values in universal terms.
Sam Harris
One of the great responsibilities we have as a society is to educate ourselves, along with the next generation, about which substances are worth ingesting, and for what purpose, and which are not.
Sam Harris
One could surely argue that the Buddhist tradition, taken as a whole, represents the richest source of contemplative wisdom that any civilization has produced.
Sam Harris
The conflict between religion and science is inherent and (very nearly) zero-sum. The success of science often comes at the expense of religious dogma; the maintenance of religious dogma always comes at the expense of science.
Sam Harris
It is difficult to think of anything more important than providing the best education possible for our children. They will develop the next technologies, medical cures, and global industries, while mitigating their unintended effects, or they will fail to do these things and consign us all to oblivion.
Sam Harris
Positive social emotions like compassion and empathy are generally good for us, and we want to encourage them. But do we know how to most reliably raise children to care about the suffering of other people? I'm not sure we do.
Sam Harris
While religious tolerance is surely better than religious war, tolerance is not without its liabilities. Our fear of provoking religious hatred has rendered us incapable of criticizing ideas that are now patently absurd and increasingly maladaptive.
Sam Harris
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