Letter to a Sam Harris
Posted: 08 January 2009 03:55 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Dear Mr. Harris,

I’ll try to keep this concise. I’d like to say that while we’re in agreement over some of your expressed concerns over handicapping ourselves by identifying with specific secular distinctions/labels during our actual discourse, I’m concerned that this view if applied to existing organizations (e.g: Atheists United, United States Atheists, American Atheists, The Secular Coalition for America, Council for Secular Humanism, American Humanist Association, Freedom From Religion Foundation, The Secular Web etc etc.) has a sequestering effect that would be injurious to any collective imperative to combat irrationality and status quo. Isn’t the idea to galvanize and consolidate what little we have out there to better facilitate a push back in our best attempt to match the well organized efforts of religious groups? Looking at it in practical terms, how else can we have voices on hand for any public dialogue, or correspond with representatives, solicit sponsorship, fund our seminars, educational programs, projects, formal debates, publications and ad campaigns?

While I think we agree, that we’re really disarming ourselves to some degree by accepting marginalization, and you’re certainly right that reason and desire for evidence are bigger than Atheism/Secularism, how else can we expect to gain any traction against the powers that be and start chipping away at the edifice of established fundamental organized religion without recognized unification? I would just think it should occur to you that some type of mobilization is necessary to sustain us, and keep us vital.

Thanks for your time.

Yours Sincerely,
Brian Soto
(Bay Area Atheists, Agnostics, Brights, Humanists, Freethinkers)

[ Edited: 08 January 2009 04:44 AM by DarwinsGauntlet]
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Posted: 08 January 2009 06:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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With all due respect, for all we know Sam Harris does not read this forum or make comments except for the introductory one at the top.

Your thoughts are warranted and have been discussed here many times by many different people however.

Glad to have to aboard if you choose to stay.

[ Edited: 08 January 2009 06:53 AM by eudemonia]
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‘Every reflecting mind must acknowledge that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity’

‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Posted: 08 January 2009 08:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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McCreason - 08 January 2009 11:45 AM

With all due respect, for all we know Sam Harris does not read this forum or make comments except for the introductory one at the top.

Your thoughts are warranted and have been discussed here many times by many different people however.

Glad to have to aboard if you choose to stay.

This letter was first sent to Mr. Harris via Contact the Author email link at the main site. I posted it here merely to increase the chances that he actually read it. I’m not confident that he’ll even see it, much less respond. In the interest of adding another signature to the petition as it were, I thought I’d sound off on this issue and emphasize the functional reasons why you would want to keep some kind of identity.

Not sure how relevant it is that others have discussed it here before, presumably in the context of their own discussion and not addressed to Sam, other than they echo the sentiment of many at the AAI 07 conference where it was the subject of his talk (among other events/venues), or vice versa if you wish, but duly noted just the same.

Thanks for the welcome, though I’ll probably be spending any down time I have debating the religious and their apologists at more diverse forums. Only because I don’t see much point in preaching to the choir in an echo chamber, or ganging up on the odd creationist drifters.

- B.Soto

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Posted: 08 January 2009 08:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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http://www.samharris.org/forum/viewthread/8614/

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Posted: 08 January 2009 08:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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unknown zone - 08 January 2009 01:22 PM

http://www.samharris.org/forum/viewthread/8614/

I’m pretty sure that’s not the only place in this forum that has cropped up either, but as you may have been able to infer from my last post, I wasn’t looking for a thread, and this wasn’t a thread created for discussion on this issue. It’s an actual letter addressed to Sam.

I probably should have been more clear from the outset.

Thanks though.

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