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Wow, Sam Harris is kind of a warmonger, eh?

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LAGC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 05:11 AM
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Wow, Sam Harris is kind of a warmonger, eh?
Edited on Thu Nov-24-11 05:13 AM by LAGC
I really enjoyed his most recent book (The Moral Landscape), so I decided to check out his first book (The End of Faith) as well.

I find myself flabbergasted barely into Chapter 2, where he writes:

Some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them... There is, in fact, no talking to some people. If they cannot be captured, and they often cannot, otherwise tolerant people may be justified in killing them in self-defense. This is what the United States attempted in Afghanistan, and it is what we and other Western powers are bound to attempt, at an even greater cost to ourselves and to innocents abroad, elsewhere in the Muslim world. We will continue to spill blood in what is, at bottom, a war of ideas."


Really? And here I thought the main cause of Muslim extremist violence was largely blow-back from the United States' own meddling in their affairs over there. I mean, it's not like 9/11 happened in a vacuum. Those hijackers (who were mostly Saudis, not Afghanis, by the way) didn't just out of the blue say: "Oh yeah, the Qur'an says we need to suddenly kill a bunch of innocent civilians in the United States." There were concrete actions by the U.S. in maintaining a foreign military presence in Saudi Arabia, in its blind support of Israel's policies, etc. that caused them to not only re-interpret their holy book, but actually act out on it in the way they did.

Bottom line is: I don't think we're going to be able to change many minds over there by imposing puppet regimes on them. It only plays into their "persecution complex" and makes them double-down on their extremist readings of their preferred holy book. Then it just becomes a glorified game of "whac-a-mole": kill a few "terrorists" here, watch more pop up elsewhere.

You fight bad ideas with good ideas and leading by example, not by simply killing those you disagree with. At least not if you want to win people over.

Am I being too critical here?
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 03:38 PM
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1. Both Sam Harris AND Christopher Hitchens were CHEERLEADERS for our attack of Iraq.
Total hawks.

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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 06:26 PM
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2. Unfortunately he is
But as we've often said, the only thing atheists agree on is that they don't believe in gods. Unfortunately that means we're going to have the occasional warmonger and other nutjob in our ranks.
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onager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 09:34 AM
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4. Yep. Here's a neat statement...
From the SKP Freethinkers.

"SKP" = "escapee." These folks are a freethought sub-set of an RV (recreational vehicle) club. Which I thought was pretty cool - WE ARE LEGION!11!

This should probably be tattooed on some foreheads over in the R/T group...

freethought is a philosophical, not a political, position. Freethought today embraces adherents of virtually all political persuasions, including capitalists, libertarians, socialists, communists, Republicans, Democrats, liberals and conservatives. There is no connection, for example, between atheism and communism

http://skpfreethinkers.com /
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Lost-in-FL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 12:18 AM
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3. The End of Faith? That was some angry reading.
I never managed to finish the book for that reason. Hitchens is more mellow if you ask me.
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 02:01 PM
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5. You are both right, yes blow-back is the proximate cause, but there is also long history
Edited on Fri Nov-25-11 02:06 PM by Exultant Democracy
of a "war of ideals" as he puts it that even predates the more recent bad feelings caused by western imperialism.

edit to add: of course I'm not on board with his warmongering he is wrong about that.
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