Sam Harris--The End of Liberalism?
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21-04-2013, 05:27 PM
RE: Sam Harris--The End of Liberalism?
(20-04-2013 11:12 PM)BryanS Wrote:  Bill Mahr gets it.




There are multiple different things going on here.

The problem with Bill's argument (logically) and Sam's, if he is making the same one, is, to simply it, reification-- he is talking about Islam as if there is this monster named Islam that is running around blowing people up for not believing in it, and not like there are groups of people, in parts of the world that are backwards as fuck politically, structurally, socially, etc., which is the case.

Now, if he wanted to make the argument, which I'll assume he would try to make, if he actually wanted to argue correctly, thinking and not just jump to random ideologically, subjective conclusions, that Islam has elements in the text, ideological interpretations, that with regard to encouraging violence, specifically, and especially in the world today, that are dangerous, that would be a more serious contention.

You do have to take into account the fact that there are people involved here, and not machines that are programmed to Islam. The people can ignore all of the bad shit, pretending that they really never did believe any of that, nor did they carry out any horrendously immoral acts, with that interpretation and/or ideology, in the past, just like the vast majority of Christians did in the West, years after the foundation of secular governments and building of liberal ideas, governments, structure, within their societies, and many do with Islam, in many parts of the world.

To my next point, you still can't expect those same Christians to quit pushing their ideology/religion, using it as an aid in destroying and hampering progress within our societies, within the limits of the extent of liberal ideas within society. So, if any one expects me to be a hypocrite, just because they fear death, a lot more than other consequences of other forms of irrationality and immorality, don't expect me to come down to your level.

You can say (or make the argument) that Islam didn't allow for an enlightenment, maybe because of stronger textual influence in opposition, or say whatever you want about no excuses to the surrounding circumstances/recent history, etc. Even accepting that, the fact still remains that the West did have an enlightenment, and we do have political, governmental structure, prevalent liberal ideals in our society, not there in Islamic countries, and in the West, that is the result of revolutions, a lot of blood shed, years of oppression and sacrifice, lost progress, etc., in order to reach that point.

Islamic countries are relatively in a different spot, without the societal means, in certain regions of the world, that a country like the US has in place. If you want me to say that I am willing to step in, at whatever point there is a revolution (a legitimate revolution), by people in a society to change it, I will support an effort to export our form of government to any place in the world.

However, I expect no hypocrisy in return. The situation in America, because of religion in America, is the same, taking into account the relative differences, regarding societal advancement over time especially, and that might even make America worse.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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21-04-2013, 08:21 PM
RE: Sam Harris--The End of Liberalism?
(21-04-2013 05:27 PM)TrulyX Wrote:  
(20-04-2013 11:12 PM)BryanS Wrote:  Bill Mahr gets it.




There are multiple different things going on here.

The problem with Bill's argument (logically) and Sam's, if he is making the same one, is, to simply it, reification-- he is talking about Islam as if there is this monster named Islam that is running around blowing people up for not believing in it, and not like there are groups of people, in parts of the world that are backwards as fuck politically, structurally, socially, etc., which is the case.

Now, if he wanted to make the argument, which I'll assume he would try to make, if he actually wanted to argue correctly, thinking and not just jump to random ideologically, subjective conclusions, that Islam has elements in the text, ideological interpretations, that with regard to encouraging violence, specifically, and especially in the world today, that are dangerous, that would be a more serious contention.

Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Dawkins have all made the argument explicitly--that it is the religion itself and the tenets as commonly held and written in the Koran that provide the justification for monstrous behavior. All would say that it is in spite of the religion that most Muslims are not the monsters that wage global jihad. Maher's guest tried to tie him to right wing nutter Pam Geller and call him a hater. Maher is responding to this knee jerk attack of calling him an Islamophobe in a brief talk show format.

Quote:You do have to take into account the fact that there are people involved here, and not machines that are programmed to Islam. The people can ignore all of the bad shit, pretending that they really never did believe any of that, nor did they carry out any horrendously immoral acts, with that interpretation and/or ideology, in the past, just like the vast majority of Christians did in the West, years after the foundation of secular governments and building of liberal ideas, governments, structure, within their societies, and many do with Islam, in many parts of the world.

To my next point, you still can't expect those same Christians to quit pushing their ideology/religion, using it as an aid in destroying and hampering progress within our societies, within the limits of the extent of liberal ideas within society. So, if any one expects me to be a hypocrite, just because they fear death, a lot more than other consequences of other forms of irrationality and immorality, don't expect me to come down to your level.

You can say (or make the argument) that Islam didn't allow for an enlightenment, maybe because of stronger textual influence in opposition, or say whatever you want about no excuses to the surrounding circumstances/recent history, etc. Even accepting that, the fact still remains that the West did have an enlightenment, and we do have political, governmental structure, prevalent liberal ideals in our society, not there in Islamic countries, and in the West, that is the result of revolutions, a lot of blood shed, years of oppression and sacrifice, lost progress, etc., in order to reach that point.

Yes, yes, very nice. Islam has not had a reformation. We all agree Christianity had similar behavior in the past and Christendom shed a lot of blood moving past that. But let's not pretend then that this is a good excuse to tolerate the same from Islam today.


Quote:Islamic countries are relatively in a different spot, without the societal means, in certain regions of the world, that a country like the US has in place. If you want me to say that I am willing to step in, at whatever point there is a revolution (a legitimate revolution), by people in a society to change it, I will support an effort to export our form of government to any place in the world.

However, I expect no hypocrisy in return. The situation in America, because of religion in America, is the same, taking into account the relative differences, regarding societal advancement over time especially, and that might even make America worse.

No, the situation in America is definitely NOT the same. The problem with this kind of thinking is that it ignores the real differences and problems in the Islamic world.

We do not execute people for being gay, we do not force women to wear burkas and restrictive garments or blow up schools for women to keep them uneducated, we do not condone honor killings, we do not round up youths and forcibly shave their heads and beat them for their appearance, we do not have morality police harass the public, we do not appeal to religious courts as the ultimate authority in our legal system, we do not condone killing people for converting their religion, and we do not condone issuing death threats for insulting religion.

I could go on, but if you really think that is exactly the same as religious extremists in other religions in the West, you really have lost perspective.
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21-04-2013, 08:47 PM
RE: Sam Harris--The End of Liberalism?
And, TrulyX, it is not true that the Islamic world has always been so backward. If anything, their religion was responsible for their civilizations exit of their golden age. Let Neil deGrasse Tyson explain it to you:


The Effect of Islam on Science in the Middle East - 9th-12th Century


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21-04-2013, 11:00 PM (This post was last modified: 21-04-2013 11:11 PM by BryanS.)
RE: Sam Harris--The End of Liberalism?
Here is an example of just what Sam means when he criticizes willful blindness by the left. Feel free to view the debate between Craig and Harris here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqaHXKLRKzg

But I'm going to take from a transcript here:
http://www.mandm.org.nz/2011/05/transcri...80%9D.html


She said, “How could you ever say that forcing women to wear burqas is wrong from the point of view of science?” I said, “Well, because I think it’s pretty clear that right and wrong relate to human well-being, and it’s just as clear that forcing half the population to live in cloth bags and beating them, or killing them when they try to get out, is not a way of maximizing human well-being.”

And she said, “Well, that’s just your opinion.” And I said, “Well, okay, let’s make it even easier. Let’s say we found a culture that was literally removing the eyeballs of every third child, ok, at birth. Would you then agree that we have found a culture that is not perfectly maximizing well-being?”

And she said, “It would depend on why they were doing it.” So after my eyebrows returned from the back of my head, I said, “Okay, well say they were doing it for religious reasons. Let’s say they have a scripture which says, ‘Every third should walk in darkness.’ or some such nonsense.” And then she said, “Well, then you could never say that they were wrong.” Okay, and so I, I—you should know, I was talking to someone who has a deep background in science and philosophy. She’s actually since been appointed to the President’s Council on Bioethics. She’s one of thirteen people advising the President on the ethical implications of advances in medicine and, and uh, related sciences and technology, and she had just delivered a perfectly lucid lecture on the moral implications of neuroscience for the courts. And she was especially concerned that we could be subjecting captured terrorists to lie-detection neuro-imaging technology–—and she viewed this as, as really an unconscionable violation of cognitive liberty. So on the one hand, her moral scruples were very finely calibrated to recoil from the slightest perceived misstep in ethical terms in our War on Terror; and yet she was quite willing to forgive some primitive culture its fondness for removing the eyeballs of children in its religious rituals. And she seemed to me quite terrifyingly detached from the real suffering of millions of women in Afghanistan at this moment. So, I see this double standard as a problem.

Now, the Taliban are still my favorite example, of a culture that is struggling mightily to build a society that’s clearly less good than many other societies on offer. Ok, the average lifespan for women in Afghanistan is 44 years. Ok, they have a 12% literacy rate. They have the highest, almost the highest infant mortality and maternal mortality in the world—–and also almost the highest fertility—–so this is one of the best places on Earth to watch women and infants die. Ok, it seems to me perfectly obvious that the, the best response to this dire situation—–which is to say the most moral response—–is not to throw battery acid in the faces of little girls for the crime of learning to read. Now of course, this is common sense to us, unless you happen to be a bioethicist on the President’s commission at this moment. But I’m saying, at bottom, it is also, these are also truths about biology, and neurology, and psychology, and sociology, and economics. It is not unscientific to say that the Taliban are wrong about morality, that the moment we notice that we know anything at all about human well-being, we have to say this.



This moral equivalence through non-judgment of religion is precisely what Harris is accusing the left of doing.



[edit:changed formatting]
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22-04-2013, 06:03 AM
RE: Sam Harris--The End of Liberalism?
(21-04-2013 04:00 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(21-04-2013 03:55 PM)Chas Wrote:  A liberal is a conservative who hasn't been mugged yet.

An atheist is just a christian who hasn't seen the light of god.

A Christian is just an atheist who's afraid of the dark.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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22-04-2013, 06:14 AM
RE: Sam Harris--The End of Liberalism?
(21-04-2013 04:40 PM)I and I Wrote:  
(21-04-2013 01:27 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Nope. Israel was founded as a secular state.

Many of the founders were atheist.

A bit like the US really but more so.

You are joking right? Israel was founded only on religious purposes. Do you think Europeans chose that place to migrate just for the fuck of it?

Do some research, boyo.

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22-04-2013, 08:31 AM
RE: Sam Harris--The End of Liberalism?
(22-04-2013 06:03 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(21-04-2013 04:00 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  An atheist is just a christian who hasn't seen the light of god.

A Christian is just an atheist who's afraid of the dark.

And what do all 3 of these things have in common? They are false platitudes the group members tell themselves about the other group.
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22-04-2013, 11:26 AM
Sam Harris--The End of Liberalism?
(22-04-2013 06:14 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(21-04-2013 04:40 PM)I and I Wrote:  You are joking right? Israel was founded only on religious purposes. Do you think Europeans chose that place to migrate just for the fuck of it?

Do some research, boyo.

So when those Europeans migrated to the Middle East to start a country.....why did they do this and why did they choose that specific place......oh fuckin yeah, for religious reasons. Do you have any other reasons in mind?
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22-04-2013, 11:26 AM
RE: Sam Harris--The End of Liberalism?
(22-04-2013 08:31 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(22-04-2013 06:03 AM)Chas Wrote:  A Christian is just an atheist who's afraid of the dark.

And what do all 3 of these things have in common? They are false platitudes the group members tell themselves about the other group.

They are humorous aphorisms. Dodgy

Lighten the fuck up. Rolleyes

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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22-04-2013, 11:34 AM (This post was last modified: 24-04-2013 06:52 PM by TrulyX.)
RE: Sam Harris--The End of Liberalism?
(21-04-2013 08:21 PM)BryanS Wrote:  No, the situation in America is definitely NOT the same. The problem with this kind of thinking is that it ignores the real differences and problems in the Islamic world.

We do not execute people for being gay, we do not force women to wear burkas and restrictive garments or blow up schools for women to keep them uneducated, we do not condone honor killings, we do not round up youths and forcibly shave their heads and beat them for their appearance, we do not have morality police harass the public, we do not appeal to religious courts as the ultimate authority in our legal system, we do not condone killing people for converting their religion, and we do not condone issuing death threats for insulting religion.

I could go on, but if you really think that is exactly the same as religious extremists in other religions in the West, you really have lost perspective.

With that, it seems as if you have missed the point of my entire post.

The only different is a societal difference, leading to a difference in what religion can actually get away with, in certain areas of the world today. It still remains, as a fact, that religion in the US (specifically Christianity) is equally as poisonous and destructive to society, as it is any where else in the world. In that way, the same. It's not different just because the West had 500+ years of modern enlightenment to get us to this point.

Not taking into account the societal differences-- looking at government, society, history, etc.-- is where perspective is lost; or irrationally placing certain immorality, mainly direct and violent acts, over others, as well not analyzing the situations clearly. That could involve ignoring all of the problems related to the US, or failing to view the situation fairly, relatively and objectively.

You can't say blowing up a crowd of people (and so on) in a country without the strength of a US Constitution (plus military, police, justice system, etc.) and all of those years of liberalism and revolution, is worse than, with those positive things established in society, using Christianity as a means in which to get elected to a elite position in society and curving public policy in a way that hurts millions and millions, if not more (billions), and all over the world.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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