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The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Valuesby Sam Harris
Synopses & Reviews
Now in paperback, the bestselling The Moral Landscape is a "thrilling, audacious book, you feel the ground shifting beneath your feet. Reason has never had a more passionate advocate." (Ian McEwan)
In his explosive new book, Sam Harris, the author of The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation, tears down the wall between scientific facts and human values, urging us to think about morality in terms of human and animal well-being, and to see the experiences of conscious creatures as peaks and valleys on a "moral landscape."
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. Nor do the Religious fundamentalists have it right. Just as there is no Christian physics or Muslim algebra, there can be no Christian or Muslim morality.
Using his expertise in philosophy and neuroscience, along with his experience on the front lines of our "culture wars," Harris delivers a game-changing book about the future of science and about the real basis of human cooperation.
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 non-believing 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 primary justification for religious faith.
In this highly controversial book, Sam Harris seeks to link morality to the rest of human knowledge. Defining morality in terms of human and animal well-being, Harris argues that science can do more than tell how we are; it can, in principle, tell us how we ought to be. In his view, moral relativism is simply false — and comes at an 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. Using his expertise in philosophy and neuroscience, along with his experience on the front lines of our "culture wars," Harris delivers a game-changing book about the future of science and about the real basis of human cooperation.
Bestselling author Sam Harris dismantles the most common justification for religious faith — that a moral system cannot be based on science.
About the Author
Sam Harris is the author of the New York Times bestsellers, The Moral Landscape, The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation. The End of Faith won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction. Mr. Harris' writing has been published in over fifteen languages. He and his work have been discussed in Newsweek, TIME, The New York Times, Scientific American, Nature, Rolling Stone, and many other journals. His writing has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Times (London), The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, The Annals of Neurology, and elsewhere. Mr. Harris is a Co-Founder and CEO of Project Reason, a nonprofit foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. He received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.
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