SATURDAY, January 15, 2011 7:00 to 7:30 PM Arrival Time

The Moral Landscape
Book by Sam Harris
Please read the book.

Jackie Hazelton

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 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

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 it 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 a
Christian physics or Muslim algebra, there can be no Christian or Muslim

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

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Jackie Hazelton
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