Making Sense with Sam Harris

Making Sense with Sam Harris

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

Making Sense with Sam Harris

Wed Feb 21 2024

#355 — A Falling World

Republican PartyAmerican IsolationismGlobal SecurityIranMiddle East

The episode covers various topics including the lunacy of the Republican Party, American involvement in global security, Iran's fundamentalist turn, destabilization in the Middle East, economic isolation and security strategies in the Middle East, challenges in Europe, and demographic challenges and future viability of countries.

Making Sense with Sam Harris

Fri Feb 16 2024

#354 — Is Moral Progress a Fantasy?

John Grayatheismliberalismfree speechfree thought

This episode explores the critique of atheism and liberalism by John Gray, the erosion of free speech and thought in society, challenges to dissent and the impact on academia, protecting freedom of expression and the illusion of progress, progress in science and technology vs. ethics and politics, and the impact of new technologies on society.

Making Sense with Sam Harris

Sun Feb 11 2024

#353 — Race & Reason

Sam HarrisRory Stewartcolorblindnessracecrime rates

In this episode, Sam Harris discusses his previous conversation with Rory Stewart, the issue of misleading clips and misrepresentations, the concept of colorblindness with respect to race, the relationship between colorblindness and cultural differences, the implications of colorblindness in relation to crime rates, the importance of colorblindness in high-stakes situations, the divide between elite and non-elite perspectives on race, and concerns over wokeism and identitarian moral confusion. The episode covers a wide range of topics including jihadism, nation building, Brexit, religious ideology, racism, discrimination, and diversity.

Making Sense with Sam Harris

Sun Feb 04 2024

#352 — Hubris & Chaos

Rory Stewartnation-buildingAfghanistanUS interventionTaliban

In this episode, Rory Stewart discusses various topics including the world order, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, nation-building challenges, cultural ignorance, corruption tolerance, catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan, the role of Islam in failures, social media influence, cults of martyrdom, the war in Ukraine, populism era with Trump and NATO's future, Brexit's impact on politics. The challenges of nation-building in Afghanistan are explored in detail, highlighting the unrealistic goals set by the US and its allies, the difficulties of communication and infrastructure, and the failures of the US approach. The episode also touches on the behavior of the Taliban post-2001.

Making Sense with Sam Harris

Mon Jan 29 2024

#351 — 5 Myths about Israel and the War in Gaza


This episode discusses five myths about Israel and the war in Gaza. It explores the clash between Islamic extremists (Jihadists) and ordinary people trying to maintain open norms. The speaker defends any civilized society fighting Jihadists and highlights the dangers of martyrdom ideology. It also addresses the double standards faced by Israel and the mindset behind atrocities committed by Hamas.

Making Sense with Sam Harris

Tue Jan 23 2024

#350 — Sharing Reality

Make Sense PodcastFragmentation of SocietyMainstream MediaDiversity of ViewpointsCOVID Impact

This episode of the Make Sense Podcast explores the fragmentation of society, the state of mainstream media, diversity of viewpoints, and the impact of COVID on the information landscape. The guests discuss issues related to Trump, immigration control, and current events. They also address concerns about the moral intelligence of the West being exhausted. The conversation delves into the concept of the Constitution of Knowledge, the importance of rules in developing objective knowledge, and the role of the reality-based community. Challenges in media and journalism, as well as the lack of diversity in these fields, are explored. The episode concludes with a discussion on the challenges in the media landscape and the need for changing the economics of social media.

Making Sense with Sam Harris

Tue Jan 16 2024

#349 — Generosity, Cynicism, and the Future of Doing Good

TED ConferenceGenerosityCynicismDiversityInclusion

Chris Anderson, curator of TED Conference, discusses his book "Infectious Generosity" and its relevance in today's world. The conversation covers topics such as cynicism surrounding doing good in tech and finance, problems with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and the controversy around Coleman Hughes' TED talk. They delve into the science of generosity, leveraging the internet for good, and debunking the opposition between selfishness and selflessness. Other topics include digital business models, wealth inequality, ethics of billionaires, philanthropy at scale, power of pledges, arguments by Peter Singer, Sam Bankman-Freed scandal, effective altruism's issues, and improving digital lives.

Making Sense with Sam Harris

Fri Jan 05 2024

#348 — The Politics of Antisemitism

antisemitismfree speechJewsIsraelconspiracy theories

This episode explores the recent controversy around antisemitism and free speech, the changing dynamics among Jews, the historical roots and modern manifestations of anti-Semitism, the rise of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, the double game played by some public figures regarding anti-Semitism, and the presence of anti-Semitism on both the right and left sides of the political spectrum.

Making Sense with Sam Harris

Sun Dec 31 2023

#347 — Finding Sanity in 2024

Crisis of MeaningUnderstanding Our MindsMeditationWaking Up AppFuture Concerns

The episode discusses the crisis of meaning in affluent societies, the importance of understanding our own minds, the deeper problem of modern life, insights from meditation, the Waking Up app, and concerns for the future.

Making Sense with Sam Harris

Fri Dec 22 2023

#346 — The Best Kept Secret In History?

ancient Greecemystery religionspsychedelicsChristianityrituals

Brian Murarescu explores the mystery religions of the ancient world and their possible psychedelic roots in Christianity. The book focuses on the mysteries of Elusis, the pagan continuity hypothesis, the cult of Dionysus, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Gnostic Gospels. It examines how psychedelics may have been used in ancient Greek ceremonies and influenced early Christianity.

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