Sam Harris is Crowdsourcing Changes to His Next Book (Prizes Are Involved)

In 2011, Sam Harris released a long essay called “Lying.” It was available as a Kindle single, but not as a physical book.

Harris will release a hardcover version of the essay this fall, including “responses to the best questions and criticisms [received] from readers.” But he’s not done yet:

If you have read Lying and have doubts about my argument, please be in touch through the contact page of this website by June 1st. And if your question or comment makes it into the appendix, or causes me to alter a single word of the main text, I will send you signed and personalized copies of all my booksThe End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, Free Will, and the revised edition of Lying—in the fall.

It’s a smart move to make sure he didn’t miss out on anything obvious. If any of you win the prize, I’ll gladly take a couple of those books off your hands…

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Renshia

    Well, that’s a great way to sell copies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tommy.coleman.921 Tommy Coleman

    Sam Harris is the best!

  • Rain

    I will send you signed and personalized copies of all my books

    Wow, a signed copy. I don’t know if I can contain myself. He gets a billion dollars in gold bullion, and I get a singed copy with an actual signature on it. *faints*

    • http://twitter.com/TweetThatSheet Daniel Brown

      Well… he did do the work of going to school for this subject, and did the work writing the book. You expect to get everything Sam Harris does? Why? You’d get a free copy of the book you wanted to read, as well as all his other books, and I think that’s cool. And they’ll all be signed which may mean nothing to you – but you could see them for more than you paid – oh that’s right, you got them free! But I can still one up that, you could sell them for more than their list prices.

      All for doing nothing more than suggesting a change that he agreed with. You didn’t even (necessarily, I don’t know you) go to med school, or write a ton of books on the subject, or have gone on book tours on TV and at readings or participate in public debates on the topic, or maintain a website on such topics.

      So unless you were Harris’ ghost writer for the entire book, I see no good reason for you to complain that he gets paid for his work while offering you a free copy of all of his books.

      • Rain

        But I can still one up that, you could sell them for more than their list prices.

        Okay now you’re talking my language. Works for me. Even better than free!

      • Not A Harris Fan

        Harris did not go to med school either.

  • Steven

    Anyone who has read through this essay should know how philosophically shallow SH’s thinking really is, he is nothing more than a drive by philosopher

    • Not A Harris Fan

      Funny choice of words, since he likes guns so much!

  • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

    What’s the appropriate amount of trust to put into promises made by an author of book entitled “Lying?” I’m imagining a proud critic receiving — instead of books — a picture of Sam Harris with a grin and crossed fingers.

    • baal

      It’s nearly inconceivable that Sam Harris would not do what he’s publicly promised to do. A book’s title tells you precious little about the trustworthiness of the person who wrote the title.

    • baal

      It’s nearly inconceivable that Sam Harris would not do what he’s publicly promised to do. A book’s title tells you precious little about the trustworthiness of the person who wrote the title.

      • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

        I was having some fun with the story. That’s all.

  • Not A Harris Fan

    Harris is a hater who has made excuses for pre emptive nuclear war, torture, and guns.
    Then he made excuses for his excuses.

    • Not A Harris Fan

      Oh, and he blames the Jews for their own “victiimhood”.
      Bastard.

      • Castilliano

        Taking Harris’ enemies’ soundbites at face value, are you?

        Sam never advocates torture.
        He reflects how killing and maiming random people (through bombs) should not be supported by people who disagree with non-random torture. (hurt innocents, but not hurt guilty) He believes the bombing is far worse, but is not using that argument to justify adding torture to the mix. He believes info from torture is unreliable, worthless, and he’s stated he’s against using it.

        He does not advocate nuclear war either. He said IF (BIG, BIG “IF”) one were to suppose that an enemy would get and automatically use a nuclear bomb, then one should defend oneself by bombing first. He NEVER proposes doing so, and uses the argument to encourage peace and reasoning (so that no enemy would be so willing to bomb anybody and so that we won’t be so afraid as to think they automatically will).

        Yes, he’s pro-guns, but if you’re equating him with Charlton Heston (or the NRA that Sam disagrees with), you’re missing the mark. Sam believes in guns for home defense, and advises NOT to carry a gun in public where you might misconstrue a situation and do terrible harm through ignorance/anger.

        You’re free to not be a Sam Harris fan, just make sure you have the right Sam Harris.

        Cheers, JMK

    • Diogenes II

      It’s even worse than that. He advocates carpet bombing the country with nuclear weapons since it would be impossible to know exactly where all the facilities relating to the weapons production are. He compounds this nastiness by trying to cover the obvious immorality of this idea by claiming the suggest is only “hypothetical”. What if someone said to him “If you don’t stop talking evil nonsense t I may have to sneak into your house and torture you, your wife, and your kids, hypothetically of course”(BIG GRIN ON FACE.,) I wonder if he’d feel comforted much by the claim of the statement being hypothetical.


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