The Moral Landscape

The Moral Landscape Summary

am 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 nonbelieving 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.

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 oughtto do to live the best lives possible.

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.

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.

Book Reviews


Changed how I perceive ethical considerations5 star

Sam Harris is one of the most thoughtful, rational, and influential thinkers of our time. Excellent book, a must read for everyone.55


Loved it!5 star

Sam is one of the few authors who I can't get enough of.55


Excellent5 star

A lucid, insightful, persuasive, and much needed discourse on the subject of morality. I found this book thoroughly enjoyable.55


Wow5 star

This is a much needed conversation, 'bout time.55


Brilliant5 star

There is no doubting this man's qualifications. At once you realize he is a brilliant scholar. What evolves, though, is his passion and sense of humanity. This book is not anti God, it's pro humanity. Far more accessible than Hawkings, less histrionic than Hitchens. Sam is one of the most compelling authors today. An important read.55


A Voice of Reason5 star

Finally someone with the guts to say what I have believed for so long. Yes, we CAN tell some people their values and morals are wrong.55


Yawn.1 star

Pure hubris is nothing new.15


Must read!5 star

Sam Harris at his best. Brilliant. A page turner.55

Michael Laughlin

Sam Harris assumes role as our generation's voice of reason.5 star

Sam Harris aims his focus at the most important issue facing humanity today and delivers a product great philosophers of antiquity and our american founders could have agreed upon. His solution consist of establishing an universal, secular, and thus ecumenical standard for assessing objective moral truth. An important and engrossing read, "The Moral Landscape" provides a nonthreatening perspective on morality that any open minded individual or society can embrace.55

Jason Hutchcraft

The most important book to come along in 2000 years5 star

As strong and solid an argument as can be made- worth every penny and then some.55

Other Books by Sam Harris

Waking Up


Waking Up
4.5     174
Free Will


Free Will
4     227

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