Sam Harris’ latest work made some waves. Not because of the content itself but because it was released in digital format only. At only 26 pages Lying is a quick read and a simple essay of sorts. Harris makes the argument that lies are bad on societal, personal, and individual levels. They weaken relationships, build mistrust, and ruin credibility. Some of the essays situational examples are poorly portrayed and should have been vetted a bit more. While the message remains clear (and is one that is difficult with which to disagree) this may be his weakest work to date; then again it could be a weakness on my part and a re-analysis may be due. Yet Sam is lucky enough to have a-list friends dropping praise:
This essay is quite brilliant. (I was hoping it would be, so I wouldn’t have to lie.) I honestly loved it from beginning to end. LYING is the most thought-provoking read of the year.
In this brief but illuminating work, Sam Harris applies his characteristically calm and sensible logic to a subject that affects us all—the human capacity to lie. And by the book’s end, Harris compels you to lead a better life because the benefits of telling the truth far outweigh the cost of lies—to yourself, to others, and to society.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist, American Museum of Natural History