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Sam Harris on the Michael Medvid show 9-21-06
Posted: 01 October 2006 05:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]  
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[quote author=“Guest: Garrett”]I often wonder of people like Harris, “If your position is so strong, why do you have to be so unfair in presenting it and misrepresent the other side?  Doing so really just reveals the weakness of his position.

You mean sort of like “If you don’t believe the fairytale I’m telling you, you will burn for all eternity in Hell.” . . . ?? That  variety of misrepresentation? You have to admit, it tends to portray the King of the Universe as something of an insecure blowhard, Garrett. It only reveals the weakness of his position that his children must either ‘choose’ to love him or accept unbearable torture as a consequence of failing to do so.

Sam only suggests that’s a load of unproven hogwash, and we can do better than buying into such hokum, treating such ancient superstitions as if they were sacred.

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Posted: 02 October 2006 01:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]  
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No, I’m referring to the misrepresentation you’re using: fairytale, insecure blowhard, unproven hogwash, etc.. 

Why so angry?  If you’re right hell is no threat.

I’ve got to commend you for the wording of your forth sentence.  We chose to love God or accept hell.  Every atheist/agnostic I’ve heard on the internet, except for you,  gets it wrong and says God sends people to hell.  C.S. Lewis summed it up well, “The gates of hell are locked from the inside.”

Sam’s book is titled to address Christians.  Why would any Christian want read his book and consider his ideas if your summary of him is indeed accurate?  If Christians take Sam’s and your lead, we’d conclude we know it all and never consider his book.  No wonder Harris didn‘t correct Medved when he called his latest “a Christian bashing book.”

Garrett
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Posted: 02 October 2006 02:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]  
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The difference between Harris (and, from what I’ve seen, Mia) and the people of super faith, is that Harris will change his position if enough evidence against it comes in.  The fundies will often say something like “I have complete, unwavering trust in God, because I know he exists.”  Rational people never assume that they know anything for sure.  There’s always a chance you’re wrong.

The reason Sam doesn’t present the good sides of religion in a lot of his media is that he doesn’t get enough media to support his points in the first place.  He can’t give them equal time in his interviews, and that’s how debates work.  You have two opposing sides, and even if they each realize that the other argument has some good points to it, it would waste time for them to point this out, and also make their argument seem weaker even though they’re just being honest.  Politicians often have to paint their own picture because it’s what the public wants to see.  They don’t want to see a big complicated picture, they want to see an ideal one-color solution in black and white, where one side is completely right and voting for it is only positive.

I would also like to point out that, while Harris may come off as a fundamentalist atheist in some of his interviews, the point of the interviews is not to hear his whole argument and decide whether he’s right or wrong.  Ideally, a person will read his book if intrigued by the interview, and there they will encounter Sam conceding that there are also some good points to religion.

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Posted: 02 October 2006 09:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]  
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[quote author=“Guest: Garrett”]I’ve got to commend you for the wording of your forth sentence.  We chose to love God or accept hell.  Every atheist/agnostic I’ve heard on the internet, except for you,  gets it wrong and says God sends people to hell.

You can withdraw your commendation wink. I should have been more precise: It is my understanding that God indeed ‘sends’ us to Hell by force. In using the word ‘accept’, I was refering to the apparent requirement that we accept that state of affairs. Does the Bible say we go to hell of our own accord? If there is no such passage, who else would do the ‘sending’, if not He who passed the judgment on us? Someone needs to push the button that opens that trap door, and you seem to believe it is the sinner, not his judge? Do enlighten us.

[quote author=“Guest: Garrett”]C.S. Lewis summed it up well, “The gates of hell are locked from the inside.”

I’m interested in the Bible citation for this claim, as well. I’m perfectly willing to be corrected, but it seems to me you and C.S. are indulging in some classic fable-embellishment, there.

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Posted: 03 October 2006 11:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]  
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[quote author=“Garrett”]Every atheist/agnostic I’ve heard on the internet, except for you,  gets it wrong and says God sends people to hell.  C.S. Lewis summed it up well, “The gates of hell are locked from the inside.”

Not according to the Bible: “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Rev 20:15.

See that “was cast” part?  Not “cast themselves.”

Thanks for playing.

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Posted: 03 October 2006 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]  
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[quote author=“sdmorito”][quote author=“Garrett”]Every atheist/agnostic I’ve heard on the internet, except for you,  gets it wrong and says God sends people to hell.  C.S. Lewis summed it up well, “The gates of hell are locked from the inside.”

Not according to the Bible: “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Rev 20:15.

See that “was cast” part?  Not “cast themselves.”

Thanks for playing.

Sdmorito, you go to hell by choice my friend. God has written his law upon your heart, you know the law. Some would call it the law of nature, where you do unto others what you would have done unto you, which is goodness. But man never fully follows his conscience and man will transgress the law, in some cases do evil, and fall. That is sin and sin is what separates you from God.

It would be easy enough for you to believe that you are set free from the power of sin through Christ, that is the grace of God through faith in Christ working within you. Without that faith, it is impossible to please God. Remember, that faith is the victory over the world and all its lusts and desires. That faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

So, I suggest to you my friend, that you begin reading the Word of God today, and don’t delay. Do not be decieved, a man will reap what he sows. If he sows to the flesh, he’ll reap corruption. If he sows to the spirit he will reap an uncorruptable hope and future in heaven.

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Posted: 04 October 2006 07:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]  
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[quote author=“sdmorito”]I caught the last 10-15 minutes.  Medved is a superb debater (especially because he can silence his guest with a touch of a button) but Harris did very well.  Harris was cool, calm, rational, and well spoken.  Reminded me of Michael Newdow, who exhibits the same characteristics.  Probably annoys the crap out of the fundies, though.  They’d rather hear a raving angry atheist.  Easier to vilify that way.  Medved sounded a little flustered.

It’s a shame Medved cut off Harris at the end.  Harris was making a point that people ask the wrong question about so-and-so.  He explained how the wrong question was wrong, and then got to, “Instead, the right question is…” and Medved cut him off!!  Medved apparently didn’t want Harris to make yet another excellent point.  Instead, Medved went on to babble for another 45 seconds to conclude that “maybe Harris has doubts about his doubt.”  Wow, awesome comeback, Mike!!  How fricken immature.  Too bad Medved doesn’t have the class to let his guests finish their points.

Well done, Sam!!!

You Atheists are hysterical!  You really make me laugh rolleyes  You really think Christians get so upset and angry because of your childish name calling.  It’s you, my friends that go crazy and are the least bit ‘tolerant’ (your new buzz word) of Christians.  You can’t stand that we are speaking up for our RIGHTS as AMERICANS and will not allow you athiests to take from us the ability to speak Gods name in public or when we voice our opinions about you trying to destroy families, America and kill millions of unborn babies.  Hmmmmm, you’re probably seething right about now. :twisted:

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Posted: 04 October 2006 09:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]  
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[quote author=“hi”]
You Atheists are hysterical!  You really make me laugh rolleyes  You really think Christians get so upset and angry because of your childish name calling.

I don’t know, do you?  I mean, your post reflects anger.. doesn’t it?

It’s you, my friends that go crazy and are the least bit ‘tolerant’ (your new buzz word) of Christians.

If the shoe fits, wear it.  Let’s examine how tolerant you are then… here:

You can’t stand that we are speaking up for our RIGHTS as AMERICANS and will not allow you athiests to take from us the ability to speak Gods name in public or when we voice our opinions about you trying to destroy families, America and kill millions of unborn babies.  Hmmmmm, you’re probably seething right about now. :twisted:

1.  “you atheists” denotes a loathing, a branding, a sense of casting aside.  You atheists are “hysterical’ suggests lampooning and certainly a superiority complex that you believe you are better than someone who does not hold your brand of world view.

2.  If anyone is intolerant, it is persons such as yourself.  The theist holds the majority.  What are the stats now… 80% of all americans are theists?  I think your persecution complex has peaked.  Jesus, if he existed, would be proud.  If anyone needs to speak up for their rights, it is the minority who is being steam rolled by theist majority vote.

3.  So when was the last time an atheist restrained you from speaking god’s name in public, truly… I mean please, get real.  The opposite happens.  Theists yell, bible in hand, they SHOUT on street corners that all nonbelievers in my town who do not confess Jesus is lord are doomed to burn.  You have the right to do that, I tolerate that.  I look the other way, or if I am feisty, I might engage you in conversation or friendly debate.  But if I want to exercise my rights, as a non theist… well, that just ain’t gonna happen.  You said so yourself.

If you truly exuded any higher form of tolerance over non theists, as you claim, then you, holding the majority, would allow for more dissent from your god complex.

If you were tolerant, you would tolerate… allow… accept, just like we non theists do practically every single day of our lives.  God here, god there, god everywhere.  Your god is the cause of your seperatist mentality, your persecution complex, your black & white morality and certainly your Us vs Them world view.  I tolerate that you think that way.  Why?  How?  Because, as a former staunch theist,  I used to be you.  Have you ever been me?  Do you know what it is like to view the world sans diety?  If you do, and you write such intolerant posts as the one I just quoted you from, then you, my friend are the epitome of intolerance.

Noggin

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Posted: 04 October 2006 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]  
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The system did not log me in when I assumed that it did! 

That last post was mine.  Statement of aceptance for responsibility:

“I Noggin, wrote the former post, above, and I fully endorse that message”

Noggin

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Posted: 04 October 2006 03:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]  
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Hey johnpritzlaff

“The fundies will often say something like “I have complete, unwavering trust in God, because I know he exists.” Rational people never assume that they know anything for sure. There’s always a chance you’re wrong.”

I agree.  We all need to be more open minded and think more rationally.

“The reason Sam doesn’t present the good sides of religion in a lot of his media is that he doesn’t get enough media to support his points in the first place. He can’t give them equal time in his interviews, and that’s how debates work.”

Yes, he may not have time to give a balanced presentation but I think he could include a little balance.  In fact he does, but only because Medved challanges him.

I personally don’t like debates because it seems like it’s more about winning an argument, whether one has a valid argument or not, instead of getting at the truth.  I believe I heard Sam say more than once his purpose is the truth. If so, it would be nice for him to balance the truth more.

You mention about politicians, and it’s an accurate point, but I think being like politicians is what we all should try to avoid.

“Ideally, a person will read his book if intrigued by the interview,...”

I figure the interview is a representation of the book and it would be more of the same. But if Sam brings a more balance view in the book like you say, that’s great.

In response to Mia:

You can withdraw your commendation wink

Well, you’re still half right - His children must choose to love Him smile

“Does the Bible say we go to hell of our own accord?”

Of our own accord? Mmmm. Yes and no.

Let me admit - the “how” is of God’s accord. He casts, sends, chucks, swings, launches, etc.

What about the “why?” Is that of peoples accord? Yes, because people have a choice - gain God’s forgiveness or not.

Now I volunteer at a local prison. I don’t ask the inmates what they’re in for but when they’ve told me, I’ve never heard, “Because the judge sent me here!” Now it is true the judge sent them there. But they know they are in prison because they made a choice - to break the law.

johnpritzlaff encouraged me that if I’d read Sam’s whole book, I’d understand his position more accurately. I think it’s the same with the Bible.  Let’s look at sdmorito’s referrence more fully:

Rev. 20:13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

So does God cast people - yes. Why? Because of their works.  Who chooses their works? They do.

Garrett
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Rom 6:23
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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Posted: 05 October 2006 02:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]  
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Garrett:

I completely agree that we should try to avoid being politicians.  I also think that Sam is trying to do that (as you say, he is looking for the truth).  And finally, I also dislike debates (at least how they are usually held), because not all views get expressed as well as they could if they were given sufficient time.  What I’m saying is that, while Sam does try to get the other side in as well as he can, nobody gives him enough time to do it as much as he would probably like.  That’s the system.  We should fight it (and Sam is:  his whole argument is that we need to have a (rational and honest) debate/discussion/communication about beliefs).

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Posted: 05 October 2006 03:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]  
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Rev. 20:13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

So does God cast people - yes. Why? Because of their works.  Who chooses their works? They do.

Garrett
http://www.worldviewforums.com

Did your god create humans or not?  Is your god perfectly all knowing and perfectly all capable, and perfectly all benevolent?  Then why would your god create so many who would ultimately choose fail?  If you could choose to create a human, and you loved and cared about this creation with any imperfect degree of benevolence, would you create them in such a way so that most of them would fail?

Further, As Mia points out many times around here, would you create a fiery furnace called hell that the ones whom you created and which failed, due to your design flaw, will go spend eternity of burning?

Why would you do that?  What is the point?  It could be that you worship a god who delights in cosmic bar-b-q’s where human flesh is the menu.  God is running low on flesh, so he needs to make a few more failed million humans to restock the celestial fridge.

Rom 6:23
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Just curious, are you a works salvation person or a faith salvation person?

Noggin

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Posted: 10 October 2006 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]  
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Noggin,
After all your questions my noggin feels like :oops:  :oops:  :oops:

You ask questions but it sounds like you’ve got it all figured out. While you can find a few fringe Christians who believe God creates people just to bbq them, most have a very different view.

2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

You sound rather irritated, which I can understand.  Atheists irritate me too but the more I accurately understand their position, even though I may not agree, the less irritated I get.

I cannot thoroughly cover all the issues you raised in this forum (it would take a book). I’ll cover two points but these sound-bites will probably just raise more questions than they answer.

“If you could choose to create a human, and you loved and cared about this creation with any imperfect degree of benevolence, would you create them in such a way so that most of them would fail?”

You are right: God create humans to love them but also for them to love Him.

Ten years ago I wanted to get married: to love someone and for someone to love me for who I am. I could have:
1) Bought a slave wife in a third-world country; or
2) Try to find a free woman.

I chose a free woman, because true love requires free choice. Forced love is an oxymoron. We lock people up who force themselves on others - they’re called rapist. For God to unilaterally decide for Himself what is best for man is a violation of our will and being. To do so would be to put people in a class with infants, imbeciles, and dogs. So if I were God, yes, I’d design people with the same “design flaw”, true freedom, that God has.

“...would you create a fiery furnace called hell…”

I’d design hell like a TV production company where everyone would have to host the show Dirty Jobs :shock: . For the really bad people, like Hitler and Stalin, they’d also have to compete in Fear Factor food competitions.

But I’m not God, don’t know all God knows, and don’t know all God feels. I’m not the one who’s Law has been violated.  It’s not up to me to falsely judge God and say how hell should or should not be.

“Just curious, are you a works salvation person or a faith salvation person?”

With faith, love, reason, evidence, and an open mind I have received God’s salvation and pray all others will do the same.

Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

and again

2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Garrett
http://www.worldviewforums.com

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Posted: 10 October 2006 12:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]  
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[quote author=“Guest Garrett”]I’ve got to commend you for the wording of your forth sentence.  We chose to love God or accept hell.  Every atheist/agnostic I’ve heard on the internet, except for you, gets it wrong and says God sends people to hell.

[quote author=“Guest Garrett”]So does God cast people [into Hell] - yes. Why? Because of their works.

Nice to see you can correct a misstatement, and acknowledge that no sane soul would cast themselves into the lake of fire. Clearly “every atheist/agnostic” you’ve encountered on the internet understands the story as you and I do, that your God character is the creator, judge, jury and executioner of his own creation. There is no automatic conveyer belt that safely removes Him from the actual carrying out of the execution process. He alone, the very maker of the soul, tortures each one he disapproves of, and tortures them by the billions, forever.

If I really believed in such a parent, I would be a miserable slave indeed (and I was). Luckily, I realized that there was an enormous plothole written into all this—the thing about us being created in God’s image—which would presumably include our inheritance of this insatiable lust for torture. I further realized that no human father, however cruel, has ever matched the unfathomable depravity and insanity of this God. Even our most horrific ruler-killers delegated the chore to hundreds or thousands of underlings, rarely bloodying their own hands, or standing by to witness the agony of each person they sentenced to torture or death. No mortal man has even come close! Yes, God alone stands as the most thoroughgoing demon in all fiction. Add in the fact that He would have foreknowledge of each soul’s destiny, and really, we’ve got an over-the-top nutball.

 

And yet. . . you return to the fallacy, by quoting Peter (twice): “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish. . . “

The “perishing” is not an automatic process, Garrett—someone has to do that destruction. . . Guess who?

No one would need saving if the Savior himself was not bent on murdering those who don’t ‘choose’ to love him. Was that the deal you got from your earthly parents—“love us or succumb to torture forever”. . . ?

 


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Posted: 10 October 2006 12:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]  
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Amen

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