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Sam Harris - Believing Reason - Aspen Ideas Festival
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Sam Harris' full lecture at the Aspen Ideas Festival in July of 2007. Recorded by AIF 2007. While I don't view Mr. Harris as a decent debator, his lectures are, to me, very easy to follow and enjoyable. The only issue I have with Sam is his statement that 9/11 was pulled-off by 19 hijackers. To me, either he hasn't seen the counter-evidence, or he is just saying what he thinks the audience believes so as to make a point. That I don't don't think he would say such a thing for the latter reason, the former reason seems more applicable.
" [He is a well-known contemporary critic of religion, along with evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, philosopher Daniel Dennett, physicists Lawrence Krauss and Victor Stenger, as well as writer Christopher Hitchens. Being a member of the New Atheism movement, Harris also calls for separation of church and state, civil rights for the non-religious as well as freedom to criticize religion. Being a writer, Harris has also written numerous articles in Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Newsweek as well as in scientific journals such as Nature. He has written articles on Islam, Christianity, and religion in general.
Harris's basic message is that the time has come to freely question the idea of religious faith.p. 13--15 He feels that the survival of civilization is in danger because of a taboo against questioning religious beliefs. Harris specifically attacks Islam and Christianity, characterizing them as much more dangerous than Jainism. He also believes that a "conversational taboo" exists against criticizing religion, and that this taboo impedes progress toward more enlightened approaches to spirituality and ethics.
While often defined as an atheist, Harris asserts that the term is not necessary. His position is that "atheism" is not a worldview or a philosophy, but the "destruction of bad ideas." He states that religion is especially rife with bad ideas, calling it "one of the most perverse misuses of intelligence we have ever devised." He compares modern religious beliefs to the myths of the Ancient Greeks, which were once accepted as fact but which are obsolete today. In a January 2007 interview with PBS, Harris said, "We don't have a word for not believing in Zeus, which is to say we are all atheists in respect to Zeus. And we don't have a word for not being an astrologer." He goes on to say that the term will be retired only when "we all just achieve a level of intellectual honesty where we are no longer going to pretend to be certain about things we are not certain about." ] "
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