A great Sam Harris article I found which is useful for debating thiests
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02-04-2013, 01:48 PM
A great Sam Harris article I found which is useful for debating thiests
I found this article online. It is well written as you would expect from someone like Sam Harris. It has some well written and constructed points you could potentially use to debate thiests.

http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php...arris_26_4

For example, you could paraphrase the following to attempt to show a thiest how we and other religions view thier faith.

"I can give you a very clear sense of what it feels like to be an atheist. Consider: every devout Muslim has the same reasons for being a Muslim that you now have for being a Christian. And yet, you know exactly what it is like not to find these reasons compelling. On virtually every page, the Qur'an declares that it is the perfect word of the Creator of the universe. Muslims believe this as fully as you believe the Bible's account of itself. There is a vast literature describing the life of Muhammad that, from the Muslim point of view, proves his unique status as the Prophet of God. While Muhammad did not claim to be divine, he claimed to offer the most perfect revelation of God's will. He also assured his followers that Jesus was not divine (Qur'an 5:71-75; 19:30-38) and that anyone who believed otherwise would spend eternity in hell. Muslims are convinced that Muhammad's pronouncements on these subjects, as on all others, are infallible.
Why don't you find these claims convincing? Why don't you lose any sleep over whether or not you should convert to Islam? Please take a moment to reflect on this. You know exactly what it is like to be an atheist with respect to Islam. Isn't it obvious that Muslims are not being honest in their evaluation of the evidence? Isn't it obvious that anyone who thinks that the Qur'an is the perfect word of the Creator of the universe has not read the book very critically? Isn't it obvious that Muslims have developed a mode of discourse that seeks to preserve dogma, generation after generation, rather than question it? Yes, these things are obvious. Understand that the way you view Islam is precisely the way every Muslim views Christianity. And it is the way I view all religions."

"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth." - Henry David Thoreau
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02-04-2013, 02:20 PM
RE: A great Sam Harris article I found which is useful for debating thiests
(02-04-2013 01:48 PM)TheLogicalAthiest Wrote:  I found this article online. It is well written as you would expect from someone like Sam Harris. It has some well written and constructed points you could potentially use to debate thiests.

http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php...arris_26_4

For example, you could paraphrase the following to attempt to show a thiest how we and other religions view thier faith.

"I can give you a very clear sense of what it feels like to be an atheist. Consider: every devout Muslim has the same reasons for being a Muslim that you now have for being a Christian. And yet, you know exactly what it is like not to find these reasons compelling. On virtually every page, the Qur'an declares that it is the perfect word of the Creator of the universe. Muslims believe this as fully as you believe the Bible's account of itself. There is a vast literature describing the life of Muhammad that, from the Muslim point of view, proves his unique status as the Prophet of God. While Muhammad did not claim to be divine, he claimed to offer the most perfect revelation of God's will. He also assured his followers that Jesus was not divine (Qur'an 5:71-75; 19:30-38) and that anyone who believed otherwise would spend eternity in hell. Muslims are convinced that Muhammad's pronouncements on these subjects, as on all others, are infallible.
Why don't you find these claims convincing? Why don't you lose any sleep over whether or not you should convert to Islam? Please take a moment to reflect on this. You know exactly what it is like to be an atheist with respect to Islam. Isn't it obvious that Muslims are not being honest in their evaluation of the evidence? Isn't it obvious that anyone who thinks that the Qur'an is the perfect word of the Creator of the universe has not read the book very critically? Isn't it obvious that Muslims have developed a mode of discourse that seeks to preserve dogma, generation after generation, rather than question it? Yes, these things are obvious. Understand that the way you view Islam is precisely the way every Muslim views Christianity. And it is the way I view all religions."

I think more than anyone, Sam Harris reflects my views on religion. From time to time I have watched him on YouTube videos and he is critical of religious beliefs in general, but Islam in particular because he thinks it presents more global danger than any other major religion. But in his lectures he comes off as intellectual rather than hostile. I think it is because he is critical of religious tenets rather than the religious people.

Unfortunately, I think Sam Harris has somewhat moved on from his religious interests and has gotten into other areas, such as the alleged illusion of free will.
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02-04-2013, 02:30 PM (This post was last modified: 02-04-2013 02:48 PM by DeavonReye.)
RE: A great Sam Harris article I found which is useful for debating thiests
There is a lot of truth to that. . . . . however, if you were to bring that up to a christian apologist, . . . they will tell you, straight up, that the muslims are wrong, following a false god, and are influenced by satan. Then, they will talk about all the "prophesies that Jesus fulfilled", . . . and believe it quite firmly. "The odds of one man fulfilling all these is impossible, . . . " yadda yadda yadda

Of course, I don't have to go into any discourses on why those "prophesies" are invalid, . . . . but to the christian, they are like the glue that holds their faith together.
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02-04-2013, 02:37 PM
RE: A great Sam Harris article I found which is useful for debating thiests
I have personally used this exact argument. As obvious as it is to you and me, it had no effect on the theists to whom I've presented it. Of course these Christians just simply know the Quran is wrong and the bible is correct and they just simply know that I'm rejecting Christ because, if I stop rejecting him, then I'll know the bible is true, too.

I've never seen anyone get past that blank wall of "I just know it because I know it" until they are ready to tear down that wall themselves.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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02-04-2013, 02:45 PM
A great Sam Harris article I found which is useful for debating thiests
(02-04-2013 02:37 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  I have personally used this exact argument. As obvious as it is to you and me, it had no effect on the theists to whom I've presented it. Of course these Christians just simply know the Quran is wrong and the bible is correct and they just simply know that I'm rejecting Christ because, if I stop rejecting him, then I'll know the bible is true, too.

I've never seen anyone get past that blank wall of "I just know it because I know it" until they are ready to tear down that wall themselves.

This was the outcome I would have expected from presenting this to Christians (not theists in general).

Perhaps it's because they only "know" what they've been told.
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