Sam Harris

in: "Free Will"

Clearly, vengeance answers to a powerful psychological need in many of us.

Am I free to change my mind? Of course not. It can only change me.

Schopehauer once said: "Der Mensch kann was er will; er kann aber nicht wollen was er will."

in: "Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion"

I can think of no right more fundamental than the right to peacefully steward the contents of one’s own consciousness. The fact that we pointlessly ruin the lives of nonviolent drug users by incarcerating them, at enormous expense, constitutes one of the great moral failures of our time. (And the fact that we make room for them in our prisons by paroling murderers, rapists, and child molesters makes one wonder whether civilization isn’t simply doomed.)

(...) the fact that both the Mayans and the Aztecs used psychedelics, while being enthusiastic practitioners of human sacrifice, makes any idealistic connection between plant-based shamanism and an enlightened society seem terribly naïve.