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THANK YOU SAM HARRIS
Posted: 27 January 2008 05:55 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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You state what I’ve been thinking all along but lack the ability to express.
Thanks for injecting some sanity into the world’s zeitgeist.

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Posted: 27 January 2008 09:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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g0mby - 27 January 2008 10:55 AM

You state what I’ve been thinking all along but lack the ability to express.
Thanks for injecting some sanity into the world’s zeitgeist.

I agree, g0mby.  I had the same reaction to reading both of Harris’s books, which led me to Dawkins, Dennet, and various others.

What a great thing when people are willing to say “enough already.”

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Posted: 28 January 2008 01:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Agreed and agreed. I happened to stumble across EOF during a difficult time in my life which many people around me attributed to my continued inability to “accept God into my heart”. Having enough people tell me this made me begin to wonder what was wrong with me that I couldn’t just “believe”. Sam (and subsequently Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens et al) let me know I wasn’t nuts - or alone.

Good stuff.

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He who is not a misanthrope at forty can never have loved mankind  -Chamfort

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Posted: 08 July 2008 04:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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I must chime in and agree with the sentiment of the original poster.  THANK YOU SAM!

I was raised a casual catholic, but always asked too many questions.  I’ve always held the sneaking suspicion that religion is simply a method of controlling and exploiting the masses, but most of my life I have shifted steadily from a position of wavering incredulity toward calling myself “agnostic”, then settling into a more secular deist approach.

Now I’m proud to be able to do one better.

Thanks to your work, I am finally able to comprehend the problem on a level that allows me to dismiss religion as a whole, and see it for the self-delusion it is, WITHOUT sacrificing the spirituality that has always been a vital part of my life.

I can, at last, fully appreciate the true majesty and wonder of the cosmos and life in it without falling prey to the countless generations of hucksters who have sought to take credit for it all.

Thank you, Sam.

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—Leon Lederman

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Posted: 09 July 2008 11:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Agreed.

Actually, since becoming a member here and reading Sam’s books, my other half has expressed her thoughts based around posting on these sites and airing my opinion. She seems to think that this can only lead to some sort of personal attack based on my internet activities.
It’s funny because that exact thought is what is wrong with our societies. For fear of backlash or physical assualt, most opinions are kept secret for the most part. I live in a brand new subdivision comprised of what would *seem* mostly Muslim faith. This actually weighs on my mind a fair bit now due to the fact that on either side of me, I have had complaints to By-Law officials launched against me for A) watering the patch of grass that the builders finally finished installing on my lawn, and B) allowing my dog to accidently cross OVER the lawn boundry into thiers. Nothing more than that.. there was no ‘duties’ performed there, merely chasing a toy gone arrant! I don’t want to paint the picture that I am ‘one-of-those-neighbours’. I maintain my home in all aspects and do not take advantage of any situations.

In one part of me, I want to remove myself from the neighbourhood which we moved into prior to all these other homes. The other part of me wants to stand my ground and tell them to speak directly to me if they have a problem. And because of this, the ideals of racism creep into my mind as a result. I don’t like to think that way towards anyone as I am sure they are ideal people who unintentionally mean no harm, however, they have bonded with the surrounding *Muslim* neighbours in what seems like an effort to have to ostracized from the block! The women refuse to to make eye contact let alone discuss anything at all, and the men barely speak a word of the english language - which in effect may be the reason for lack of communication between them and myself, but at the very least, make an effort.

I suppose this is merely a rant that has somewhat built up in my mind and manifested into what I have blurted out in this post. I have touched on multiple issues that I have experienced in recent weeks.

*as a sidenote, I would like to point out that I use the term ‘Muslim’ loosely, as I am not entirely sure of thier actual backgrounds and do not need to stoke the fires of generalization. I also would like to inject that I am not trying to be biased or racist in any way.

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When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity.
When many people suffer from a delusion it is called Religion.

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Posted: 10 July 2008 11:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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g0mby - 27 January 2008 10:55 AM

You state what I’ve been thinking all along but lack the ability to express.
Thanks for injecting some sanity into the world’s zeitgeist.

Consider me one of like mind regarding your thoughts about Sam.  I think he set a lot of people “free” .

I see in his writings a lot of attention given to subjects pertinent to these present years and hours .

Go Sam—you are a HERO !

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Posted: 09 December 2008 12:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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I just got done reading both “The End of Faith” and “Letter to a Christian Nation”.  I, being a former Christian and new Anti-theist, would like to thank you as well, Sam, for writing such a truthful and honest account of where we are in the world today regarding religious beliefs.  I will be giving your books to my family to read, as well as “The God Delusion”, “The Blind Watchmaker”, Misquoting Jesus” and others I have now accumulated.

Thank you for having the courage to speak out against the most powerful force in the world:  religious superstition.  The secular army is growing by leaps and bounds. However, I am afraid it will be too little too late.  The differences of religious beliefs will destroy this world and make it uninhabitable for anyone to live on, whether it’s from nuclear war or some other form of WMD.

I also have given up trying to argue with Christians regarding this point.  It’s like trying to reason with my schizophrenic mother:  no matter how hard I try to reason with her that my father isn’t Jesus Christ (not kidding) and the people where she works aren’t going to come mass murder us in our sleep, she truly BELIEVES it will happen. Yes, my childhood sucked but I turned out to be ok. I find the same to be true with people who have been indoctrinated with religion.  No matter how hard you try to reach them with reason and evidence that what they BELIEVE is nonsense, it’s nearly impossible(not completely) to get through to the rational part of their fully Christianized (new word?) brain as evidenced by the responses in this forum by those “brains”.

I feel trapped in this world.  I feel powerless and hopeless.  I wish I could start a new world and take all the nonbelievers with me so we may live without the craziness we have to endure here.

Thank you Sam for being there for us.

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Posted: 09 December 2008 01:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Yeah Sam, thanks mate.  Next time you’re in Australia, I’ll buy you a beer - I owe you one.

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Posted: 10 December 2008 12:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Tuuluuwag - 09 July 2008 03:11 PM

Agreed.

Actually, since becoming a member here and reading Sam’s books, my other half has expressed her thoughts based around posting on these sites and airing my opinion. She seems to think that this can only lead to some sort of personal attack based on my internet activities.
It’s funny because that exact thought is what is wrong with our societies. For fear of backlash or physical assualt, most opinions are kept secret for the most part. I live in a brand new subdivision comprised of what would *seem* mostly Muslim faith. This actually weighs on my mind a fair bit now due to the fact that on either side of me, I have had complaints to By-Law officials launched against me for A) watering the patch of grass that the builders finally finished installing on my lawn, and B) allowing my dog to accidently cross OVER the lawn boundry into thiers. Nothing more than that.. there was no ‘duties’ performed there, merely chasing a toy gone arrant! I don’t want to paint the picture that I am ‘one-of-those-neighbours’. I maintain my home in all aspects and do not take advantage of any situations.

In one part of me, I want to remove myself from the neighbourhood which we moved into prior to all these other homes. The other part of me wants to stand my ground and tell them to speak directly to me if they have a problem. And because of this, the ideals of racism creep into my mind as a result. I don’t like to think that way towards anyone as I am sure they are ideal people who unintentionally mean no harm, however, they have bonded with the surrounding *Muslim* neighbours in what seems like an effort to have to ostracized from the block! The women refuse to to make eye contact let alone discuss anything at all, and the men barely speak a word of the english language - which in effect may be the reason for lack of communication between them and myself, but at the very least, make an effort.

I suppose this is merely a rant that has somewhat built up in my mind and manifested into what I have blurted out in this post. I have touched on multiple issues that I have experienced in recent weeks.

*as a sidenote, I would like to point out that I use the term ‘Muslim’ loosely, as I am not entirely sure of thier actual backgrounds and do not need to stoke the fires of generalization. I also would like to inject that I am not trying to be biased or racist in any way.

 

Tuuluuwag-  you have me worried .  I am feeling for you and your situation . I read a certain fear in your words. What bothers me is that you are , as is so typical nowaday, scared spitless that someone is going to accuse you of being “racist” , “prejudiced”, or “bigot” . It’s come to be that way because we now live in a society where we’ve been made to think it is more decent to be a child molester than to be “racist ” . I think we should ask ourselves WHY it’s come to be that way . One obvious answer, as far as I can see, is that we have been made to feel so damned guilty because we experianced a rude awakening during the 6o’s mostly , and realized how unfair we had been treating African-Americans, or any other so-called- “minorities” . That feeling won’t leave America, even with Obama as president . One thing that will make sure we can’t forget our sins is characters like the ones you described in your post—they will always exploit that guilt and that horror we have of looking like a “racist “. Being afraid of having that scarlet letter stamped on our forheads, we get cowed and apologetic too soon .

 

 

You feel like telling them to remember this is America ? This is a Democracy ? This is a country that speaks mostly English ?  The point I’m trying to make here is that—they owe America a lot more than America owes them, and they should show that appreciation rather than act like YOU are some kind of foreigner in your own neighborhood.

 


Tell me, how religious are these people ? If they are Muslims, they are probably incensed with it, and if YOU are not of that faith ( or of no faith ) you are certainly ” beneath “them, as they see it . And let’s not be so damned worried that we are going to use the word “Muslim” inappropriately !  If they believe in Muhammad they are Muslim . And you don’t like some of them, there’s no reason anyone should call you “racist” ; it’s unfair, and wrong . You have a right to dislike anyone if you like; and you don’t have to apolgize .

 


Let me know how things are now . Where exactly do you live, by the way ?

 

 

Sincerely, Dee

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Posted: 10 December 2008 08:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Stephanie - 09 December 2008 05:45 PM

I just got done reading both “The End of Faith” and “Letter to a Christian Nation”.  I, being a former Christian and new Anti-theist, would like to thank you as well, Sam, for writing such a truthful and honest account of where we are in the world today regarding religious beliefs.  I will be giving your books to my family to read, as well as “The God Delusion”, “The Blind Watchmaker”, Misquoting Jesus” and others I have now accumulated.

I also have given up trying to argue with Christians regarding this point.  It’s like trying to reason with my schizophrenic mother:  no matter how hard I try to reason with her that my father isn’t Jesus Christ (not kidding) and the people where she works aren’t going to come mass murder us in our sleep, she truly BELIEVES it will happen. Yes, my childhood sucked but I turned out to be ok. I find the same to be true with people who have been indoctrinated with religion.  No matter how hard you try to reach them with reason and evidence that what they BELIEVE is nonsense, it’s nearly impossible(not completely) to get through to the rational part of their fully Christianized (new word?) brain as evidenced by the responses in this forum by those “brains”.

I feel trapped in this world.  I feel powerless and hopeless.  I wish I could start a new world and take all the nonbelievers with me so we may live without the craziness we have to endure here.

Thank you Sam for being there for us.

Welcome to the forum. 

Doesn’t do much good, as you’ve discovered, to argue with dogmatic believers. 

As for feeling trapped in the world, here is a useful quote:

From Anathem,p. 109, by Neal Stephenson:
“Nothing is more important than that you see and love the beauty that is right in front of you, or else you will have no defense against the ugliness that will hem you in and come at you in so many ways.” 

Or, if you prefer Omar Khayyam:

“If only I controlled God’s universe
Would I not tear down these faulty heavens
And build from nothing a true paradise
Where all souls could achieve their hearts desire?”

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Posted: 11 December 2008 05:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Thanks Burt, that helps.  I’ll get past this feeling of doom that has overcome me.  Everytime I look at my two precious daughters, I sigh and wonder what this world will be like when they are adults.  I shudder to think about it.

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Posted: 12 December 2008 03:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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The secular army is growing by leaps and bounds. However, I am afraid it will be too little too late.  The differences of religious beliefs will destroy this world and make it uninhabitable for anyone to live on, whether it’s from nuclear war or some other form of WMD.  I also have given up trying to argue with Christians regarding this point.

When you say “religious beliefs” are you referring to all religious beliefs, Christian beliefs, or another form of “religious beliefs” not listed?

Yes, my childhood sucked but I turned out to be ok. I find the same to be true with people who have been indoctrinated with religion.  No matter how hard you try to reach them with reason and evidence that what they BELIEVE is nonsense, it’s nearly impossible(not completely) to get through to the rational part of their fully Christianized (new word?) brain as evidenced by the responses in this forum by those “brains”.

Maybe it’s your claim that their childhood sucked rather than your epistemology that keeps you from “reaching them”.

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Posted: 13 December 2008 04:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Let me add my thanks to Sam Harris for articulately stating the case against religion, for having the patience to argue with the religiously afflicted and for providing this server.

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Posted: 22 December 2008 09:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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Hello everyone,

I am from Serbia, and recently the domestic publishing company “Helix books” translated the brilliant Sam Harris’ book “Letter to a Christian nation”.

I guess it won’t be necessary to say that I am not a believer. In this magnificent book one can find all possible scientific, moral and logical reasons to conclude that religion is a true nemesis for the human civilisation. Thank you, Mr Harris, for bringing this book to us.

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Posted: 22 December 2008 08:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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First, the sincere formalities: Welcome to the forum, Sigmund.
Second, do you think there is a possibility that Helix books will translate and publish Sam’s first book, The End of Faith?
And last, in your opinion, from your perspective and purview of this particular niche on the planet, have the ethnic and religious tensions calmed down in Serbia, or is it on a slow simmer below the surface?
Peace, Love and neutralized rockets,
ii

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Posted: 22 December 2008 10:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Thank you very much for the warm welcome, II. I just couldn’t help noticing this avatar of yours, and a grazing encounter between two spiral galaxies. Magnificent.

Well, “Helix books” have already translated two of Richard Dawkins’ books - “The God Delusion” and “The Selfish Gene”, within few days a new book by Dawkins will be available (“A Devil’s Chaplain”), and just by pure logic, I guess that “The End of Faith” could be published as well. I have read it in English, but I would like to read it in Serbian too. I will give a call to the publisher’s office today and will ask them about that. Thank you for the reminder.

Well, you have asked a very interesting question. Serbia is a country where ethnic and religious tensions led to a series of wars, including genocide and ethnic cleansing. Serbian orthodox church was a strong proponent of the nationalist project, and took part in some very nasty things. However, I do believe that religious tensions are calming down, but unfortunately the same couldn’t be told for ethnic tensions. Serbia is now on its way to the European Union, and simply by that fact I guess that the ethnic tensions could calm down as well, in time. For that to happen, secularists in Serbia must win a battle against the constant meddling of the church into public affairs.

Peace, Love and neutralized rockets,

Sigmund

[ Edited: 23 December 2008 05:18 AM by Sigmund]
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