Moral landscape

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Praise for THE MORAL LANDSCAPE

“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, author of Atonement and winner of the Man Booker Prize for Amsterdam

“A lively, provocative, and timely new look at one of the deepest problems inthe 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, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and author of How the Mind Works and The Blank Slate

“Beautifully written as they were(the elegance of his prose is a distilled blend of honesty and clarity) there was little in Sam Harris’s previous books that couldn’t have been written by any of his fellow ‘horsemen’ of the ‘new atheism.’ This book is different, though every bit as readable as the other two. I was one of those who had unthinkingly bought into the hectoring myth that science can say nothing about morals. To mysurprise, The Moral Landscape has changed all that for me. It should change it for philosophers too. Philosophers of mind have already discovered that they can’t duck the study of neuroscience, and the best of them have raised their game as a result. Sam Harris shows that the same should be true of moral philosophers, and it will turn their world exhilaratingly upside down. As for religion, andthe preposterous idea that we need God to be good, nobody wields a sharper bayonet than Sam Harris.” —Richard Dawkins, University of Oxford

“Reading Sam Harris is like drinking water from a cool stream on a hot day. He has the rare ability to frame arguments that are not only stimulating, they are downright nourishing, even if you don’t always agree with him! In this new book he argues from aphilosophical and a neurobiological perspective that science can and should determine morality. His discussions will provoke secular liberals and religious conservatives alike, who jointly argue from different perspectives that there always will be an unbridgeable chasm between merely knowing what is and discerning what should be. As was the case with Harris’s previous books, readers are bound tocome away with previously firm convictions about the world challenged, and a vital new awareness about the nature and value of science and reason in our lives.” —Lawrence M. Krauss, Foundation Professor and Director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University and author of The Physics of Star Trek and Quantum Man: Richard Feynman’s Life in Science

ALSO BY SAM HARRIS The End of FaithLetter to a Christian Nation

Free Press A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020 www.SimonandSchuster.com Copyright © 2010 by Sam Harris All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address Free Press Subsidiary Rights Department, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY10020 This Free Press export edition October 2010 FREE PRESS and colophon are trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc. For information about special discounts for bulk purchases, please contact Simon & Schuster Special Sales at 1-866-506-1949 or business@simonandschuster.com The Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau can bring authors to your live event. For more information or to book an event contact theSimon & Schuster Speakers Bureau at 1-866-248-3049 or visit our website at www.simonspeakers.com. Manufactured in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 ISBN 978-1-4516-1278-3 ISBN 978-1-4391-7123-3 (ebook)

For Emma

CONTENTS

Introduction The Moral Landscape Chapter 1 Moral Truth Chapter 2 Good and Evil Chapter 3 Belief Chapter 4 Religion Chapter 5 The Future of Happiness...
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