Samuel Benjamin Harris is a writer, philosopher, neuroscientist, blogger, podcaster, atheist, and blogger. He is the founder and CEO of Project Reason, a well-known nonprofit organization that supports science and secularism. He was raised in a secular environment, which strongly influenced his ideas on religion and spirituality. Berkeley Harris is the son of actor Berkeley Harris and TV producer Susan Harris. The other three “Four Horsemen of Atheism” are Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, and the late Christopher Hitchens. Harris, a proponent of nonreligious meditation techniques, has written a number of publications to date. His debut book, “The End of Faith,” which won him the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction, is the most well-liked of them all. He is well-known as a host due to his involvement with the podcast “Waking Up with Sam Harris.” Harris has used MDMA, also referred to as ecstasy, and has spoken and written about the revelations he had while using it. His doctorate in cognitive neuroscience was awarded to him in 2009 by the University of California, Los Angeles. At one point in his early childhood, Harris was a vegetarian, but he gave it up owing to health problems after six years. He later went back to being a vegetarian, nevertheless, for ethical reasons. The American philosopher and editor Annaka Harris have been wed since 2004. He is the father of two daughters.
Early Childhood & Life
On April 9, 1967, Samuel Benjamin “Sam” Harris was born in Los Angeles, California, in the United States. His father is actor Berkeley Harris, a Quaker by heritage, and his mother is TV producer Susan Harris, a secular Jew.
Harris’ parents separated when he was two, and his mother reared him. He once said that his parents barely brought up religion during his childhood and that his upbringing was entirely secular.
He enrolled at Stanford University to pursue an English degree. But after his second year, he travelled to Nepal and India and spent the next eleven years studying meditation with Buddhist and Hindu religious instructors. Harris went back to Stanford in 1997 and graduated with a B.A. in philosophy in 2000.
He afterwards enrolled in the University of California, Los Angeles, where he graduated in 2009 with a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience.
Career of Sam Harris
‘The End of Faith’, Sam Harris’ debut book, was released in 2004. As a result of positive reviews, it became a best-seller. His second novel was published four years later. Its title, “Letter to a Christian Nation,” refers to an open letter he sent in response to criticism he received after the release of “The End of Faith.”
Harris mostly critiques religion and neuroscience in his writing. For the “Huffington Post,” “The Washington Post,” and “Truthdig,” he formerly wrote blogs. In addition, his articles have appeared in several magazines and newspapers, including “The Boston Globe,” “Newsweek,” “The New York Times,” and “The Los Angeles Times.”
The philosopher has appeared on a number of radio and television programs, including The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, The O’Reilly Factor, Tucker, NPR, Book TV, and ABC News.
He appeared in the 2005 documentary film “The God Who Wasn’t There.” The conference ‘Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival’ featured him as a featured speaker the following year.
Additionally, Harris has frequently been heard on the radio podcast “Point of Inquiry.” He challenged Rick Warren for Newsweek magazine in April 2007.
The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Define Human Values, his book, was published in 2010. The author of this book claims that many individuals are unaware of the connection between science, reality, and morality.
Later, in 2011, he published a book of lengthy essays with the title “Lying.” He disputed William Lane Craig about the relationship between God and impersonal morality in the same year.
In his 2012 book “Free Will,” Harris argues that the existence of morality and the value of social and political freedom cannot be compromised by the knowledge of the human mind.
In September 2013, Harris started ‘Waking Up with Sam Harris,’ a podcast where he debates topics, reacts to detractors, and does interviews with guests.
In his 2014 book “Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion,” he covered a wide range of subjects, including psychedelics, meditation, the illusion of the self, and secular spirituality. In 2015, he released a new book titled “Islam and the Future of Tolerance.”
Bigger Works of Sam Harris
Sam Harris is Project Reason’s CEO and one of the organization’s founders. This nonprofit organization is committed to educating the public about scientific knowledge and secular principles. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Bill Maher, and Richard Dawkins are among the scientists, atheists, and skeptics who serve on its advisory board.
Religions of Abraham are criticized
According to Sam Harris, religion is among the “most perverse misuses of intelligence” that people have ever created. He also likens contemporary religious acts to Greek mythology because he thinks religion spreads negative ideas.
Additionally, he thinks that the label “atheist” won’t be relevant until individuals have developed enough intellectual integrity to stop having to pretend to know things they don’t.
Christian Beliefs of Sam Harris
Catholicism is said by Sam Harris to be “ghoulish machinery set to whirling through the ages by the opposing winds of shame and sadism.” Additionally, he claims that no other institution has done as much to vilify human sexuality as the Catholic Church has.
Harris has also criticized the structure of the Catholic Church and attributed shorter lifespans, poverty, and the spread of HIV/AIDS on the church’s opposition to using contraception.
Ideas about Judaism
The American author claims that Judaism is fundamentally dissonant. In addition to being ridiculous in its literalism, it is “at odds with the civilizing insights of modernity as any other religion.” He adds that one of the main challenges to Middle East peace today is Jewish settlers who earlier practiced their “freedom of belief” on contested areas.
Opinions on Islam
Sam Harris believes that compared to other religions, Islam is more aggressive and hostile to the rules of civil conversation. The notion that “Islam is a ‘peaceful’ religion” is a dangerous illusion, he claims. Harris has also expressed disapproval of the term “Islamophobia” usage.
Perspectives on Spirituality
Harris does not believe in God, according to his definition of spirituality. He opposes the dualism of religious spirituality and scientific logic and is in favor of a middle ground that preserves both while excluding religion.
He believes that the study and practice of spirituality should be viewed in the context of fields of science like psychology and neuroscience.
Social and economic politics opinions
The American philosopher identifies as a liberal and declares his support for legalizing same-sex marriage, taxing the ultra-wealthy, and decriminalizing narcotics.
He backed Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party presidential primaries during the 2016 US presidential election. Although he called Hillary “a terribly flawed contender for the presidency,” Harris backed her in the race and publicly opposed Donald Trump’s bid.
Perspectives on Western feminists
Sam Harris contends that rather than concentrating heavily on domestic abortion rights, Western feminists must struggle against Muslim persecution of women. In a previous podcast, he said that Western feminists were more concerned with complaining about “Gamergate” than they were with advancing women’s rights.
Opinions on Mediation
Harris’ method of mediation evolved from Vipassana and Dzogchen. According to him, the main goal of meditation is to help its practitioners understand that their sense of self is really an illusion. Additionally, he is working on a smartphone meditation app.
Criticism of Sam Harris
Famous biologist PZ Myers made a satirical remark on Harris in a piece titled “The Saga of Slippery Sam,” suggesting that Harris has a remarkable aptitude for saying the worst things. He further denounced his supporters by predicting their uprising in righteous rage and claim that he never truly said “that” thing.
Harris is one of the select few intellectuals who, according to Glenn Greenwald, do not own the words they use. Greenwald claims that Harris writes articles with provocative titles and equally startling assertions. But rather than taking responsibility for what he actually said, he will continue to claim that those who disagree with him did not grasp what he was attempting to express.
Individual Life of Sam Harris
Sam Harris married editor Annaka Harris in 2004. The couple currently has two daughters.
He is skilled in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and martial arts (MA).
He contributes a sizeable amount of the money made by each new podcast episode to a variety of charity causes.
He cites security concerns as to why he is hesitant to share personal information like his address.
Net Worth of Sam Harris
Sam Harris, an author, neurologist, and philosopher from the United States, has a $12 million fortune. In April 1967, Sam Harris was born in Los Angeles, California. He is one of the founding members of the nonprofit group Project Reason. The Waking Up with Sam Harris podcast is hosted by Harris. In 2004, his book The End of Faith was released.