THE ZEN NEUROSCIENTIST: A GUIDE TO SAM HARRIS
Sam Harris | 15:26
Some public intellectuals have suggested that discussing reality and truth entails a healthy skepticism when attempting any solutions or answers. Although such thinkers may be engaging and intellectually insightful and honest discourse, they fail to explicitly satisfy that which may have pushed them into the public arena to begin with a sense of what one is to do.
Of course, any public figure that attempts to answer such an inquiry with any normative claim must also address David Humes is odd problem. Namely one cannot derive an odd from an is. A moral fact from a physical one. And then there's Sam Harris, the thinker, who has argued that yes, we can create a system of morality directly from science.
Born in Los Angeles in 1967, Sam Harris was the son of the Western Star Berkeley Harris and Susan Harris, the creator of the hit series, the Golden. After his parents divorced when he was only two, Harris recalls that he was raised in a secular manner by his mother. Harris originally majored in English when he enrolled at Stanford.
However, after an experience with MDM A in his second year, he decided to take an 11 year break from his studies and travel through India and Nepal, studying meditation and learning from various spiritual teacher. Throughout this, Harris was financially supported by his parents. He recalls that it was both a blessing and a curse since he was able to basically do whatever he wanted for 11 years, but also because of this, he had neglected to build his writing career.
In 1997, Harris returned to Stanford and completed a Bachelor of Arts and Philosophy. Immediately after nine 11, he also began to write what would become his first book, the End of Faith, which would discuss the issues of religious fundamentalism and the struggle between faith and reason in the modern age.
When the book was released, it was met with a mixture of reviews. The American historian, Alexander Saxton said that it was a vitriolic and selective polemic against. And that he had failed to understand the multiplicity of factors outside of religion that led to Islamic terrorism. Stephan Merrit felt that the idea behind the book was coherent, agreeing that religion should be subject to the same principles that govern scientific thought.