Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Holy War

Today's Daily Banter column is a bit of a monster. It's pegged off of an e-mail exchange between Sam Harris and Glenn Greenwald.

Here's the opening shot:

"I'm a fan of Sam Harris. A very big fan, in fact, despite not agreeing with him across the board. His 2004 book, 'The End of Faith,' is just about the seminal guide to refuting faith-based religion through bulletproof fact and near-flawless argumentation. If you're an atheist, it's basically, well, your Bible. Harris prides himself on his intellect and on an absolute reliance on reason, which means that he's a formidable foe to debate simply because his logic is generally made of concrete and titanium. I admit that while Harris himself dislikes having to constantly defend himself against the same ridiculous attacks on his beliefs over and over again -- typically from those who either misunderstand statements he's made perfectly clear or who feel like they need to purposely twist his arguments to serve their own ends -- I enjoy watching him rip those who go up against him to shreds. He does it with such confidence but, provided the adversary in question isn't just being an asshole, with such respect that it makes you glad people like him exist to act as intellectual super heroes when our culture needs them.

One of the more ludicrous accusations that's been leveled at Sam Harris throughout the years has to do with his supposed tendency toward 'Islamophobia.' As with his contemporaries in the "new atheist" movement, people like Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens, Harris believes that radical Islam represents an especially insidious and dangerous form of faith simply because it often manifests itself in physical violence aimed at both non-believers and believers alike. It may be politically incorrect to say that Islam is the most pervasive and immediate religious threat our world is facing at this moment in its history, but it's not necessarily factually incorrect."

Read the Rest Here

1 comment:

JohnF said...

My God...

Every time I read Greenwald's writings I hear Maiden's "Can I Play With Madness" in my head.