Sam Harris Quotes
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The problem with religion, because it's been sheltered from criticism, is that it allows people to believe en masse what only idiots or lunatics could believe in isolation.
Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn't care to, or he doesn't exist. God is either impotent, evil, or imaginary. Take your pick, and choose wisely.
A puppet is free as long as he loves his strings.
We have a choice. We have two options as human beings. We have a choice between conversation and war. That's it. Conversation and violence. And faith is a conversation stopper.
How we pay attention to the present moment...determin es the character of our experience and...the quality of our lives.
You can do what you decide to do — but you cannot decide what you will decide to do.
How can we be “free” as conscious agents if everything that we consciously intend is caused by events in our brain that we do not intend and of which we are entirely unaware? We can’t.
You don't get anything worth getting, by pretending to know things you don't know.
Jesus Christ—who, as it turns out, was born of a virgin, cheated death, and rose bodily into the heavens—can now be eaten in the form of a cracker
The position of the Muslim community in the face of all provocations seems to be: Islam is a religion of peace, and if you say that it isn't, we will kill you.
Religious moderation is the product of secular knowledge and scriptural ignorance.
It is time that we admitted that faith is nothing more than the license religious people give one another to keep believing when reasons fail.
People who harbor strong convictions without evidence belong at the margins of our societies, not in our halls of power.
Faith does not offer a strong link between our beliefs and actual states of the world.
As an atheist, I am angry that we live in a society in which the plain truth cannot be spoken without offending 90% of the population.
120 million of us place the big bang 2,500 years after the Babylonians and Sumerians learned to brew beer.
You almost never get the pleasure of seeing that you won the argument in real time. People just don't like to publicly change their minds. They change their minds in private.
What we do in every other area of our lives (other than religion), is, rather than respect somebody's beliefs, we evaluate their reasons.
Christians have abused, oppressed, enslaved, insulted, tormented, tortured, and killed people in the name of God for centuries, on the basis of a thelogically defensible reading of the Bible.
Unlike statements of fact, which require no further work on our part, lies must be continually protected from collisions with reality.
Islam, at the moment, is the motherlode of bad ideas.
In the year 2006, a person can have sufficient intellectual and material resources to build a nuclear bomb and still believe that he will get seventy-two virgins in Paradise.
You are not controlling the storm, and you are not lost in it. You are the storm.
Human experience depends on everything that can influence states of the human brain, ranging from changes in our genome to changes in the global economy.
It's simply untrue that religion provides the only framework for a universal morality.
Our world is fast succumbing to the activities of men and women who would stake the future of our species on beliefs that should not survive an elementary school education.
It is time that scientists and other public intellectuals observed that the contest between faith and reason is zero-sum.
The habit of spending nearly every waking moment lost in thought leaves us at the mercy of whatever our thoughts happen to be. Meditation is a way of breaking this spell.
The core of science is not a mathematical modeling--it is intellectual honesty. It is a willingness to have our certainties about the world constrained by good evidence and good argument.
Religious faith obscures uncertainty where uncertainty . . . exists, allowing the unknown, the implausible, and the . . . false to achieve primacy over the facts.
Science, in the broadest sense, includes all reasonable claims to knowledge about ourselves and the world.
Atheism is just a way of clearing the space for better conversations.
Most of us are wiser than we may appear to be. On one level, wisdom is nothing more profound than an ability to follow ones own advice.
This is the true horror of religion. It allows perfectly decent and sane people to believe by the billions, what only lunatics could believe on their own.
It is as though a portal in time has opened, and the Christians of the 14th century are pouring into our world.
Muslims must learn that if they make belligerent and fanatical claims upon the tolerance of free societies, they will meet the limits of that tolerance.
Unfortunately, failure enjoys a natural advantage. Wrong answers to any problem outnumber right ones by a wide margin, and it seems that it will always be easier to break things than to fix them.
The science of morality is about maximizing psychological and social health. It's really no more inflammatory than that.
Just as there is no such thing as Christian physics or Muslim Algebra, we will see tht there is no such thing as Christian or Muslim morality.
What I'm asking you to entertain is that there is nothing we need to believe on insufficient evidence in order to have deeply ethical and spiritual lives.
Theology is ignorance with wings.
You know, when you get to the New World and you develop your three branches of government and you have a civil society, you can just jettison all the barbarism I recommended in the first books.
We are now in the 21st century: all books, including the Koran, should be fair game for flushing down the toilet without fear of violent reprisal.
We are all prisoners of our thoughts.
Some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them.
What are the chances that we will one day discover that DNA has absolutely nothing to do with inheritance? They are effectively zero.
[I]t is difficult to imagine a set of beliefs more suggestive of mental illness than those that lie at the heart of many of our religious traditions.
False encouragement is a kind of theft: it steals time, energy, and motivation a person could put toward some other purpose.
I'm the Ted Bundy of string theory.
There's no way to reconcile Islam with Christianity. This difference of opinion admits of compromise as much as a coin toss does.