[quote author=“Anonymous”]I was wondering how many have read the latest from The Washington Post:
“I think this country needs a sophisticated attack on religion,” says Van Harvey, a retired professor of religious studies at Stanford University. “But pushing moderates into the same camp as fanatics, that seems like a very crude mistake.”
Harris isn’t pushing moderates into the same camp as fundies. Harris is pointing out that moderates allow fundies to exist and to prosper by cultivating a culture of tolerence for religiousity and intolerence for critisim of religiousity to the point of lunacy.
“Religion doesn’t make people bigots,” says Reza Aslan, author of “No God but God,” a history of Islam. “People are bigots and they use religion to justify their ideology.”
Either Reza Aslan hasn’t read the book, or doesn’t have the ability to comprehend Harris’ open and direct stlye. Here she demonstrates exactly what Harris warns about.
Religion can’t be the cause of anything bad because religion is only good. That’s moderate dogmatism at work. People are the problem. More specifically, bigots. Islam didnt fly planes into buildings, bigots did it. But like Harris says, if at the end of the Koran it said to kill red headed women, there would be a lot of dead red headed women, and people like Aslan would be out there saying the people who are killing the red headed women are bigots and Islam is not to blame.
“All of reason is informed by some faith, and there is no mature faith that hasn’t been coupled with and enlightened by some reason,” he says. It’s also wrong for Harris to assume that Christians consider the Bible the direct word of God, Volf says. Most don’t, so combing the scriptures for the fingerprints of fallible authors, and then declaring victory once you find them, is silly.
Not all of reason is informed by faith. This is a silly statement. If the arguement is that scientific knowledge or logic is presupposed by God or that induction requires faith, the arguements are flawed and the thinking behind the times. Volf hasnt heard of Popper perhaps? But more to the point, not everyone will agree to his defintion of faith, and moreover what he describes as faith in his god is not the same as one would describe as faith in a friend or in a Law of Nature. Suggesting they are the same is a very serious flaw in reason.
Moreover Harris admits from the start of his book that not all christians are the same and never tries to shoe horn them all. That is an unwarrented allegation. Harris is writting is a specfic christian type. And the book is aimed at that christian. For that christian Harris polemic is devastating. When its your turn mr. volf, expect the same.
“Most Christians believe that while the Bible was inspired by God, it is not free-floating, megaphone pronouncements out of nowhere by God. It was given through the medium of a culturally situated people, with the limitations of their knowledge at the time. And it’s our task to ask, ‘What does this mean to me today?’ “
The bible itself is a track record of forgeries, political manovering, theological war and inhumanity and oppression. That moderates cherry pick whats there doesn’t make their position any stronger than fundies, or any better. I suspect when Harris does have the time or the inclination to address moderates they will be surprised and rattled.
I’m sick and tired of reading these silly and empty criticisms of Mr. Harris.