Making Sense with Sam Harris

Science #6

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.

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Recent Reviews
  • celinacach
    Bright and honest
    Most intelligent, good and honest person I’ve ever listened to. Sam Harris makes this world a better place to live in.
  • Ron 5454
    loves to talk about Twitter.
    Geeze... this dude is obsessed with reassuring his guests and himself how glad he is he got off Twitter. We believe you buddy, lol!
  • Billybob68
    Great conversations
    Great to hear unbiased thoughts and discussions. Greatly underrated.
  • magicmangold
  • seanellaz
    Unbiased, brilliant, thoughtful conversations
    Sam Harris defies the PC line by talking with brilliant, well informed, broad minded others as he delves into some of the most complex issues with which humans have ever dealt. He refuses to kowtow to fascists, reactionaries, or fanatics who otherwise aim to define reality for us toward their overt or hidden agendas. As such he earns accolades and diatribes from all corners. My kind of thinker!
  • Bunny Cub
    Foundations of ethics?
    Is Sam teaching philosophy during the summer session at Yale Extention next? The hubris is incredible. Now he’s curating his various podcaster opinions (“oh good I now know where Sam stands on nuclear war.”) Everyone has his opinions, who cares. He’s not a serious person even if his voice tried to convince you as such.
  • omoo22
    Tim Urban, you know, episode
    I ususally, you know, enjoy listening (not always, like, agreeing), this, you know, episode was, like, you know, really bad. The guest, like, kept, you know, using these words. Do better, Sam!
  • camboss1991
    Sam is trash
    Trash takes and insane take on Hunter Biden
  • MikeHersh
    Stealth Bigotry
    Beware of this soft spoken but toxic propaganda! While pretending to be even-handed, this podcast cynically introduces pseudo science, right wing extremism, and other dangerous false information. This is in many ways worse that the unreasoning, screaming versions, because this approach is carefully designed to promote ignorance and hatred by lying to less informed people.
  • DokturJhey
    Former inmate
    Sam Harris’ work facilitated wonderful conversations amongst us that served as reminders that we are humans being.
  • Ssbmr
    2 or 3 stars? Dissapointed
    I settled on two stars for a few reasons. I’ve been listening to Sam for a few years now, was introduced to him from the IDW. I consider myself politically/fiscally and right socially center/left and appreciate those who recognize nuance and can articulate this intelligently. Sam often fit this bill. I have been disappointed lately, mostly over the pandemic nonsense but I have never been able to fully grasp his belief that there is no free will either. Try as I have to comprehend his view I don’t follow his logic and belief that there is no free will. Back to the pandemic. He was wrong. He is now admitting he was wrong but only to a point. I just listened to ‘episode 312 – The trouble with AI’ and his prelude with a bizarre justification of his being wrong…Summarizing here but basically he said “You gotta trust someone so you should trust the experts” followed by “even though they were wrong in this instance they are still better to trust because they’re experts”. He also said “doing your own research” was ineffective and nonsense because you’re not an expert. So he trusted the wrong experts and said he’d do it again because their experts? I disagree and now feel I don’t trust Sam’s ability right now to discern much of anything. Something is clouding the logic I used to see in his analysis. I heard from different experts that disagreed with his experts but because he trusted his and didn’t seem to consider the logic and evidence of the other experts he just dismissed them and said I should too. I don’t know what to do with his “advice” here. I heard experts present a logic I could follow and confirmed in what I observed happening in the world but because listening to different experts was “my own research”…I just need to trust his experts, maybe because they were “government experts”? Also, neither Sam nor his experts really refuted any of the logic or evidence I was observing elsewhere. They were routinely dismissed as absurd and not worth discussing. Wanted him and his experts to challenge but they didn’t, wouldn’t. Just threw them in the crazy category as well as anyone who saw logic in their evidence. Sound confusing? Yeah I was confused by his justification in being wrong too. I understand what he was urging but his experts were wrong and he trusted them so he was wrong and now he’s justifying it by encouraging us to be wrong with him. Sorry Sam. I’ll continue to do my own research, listen to many “experts” and with my inexpert experience make my own judgements based on my own research and observations. Two stars.
  • Rockythewocky1
    One of the clearest, most sincere thinkers of our time
    Sam Harris, for multiple decades, has been one of the clearest and cogent thinkers in the intellectual space. One of the few remaining sincere intellectuals in this space.
  • mmmmmmmmamsndnbdbd
    Original episodes get 5 stars.
    Rest is getting quickly watered down and corporatized. The Essential series are terrible and obviously plug gaps between real new content. I hope the team keeps is simple.
  • xXxSCORPxXx
    Even to the casual observer, Sam is out of his depth when debating functioning intellectuals. Sam presents a seemingly formidable smokescreen by way of verbosity but the core of his arguments lie all too often in amateurish straw man tactics slathered in sardonic quips. In his heyday, Sam’s listeners (by his own admission) were left with the unfortunate question of whether Sam’s increasingly confused noises (corpses of children) were the result of his either behaving as a disingenuous actor or his losing the plot of his alleged “reason”. Map onto that a creepy Trump obsession and a zealous embrace of censorship. Perhaps Sam’s deadpan histrionics are not the noises of a confused mind and / or patently bad faith but instead that of a burgeoning comedy career? At this time, Sam’s elephant is in the ditch and his discomfort in his own skin is painfully apparent. I’m reminded of Cormac McCarthy’s admonition: 'If the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?'
  • ItburnswheniPVP
    Never forget
    Never forget that Sam said he would rather have a prominent political family member be found to have a basement full of dead babies before he would have the leading republican candidate be president again.
  • Handsome Jimmy One Shoe
    Subscribe and Support this podcast
    This is a highly thought-provoking (not merely provocative) podcast that I've been listening to from the very beginning. I enthusiasticaly support it financially as well. Listening to the Waking Up podcast is like putting yourself through a vigorous and ever-lengthening intellectual boot camp. I consume it immediately and greedily and support it happily. I listen to most Waking Up podcasts twice and find that I almost always miss something really good the first time around. I wind up following most of Sam's guests on Twitter so I can keep up with them, and I buy many of their books. I highly recommend it to anyone who is serious about trying to make sense of the world. You won't always agree with Sam Harris, but you'll almost always learn something from every episode.
  • Groupon Revie
    Love this Podcast
    I look forward to listening! Thanks for the interesting topics and your thoughtful insights to current events 😊
  • The Podfiend
    The lab leak episode is all conjecture and very irresponsible. Stick to philosophy homie.
  • HH Fan 44
    Brett Weinstein
    Brett’s been talking about cleavage sites for a few years Sam. Ivermectin aside, it’s surprising your learning about cleavage at this advanced stage of the pandemmy.
  • Vladmir Pootin
    TDS was your downfall
    Used to listen to you before you decided that censoring Trump and pushing the unsubstantiated vax was somehow good for the country. Seems you’re okay with authoritarianism if you think it’ll benefit society, you’ve fallen for trump derangement syndrome. Hope you can find your liberal roots again.
  • Kashyap Patel the 2nd
    Imagine spending 10 years meditating…
    Just to be a Hillary Clinton supporter. When you empty your mind all the time, you make it vulnerable to people who want you to think a certain way.
  • Markcarl
    What happened to Sam?
    I used to find Sam’s shows thoughtful and interesting. What happened? Now he talks flippantly / gloatingly about the media lying about the Hunter Biden laptop. He thinks that’s a good thing! Meanwhile, faith in our media and our system is at an all time low. But Sam thinks its worth it. Sorry Sam, I’m out.
  • hfdjksdf
    Gone Downhill
    Used to love Sam, idk what happened but his content just doesn't hit like it used to.
  • Pluto22G
    Debate Brett
    Sam, you are a coward. You disparage Brett Weinstein and others who are now clearly vindicated for their stance on the vaccines. You are either too afraid to admit you were/are wrong, or too vain to imagine you can ever be so terribly wrong. I used to listen to your podcast, never again. What a waste of time.
  • Farshad iPhone
    The best
    One of the best!
  • Muthahumpa
    ONLY podcast I actually pay for
    This is the greatest podcast ever for intelligent, deep thinkers. I LOVE how Sam Harris completely disregards political loyalties and goes for the jugular of any flawed argument, left or right. Simply brilliant. This podcast is a bright light in the darkness.
  • MaxHealthPoints Coaching
    How can someone so wrong, so often, be so sanctimonious?
    This guy was so consistently wrong about every covid policy decision for years and is now taking a victory lap. A coward and a shill.
  • maydayreese
    I ♥️ Sam 🤣
    This full idiocy on plain display makes me feel better about myself. Thanks Sam, five stars for your podcast. Love it!
  • PowderHoundColorado
    Sam in decline
    Sam has had some great podcasts. One in particular that stands out was his podcast after the George Floyd killing. Unfortunately both Trump and Covid seemed to send him off the rails. He has a terrible case of TDS and acted like a supreme fool during covid. He owes Bret Weinstein an apology for acting as though Bret was a dangerous spreader of misinformation. When in fact Bret was hitting closer to the truth then Sam was. His greatest weakness is his inability to have conversations with people who will challenge his own ideas.
  • Stewart the crocodile
    I have paid but can’t listen to full podcast,I am not recognized as a subscriber
  • xgbjk
    Brought to you by Pfizer.
  • Stlblues10
    Sam Harris was interesting when he first came on the podcasting scene.didn’t agree with everything but that’s ok,that’s what makes it interesting. I like to listen to people that could change my mind. Now…. He is obviously the dumbest intellectual out there. No way he survives outside his little bubble of academia.0 common sense ,0 intellectual honesty.
  • prplvkng
    Sad to see what became of one of my favorite podcasts and authors
    For many years I followed Sam Harris, bought many of his books, and listened to his lectures and podcasts. I was a big fan and recommended him to a lot of people. But since the era of Trump and Covid he has become increasingly narrow minded in his opinions and perspectives. I am by no means a Trump fan either. However some of his statements over the past couple of years have made me lose a lot of respect for a man I really admired. I really appreciated his insights and wisdom and really hoped he would get a grip and eventually get back to something reassembling the open minded, insightful man he was. But I finally had to throw in the towel. I’m sure there’s an audience for all the Trump bashing and Covid hysterics but that’s not why I listened to Sam. Fairly sure I’m not the only person who feels this way.
  • Mr.Krobs
    Huge fan of Making Sense
    I’ve only been listening for about a year and hadn’t known Sam Harris beforehand, but this is a solid listen and he’s a reasonable and highly intelligent guy. Thank you Sam for putting in so much thought and passion into this show. Even outside of the guests, his portion up top is so well worded and smart, really is a fantastic listen.
  • Jstrz99
    Best Podcast Around
    Rational, insightful and interesting. Nothing beat Sam Harris.
  • Momsthatcare2
    Leftist … progressive.. wokester
    You are not in touch with our nation … You are the liar and the least moral person on a podcast. Sam you need to just realize you are only talking to about 25% of our nation. Seriously, your evil and one sided approach to saving your butt… is getting noticed. I am on the right and used to listen to you. I am done, you are just such a hypocrite.
  • BLJSchoolPsych
    This Podcast Saved Me
    In the middle of the worst depressive episode of my life, I found this Podcast. I’ve now read all of Sam’s books and subscribe to this Podcast and Waking Up. I feel that Sam is genuine, honest, thoughtful and compassionate. He also has a reasonable and intelligent mind. I love his broad choices in Podcast guests and generally feel that he presents things in a balanced fashion. Back to saving me- Sam led me down a path of discovery during a time when I felt incredibly alone in the world. I’ll support him as long as I can!
  • forEmmett
    A critique re: Rogan
    I really respect and admire Harris but his friendship with Rogan, I feel, might be dulling his objectivity to a significant degree. Rogan has had on his show Alex Jones not once, not twice, three times. He has given an insane lunatic who insists the Sandy Hook murders were a left wing hoax a gigantic platform. You couldn’t have a more lie mongering guest on a show than Jones. It’s very clear from this, to me, that Rogan was going for ratings and dollars and he used his hive access with tremendous irresponsibility. What would Rogan say to a mother or father of a child gunned down at Sandy Hook? It’s morally reprehensible in the same way that hosting a Holocaust denier would be morally reprehensible. Harris touts Rogan’s unimpeachable ethics. I challenge Rogan’s ethics strongly and I question Harris’ ability to judge objectively Rogan’s ethics. Is Harris trying to coddle Rogan in order to get another guest spot on his podcast? It seems like a credible hypothesis.
  • JesterDean
    Unless you give him money… he can’t promise the best.
    His sales pitch sound like a preacher. His philosophical thought is polished which covers up for the lack of factual based evidence for some arguments. He’s skeptical on everything but his own opinion. He’s like the wealthy Buddhist… who eliminated want and desire by owning everything… He misses the point of being human.
  • Tyson621
    I’m a fan
    Sam Harris seems to be a lightning rod for people on the fringes. I’m stoked he decided to leave Twitter. I’m hoping it will lead him to focus more on interesting topics and less on trying to explain his position to trolls.
  • ri897098
    Poor Sam.
    He’s just a clown at this point.
  • TvDinner78
    Lost respect for him
    “I understand Elon is Trump 2.0” - my god man get a grip. Just don’t have a ton of respect for Sam anymore, I feel his takes have lost a lot of their objectivity. It’s weird hearing him balk at the idea of having TDS while at the same time consistently talking about Trump in typical TDS terms such as the “big orange demon” and stupid stuff like this. And a lot of his views seemed less based on current reality and what he thinks it COULD be. I don’t agree with Elon and Twitter because it COULD become worse than 4chan. Trump COULD have done this or that and we are lucky he didn’t. A few example and I’m not even a Trump fan, just tired of the direction Sam is going.
  • ivanahumpalots
    Sam got it right on Twitter
    We feel compelled to engage in things that interest us. And the fact is, we engage much more with fear and anger more than anything positive. And the bottom line is that this is unhealthy for us. So to each his own, but it boils down to what kind of person do you want to be? Is it someone who feels angry most days of your life? Or would you rather not live your life like that? That question was all I needed to ask myself to get the answer.
  • Nater from east Decatur
    Low resolution
    Sam let TDS ruin his brain. Sad day for a once great mind.
  • jmlinmn
    Not what it once was.
    I’m a long-time follower of Sam and his works on atheism and religion. Over the last handful of years; however, his more frequent forays into politics and affinity for strong institutions right or wrong has increasingly left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Today’s podcast entitled “Why I left Twitter.” was enough for me to say, paid subscription be damned, you no longer seriously warrant my attention or dollars. Good luck and (not God) speed.
  • Ally-oop12
    What happened to you?? Disappointing
  • kidsinbasement2024
    Children in the basement
    If you like neurotic pseudo intellectual liberal garbage you’ll love this! Kids in the basement, sams fine with that!
  • David_S8324
    Used to be like Hitch. Now like bargain Thunderf00t
    Gonna miss you on twitter, Sam. Oh well. Bye 👋
  • RogerThat
    Devoured by his own Ego
    Was once a fan but SH’s integrity has steadily slipped over the years. His machine-like vocal pacing combined with his patronizing and sanctimonious tone are too much to bear. His strained justification for his SBF podcast was the tipping point for me. See ya Sam.
  • oeuf1
    Sam is an honest moderate. Refreshing.
    Thank you.
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