Adored by secularists, feared by the pious, Sam Harris' best-selling books argue that religion is ruinous and, worse, stupid — and that questioning religious faith might just save civilization.

Why you should listen

Sam Harris has been identified as one of the "Four Horsemen of Atheism" -- company he shares with Richard Dawkins, Dan Dennett and Christopher Hitchens. An outspoken proponent of skepticism and science, his two books -- The End of Faith and its follow-up Letter to a Christian Nation -- have become best-sellers.
 
In The End of Faith, Harris showed "a harrowing glimpse of mankind’s willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs, even when these beliefs inspire the worst of human atrocities." After receiving thousands of angry letters in response, he wrote Letter to a Christian Nation, which centered on religious controversies in the United States: stem cell research, “intelligent design,” and links between religion and violence.
 
Harris received a degree in philosophy from Stanford and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA. He is the co-founder and CEO of Project Reason, a nonprofit devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society.

What others say

"Read Sam Harris and wake up." — Richard Dawkins

Sam Harris’ TED talks

Sam Harris on the TED Blog

Science

Science can answer moral questions: Sam Harris on TED.com

March 22, 2010

Questions of good and evil, right and wrong are commonly thought unanswerable by science. But Sam Harris argues that science can — and should — be an authority on moral issues, shaping human values and setting out what constitutes a good life. (Recorded at TED2010, February 2010 in Long Beach, CA. Duration: 23:07) Watch Sam […]

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Quotes from Sam Harris

It seems to me patently obvious that we can no more respect and tolerate vast differences in notions of human well-being than we can respect or tolerate vast differences in the notions about how disease spreads, or in the safety standards of buildings and airplanes.
Sam Harris
TED2010 • 2.3M views Mar 2010
Persuasive, Inspiring