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Making Sense with Sam Harris

Join neuroscientist, philosopher, and best-selling author Sam Harris as he explores important and controversial questions about the human mind, society, and current events. Sam Harris is the author of five New York Times bestsellers. His books include The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, Free Will, Lying, Waking Up, and Islam and the Future of Tolerance (with Maajid Nawaz). 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. Harris's work has been published in more than 20 languages and has been discussed in The New York Times, Time, Scientific American, Nature, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and many other journals. He has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Economist, The Times (London), The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, The Annals of Neurology, and elsewhere.Sam Harris received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.

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#138 — The Edge of Humanity

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Yuval Noah Harari about his new book “21 Lessons for the 21st Century.” They discuss the importance of meditation for his intellectual life, the primacy of stories, the need to revise our fundamental assumptions about human civilization, the threats to liberal democracy, a world without work, universal basic income, the virtues of nationalism, the implications of AI and automation, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

49mins

20 Sep 2018

Rank #1

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#125 — What Is Christianity?

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, 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. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

48mins

1 May 2018

Rank #2

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#232 — Inequality and Revolution

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jack Goldstone about the rise in social inequality and political instability in the United States. They discuss how wealth is deployed, the loss of social mobility, comparative judgments of well-being, cosmopolitanism and the isolation of the rich, decreased life expectancy, taxation, the need for government to solve problems, success and social obligation, the causes of revolution, universal basic income (UBI), and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

41mins

27 Jan 2021

Rank #3

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#219 — The Power of Compassion

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with James R. Doty about his memoir “Into the Magic Shop.” They discuss the significance of childhood stress, the possibility of changing one’s core beliefs about oneself, the relationship between surgeons and their patients, the nature of compassion, the Dalai Lama, the relationship between wealth and empathy, the worsening problem of social inequality, the physiology of compassion, the broken healthcare system in the U.S., and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

48mins

8 Oct 2020

Rank #4

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#2 — Why Don't I Criticize Israel?

In the wake of the recent war in Gaza, many readers have asked "Why don't you criticize Israel?" Here is my response. You can read an annotated transcript of this podcast at: http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/why-dont-i-criticize-israel SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

8mins

27 Jul 2014

Rank #5

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#221 — Success, Failure, & the Common Good

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Michael Sandel about the problem with meritocracy . They discuss the dark side of the concept of merit, the pernicious myth of the self-made man, the moral significance of luck, the backlash against "elites" and expertise, how we value human excellence, the connection between wealth and value creation, the ethics of the tax code, higher education as a sorting mechanism for a caste system, alternatives to 4-year colleges, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

46mins

22 Oct 2020

Rank #6

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#174 — Life & Mind

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Richard Dawkins. They discuss the strangeness of the “gene’s-eye view" of the world, the limits of Darwinian thinking when applied to human life, the concept of the extended phenotype, ideologies as meme complexes, whether consciousness might be an epiphenomenon, psychedelics, meditation, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

48mins

4 Nov 2019

Rank #7

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#136 — Digital Humanism

In this episode the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jaron Lanier about the economics, politics, and psychology of our digital lives. They discuss the insidious idea that information should be free, what we should want from an advanced economy, the role of advertising, libertarianism in Silicon Valley, the problems with social media, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

27mins

30 Aug 2018

Rank #8

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#231 — Crossing the Abyss

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with General Stanley McChrystal and Chris Fussell about the radicalization of the far Right under Trump. They discuss the events of January 6, 2021, the behavior of the Capitol police, the history of white supremacy in the US, the effect of banning extremists from social media, the logic of insurgency, the consequence of public lies, what should happen to Trump and his enablers, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe

1hr 14mins

17 Jan 2021

Rank #9

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#163 — Ricky Gervais

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Ricky Gervais. They discuss fame, the effect of social media, the changing state of comedy, offensive jokes, Louis CK, political hypocrisy, Brexit and Trump, the state of journalism, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

55mins

12 Jul 2019

Rank #10

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#224 — The Key to Trump's Appeal

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris describes his new understanding of why people support President Trump. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe

8mins

3 Nov 2020

Rank #11

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#73 — Forbidden Knowledge

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Charles Murray about the controversy over his book "The Bell Curve," the validity and significance of IQ as a measure of intelligence, the problem of social stratification, the rise of Trump, universal basic income, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

50mins

23 Apr 2017

Rank #12

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#3 — WAKING UP — Chapter One

This is the complete first chapter of Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris. To purchase the audiobook: http://amzn.to/1v1NEIK To purchase the print edition: http://amzn.to/1mqiAKL SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

40mins

21 Aug 2014

Rank #13

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#152 — The Trouble with Facebook

In the episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Roger McNamee about his book Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

49mins

27 Mar 2019

Rank #14

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#112 — The Intellectual Dark Web

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Eric Weinstein and Ben Shapiro about the breakdown of shared values, the problem with identity politics, religion, free will, the primacy of reason, and many other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

55mins

2 Jan 2018

Rank #15

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#62 — What is True?

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with psychologist Jordan B. Peterson about freedom of speech and the nature of truth. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

54mins

21 Jan 2017

Rank #16

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#191 — Early Thoughts on a Pandemic

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Amesh Adalja about the spreading coronavirus pandemic. They discuss the contagiousness of the virus and the severity of the resultant illness, the mortality rate and risk factors, vectors of transmission, how long coronavirus can live on surfaces, the importance of social distancing, possible anti-viral treatments, the timeline for a vaccine, the importance of pandemic preparedness, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

1hr 6mins

11 Mar 2020

Rank #17

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#18 — The Multiverse & You (& You & You & You...)

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with MIT cosmologist Max Tegmark about the foundations of science, our current understanding of the universe, and the risks of future breakthroughs in artificial intelligence. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

43mins

23 Sep 2015

Rank #18

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#159 — Conscious

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with his wife, Annaka Harris, about her new book, "Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind." SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

30mins

6 Jun 2019

Rank #19

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#189 — Wealth & Happiness

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Scott Galloway about the connection between wealth and happiness. They discuss the problem of wealth inequality, the transfer of wealth from the young to the old, class warfare in Democratic politics, deficit spending, means testing Social Security, Bloomberg’s campaign and “stop and frisk,” breaking up big tech, privacy absolutism, meditation, mortality, atheism, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

1hr 11mins

2 Mar 2020

Rank #20