This segment originally aired on November 27, 2013. An edited version (which does not include any references to Santa whatsoever) was aired on December 26 as part of a best-of show. The audio of the original version (spoiler alert: Santa) is posted here.
"Christmas can be fun without lying to your kids about Santa," says Sam Harris, neuroscientist and now author of Lying (Four Elephants Press, 2013). He discusses his new essay on lying and why he thinks lies of all kinds can corrode society. Even in the case of a terminally ill family member, "if you give a truly open-ended and hopeful diagnosis, you don't allow [your loved one] to do all the things they'd probably want to do if they knew they only had six months to live. You need to say what's true and useful." At the end of the interview, he tells the story of admitting that he'd used drugs to a customs agent.
Sam Harris, author of the new book, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values, makes a clear case for a morality based on the laws of science.