The core of Harris's argument is that to be an intellectually honest person, you cannot believe anything without sufficient evidence. I agree with him 100%. I think he should spend some time discussing dangerous ideas that do not have a religious base. For example, there are many people that I know in the U.S. and Canada who subscribe to some form of alternative medicine which is often based on faith. There have been many deaths that are caused by people using bogus therapies that are not grounded in science. What do you think about this?
Sadly there are all sorts of duff treatments out there, mostly claiming to have some scientific evidence behind them which almost invariably turns out to be rubbish on closer examination, e.g. homeopathy (see http://www.badscience.net/?p=200 for more) though I suppose at least just drinking water won’t actually do you any direct harm
That’s not an unfounded claim. I think Sam felt the need to address an issue that affects us all on a daily basis. In addition, most people can hear an argument about the healing power of crystals and bee sting therapy as legitimate therapies. Religion is above the scope of discourse and I think that’s Mr. Harris’ main argument.
He discussed this in the book. Not specifically what you’re talking about, but he did discuss it.
There have been several long threads where the issues of bogus cancer therapies, magnets, reflexology, pharma conspiracies, herbal treatments, homeopathy, etc. have been discussed in the past. Someone here was even a distributor for Lifewave energy patches.
I would just want to leave the group another high-five for the http://www.quackwatch.org site that is excellent to debunk these scams.
I think some vitamin companies sponsored some research at Oxford university recently that produced results stating that vitamins had no real effect, best taken via eating enough healthy food and too much supllements could cause harm.
What really gets me is astrology