The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values

The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values Review

Sam Harris' 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 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 ought to 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.

Title:The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values
Edition Language:English

Enjoy the book review !

    The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values Reviews

  • Nebuchadnezzar

    Why am I sitting here reviewing another Sam Harris book? People keep telling me that I have to have to have to read them, and they seem to generally be what's called in military jargon "target-rich en...

  • Darwin8u

    “The fact that millions of people use the term "morality" as a synonym for religious dogmatism, racism, sexism, or other failures of insight and compassion should not oblige us to merely accept thei...

  • Daniel Toker

    Harris's ideology is incomplete - he admits this much himself. But this book provides the groundwork for a (slightly) new way of conceiving of "morality." The general idea is not new, but his thesis i...

  • David

    As I read The Moral Landscape I wondered if Sam Harris would be good to have as a neighbor. He is a strong believer in objective morality. Many Christians believe that atheists are all terrible peopl...

  • Shaun

    Oh my, where to start...Okay, so I guess it would be helpful to disclose that I am a long-time fan of Sam Harris. Not only do I agree with most of his ideas, but I find him to be both an articulate an...

  • Dylan

    I thought I would have few problems with this book. There’s little to no reason where I’d be annoyed by a book where I agree with the fundamental, underlying principles of the work. I fully believ...

  • Richard

    Given that nearly everyone who reads this book will disagree vehemently with its conclusions, and given that the subject matter is almost entirely theoretical, Moral Landscape needed to have been more...

  • Ana

    This is my first Sam Harris book, and I'm glad I finally started reading him. I have been familiar with his public appearances, debates and ideas for some time now, but I had not yet found the books o...

  • David

    This book starts out rather slow, with a heavy dose of philosophy. It does pick up after the first couple of chapters, as the book shows how the mind treats facts and values in a similar manner. The a...

  • Nicky

    I've had a good go at reading this without any knee-jerk reactions, but generally I find Harris' views instinctively abhorrent -- despite his championing of reason and science, I don't think he avoids...