10 episodes

Join neuroscientist, philosopher, and five-time New York Times best-selling author Sam Harris as he explores important and controversial questions about the mind, society, current events, moral philosophy, religion, and rationality—with an overarching focus on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live.

Sam is also the creator of the Waking Up app. Combining Sam’s decades of mindfulness practice, profound wisdom from varied philosophical and contemplative traditions, and a commitment to a secular, scientific worldview, Waking Up is a resource for anyone interested in living a more examined, fulfilling life—and a new operating system for the mind.

Waking Up offers free subscriptions to anyone who can’t afford one, and donates a minimum of 10% of profits to the most effective charities around the world. To learn more, please go to WakingUp.com.

Sam Harris received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.

The Best of Making Sense with Sam Harris Sam Harris

    • Science
    • 4.5 • 268 Ratings

Join neuroscientist, philosopher, and five-time New York Times best-selling author Sam Harris as he explores important and controversial questions about the mind, society, current events, moral philosophy, religion, and rationality—with an overarching focus on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live.

Sam is also the creator of the Waking Up app. Combining Sam’s decades of mindfulness practice, profound wisdom from varied philosophical and contemplative traditions, and a commitment to a secular, scientific worldview, Waking Up is a resource for anyone interested in living a more examined, fulfilling life—and a new operating system for the mind.

Waking Up offers free subscriptions to anyone who can’t afford one, and donates a minimum of 10% of profits to the most effective charities around the world. To learn more, please go to WakingUp.com.

Sam Harris received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.

    #175 — Leaving the Faith

    #175 — Leaving the Faith

    Sam Harris speaks with Yasmine Mohammed about her book Unveiled: How Western Liberals Empower Radical Islam. They discuss her family background and indoctrination into conservative Islam, the double standard that Western liberals use when thinking about women in the Muslim community, the state of feminism in general, honor violence, the validity of criticizing other cultures, and many other topics.
    Yasmine Mohammed is a human rights activist and writer. She advocates for the rights of women living within Islamic majority countries, as well as those who struggle under religious fundamentalism. She is the founder of Free Hearts Free Minds, an organization that provides psychological support for ex-Muslims living within Muslim majority countries. 
    Website: YasmineMohammed.com
    Twitter: @YasMohammedxx
    Episodes that have been re-released as part of the Best of Making Sense series may have been edited for relevance since their original airing.
     

    • 1 hr 20 min
    #151 — Will We Destroy the Future?

    #151 — Will We Destroy the Future?

    Sam Harris speaks with Nick Bostrom about the problem of existential risk. They discuss public goods, moral illusions, the asymmetry between happiness and suffering, utilitarianism, “the vulnerable world hypothesis,” the history of nuclear deterrence, the possible need for “turnkey totalitarianism,” whether we’re living in a computer simulation, the Doomsday Argument, the implications of extraterrestrial life, and other topics.
    Nick Bostrom is a Swedish-born philosopher with a background in theoretical physics, computational neuroscience, logic, and artificial intelligence. He is a Professor at Oxford University, where he leads the Future of Humanity Institute as its founding director. He is the author of some 200 publications, including Anthropic Bias, Global Catastrophic Risks, Human Enhancement, and Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, a New York Times bestseller.
    Episodes that have been re-released as part of the Best of Making Sense series may have been edited for relevance since their original airing.
     

    • 1 hr 33 min
    #207 — Can We Pull Back From The Brink?

    #207 — Can We Pull Back From The Brink?

    Sam discusses the 2020 social protests and civil unrest, in light of what we know about racism and police violence in America.
     
    Episodes that have been re-released as part of the Best of Making Sense series may have been edited for relevance since their original airing.

    • 1 hr 53 min
    #104 — The Lessons of Death

    #104 — The Lessons of Death

    Sam Harris speaks with Frank Ostaseski about death and dying—and about how the awareness of death can improve our lives in each moment.
    Frank Ostaseski is a Buddhist teacher, international lecturer, and a leading voice in end-of-life care. In 1987, he co-founded the Zen Hospice Project, the first Buddhist hospice in America. In 2004, he created the Metta Institute to provide innovative educational programs and professional trainings that foster compassionate, mindfulness-based care. Mr. Ostaseski’s groundbreaking work has been widely featured in the media, including the Bill Moyers television series On Our Own Terms, the PBS series With Eyes Open, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and in numerous print publications. AARP magazine named him one of America’s 50 most innovative people. In 2001, he was honored by the Dalai Lama for his many years of compassionate service to the dying and their families. He is the author of The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully.
    mettainstitute.org
    Fiveinvitations.com
     
    Episodes that have been re-released as part of the Best of Making Sense series may have been edited for relevance since their original airing.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    #91 — The Biology of Good and Evil

    #91 — The Biology of Good and Evil

    Sam Harris speaks with Robert Sapolsky about the brain and human behavior. They discuss the relationship between reason and emotion, the role of the frontal cortex, the illusion of free will, punishment and retributive justice, neurological disorders and abnormal behavior, the relationship between science and religion, and other topics.
    Robert Sapolsky is a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation genius grant. He is the author of A Primate’s Memoir, The Trouble with Testosterone, Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, and Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst.
     
    Episodes that have been re-released as part of the Best of Making Sense series may have been edited for relevance since their original airing.
     

    • 1 hr 38 min
    #125 — What is Christianity?

    #125 — What is Christianity?

    Sam Harris speaks to Bart Ehrman about his experience of being a born-again Christian, his academic training in New Testament scholarship, his loss of faith, the most convincing argument in defense of Christianity, the status of miracles, the composition of the New Testament, the resurrection of Jesus, the nature of heaven and hell, the book of Revelation, the End Times, self-contradictions in the Bible, the concept of a messiah, whether Jesus actually existed, Christianity as a cult of human sacrifice, the conversion of Constantine, and other topics.
    Bart D. Ehrman is the author or editor of more than thirty books, including the New York Times bestsellers Misquoting Jesus and How Jesus Became God. Ehrman is a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a leading authority on the New Testament and the history of early Christianity. He has been featured in Time, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post, and has appeared on NBC, CNN, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The History Channel, National Geographic, BBC, major NPR shows, and other top print and broadcast media outlets. His most recent book is The Triumph of Christianity.
     
    Episodes that have been re-released as part of the Best of Making Sense series may have been edited for relevance since their original airing.
     

    • 1 hr 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
268 Ratings

268 Ratings

Kasraa91 ,

Sam is one the most intelligent public voices

I hold Sam Harris in high regard, considering him one of the most eloquent and intelligent voices of our era. He is well-aware of his expertise and conveys it effectively. What I particularly admire about Sam is his balanced position within the political spectrum. He doesn’t align with the extreme left that might justify Islamic terrorism or indulge in extreme "woke" ideologies. Similarly, he doesn't equate the significant issues within the Republican Party—from election denialism to climate science skepticism—with minor missteps in the Democratic Party. While I view this stance as the most rational, it's disappointingly rare among many public intellectuals I once revered.

Fcd899 ,

Awful

Opinions presented as “facts”

Don’t ask me for a nicNAME ,

Overview of podcast

Sam Harris’s podcast is distint in its scientific intellect and breadth of human person understanding. It is extremely valuable in helping me understand the topics Harris covers.

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