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Sam Harris On Consciousness, Free Will, Religion, AI, & Everything Wrong With The Modern World

By June 10, 2024June 17th, 2024No Comments
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Episode #837



Despite having more information and communication tools than ever, our shared sense of truth seems to be eroding.

The lines between fact and fiction are increasingly blurred, critical thinking is disintegrating, and trust in institutions is declining.

Yet, during these moments of doubt and confusion, we must seek out good-faith dialogue anchored in intellectual rigor and fearless engagement with ideas that can guide us toward an existence with greater clarity, compassion, and wisdom.

In furtherance of this goal, I’m joined today by Sam Harrisa renowned neuroscientist, philosopher, and bestselling author who has dedicated his life to exploring the depths of human consciousness and the pursuit of moral truth. With a rare combination of scientific objectivity, spiritual insight, and verbal acuity, Sam has become one of the most compelling voices of our generation. As host of the hugely popular Making Sense Podcast and founder of the Waking Up meditation app, he continues to challenge us to confront the illusions that shape our perception of reality and to seek a deeper understanding of the nature of our minds.

Sam has extensively investigated the mysteries of consciousness, free will, and the self, revealing how the complex interplay of the brain, mind, and culture shapes our subjective world experience. By cultivating mindfulness, reason, and a willingness to question our most cherished beliefs, we can steer a course through the maelstrom and navigate turbulent times to find wisdom.

“Consciousness is the one thing that can’t be an illusion.”


Today, we explore the erosion of critical thinking and the spread of misinformation in society, and how these trends fuel polarization, damage trust in institutions, and threaten our ability to tackle collective challenges. Sam shares his concerns about religious dogmatism, harmful incentives amplifying conspiracy theories, and the loss of public discourse. He emphasizes the urgent need for more rational, open-minded dialogue in an increasingly divided world.

We also discuss Sam’s journey of spiritual exploration, which led him to study meditation and mindfulness. He shares insights from his experiences with silent meditation retreats and psychedelics, as well as his thoughts on the nature of the ego and consciousness, and whether AI will have consciousness or some facsimile of it.

Throughout the conversation, Sam brings an appreciable combination of intellectualism, emotional depth, and eloquence, challenging us to question our assumptions, confront our biases, and seek a deeper understanding of the human experience.

For those who prefer a visual experience, the conversation is available on YouTube. As always, the audio version streams wild and free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Whether you’re a longtime fan of Sam’s work or new to his ideas, this episode is a must-listen for anyone seeking to navigate the complexities of the modern world with enhanced understanding and insight.


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