Sam Harris post-mortem on the Bill Mahar show which created a twitter-storm.

I reluctantly posted the clip of the segment when it first came out because pretty much everyone I knew sent me a link to it. Personally I found it painful to watch. In fact I don’t even recall if I ever made it to the end of the clip. I respect Sam Harris and more recently, Bill Mahar to a degree as he seems to be ready to leverage his position as a high earning star of the left leaning celebrity strata to reveal a little truth about Islam.

There has been several articles I have seen on it but none worth posting till this one by Sam Harris himself. Please click over and read it. Ill put the clip below as a reminder of the event.

Atheist defends critical focus on Islam

Thank god some atheists are clever enough to recognize that because several beliefs may be equally untrue, they are not necessarily equally damaging. Sam Harris has made this point before and in many ways, my favorite being, “The problem with Islamic fundamentalism is the fundamentals of Islam”.

Here he does it again. H/T EDL Buck and others.

Independent:

Sam Harris, the prominent atheist, has hit back at charges of Islamophobia levelled by fellow non-believers – insisting that some faiths are more “mistaken” than others.

In a lengthy riposte posted on his website, Harris maintains that some religions, including Islam, deserve closer scrutiny because they pose a greater threat.

The American author was responding to two articles, on the Salon.com and Al Jazeera websites, reported in The Independent on Saturday, accusing him of becoming openly Islamophobic rather than equally critical of all faiths.

Harris says in his response: “Not all religious doctrines are mistaken to the same degree, intellectually or ethically, and it would be dishonest and ultimately dangerous to pretend otherwise. For instance, a dogmatic belief in the spiritual and ethical necessity of complete nonviolence lies at the very core of Jainism, whereas an equally dogmatic commitment to using violence to defend one’s faith, both from within and without, is similarly central to the doctrine of Islam.”

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Sam Harris on guns and gun control

First of all, it should be pointed out that Sam Harris, probably one of the very first academics to openly point out the obvious dangers of Islam as an ideology and more importantly the fact that Islam as an ideology is the driver of horror around the world specifically, as a contrast to other religious ideologies.

Also Mr. Harris, who’s very interesting book, ‘End of Faith’ was one of the books that made Sam Harris one of the holy trinity of people responsible for the popularization of atheism along with Christopher Hitchens (RIP) and Richard Dawkins, probably the greatest writer on evolutionary theory ever.

This foreword does not mean to imply that anyone needs agree with these POV’s, only setting credentials. Sam Harris is a very interesting man and his lectures are always worthy food for thought in my opinion. Here is noted atheist Sam Harris speaking about pastor Terry jones where he clearly states that whatever else Mr. Jones may be, he is right about Islam.

From Sam Harris.Org

The Blog

EthicsSelf-DefenseViolence | January 2, 2013

The Riddle of the Gun

gun

(Photo by Zorin Denu)

Fantasists and zealots can be found on both sides of the debate over guns in America. On the one hand, many gun-rights advocates reject even the most sensible restrictions on the sale of weapons to the public. On the other, proponents of stricter gun laws often seem unable to understand why a good person would ever want ready access to a loaded firearm. Between these two extremes we must find grounds for a rational discussion about the problem of gun violence.

Unlike most Americans, I stand on both sides of this debate. I understand the apprehension that many people feel toward “gun culture,” and I share their outrage over the political influence of the National Rifle Association. How is it that we live in a society in which one of the most compelling interests is gun ownership? Where is the science lobby? The safe food lobby? Where is the get-the-Chinese-lead-paint-out-of-our-kids’-toys lobby? When viewed from any other civilized society on earth, the primacy of guns in American life seems to be a symptom of collective psychosis.

Most of my friends do not own guns and never will. When asked to consider the possibility of keeping firearms for protection, they worry that the mere presence of them in their homes would put themselves and their families in danger. Can’t a gun go off by accident? Wouldn’t it be more likely to be used against them in an altercation with a criminal? I am surrounded by otherwise intelligent people who imagine that the ability to dial 911 is all the protection against violence a sane person ever needs.

But, unlike my friends, I own several guns and train with them regularly. Every month or two, I spend a full day shooting with a highly qualified instructor. This is an expensive and time-consuming habit, but I view it as part of my responsibility as a gun owner. It is true that my work as a writer has added to my security concerns somewhat, but my involvement with guns goes back decades. I have always wanted to be able to protect myself and my family, and I have never had any illusions about how quickly the police can respond when called. I have expressed my views on self-defense elsewhere. Suffice it to say, if a person enters your home for the purpose of harming you, you cannot reasonably expect the police to arrive in time to stop him. This is not the fault of the police—it is a problem of physics.

 

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Sam Harris: On the Freedom to Offend an Imaginary God

The latest wave of Muslim hysteria and violence has now spread to over twenty countries. The walls of our embassies and consulates have been breached, their precincts abandoned to triumphant mobs, and many people have been murdered—all in response to an unwatchable Internet video titled “Innocence of Muslims.” Whether over a film, a cartoon, a novel, a beauty pageant, or an inauspiciously named teddy bear, the coming eruption of pious rage is now as predictable as the dawn. This is already an old and boring story about old, boring, and deadly ideas. And I fear it will be with us for the rest of our lives.

Our panic and moral confusion were at first sublimated in attacks upon the hapless Governor Romney. I am no fan of Romney’s, and I would find the prospect of his presidency risible if it were not so depressing, but he did accurately detect the first bleats of fear in the Obama administration’s reaction to this crisis. Romney got the timing of events wrong—confusing, as many did, a statement made by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo for an official government response to the murder of Americans in Libya. But the truth is that the White House struck the same note of apology, disavowing the offending speech while claiming to protect free speech in principle. It may seem a small detail, given the heat of the moment—but so is a quivering lip.

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Here is Mr. Harris speaking on similar matters.