First time poster. Did a search to see if this issue had been addressed and found nothing, so I thought I'd paste a copy of the email I sent to Sam Harris, in case anyone wants to tell me if I'm insane. Here 'tis—
Just finished "Letter." Good stuff. I take exception with one issue, though. Page 8, "...you and I do not have moral obligations toward rocks."
First thing I thought of was the Taliban leader who gave the order for the Buddhist statue to be blown up. He said, "They're only rocks." I'm no Buddhist, to me it was ancient art, not a religious symbol, much like Greek or Roman antiquities, and I think just about everyone saw it that way.
My second thought was mountaintop mining. You've seen this travesty, I'm guessing. Rocks!
Third, I thought of old Chief Dan George saying that the difference between the white man and the (Native American) Indian was that the white man thinks everything is dead, but to himself, everything is alive. He specifically mentions rocks! He's speaking about environmental stewardship. As I see it, there are enormous moral implications in our relationship with rocks.
OK, I won't belabor the point. Just thought you might want to reconsider that rock bit. After all, Earth is one big rock, essentially.
Thanks for your attention, best wishes,
("rock" with me at http://www.myspace.com/gwoodbonobos)