Is Sam Harris a scientist?
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10-03-2017, 12:11 PM
RE: Is Sam Harris a scientist?
(10-03-2017 11:46 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  He's got a degree in Philosophy from Stanford.

So what?

And Martin Heidegger was the rector of the university in Freiburg and a member of the NSDAP.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Hei...and_Nazism
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10-03-2017, 12:14 PM
RE: Is Sam Harris a scientist?
I've found him very convincing in most debates. I don't agree with everything he has to say, but he is excellent at taking theists to pieces. He's a good ambassador for rational thought.

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10-03-2017, 12:26 PM
RE: Is Sam Harris a scientist?
(10-03-2017 12:11 PM)Billanja Wrote:  
(10-03-2017 11:46 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  He's got a degree in Philosophy from Stanford.

So what?

And Martin Heidegger was the rector of the university in Freiburg and a member of the NSDAP.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Hei...and_Nazism
So? That doesn't take away or mean his notions of thought and existence really is defined by

So what is the topic Harris is unqualified to talk about that he does so dishonestly according to you?

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10-03-2017, 12:31 PM
RE: Is Sam Harris a scientist?
(10-03-2017 12:14 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  I've found him very convincing in most debates. I don't agree with everything he has to say, but he is excellent at taking theists to pieces. He's a good ambassador for rational thought.

Can you define what "rational thought" means?
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10-03-2017, 12:45 PM
RE: Is Sam Harris a scientist?
(10-03-2017 12:26 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  So? That doesn't take away or mean his notions of thought and existence really is defined by

So what is the topic Harris is unqualified to talk about that he does so dishonestly according to you?

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What I have an issue with, regarding Sam Harris, is that he (indircetely) proclaims that his thoughts are "rational" and "reasonable" thoughts and not just (mere) opinions.

He also thinks that Noam Chomsky's take on us-american forgain policy isn't as accurate as his is, although Noam Chomsky is a well known expert regarding that topic. He even goes so far to throw what he calls "the liberal left" completely out of the window. Like as if they are not even worthy to have a conversation with. That I call arrogance.

Furthermore, I think that Sam Harris is merely expressing his opinon but trys to sell his opinion as being more rational and reasonable than those of others. I'm not denying that some folks express obviously irrational opinions. But I'm not so sure Sam Harris isn't one of them.
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10-03-2017, 12:55 PM
RE: Is Sam Harris a scientist?
Sounding convincing as a public speaker and being convincing when writing a scientific paper are two very different skill sets. The latter is much harder to pull off because the reader has much longer to think about what you are saying, consider other alternatives and re-visit certain assumptions.

When a convincing public speaker starts talking with seeming authority about a subject that you know very well and you recognise that he has no real knowledge or understanding, it should make you reconsider what else he has said. Unfortunately most people just think that the speaker has a particular blind spot about the subject.

I don't know if Harris is intellectually dishonest, but I do know that he has no understanding or expertise in artificial intelligence when he has been warning about it, while making very naive assumptions.
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10-03-2017, 12:58 PM
RE: Is Sam Harris a scientist?
(10-03-2017 12:55 PM)Mathilda Wrote:  ... I do know that he has no understanding or expertise in artificial intelligence when he has been warning about it, while making very naive assumptions.

Stephen Hawking has expressed similar warnings though he's not an AI specialist. Is he, too, making naive assumptions? Source: Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end mankind
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10-03-2017, 01:10 PM
RE: Is Sam Harris a scientist?
(10-03-2017 12:31 PM)Billanja Wrote:  
(10-03-2017 12:14 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  I've found him very convincing in most debates. I don't agree with everything he has to say, but he is excellent at taking theists to pieces. He's a good ambassador for rational thought.

Can you define what "rational thought" means?

I'd say it's using logic and evidence to come to well-supported conclusions.

When tackling theism, he is very good at this I feel. Anyone can take it on, as theism is inherently irrational. But some people are better at getting points across than others.

Of course, not everyone will agree on what is and isn't rational, and not many people would label themselves as irrational. That's why the scientific method is so important when studying the facts about reality. It attempts to remove all personal biases.

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10-03-2017, 01:18 PM
RE: Is Sam Harris a scientist?
(10-03-2017 12:58 PM)Heath_Tierney Wrote:  
(10-03-2017 12:55 PM)Mathilda Wrote:  ... I do know that he has no understanding or expertise in artificial intelligence when he has been warning about it, while making very naive assumptions.

Stephen Hawking has expressed similar warnings though he's not an AI specialist. Is he, too, making naive assumptions? Source: Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end mankind

Yes.
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10-03-2017, 01:20 PM
RE: Is Sam Harris a scientist?
One thing I completely disagree with Harris on is his whole "moral landscape" thing, and the idea that science can tell us about morality. I think that's total garbage. Science can help us achieve our goals once we have decided what is and isn't morally desirable, but it can't set those goals for us.

That was a while ago though so I don't know if he's updated his stance on that.

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