SAM HARRIS DEBATE—LIVE AT NYPL
Posted: 31 October 2006 11:29 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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SAM HARRIS DEBATE WITH OLIVER MCTIERNAN—LIVE AT THE NYPL

I have been nagging the NYPL about posting the recent Sam Harris debate with Oliver McTiernan.  They got so tired of my pestering that they finally posted the audio online.

Here is the link:

www.rumur.com/harris.mp3

I will post this as a downloadable mp3 in under "Download Sam Harris Audio" within the next week or so.  Check back soon.

Sincerely,
Mark

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Posted: 31 October 2006 09:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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I’m currently enjoying this—thank you for posting it, wavelength!


A great quote:

Sam: The effects of dogma are almost uniformly bad because of this reason: Dogmas are the beliefs we hold immune to criticism—from conversation and from the revisions that experience is naturally going to impose. “We’re going to believe this, no matter what” is essentially the mode of holding dogma, and that’s got to be a bad idea.


Oliver goes on to agree with that, and makes a very definite swipe at the Vatican, calling it irresponsible. He says he “resigned that ministry” so as not to have the “institutional baggage” in his work.

But then Oliver quickly wanders off into a classic maze of notions when Sam takes offense at God’s apparent approval of slavery in the Bible. But it can’t be taken literally, Oliver retorts (sigh), and then he admits that churches have to address the problems that Biblical interpretation presents. He fails to explain how that might practically be accomplished with 34,001 sects, however (not to mention that interpretation is precisely the reason why we have so many sects). The audience was tittering all through his rather inadequate response to that, and then he moved to change the topic wink.

Oliver also claims he could not accept certain versions of God (an ‘interventionist’ God, for example). Sam asks why, and Oliver responds that it’s because he would “reject” that sort of God. . . raspberry. . . He prefers a “radical” sort of God. I’m still waiting to find out what that  God is all about (I’m only halfway through).


So many gods to keep track of, all springing from one book :shock:.

.

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Posted: 01 November 2006 12:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Cheers there mate… :D

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Get with it. Millions of galaxies of hundreds of millions of stars, and a speck on one in a blink. That’s us, lost in space. The cop, you, me… Who notices?
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Posted: 01 November 2006 02:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Oliver is just plain wishy washy…no ifs, ums about it…what does a moderate believe? Everything and nothing… LOL

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Get with it. Millions of galaxies of hundreds of millions of stars, and a speck on one in a blink. That’s us, lost in space. The cop, you, me… Who notices?
-Vincent

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Posted: 02 November 2006 02:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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I’ve just listened to it again and this moderate is just avoiding the issues…over and over, he just avoids the issues…

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Get with it. Millions of galaxies of hundreds of millions of stars, and a speck on one in a blink. That’s us, lost in space. The cop, you, me… Who notices?
-Vincent

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Posted: 02 November 2006 04:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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This guy debating Sam avoids conversation, repeats the same statements and has NO IDEA of what the terms “perspective” or “interpretation” actually mean.

He has NO IDEA that EVERYONE has their own interpretation of what each holy book “really” means and is, essentially, a child having a conversation with an adult. He does not understand the distinction between moderates and fundamentalists… and that people REALLY believe in their holy books.

These are the types of mobius-strip mental blocks we have to get beyond. If you’re running in a circle, you’re not getting anywhere.

Oliver does not have any idea of our current situation in the world and doesn’t understand that these books SEPERATE the entire world. Oliver states that Sam’s argument “closes doors” on the debate - when CONVERSATIONAL INTOLERANCE does nothing but OPEN debate.

Holy books of any faith are those that stop conversation… And Oliver is an unevolved primate desperately clinging to his faith. Oliver obviously has much hatred towards Americans and arguing global warming and the American lifestyle are bigger threats than religious war?

...Sir Oliver has many, many problems and should do more research himself instead of berrating Sam to do his. The conversation got away from Sam because Oliver wouldn’t shutup and kept arguing semantics instead of having a debate of ideas.

[ Edited: 02 November 2006 05:13 AM by ]
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Posted: 02 November 2006 05:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Oliver claims he does’t beleive in a interfering god but I assume believes at the same time his god put jesus on the earth to redeem man from sin.

I wish Harris or somebody in the audience would have nailed Oliver to the cross on that statement. Or asked him about all the miracles in the bible or the bible itself or revelation. All of which, requires a god that interferes in the lives of mankind.

This is a prime example of a moderate saying something that doesn’t hold up under the scrunity of logic and reason.

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Posted: 02 November 2006 06:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Agreed.

If Oliver would’ve shut up and stopped fumbling over his own thoughts, Sam would have been able to get back in the discussion and “elevate” it to where it needs to be discussed.

And it was so stupid how he was trying to say that Sam generalizes and/or paints with a broad brush - ...no my dear man, he is just plainly speaking about the truths of what religion and dogma ultimately bring to the table.

You can kick around the sand and wrap yourself in blanket statements if you want - but you’re not helping yourself or anybody else. GET TO THE POINT.

Sam uses a Logician’s Razor to cut to the heart of a matter, instead of bumbling around taking the longest possible route to get what needs to be said.

Again, Sam is talking on a higher level that most people (especially in theological debates) just haven’t attained. And it has nothing to do with spiritual greatness - just research. If you read more than one book (especially a Holy Book) you have a far greater amount of perspective to enter into any debate.

And on the subject of an “interventionist god” (a string puller) that Oliver doesn’t believe in… *ahem* The god of The Bible IS an interventionist god - both in the Old and New Testament.

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Posted: 02 November 2006 09:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Well the fact of the bible proves an interventionist god.
Add all the miracles, god speaking to moses, the prophets, and all the other blokes.
Add jesus and his miracles.
Paul and his transformation.
The Holy Spirit anyone? Whats that? Isn’t that god intervening into the lives of the saved?

It just goes on and on.

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Posted: 02 November 2006 10:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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[quote author=“goodthink”]It just goes on and on.

For you, maybe. What is it you think compels me to take it seriously, unless it is the point of your knife? I know, nothing compels me to do so, and I can go to hell for all anyone cares. Let’s just cut to the chase, shall we, that you are a good one and I am a bad one. What liberty does that allow you on my behalf? Go on and on, if you must, but do it somewhere else, please.

[ Edited: 02 November 2006 10:36 AM by ]
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Posted: 02 November 2006 10:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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I tried to e-mail this to Oliver or his two websites you can contact him on, but the links are broken:

I just wanted to say that I heard the debate at the NYPL with Sam Harris and Oliver McTernan - and I have to say that I expected more from a “man of the cloth”. Oliver showed a level of arrogance and condemnation I regularly only see in fundamentalist Christians. He never addressed any of the real issues Sam presented and was quite condescending to both the crowd and Mr. Harris. I hope that Oliver has taken some time to think about the way he handled himself and does some research regarding the state of the world and the terrors that religious faith is causing mankind. Because he is obviously very, very, very far removed from reality and is still clinging to his religious dogmas despite being “out of the church”. Maybe next time he has the opportunity to come to an American audience he won’t show utter disdain for the public and at the very least, try to showcase a little class and knowledge of the topics presented. Apparently, with all the “time” he’s been spending with Muslims and other sects around the world – he really hasn’t gained much, if anything at all…

—- I just hated how he acted holier-than-thou the entire time, but I guess it is to be expected. He was just a condescending sh*thead he never addressed any of the real arguments Sam was trying to bring to the table. You can’t get a lot in an debate if the other guy is crapping in his pants and fumbling his words the entire time.

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Posted: 02 November 2006 11:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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[quote author=“Salt Creek”][quote author=“goodthink”]It just goes on and on.

For you, maybe. What is it you think compels me to take it seriously, unless it is the point of your knife? I know, nothing compels me to do so, and I can go to hell for all anyone cares. Let’s just cut to the chase, shall we, that you are a good one and I am a bad one. What liberty does that allow you on my behalf? Go on and on, if you must, but do it somewhere else, please.

No I think the bible quite clearly spells out an interventionist god. Its not a puppy. Its not a ford. Maybe you should reel in some of your angst and aim it someplace else. I didnt say I believed that god was real and a casual reading of this thread would have quickly shown that.

What I did say was that Oliver makes a claim that the bible clearly counters and someone at the debate should have nailed him on it instead of letting him off on it. The bible in many places, again many places shows an interventionist god. It does go on and on.

Never did I say that god is real or that I believed in that god.

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Posted: 02 November 2006 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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[quote author=“goodthink”]No I think the bible quite clearly spells out an interventionist god.

The bible in many places, again many places shows an interventionist god. It does go on and on.

But I repeat myself. But I repeat myself.

OK. Fine. So the bleep what? I’ll grant you that it portrays, spells out, shows, whatever, the fantasy of an interventionist god.

But in the final analysis, I don’t care what fantasies of an interventionist god were spun by bronze age nomads who wore the same linen for months on end, and had no concept of mathematics beyond counting the contents of bags of pebbles to keep track of their sheep.

Biblical scholarship accords dignity to something that deserves only scorn.

I apologize if I mistook your aim here. We all make mistakes, and I apologize for mine.

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Posted: 03 November 2006 03:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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[quote author=“SeanK”]if somebody claims to be arguing from a certain rationale, they should stick to the contents of that rationale… or they lose the debate on consistency alone.

Where did you want to go with this? I’m not following you yet. Shermer’s article contained some clever remarks, none of them made by Shermer.

Dawkins does recommend treating the claims of religion as being capable of scientific evaluation. This is not the mode of biblical scholarship as I currently understand it.

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