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Sam Harris

April 9, 1967 ·


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.

- Sam Harris (2004) ·

It is time we admitted that we are not at war with "terrorism". We are at war with Islam. This is not to say that we are at war with all Muslims, but we are absolutely at war with the vision of life that is prescribed to all Muslims in the Koran. The only reason Muslim fundamentalism is a threat to us is because the fundamentals of Islam are a threat to us.

- Sam Harris (2004) ·

The principal tenet of Jainism is non-harming. Observant Jains will literally not harm a fly. Fundamentalist Jainism and fundamentalist Islam do not have the same consequences, neither logically nor behaviorally.

- Sam Harris (2005) ·

The problem with faith, is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason, why you do not have to give reasons, for what you believe.

- Sam Harris (2005) ·

The difference between science and religion is the difference between a willingness to dispassionately consider new evidence and new arguments, and a passionate unwillingness to do so.

- Sam Harris (2006) ·

Mormonism, it seems to me, is—objectively—just a little more idiotic than Christianity is. It has to be: because it is Christianity plus some very stupid ideas.

- Sam Harris (2007) ·

If premarital sex is a sin, who is the victim?

- Sam Harris (2008) ·

Religious moderation is the product of secular knowledge and scriptural ignorance.

- Sam Harris (2004) ·

Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings.

- Sam Harris (2004) ·

We are, even now, killing ourselves over ancient literature. Who would have thought something so tragically absurd could be possible?

- Sam Harris (2004) ·

Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply an admission of the obvious. In fact, "atheism" is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a "non-astrologer" or a "non-alchemist." We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.

- Sam Harris (2006) ·

Now Jainism actually is a religion of peace. The core principle of Jainism is non-violence. Gandhi got his non-violence from the Jains. The crazier you get as a Jain, the less we have to worry about you. Jain extremists are paralysed by their pacifism. Jain extremists can't take their eyes off the ground when they walk lest they step on an ant... Needless to say they are vegetarian. So the problem is not religious extremism, because extremism is not a problem if your core beliefs are truly non-violent. The problem isn't fundamentalism. We often hear this said; these are euphemisms... The only problem with Islamic fundamentalism are the fundamentals of Islam.

- Sam Harris (2010) ·

The “war on drugs” has been well lost, and should never have been waged. While it isn’t explicitly protected by the U.S. Constitution, I can think of no political right more fundamental than the right to peacefully steward the contents of one’s own consciousness. The fact that we pointlessly ruin the lives of nonviolent drug users by incarcerating them, at enormous expense, constitutes one of the great moral failures of our time.

- Sam Harris (2011) ·

These chemicals disclose layers of beauty that art is powerless to capture and for which the beauty of Nature herself is a mere simulacrum.

- Sam Harris (2011) ·

The power of psychedelics... is that they often reveal, in the span of a few hours, depths of awe and understanding that can otherwise elude us for a lifetime.

- Sam Harris (2011) ·

Atheism is just a way of clearing the space for better conversations.

- Sam Harris (2012) ·

You are not in control of your mind—because you, as a conscious agent, are only part of your mind, living at the mercy of other parts.

- Sam Harris (2012) ·

Consciousness is the one thing in this universe that cannot be an illusion.

- Sam Harris (2014) ·