Today it’s great to have Sam Harris on the podcast. Sam is the author of five New York Timesbest sellers, including The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, Free Will, Lying, and Waking Up. The End of Faith won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction. His writing and public lectures cover a wide range of topics—neuroscience, moral philosophy,religion, meditation practice, human violence, rationality—but generally focus on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live. He also hosts the Making Sense Podcast, which was selected by Apple as one of the “iTunes Best” and has won a Webby Award for best podcast in the Science & Education category.
[0:17] Sam and Scott discuss materialism and consciousness
[2:59] Sam makes his case for determinism
[11:08] Sam and Scott discuss “the self” and free will
[24:50] Sam’s take on why determinism eases human suffering
[29:23] Sam’s thoughts on the “responsibility paradox”
[36:30] The link between the responsibility paradox, cancel culture, and politics
[43:57] Sam’s thoughts on pride
[48:17] Sam’s reflections on love, hate, and Trump
[1:08:00] Sam’s defense of objective morality
[1:15:51] Why we ‘should’ prevent suffering and promote collective well-being
[1:30:23] What if reincarnation was real?
[1:33:37] Would it be good to change someone’s intuition of right and wrong?
[1:39:40] How emotions and values are linked
[1:45:09] Why we need to scale values
[1:48:12] Sam’s issue with the is-ought problem
[1:56:49] Why Sam maintains that free will and determinism are incompatible
[2:02:45] Why the self is an illusion
[2:08:53] Sam’s exploration of mystery