Hey guys, my name is Farhan Qureshi, and I’m pretty much a huge fan and follower of Sam Harris. I really do respect and admire his knowledge and perspective and have read all of his books and watched nearly all of his interviews/lectures/debates .... I absolutely admired his response to Deepak Chopra (whom I am also a fan of) and totally thought he was the first person in history to outdo William Lane Craig in a debate. I also admire that Sam spent 20 years studying Buddhism and Hinduism in the East and yet today totally upholds skepticism and rationalism.
To introduce myself briefly, I was a Muslim apologist and I debated on an academic stage with Christian thinkers and scholars such as Dr. James White, Professor David Wood, Dr. Tony Costa, Walid Shoebat (former PLO terrorist), and Muslim personality Shaykh Shaker Elsayed (of the 9/11 mosque on an intrafaith debate at the time). Since leaving Islam, I’ve been writing for Faith Freedom International and have had a few debates. However I think I need to slow down a bit and find myself.
First and foremost leaving Islam by itself was a grieving process for me because I had invested so much time, effort, energy, money, thought, passion and devotion to this religion. I really believed Islam was the ultimate reality behind existence. The reason I left Islam was after my education in Psychology, experience in Mental Health, and studying the likes of Sam Harris and others I realized something profound and yet obvious. Perhaps I never really could embrace within the depths of me the notion that people would be tormented and tortured in Hell for eternity. Based on the problem of Hell, and additionally, based on the problem of suffering and evil I could no longer believe in theology and I made the big move and came out publically an apostate of Islam after defending it and practicing it for many years. This could potentially be dangerous! I hope not, I live in a free country, you know?
In any event, after leaving Islam I had to ask myself some big philosophical and existential questions about reality. The reason I am posting here (and plan on continuing to post here) is to get your thoughts, advice and insight in finding myself in this time/space continuum if you will. Last month I gave a presentation at Skepticamp DC held at the University of Maryland, College Park on Skepticism, Spirituality and Esotericism. I think I gave it from a perspective that Sam Harris MIGHT agree with based on what I’ve read and studied from him. Would you guys agree and can you guys help out in terms of being able to have a more rational position than not? Here is the presentation BTW: