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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:44 PM
Original message
Atheist Evangelist...Sam Harris
In His Bully Pulpit, Sam Harris Devoutly Believes That Religion Is the Root of All Evil

By David Segal
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 26, 2006; Page C01

There are really just two possibilities for Sam Harris. Either he is right and millions of Christians, Muslims and Jews are wrong. Or Sam Harris is wrong and he is so going to hell.

This seems obvious whenever Harris opens what he calls "my big mouth," and it is glaringly clear one recent evening at the New York Public Library, where he is debating a former priest before a packed auditorium. In less than an hour, Harris condemns the God of the Old Testament for a host of sins, including support for slavery. He drop-kicks the New Testament, likening the story of Jesus to a fairy tale. He savages the Koran, calling it "a manifesto for religious divisiveness."

Nobody has ever accused the man of being subtle. Harris is straight out of the stun grenade school of public rhetoric, and his arguments are far more likely to offend the faithful than they are to coax them out of their faith. And he doesn't target just the devout. Religious moderates, Harris says in his patient and imperturbable style, have immunized religion from rational discussion by nurturing the idea that faith is so personal and private that it is beyond criticism, even when horrific crimes are committed in its name.


More... http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. K&R
There are some actors that you go see in a movie because you know it's always a good story. Sam Harris is one of those actors. And now I like him even more.
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krkaufman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 03:24 AM
Response to Reply #1
30. huh? You're kidding, right?
What movies has Sam Harris acted in?
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Karenca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #1
35. I think you mean
ED HARRIS.
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #35
41. Yes, Ed.... Thanks!
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LostInAnomie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. I've got both his books
He makes a very convincing case. Of course I was already convinced.
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I just finished THE GOD DELUSION....Dawkins Roxx!! nt
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LostInAnomie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. I've been wanting to get it...
... but I already have too many books that I haven't gotten around to reading yet.
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Mojambo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:07 PM
Response to Original message
3. I really like him.
I like how he doesn't let religious moderates off the hook.
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:08 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. No one should cut fundi extremist any slack...I dont..nt
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lostnotforgotten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:11 PM
Response to Original message
6. Great Book - The End Of Faith
eom
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LostInAnomie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Letter to a Christian Nation is good too.
It is a little bit of a rehash from The End of Faith but most of it is new material and aimed at most of the arguments Christians make to further their agenda.
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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:12 PM
Response to Original message
7. "offend the faithful" HA! they're offended if you aren't as loony as they are
Good for him, what courage. Like the Xtians in Rome, folks who don't buy the fairy story are ostracized and condemned. I was fired for my Darwin placard on my trunk.

They can devote themselves for all I care, but stay the FUCK! out of politics and school and work.


Woman from a rib my ass!

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spag68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. My personal favorite
is the 6000 year old world. I also do not care what Deity anyone believes in, as long as they keep it out of my life.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:21 AM
Response to Reply #7
15. I believe you.
A brilliant liberal engineer where I work was fired.

He had been called out by the boss more than once about the Darwin fish on his toolbox. I don't know if that's WHY he was fired, but I stopped wearing my EvolveFish necklace the next day.

Oh, the boss also flies the christian flag underneath Old Glory and has just incorporated the cross in our new logo.
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:40 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. Thats terrible....
..I think someone needs to inform your boss that THIS IS NOT A THEOCRACY and it never will be. I would have taken them to court over wrongful termination and discrimination.

Those 'xtians' and others poisoned by religion are in for a very rude awakening, for those who believe religion is here to stay, think again. Zeus and Oden found their way to the door and the "I AM" "Yaweh" "Alla" will in time do the same, Why? Because Religion is the shackle on the legs of progress and human prosperity. Getting where we are now wouldhave happened sooner if it was not for religions unfortunate interruption into our social structuring.

Religion is no longer needed, those who succumb to its hypnosis and brainwashing are weak people with very weak minds. Atheism is NOT a religion, nor is Darwin's Evolution, its an awakening from superstitutious dogma of ignorance and mental slumber. Society will learn and is learning the ill effects of Religion and that it has no social benefit whats-so-ever, its dated and bunk.

"Jesus Christ, Super Fraud."
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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:50 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. Wrongful termination case - the courthouse had
the 10 Commandments monument on the front steps. (well possibly)


Gee, I wonder why that's messed up????
Xtians bleeted like slaughtered lambs when they had to take that totem of theocracy offsite.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:53 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. Damn! How did you know?
They were the first ones to put them in the courthouses just to challenge the Supreme Court decision.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:52 AM
Response to Reply #17
21. Ha! I work in a christian workplace.
You have no idea.
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:42 AM
Response to Reply #17
25. Yup.....Aloha, Sending The Whole Luau...Dancers, Food, Drink, Flowers,
Edited on Sun Oct-29-06 01:48 AM by opihimoimoi
Desserts, Poi, Fish, Kalua Pig, Caviar, Fine Wine, Smoked Salmon, Sashimi, Poast Pig, 5 Years Subscription to the Peace Channel, and Ideas to promote Sanity and Clarity.

The Reply of the Month...at the very least.....
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Alcibiades Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:19 PM
Response to Original message
10. Yale theologian: the Bible is not the literal word of God
Quote from Miroslav Volf, taken from the article:

"Most Christians believe that while the Bible was inspired by God, it is not free-floating, megaphone pronouncements out of nowhere by God. It was given through the medium of a culturally situated people, with the limitations of their knowledge at the time. And it's our task to ask, 'What does this mean to me today?'"

Since when did "most Christians" believe anything of the sort? This shows the remoteness of the academic theologian from the masses of the faithful in America: while Volf, and just about anyone else who has give the Bible serious study, acknowledges it was a work with human authors, and while the theologians of even very conservative denominations acknowledge this (or at least treat it as though it were fact), the situation is quite different for the common folk, and the televangelists know it. These are simple folk who will brook no contradiction. For them, the Bible is either the TRUTH, every word of it, or its not.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:12 AM
Response to Reply #10
14. Hypocrites.
Even the liberals accuse Sam of "cherry picking" from the bible. :banghead:
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:44 AM
Response to Reply #14
18. Because they have to look as though they are playing "fair"..
...Even though the bible thumping extremist asshats never do.
I dont play nice with them anymore, I have a new sticker on my care that reads

"ATHEISM CURES RELIGIOUS TERRORISM." Along with my evolve fish with legs and a wrench plague...That Ichtys Fish has nothing to do with Jeebus anyway, its a Pagan fertility symbol that actually represents the VAGINA!!
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #18
23. Yeah, well some of us have to stay in the closet if we want to eat.
I'm an implicit atheist, but that doesn't mean I don't loathe religion.
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 02:06 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. I refuse to stay quite anymore....
..I dont hesitate to say I am an ATHEIST, fuck off! I work in a place of delusional people too, they are everywhere. Walking around like Zombies looking for brains..MORE BRAINS! But they cant have mine and once I say I AM AN ATHEIST two things always happen. Either they keep their forked tongue behind their teeth or they see me as a challange, which has happened once. I let them ramble in tongues, wait for their pupils to diolate and all the while looking at them like they are in a padded cell.

This is not a Theocracy!! PERIOD. I will put my foot in any fundies ass with out second thought, they are just bullies. Once you let them know your not a door mate and not willing to take their ideological bullshit they back off.

"Faith is believing what you know isnt so." Mark Twain

..And Faith, is NOT proof.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 02:17 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. Uh, no, you're not getting this.
I work in a CHRISTIAN workplace, not WITH christians.

There's a difference.

I have always lived and worked with christians, most of them liberal, many of them are friends and family and I love them very much.

My atheism was never even discussed, nor was religion, it wasn't polite.

I now live in the United States of Jesusland, on Planet Talibornagain, in the Buy-Bull Belt, and they can't beam me up.

You either stay in the closet or lose your job and any friends you thought you had.

And if you think I have it bad, try being homosexual.

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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 03:04 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. I am....I am a GAY ATHEIST...nt LOL
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 03:36 AM
Response to Reply #28
31. So you'd be in a double closet.
I'm from New England, living here is like going back a couple hundred years or more.

Many of my coworkers, neighbors and acquaintances use the n-word frequently and think Rush and O'Reilly are hysterical; and those are the educated ones.

I'm not kidding.

I fight like the devil when I hear someone use racist or homophobic language, but I can't come out as an atheist yet.

When I'm ready to leave, trust me, they'll know.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-02-06 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #31
66. Man that sucks. n/t
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #18
36. Oh, that is too good. I did not know that about the ichtys fish. I can't wait
to spread that one around. :evilgrin:
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:27 AM
Response to Reply #10
16. My thoughts exactly....
Edited on Sun Oct-29-06 01:48 AM by and-justice-for-all
...In THE GOD DELUSION, MR. Dawkins gets on Theologians for such behavior on their part..
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nemo137 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #10
39. weird story,
When I went through confirmation in 8th grade, they taught us basically what Volf said. In a Midwestern, Swedish-Lutheran church, they taught us that the Bible was not infaliable, and that our task was to ask "What does this mean to me today." So careful, any statement that begins with "most Christians" is likely to be bull.
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Wise Doubter Donating Member (458 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:50 PM
Response to Original message
11. Sam Harris has a great interview in the movie
The God Who Wasn`t There www.thegodmovie.com
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:10 AM
Response to Original message
13. "you envision a firebrand in a hair-pulling panic."
Over lunch the day before the debate, Harris seems utterly placid, which is a surprise. Reading his book, you envision a firebrand in a hair-pulling panic. To find religion so scary is like being terrified of cellphones -- there is no end to the potential for fright. But Harris speaks methodically, in fully formed paragraphs and without much emotion.

"My writing is angrier than I am," he says, smiling a little and sipping a Coke. "The maniac comes out a bit when I get behind the keyboard."

Harris is 39 and looks uncannily like Ben Stiller. He grew up in Los Angeles, in a home he describes as non-religious. (For the record, his mother is Jewish and his father, now deceased, was a Quaker.) Harris asked that all but the most basic biographical details be omitted from this article, even where he lives and where he studies. Nobody has threatened his life, but he thinks you can't be too careful. Plus, a movie deal is in the works that could make him the focus of a documentary about atheism. He would like to minimize his tracks sooner rather than later.



Don't listen to him! Sam is just pretending to be sane!

He wants to kill believers, make atheism the national religion and force your children to worship Satan!

He must be stopped at all costs!








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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:46 AM
Response to Reply #13
19. I don't blame Sam for hiding his tracks
Religion in the petrie dish for zealous radicals. Just one of those whackjobs is all it takes. Just ask those womens' clinic doctors... oh wait, they're shot dead -nevermind.

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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:57 AM
Response to Reply #19
24. Yep, same for me.
If word got out I was a godless heathen, they'd be coming for me with pitchforks and torches.
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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 03:08 AM
Response to Reply #24
29. and the things they would do to
my goat on a rope!
:wow:
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 03:37 AM
Response to Reply #29
32. ROFLMAO!!!
Edited on Sun Oct-29-06 04:21 AM by beam me up scottie
I'm sure they have many fantasies about heathens and goats.

:rofl:
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 04:20 AM
Response to Original message
33. I disagree with him on a few points
My primary concern is the ethical divide--people who believe that their ethical system applies only to people they are related to or identify with, and those whose ethical systems apply to everybody, no exceptions. There are people of faith and without faith who are on both sides of that particular divide. He does make a good case that neither ethics nor spirituality require faith in and of themselves, though.

Also. I think he totally blows off Robert Pape's studies on the origin of terrorism, and he just doesn't get Chomsky at all.

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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #33
45. The problem with that...
...is that most believers think THEIR particular myths' teachings can apply to others (when often they don't even fit others), and that they are ethical teachings that everyone should naturally want to follow to make the world a better place.

Of course the mind instantly leaps to the fundie set, but this is not limited to them, oh no. There are liberals, out there and even in these forums, who (e.g.) argue against a woman's right to control her own body and medical decisions, based on their religiously-based belief that abortion is murder (never mind that humans aren't really human until they develop a cerebral cortex, which zygotes lack).

Likewise, we've seen some rather unfortunate examples on DU recently of homophobic believers who argue against equal rights for all citizens, often based again on their personal religious beliefs that 'gay marriage' (in reality, the equal right to marry) is somehow 'sinful' or 'not to be promoted'.

Therefore, it's clear that even people who are otherwise extremely ethical can in fact hold unethical stances like those above when it comes to their chosen religious beliefs. The fact that they just believe things without any supporting evidence (hey, they call it faith, and that's the definition) means it's possible for them to believe such stances, despite those stances' lack of ethics.

How do we fight that? My answer: shore up the secular nature of society. That way, it doesn't matter what they believe, they can't inflict it on others based on nothing but their fervent belief that they are right.

Secularism works for all. It is something to be maintained and celebrated!

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AliceWonderland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-02-06 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #33
65. Thanks for bringing up Richard Pape
Edited on Thu Nov-02-06 02:50 PM by AliceWonderland
I think Pape brings up excellent points -- and demonstrates that clash of civilization caricatures can have dangerous policy-making results.

I don't know what "most Muslims are insane" really contributes to anything. Maybe he clarifies that statement elsewhere, but saying that "whoa, one fifth of the world's population is crazy and defective" doesn't get you much of anywhere. Except providing a buttress for a set of policies that require certain life to be less valuable... as in, there is something inherently evil about Muslims (a point often made, paradoxically, by citing innocent Muslim victims in a sympathetic manner) and they should be put down like rabid dogs. In this context, numbers like "655,000 dead Iraqis" can have less meaning -- at least in the mainstream where political leaders can deny them and the media can ignore them.

Harris has some interesting points about fundamentalism and its dangers, and to be honest, the role of "the moderate" is not above examination. On the other hand, I dislike his broad sweeping generalizations -- though he is a pop culture writer, and that's what pop culture writers do. It's a mixed bag, as with all things, I suppose.
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farmbo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 07:01 AM
Response to Original message
34. Sam "Liberals Have their heads in the Sand" Harris is a pompous ahole...
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-harris18sep18...

...Who mistakes his substantial knowledge of religion and metaphysics for (it appears) an all-encompassing mastery of politics.

Read his smarmy remarks about "liberals" in the LA Times article at the link and your blood will boil. It quite literally, reads like a Karl Rove speech.

(PS...I've read "The End of Faith" and, while I still have my faith, I found it to be an important contribution to religious scholarship...but check out the LA Times article...this guy is a world-class blowhard)
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #34
37. Last time somebody brought this up, I thought I didn't agree with him.
Now I do. I agree with Sam Harris. I've even made a post about it in the burka thread.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Basically, I think the best thing, and maybe the worst thing, about liberals right now is their fear of being ethnocentric. Its one of the things that makes liberals so tolerant and accepting of a wide range of people. It also, however, prevents us from criticizing toxic culture and dangerous religious trends.

I don't think Harris was being smarmy at all...I think a lot of people on DU are too sensitive about real, sound criticism of liberalism BECAUSE of that nasty, Rove/Limbaugh type of attacks. The difference, Fambo, is that Sam Harris IS a liberal.

Heres how I read it:

First of all,

"Perhaps I should establish my liberal bone fides at the outset. I'd like to see taxes raised on the wealthy, drugs decriminalized and homosexuals free to marry. I also think that the Bush administration deserves most of the criticism it has received in the last six years ? especially with respect to its waging of the war in Iraq, its scuttling of science and its fiscal irresponsibility"

If this doesn't clear things up, I don't know what does. He is clearly a progressive.

"Given the degree to which religious ideas are still sheltered from criticism in every society, it is actually possible for a person to have the economic and intellectual resources to build a nuclear bomb ? and to believe that he will get 72 virgins in paradise. And yet, despite abundant evidence to the contrary, liberals continue to imagine that Muslim terrorism springs from economic despair, lack of education and American militarism."

This actually gives me nightmares. I've met "true believers", both muslem and christian. And I have no doubt that many of them would kill of the planet without a second thought. I also agree that the problem we have with Muslems is not a matter of poverty or economic despair (I've travelled in South America, and have see both....and although there are definitely guerrila groups and such, they are mostly political and want control of their own countries....they aren't mad at the western world because of some imagined covenant with the Jews). Interviews with failed suicide bombers have found that some of them kill simply because they want to be martyred....and go to paradise. If that ain't crazy....

"At its most extreme, liberal denial has found expression in a growing subculture of conspiracy theorists who believe that the atrocities of 9/11 were orchestrated by our own government. A nationwide poll conducted by the Scripps Survey Research Center at Ohio University found that more than a third of Americans suspect that the federal government "assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East;" 16% believe that the twin towers collapsed not because fully-fueled passenger jets smashed into them but because agents of the Bush administration had secretly rigged them to explode.

Such an astonishing eruption of masochistic unreason could well mark the decline of liberalism, if not the decline of Western civilization. There are books, films and conferences organized around this phantasmagoria, and they offer an unusually clear view of the debilitating dogma that lurks at the heart of liberalism: Western power is utterly malevolent, while the powerless people of the Earth can be counted on to embrace reason and tolerance, if only given sufficient economic opportunities."

I agree with this completely...it distresses me that so many people believe these theories.

"The same failure of liberalism is evident in Western Europe, where the dogma of multiculturalism has left a secular Europe very slow to address the looming problem of religious extremism among its immigrants. The people who speak most sensibly about the threat that Islam poses to Europe are actually fascists.

To say that this does not bode well for liberalism is an understatement: It does not bode well for the future of civilization."

ACTUALLY FASCISTS....it seems to distress Harris that the only people who seem to identify the problems caused by religous extremisms are fascists (the kicker though, is that they do this mostly because they are rascicts, not because they are afraid of religion, per se). The very last statement tells me something as well...its tells met that, unlike Rush or Rove, Harris is distressed that liberals don't see the problems with religious extremism and even religious moderates. While Rove wants to trumpet the liberals failings, Harris wants us to wake up. Wether you agree with him or not is irrelevant...he his clearly not anything like Rove.

Look. I don't completely agree with Harris. First of all, I don't want wars...its almost as impossible to have a war with religous people as it is with "terror". But I do think that we do need some sort of policy that keeps nukes away from these religious extremists. I'm at a loss in how to actually deal with the problem...to deal with people who start things on fire or kill people over cartoons. To deal with people who will blow themselves up to fuck 75 virgins.

And it is a problem. And if you don't see the problem, I can't help you. Some posts on DU provides some very good example of this "head in the sand" behaviour.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. It's that 'actually fascists' remark that makes Harris look stupid
or too ignorant to write op-ed pieces on politics. What the fascists in Europe are saying is that all Muslims should be prohibited from immigrating into Europe; and those who were born outside the country they're now in should be forcibly repatriated. The fascists make up stories about how Muslims are systematically raping 'white girls' (to the BNP, 'white' is the opposite of 'Muslim', because when it comes down to it, it's race that drives everything they do) because the Quran allows them to.

'Islam' does not pose a threat to Europe; extremists do. Harris has drunk the kool-aid of some of the worst people around on this, I'm afraid.
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #38
44. He's not saying we should all be fascists.
He is lamenting the fact that liberals won't address the problem while fascists, arguably for all the wrong reasons, will and do.

As to the Muslim rape story. That particular story was a lie, but are you saying that there aren't extremist muslims that rape women to make them immpure in an attempt of genocide? What about Bosnia? What about Darfur? It is happening there.
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #37
51. I disagree with him on this:
"liberals continue to imagine that Muslim terrorism springs from economic despair, lack of education and American militarism."

I mean, yes, liberals do tend to believe that, but I don't think they're wrong. Yes, you can interview a 100 suicide bombers and they'll insist they're doing it for Allah, but they wouldn't have gotten to that point of whacko indoctrination if they'd had a life to live in the first place. If there were schools to go to besides the free madrassas. If there were jobs to be had.

So yes, I believe Muslim terrorism does spring from economic despair.

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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #51
52. Yes, I had a problem with that statement as well.
It's a lot easier to hate when you watch your children go to bed hungry every night, and you know that their children will suffer the same fate.
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shrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-02-06 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #51
64. I agree (with your statement)

The movie Syriana does a nice job of putting it in simple terms: a young man with limited options in a region run by mega-oil interests gets recruited by radicals and turned into a suicide bomber. AND they promise to give his family much-needed funds, which I think was also a factor, in addition to the 72 virgins (don't know how often such offers are proferred in real life.)

Also, if you look through history, plenty of peoples with very similar cosmologies warred for every reason but religion. The American Indians are an example -- they didn't exactly get along well before we got there. Most Indonesian peoples were basically deists, and their beliefs varied very little from tribe to tribe.
Much of their conflict was basically tribal, and rooted in old hatreds that went back generations. But such tribes also fought over food and hunting grounds -- i.e., resources.
I don't think you can discount the role that distribution of resources plays in warfare. Sometimes it is just plain old greed -- I want what you want, and since you're of a different color and believe differently than I (i.e., a heathen) I'm quite justified in taking it from you. Other times, though, it is more a matter of "I need what you have, or else I will starve. And since you control what I need, and block my every attempt to get it, my only option is to kill you."
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-03-06 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #51
67. Well...
I am not sure that follows. Economicaly suicide bombers often have high economic futures compaired to their suroundings. They are often educated in areas where that is not common. So I am not sure we can say that it is 'economic dispair' that motivates them.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
40. Many atheists have a love/hate relationship with Harris.
Edited on Sun Oct-29-06 03:42 PM by beam me up scottie
I love his in your face apologize for nothing attitude when it comes to taking on the fundies, but some of his opinions are very illiberal.

I feel like I have to defend him when he's attacked and attack him when he's defended.



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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:01 AM
Response to Reply #40
42. Lol...me too. Its weird. I think he's basically a good guy
that tends to go overboard. I don't see him as smug or an asshole, though...just REALLY passionate.
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Freedom_from_Chains Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #40
43. I find there are some things I don't agree with Sam on
but right now he is the only one out there who is willing to call fundies what they are, a threat to civilized society. Until someone from the liberal side can come up with a better way, I'm sticking with Sam
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 01:18 AM
Response to Reply #43
46. As am I.
Edited on Tue Oct-31-06 01:26 AM by beam me up scottie
But ignoring the fact that he is at times irrational and illiberal would be illogical.

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Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #46
47. I have yet to see him state anything...
that is irrational or illiberal.

I think sometimes he is far from "PC" which some may feel is illiberal but definitely never heard or read anything irrational or illogical.

I haven't read his latest book yet, but I did read End of Faith and all his articles.

Do you have an example of a case in point?
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #47
48. Stating that fascists get it right about Muslims
While neglecting it's not exactly fundy-ism they're against -- their rhetoric is purely racist. Also, many of them would welcome a Christian equivalent of Sharia, which is nearly impossible thanks to scientific progress and enlightenment -- NOT to the Christian religion.

If he made that clear, I'd agree with him 100%.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #47
49. Yes, his position on torture.
I consider condoning torture for ANY reason to be illiberal.
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jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #49
50. i agree with what he and Dawkins say about religious moderates
Edited on Tue Oct-31-06 07:35 PM by jonnyblitz
which i know pisses many off here. I also learned that the New testament DOES NOT make null and void the Old Testament like many religious liberals have told me to shut me up about the bible advocating that gays should be executed and that women are basically unworthy pieces of shit. Harris points to bible verses in the new testament that apparently refute this claim and that Jesus is not always about peace and love in his new book that i have started to read. (it's essentially a pamphlet)

I believe religious liberals cherry pick the bible worse than the fundies do since so much of the bible is just plain nasty as hell. :shrug:
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #50
53. As do I.
Some of them also see nothing wrong with taking Harris' and Dawkins' statements out of context and misrepresenting their views.

In this forum, according to some people, anyone who agrees with anything Sam Harris says worships him.

If I remember correctly, we were called "swooning fanboys".
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #47
54. Sam Harris article entitled "Head-in-the-Sand Liberals"
He sounds like a right-wing crank.
Long thread about it: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #54
55. You'll notice, in that thread, Finder is the one defending Harris from his DU hate club.
Edited on Tue Oct-31-06 09:54 PM by beam me up scottie
And Harris isn't the one who comes off like a right wing crank.

That would be the person who says "I don't know that much about him." and then goes on to accuse him of being an anti-liberal neo-con who supports Bush.


All because he criticized liberals.


The person who attacked everyone who disagreed with her, accused them of being illiberal, and went on to claim we worship Sam Harris because we agreed with some of what he wrote sounds like a right wing crank to me.
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #55
56. Start here and follow the sub-thread backwards
Here's where Finder apologizes,
I don't know what happened between that post and today,
apparently he forgot.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #56
57. Are you kidding? She apologized for being wrong about the PLFP.
It had nothing to do with Harris.
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #57
58. Black September, Fatah, PFLP, and Abu Nidal
Edited on Tue Oct-31-06 11:10 PM by bananas
Finder could find no such statement by any of these organizations.

The Deacon (899 posts) Tue Sep-19-06 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. Back at you
Show one statement by Black September, Fatah, PFLP or the Abu Nidal Organization that could be labelled "Islamic" let alone "Islamist."
(BTW - I was a member of that "World Revolution" so I DO know a little bit about it.)


Finder (1000+ posts) Tue Sep-19-06 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. I have to apologize and thank you...
what a fascinating part of the I/P conflict I was not aware of. (PLFP)


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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #58
59. No shit. What does that have to do with Finder defending Harris?
Harris never commented on that issue, it's irrelevant, as is your point, whatever it was.
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-01-06 02:07 AM
Response to Reply #59
60. "Head-in-the-Sand Liberals" was all about "that issue"
Deacon provided several specific counter-examples to Sammies bullshit,
Finder tried unsuccessfully to defend Harris based on mistaken assumptions and apologized for it.

Deacons counter-examples still stand, and Sammie is still full of shit.

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Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-01-06 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #60
62. No, no, no...
I did not apologize for defending Sam, I apologized to the other poster on a separate issue about a specific group. Is that not what these discussions are for--to learn and share with each other.


As far as Sam's support for torture, he presented a logical scenario where most would agree torture was acceptable. He was not advocating making torture legal. Hillary recently said something similar and got the same response.

Torture should not be legal or allowed to be defined by the executive branch. In the most extreme of situations it may be warranted but we do not make laws with the most extreme situation in mind.

I am sure Sam, Hillary and many other liberals(including myself)are not supporting torture as policy.


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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-01-06 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #62
63. Let me clarify
Let me clarify - when I wrote:
Finder tried unsuccessfully to defend Harris based on mistaken assumptions and apologized for it
I meant that you apologized for the mistaken assumptions (re: PFLP),
not for defending Harris.

Deacon's point from post #12 remained:
Would he have to admit that there might be some "objective reality" outside of religion which is driving the hatred of Westerners in the Middle East?

And Deacon's point is that comments like this from Harris are illiberal and irrational:

This may seem like frank acquiescence to the charge that "liberals are soft on terrorism." It is, and they are.
A cult of death is forming in the Muslim world — for reasons that are perfectly explicable in terms of the Islamic doctrines of martyrdom and jihad. The truth is that we are not fighting a "war on terror." We are fighting a pestilential theology and a longing for paradise.


Harris states quite explicitly that terrorism is "perfectly explicable" by religious beliefs - "objective reality" has nothing to do with it. That's irrational and illiberal. Harris states quite explicitly that "liberals are soft on terrorism". That's irrational and illiberal. And that's the basis of my reply to this post of yours: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...


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Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-01-06 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #58
61. You see, when I am wrong, I admit it...
what point are you trying to make?
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