Sam Harris Peddles ze Straw Men
Religion tells us that sin is what justifies eternal punishment in the next life…this is, to my mind, the mother of all cultural war issues. This is where science really pulls the keystone out of religion.
If you recall the general picture, we’ve all inherited original sin because Adam and Eve misused their free will. And then for eons, God gave us no guidance whatsoever. And then he wrote a few uneven books that were filled with rumors of ancient miracles.
And then he holds us responsible for the slightest doubt we have about his existence on the basis of these books — though he has stacked the deck against us by giving us a faculty of reason and strangely, an ability to write better books than the ones he has supposedly written.
— Sam Harris, author of The End Of Faith and Letters To A Christian Nation.
(Although Sam must’ve said this particular tripe years ago, I just encountered it now — from nowhere else but Facebook, of all places. Of course, I’ve been able to read all sorts of garbage from Sam for many years now, so not that it matters.)
Although much can be said about it, let’s overlook for now, to keep ourselves from breaking out in hearty guffaws, Sam’s implication that his books are better than the bible.
The above quotation is a clear example of how far removed Sam Harris is from that which he continually devotes his attention to attacking. He peddles these strawmen of religion, waxes incredulous about how ridiculous they are, then he, as if he hasn’t shown enough dim wittery on the matter just yet, self-aggrandizingly calls himself a “bright” after so doing. Priding himself in his ‘reason’, however, is the big irony here that will unfortunately be lost on him as he keeps epically failing to see how understanding religion (Christianity in particular) is a requisite to having credibility in whatever offensive you’re mounting against it.
Sam, in this instance — in every instance he goes on about religion, actually — gets the Sunday school version and says “Oh! Look how silly that is!”
Of course it’s silly, Sam — almost anything will be once you oversimplify it in the way you have.
You know what else is silly, though?
You — that anyone is still actually listening to you.
Especially after you’ve, uh, rather moronically, suggested this in your book about people of religion: “Some beliefs are so dangerous that it may be ethical to kill people for believing them”.
Now that is silly.
You are aware that, using your logic, it would be entirely in keeping with your own ethical standards to kill you for believing it would be ethical to kill others for their belief, right? Right.