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They Found The Body, It Was Behind The Sofa All The Time. Just Enjoy The Chocolate.

A week ago I listened to Sam Harris talk in Oxford - I didn't know his works before and am working my way through his latest book - The Moral Landscape. I highly recommend it as an exposition of how to be good without God.

Here's a flavour from his other works.

Sam Harris quotes

"Man is manifestly not the measure of all things. This universe is shot through with mystery. The very fact of its being, and of our own, is a mystery absolute, and the only miracle worthy of the name. The consciousness that animates us is itself central to this mystery and ground for any experience we may wish to call "spiritual." No myth needs to be embraced for us to commune with the profundity of our circumstance. No personal God need be worshipped for us to live in awe at the beauty and immensity of creation. No tribal fictions need be rehearsed for us to realize, one fine day, that we do, in fact, love our neighbors, that our happiness is inextricable from their own, and that our interdependence demands that people everywhere be given the opportunity to flourish. The days of our religious identities are clearly numbered. Whether the days of civilization itself are numbered would seem to depend, rather too much, on how soon we realize this."

"A kernel of truth lurks at the heart of religion, because spiritual experience, ethical behavior, and strong communities are essential for human happiness. And yet our religious traditions are intellectually defunct and politically ruinous. While spiritual experience is clearly a natural propensity of the human mind, we need not believe anything on insufficient evidence to actualize it."

"What I'm asking you to entertain is that there is nothing we need to believe on insufficient evidence in order to have deeply ethical and spiritual lives."

"The only angels we need invoke are those of our better nature: reason, honesty, and love. The only demons we must fear are those that lurk inside every human mind: ignorance, hatred, greed, and faith, which is surely the devil's masterpiece."

Comments

"Man is manifestly not the measure of all things."

But he (or she) quite clearly is. Nothing has value except that humans confer it, without humans the universe merely exists for no discernible (for there is nobody to do the discerning) purpose.

I agree with DocBud. "Mystery", "profundity", "beauty", "love", "happiness", "ethical", "spiritual", "reason", "honesty", "ignorance", "hatred", "greed", "faith": these words mean nothing except so far as man has invested them with meaning.

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