On Sam Harris's Response to His Critics

Feb 2, 2011 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Siris

Sam Harris has an article up at The Huffington Post defending his work against some criticisms.

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Epicurus

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Feb 3, 2011
 

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The West is endangered, primarily, by the religious fragmentation of the human community, by religious impediments to clear thinking, and by the religious willingness of millions to sacrifice the real possibility of happiness in this world for a fantasy of a world to come.

We are living in a world where untold millions of grown men and women can rationalize the violent sacrifice of their own children by recourse to fairy tales. We are living in world where millions of Muslims believe that there is nothing better than to be killed in defense of Islam.

We are living in a world in which millions of American Christians hope to soon be raptured into the sky by Jesus so that they can safely enjoy the holy genocide that will inaugurate the end of human history. We are living in a world in which a silly old priest, by merely giving voice to his religious inanities, could conceivably start a war with 1.4 billion Muslims who take their own inanities in deadly earnest.

These are real dangers. And they are not dangers for which more “Biblical faith” is a remedy.
--Sam Harris
Epicurus

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Feb 3, 2011
 

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If there is a God who will damn his children forever, I would rather go to hell than to go to heaven and keep the society of such an infamous tyrant. I make my choice now. I despise that doctrine.

It has covered the cheeks of this world with tears. It has polluted the hearts of children, and poisoned the imaginations of men.

It has been a constant pain, a perpetual terror to every good man and woman and child. It has filled the good with horror and with fear; but it has had no effect upon the infamous and base

. It has wrung the hearts of the tender, it has furrowed the cheeks of the good. This doctrine never should be preached again. What right have you, sir, Mr. clergyman, you, minister of the gospel to stand at the portals of the tomb, at the vestibule of eternity, and fill the future with horror and with fear?

I do not believe this doctrine, neither do you.

If you did, you could not sleep one moment. Any man who believes it, and has within his breast a decent, throbbing heart, will go insane. A man who believes that doctrine and does not go insane has the heart of a snake and the conscience of a hyena.
--Robert G. Ingersoll
1833 - 1899

“Fortes Fortuna Juvat, ”

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#3
Feb 3, 2011
 
They only deluded themselves to believe in a myth, so to cover up their acts of hate, violence, and perversion. The lust in their hearts for chaos is beyond understanding and reason.

“It's all about the struggle”

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Feb 5, 2011
 

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"A science of morality?", yeah, right.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

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Feb 5, 2011
 

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nanoanomaly wrote:
"A science of morality?", yeah, right.
Clueless, as usual.

No wonder you only charge $5...

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Feb 5, 2011
 

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Sam Harris, the same ass that said that no one should have the right to lie. Who's clueless, Bob? Who's going to legislate THAT you warped freak? The ones who aren't drugged, of course! After all, the only way they could tell someone wasn't lying would be to have a sober class to do the judging, right? And who would that be? Yeah. Yet another control freak, judgemental crazy of a different hue telling people how they can live, to control other peoples' minds; forcefully. Screw you Bob. You'd like to think you'd be one of the control group, enforcing meds and punishing liars. Maybe you should look in the mirror a little harder, Bob. Be careful what you wish for.

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#7
Feb 6, 2011
 

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nanoanomaly wrote:
Sam Harris,....
Blah, blah, blah.

You sound more intelligent when your ripped.

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Feb 6, 2011
 

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Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
Blah, blah, blah.
You sound more intelligent when your ripped.
So I'm smarter drunk than you are sober; that's a sobering thought, NOT!

BWAHAHAHAHAAAAA.....HA!

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Feb 6, 2011
 

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nanoanomaly wrote:
Sam Harris, the same ass that said that no one should have the right to lie. Who's clueless, Bob? Who's going to legislate THAT
It has already been legislated to the degree that it can be. It's called "laws against perjury and fraud".

Now, let's see exactly what Sam Harris said,*in* context:

"When it counts, I don’t think people have a right to lie. Does a CEO of a major corporation have a right to lie about what his corporation is actually doing?"

But you chose to leave out the part "when it counts", as well as the specific example Harris provided, which is critical to understanding exactly what Harris is referring to.

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Feb 6, 2011
 

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Drew Smith wrote:
<quoted text>
It has already been legislated to the degree that it can be. It's called "laws against perjury and fraud".
Now, let's see exactly what Sam Harris said,*in* context:
"When it counts, I don’t think people have a right to lie. Does a CEO of a major corporation have a right to lie about what his corporation is actually doing?"
But you chose to leave out the part "when it counts", as well as the specific example Harris provided, which is critical to understanding exactly what Harris is referring to.
When I mentioned his comment about 'right to lie' it was in reference to something else of his that I read last year, not this article.
The point I'm making is that nobody can keep someone else from lying; people do it all the time, whether under oath or not. I haven't read this article in entirety yet, later. I have shopping to do before the roads ice up again tonight. You won't mind waiting to rake me over the coals later, will you?

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Feb 6, 2011
 

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Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
Blah, blah, blah.
You sound more intelligent when your ripped.
You know repeating yourself constantly is a sign of Alzhiemer's.

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nanoanomaly wrote:
The point I'm making is that nobody can keep someone else from lying; people do it all the time, whether under oath or not.
People kill other people, and steal their property. People do it all the time. Should we conclude that nobody has a right to life or property?

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nanoanomaly wrote:
<quoted text>So I'm smarter drunk than you are sober; that's a sobering thought, NOT!
BWAHAHAHAHAAAAA.....HA!
Nope... when you are drunk, you are just more understandable.

As opposed to when you try to be subtle- and fail, or when you cut-and-paste some nonsense you saw on the intertubes, thinking you've scored a point-- yet when questioned about your "post", you are clueless as usual.

You really are an empty-headed and shallow narcissist.

Boooring.

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Drew Smith wrote:
<quoted text>
People kill other people, and steal their property. People do it all the time. Should we conclude that nobody has a right to life or property?
Nanobrain cannot admit she f!cked up with that post-- she likely posted while drunk or high.

Or maybe it's the other way around-- hard to tell, she's so vacuous.

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Feb 6, 2011
 

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Drew Smith wrote:
<quoted text>
It has already been legislated to the degree that it can be. It's called "laws against perjury and fraud".
Now, let's see exactly what Sam Harris said,*in* context:
"When it counts, I don’t think people have a right to lie. Does a CEO of a major corporation have a right to lie about what his corporation is actually doing?"
But you chose to leave out the part "when it counts", as well as the specific example Harris provided, which is critical to understanding exactly what Harris is referring to.
I didn't see "When it counts,..." in the Siris reponse; was that in his (Harris') nearly dissertation length defense of his book in the Huffington Post? I was bored to death of his egotistical posturing half way through it; the extensive criticism of those who were critical of his book, bleh...
He certainly received the attention he was after but to suggest that anyone can establish a universal morality and then enforce it is immoral in and of itself.

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Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
Nanobrain cannot admit she f!cked up with that post-- she likely posted while drunk or high.
Or maybe it's the other way around-- hard to tell, she's so vacuous.
I didn't fk up anything, you wheezy little wussy.

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Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
Nope... when you are drunk, you are just more understandable.
As opposed to when you try to be subtle- and fail, or when you cut-and-paste some nonsense you saw on the intertubes, thinking you've scored a point-- yet when questioned about your "post", you are clueless as usual.
You really are an empty-headed and shallow narcissist.
Boooring.
Better that than a pathetic loser who used to flit around Topix saying he was a doctor. Sound familiar, Bob?

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

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Feb 7, 2011
 

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nanoanomaly wrote:
<quoted text>Better that than a pathetic loser who used to flit around Topix saying he was a doctor. Sound familiar, Bob?
No. I never claimed to be a doctor.

Is this more of your drunken delusions, Nanomind?

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#19
Feb 7, 2011
 
nanoanomaly wrote:
I didn't see "When it counts,..." in the Siris reponse; was that in his (Harris') nearly dissertation length defense of his book in the Huffington Post?
It was in his interview with Salon.com located here:

http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2010/10/17...

Do you have a specific link to a *different* context in which Harris is pointing out that he believes that people don't have the right to lie?
nanoanomaly wrote:
to suggest that anyone can establish a universal morality and then enforce it is immoral in and of itself.
We attempt to enforce systems of morality for an entire country whenever we put constitutions and laws into place. Is the legal system immoral?
Epicurus

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Sam Harris
Somewhere in the world a man has abducted a little girl. Soon he will rape, torture, and kill her. If an atrocity of this kind not occurring at precisely this moment, it will happen in a few hours, or days at most. Such is the confidence we can draw from the statistical laws that govern the lives of six billion human beings.

The same statistics also suggest that this girl’s parents believe -- at this very moment -- that an all-powerful and all-loving God is watching over them and their family. Are they right to believe this? Is it good that they believe this?

No.

The entirety of atheism is contained in this response. Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply a refusal to deny the obvious. Unfortunately, we live in a world in which the obvious is overlooked as a matter of principle.

The obvious must be observed and re-observed and argued for. This is a thankless job. It carries with it an aura of petulance and insensitivity. It is, moreover, a job that the atheist does not want.

It is worth noting that no one ever need identify himself as a non-astrologer or a non-alchemist. Consequently, we do not have words for people who deny the validity of these pseudo-disciplines.

Likewise,“atheism” is a term that should not even exist. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make when in the presence of religious dogma. The atheist is merely a person who believes that the 260 million Americans (eighty-seven percent of the population) who claim to “never doubt the existence of God” should be obliged to present evidence for his existence -- and, indeed, for his benevolence, given the relentless destruction of innocent human beings we witness in the world each day. Only the atheist appreciates just how uncanny our situation is: most of us believe in a God that is every bit as specious as the gods of Mount Olympus; no person, whatever his or her qualifications, can seek public office in the United States without pretending to be certain that such a God exists; and much of what passes for public policy in our country conforms to religious taboos and superstitions appropriate to a medieval theocracy. Our circumstance is abject, indefensible, and terrifying.

It would be hilarious if the stakes were not so high.

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