Sam Harris Is Not "Sophisticated" Enough
Posted: 30 October 2006 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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I was wondering how many have read the latest from The Washington Post:

http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/atheist-evangelist1/

“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.???

“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.???

“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.

“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?’ “

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I'm sick and tired of reading these silly and empty criticisms of Mr. Harris.

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Posted: 31 October 2006 06:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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They attack Sam that way because it’s all they have. His points on perspective in relationship to “gods” of the past and the way each member of a different faith uses the same frame of mind (and reasons) to justify their beliefs while condemning the others.

Sad, sad small-minded people. Desperately holding onto to Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

Libraries, internet sites, book stores - if people would break the bondage of religious dogmatism and do some RESEARCH they would find a more fulfilling life.

The beauty in nature is that it’s here at all - not that it was created by divine breath, in a garden with a talking snake.

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Posted: 31 October 2006 09:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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[quote author=“Anonymous”]I was wondering how many have read the latest from The Washington Post:

http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/atheist-evangelist1/

“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.
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I’m sick and tired of reading these silly and empty criticisms of Mr. Harris.

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Posted: 31 October 2006 10:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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[quote author=“Anonymous”]I was wondering how many have read the latest from The Washington Post:

http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/atheist-evangelist1/

“I think this country needs a sophisticated attack on religion,” says Van Harvey, a retired professor of religious studies at Stanford University.

We got that! How could you miss it. Everybody but you knows it. The attack consists of the ACLU, the Democrat party, liberals, academia, and the media; all in collusion with each other to morph America from a puritan society to an evil secular progressive Godless society. Very sophisticated.

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Posted: 31 October 2006 10:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Reminds me of the civil rights thing in the sixties.  Before then it was absurd to suggest that Blacks deserve equal treatment.  It was highly offensive and outrageous to suggest it.  Not to mention that the majority of the population of the south was FOR segregation. And when protests inititally began it was deemed an outrage.

But know, only a few decades later, it is outrageous to suggest that Blacks sit at the back of the bus or drink from separate fountains. The majority of the population feels this way and any opposition to that would be met with outrage.

Case in point.  If we actively protested against the stupidity of religion, then it would be met with extreme outrage.  But once logic and reason are common sense and the idea of God is a relic of past ignorance then in a few years the paradigm will shift and hardly anyone will believe in silly gods.

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Posted: 31 October 2006 10:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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[quote author=“Anonymous”]Case in point.  If we actively protested against the stupidity of religion, then it would be met with extreme outrage.  But once logic and reason are common sense and the idea of God is a relic of past ignorance then in a few years the paradigm will shift and hardly anyone will believe in silly gods.

Don’t bet on it. wink

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Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matt 11:28-29

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Posted: 07 November 2006 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Either we become open enough to ask questions about our faith…

Or we will have a myriad of religious wars, closely annhiliating the human race - and maybe then people will learn that making up silly comic book characters to explain our origins and what follows death ...was nonsense.

(see: Alternatives to Religious Faith)

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Posted: 07 November 2006 11:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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[quote author=“TheChampion”][quote author=“Anonymous”]Case in point.  If we actively protested against the stupidity of religion, then it would be met with extreme outrage.  But once logic and reason are common sense and the idea of God is a relic of past ignorance then in a few years the paradigm will shift and hardly anyone will believe in silly gods.

Don’t bet on it. wink

For once I agree with TheChampion, although for different reasons.

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