Letter to a Christian Nation

Letter to a Christian Nation Description:

In response to i The End of Faith i Sam Harris received thousands of letters from Christians excoriating him for not believing in God i Letter to A Christian Nation i is his reply Using rational argument Harris offers a measured refutation of the beliefs that form the core of fundamentalist Christianity In the course of his argument he addresses current topics ranging from intelligent design and stem cell research to the connections between religion and violence In i Letter to a Christian Nation i Sam Harris boldly challenges the influence that faith has on public life in our nation

Rating: 3.29 out of 5

The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason

The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason Description:

In i The End of Faith i Sam Harris delivers a startling analysis of the clash between reason and religion in the modern world He offers a vivid historical tour of our willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs even when these beliefs inspire the worst human atrocities While warning against the encroachment of organized religion into world politics Harris draws on insights from neuroscience philosophy and Eastern mysticism to deliver a call for a truly modern foundation for ethics and spirituality that is both secular and humanistic br br Winner of the PEN Martha Albrand Award for Nonfiction

Rating: 3.58 out of 5

Free Will

Free Will Description:

Belief in free will touches nearly everything that human beings value It is difficult to think about law politics religion public policy intimate relationships morality as well as feelings of remorse or personal achievement without first imagining that every person is the true source of his or her thoughts and actions And yet the facts tell us that free will is an illusion br br In this enlightening book Sam Harris argues that this truth about the human mind does not undermine morality or diminish the importance of social and political freedom but it can and should change the way we think about some of the most important questions in life

Rating: 3.52 out of 5

The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values

The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values Description:

Sam Harris first book i The End of Faith i 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 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 br br 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 i ought i to do to live the best lives possible br br 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 br br 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

Rating: 3.79 out of 5

Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion

Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion Description:

For the millions of Americans who want spirituality without religion Sam Harris s new book is a guide to meditation as a rational spiritual practice informed by neuroscience and psychology br br From multiple New York Times bestselling author neuroscientist and new atheist Sam Harris Waking Up is for the percent of Americans who follow no religion but who suspect that Jesus Buddha Lao Tzu Rumi and the other saints and sages of history could not have all been epileptics schizophrenics or frauds Throughout the book Harris argues that there are important truths to be found in the experiences of such contemplatives and therefore that there is more to understanding reality than science and secular culture generally allow br br Waking Up is part seeker s memoir and part exploration of the scientific underpinnings of spirituality No other book marries contemplative wisdom and modern science in this way and no author other than Sam Harris a scientist philosopher and famous skeptic could write it

Rating: 3.54 out of 5

Lying

Lying Description:

As it was in Anna Karenina Madame Bovary and Othello so it is in life Most forms of private vice and public evil are kindled and sustained by lies Acts of adultery and other personal betrayals financial fraud government corruption even murder and genocide generally require an additional moral defect a willingness to lie br br In Lying bestselling author and neuroscientist Sam Harris argues that we can radically simplify our lives and improve society by merely telling the truth in situations where others often lie He focuses on white lies those lies we tell for the purpose of sparing people discomfort for these are the lies that most often tempt us And they tend to be the only lies that good people tell while imagining that they are being good in the process

Rating: 3.32 out of 5

Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue

Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue Description:

In this deeply informed and absorbing exchange Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz present an antidote to the polarizing rhetoric and obscurantism that have become defining features of our time honest dialogue A renowned critic of religion Harris finds the doctrines of Islam dangerous and irredeemable No the Muslim anti extremist Nawaz argues Islam is amenable to reform and can find its place in a secular world Rather than devolve into bigotry or caricature their exchange presents an inspiring example of courteous attention sharp edged wisdom and finally hope br br A former member of the Islamist revolutionary group Hizb ut Tahrir author of Radical and cofounder of the anti extremist think tank Quilliam Nawaz speaks with unique authority about the possibility of Islamic reform Since the publication of The End of Faith Harris has critiqued religion and asserted that reason and science are the true guardians of our deepest human values Islam and the Future of Tolerance is an exemplar of how the fog can lift when hyperbole and posturing are put aside in pursuit of understanding br br Guided by a mutual commitment to the belief that no idea is above scrutiny and no people beneath dignity Harris and Nawaz challenge each other and consequently their readers to defend incompatible positions define and explore their facts and discover common ground Published with the explicit hope to inspire many more such conversations this dialogue extends an invitation to a world riven by violence to take up the task of engagement

Rating: 3.80 out of 5

An Atheist Manifesto

An Atheist Manifesto Description:

Sam Harris argues against irrational faith and its adherents

Rating: 3.55 out of 5

The Neural Correlates of Religious and Nonreligious Belief

The Neural Correlates of Religious and Nonreligious Belief Description:

ABSTRACT from a href http www plosone org article info Adoi F Fjournal pone top rel nofollow the full study a br br Background br br While religious faith remains one of the most significant features of human life little is known about its relationship to ordinary belief at the level of the brain Nor is it known whether religious believers and nonbelievers differ in how they evaluate statements of fact Our lab previously has used functional neuroimaging to study belief as a general mode of cognition and others have looked specifically at religious belief However no research has compared these two states of mind directly br Methodology Principal Findings br br We used functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI to measure signal changes in the brains of thirty subjects fifteen committed Christians and fifteen nonbelievers as they evaluated the truth and falsity of religious and nonreligious propositions For both groups and in both categories of stimuli belief judgments of true vs judgments of false was associated with greater signal in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex an area important for self representation emotional associations reward and goal driven behavior This region showed greater signal whether subjects believed statements about God the Virgin Birth etc or statements about ordinary facts A comparison of both stimulus categories suggests that religious thinking is more associated with brain regions that govern emotion self representation and cognitive conflict while thinking about ordinary facts is more reliant upon memory retrieval networks br br Conclusions Significance br br While religious and nonreligious thinking differentially engage broad regions of the frontal parietal and medial temporal lobes the difference between belief and disbelief appears to be content independent Our study compares religious thinking with ordinary cognition and as such constitutes a step toward developing a neuropsychology of religion However these findings may also further our understanding of how the brain accepts statements of all kinds to be valid descriptions of the world br br Author Contributions br br Conceived and designed the experiments Sam Harris Jonas T Kaplan Marco Iacoboni Mark S Cohen Performed the experiments Jonas T Kaplan Analyzed the data Sam Harris Jonas T Kaplan Marco Iacoboni Mark S Cohen Contributed reagents materials analysis tools Marco Iacoboni Mark S Cohen Wrote the paper Sam Harris Jonas T Kaplan Performed all subject recruitment telephone screenings and psychometric assessments prior to scanning Ashley Curiel Supervised our psychological assessment procedures and consulted on subject exclusions Susan Y Bookheimer Gave extensive notes on the manuscript Mark S Cohen Marco Iacoboni

Rating: 3.54 out of 5

Functional Neuroimaging of Belief, Disbelief, and Uncertainty

Functional Neuroimaging of Belief, Disbelief, and Uncertainty Description:

No description available

Rating: 3.62 out of 5