Sam Harris
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13-04-2010, 08:16 AM
 
Sam Harris
Hello Everyone,

I am assuming that at least a few people here already have Sam Harris' book, "Letter To a Christian Nation" in their possession. I have a PDF version of it. Would you like me to post it as an attachment?
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13-04-2010, 08:23 AM
RE: Sam Harris
of course

EMO, because homo is not gay enoughTongue
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13-04-2010, 08:35 AM
 
RE: Sam Harris
(13-04-2010 08:23 AM)Germanatheist007 Wrote:  of course

Hello Germanatheist,

OK, here it is!
(13-04-2010 08:35 AM)panflutejedi Wrote:  
(13-04-2010 08:23 AM)Germanatheist007 Wrote:  of course

Hello Germanatheist,

OK, here it is!

Hello Everyone,

I have more such books available:

Sam Harris' other book, The End of Faith

Thomas Paine - The Age of Reason

Why I Am Not a Christian - Bertrand Russell

Biblical Nonsense - Jason Long

Robert Ingersoll - The Gods and Other Lectures, Some Mistakes of Moses, The Christian Religion

Christopher Hitchens - God Is Not Great

Raising Freethinkers - Dale McGowan, Molleen Matsumura, Amanda Metskas, Jan Devor

These are part of the collection I carry at all times in my USB flash drive on my keyring, an easy, modern way for me to combat ignorance (uh, I mean religionSmile) I also have in my flash drive religious texts, such as:

The KJV Bible
The NIV Bible
The Koran
The Tattvartha Sutra
The Book of the Dead
Greek and Roman Mythology


Attached File(s)
.pdf  Sam Harris - Letter To A Christian Nation.pdf (Size: 289.78 KB / Downloads: 188)
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13-04-2010, 11:03 AM
 
RE: Sam Harris
Can you please post "Thomas Paine - The Age of Reason"?
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13-04-2010, 11:30 AM
 
RE: Sam Harris
(13-04-2010 11:03 AM)supermanlives1973 Wrote:  Can you please post "Thomas Paine - The Age of Reason"?

Hello Supermanlives

No problem! I have it on my domain here: http://www.panflutejedi.com/religion/Tho...Reason.pdf Smile
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10-01-2018, 06:26 PM
RE: Sam Harris
I just wanted to bump a Sam Harris thread because I enjoyed his last podcast with Anil Seth so much. I highly recommend checking it out if you like Harris or enjoy his books or podcasts. Great conversation. Tremendously interesting.
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11-01-2018, 04:55 PM
RE: Sam Harris
Thanks. I wanted to read Sam's Letter.

I do have a problem with Sam Harris though. I was watching his discussion with Reza Aslan and both of them have the same bias which I suppose one could put down to "projecting". Sam, in the Letter suggests that the New Testament essentially adopts the Mosaic law by way of Jesus' admonition that he did not come to destroy the law but to fulfil it. He also cites various other passages from both the NT and OT which suggest that Jesus also preached violence and revenge. Aslan also suggests that Jesus was actually a zealot and a warrior.

My problem is that I've reread the NT recently and tried to apply some simple ideas about how to look at it and to figure out "what it is". I accept that most Christians just read it as the divine word and try to accept it all, which I think is the reason Christianity is such a wide church with so many different interpretations and why it is not an entirely peaceful religion in its history or practice.

My take on it is that it's an invented religion because it was written up in Greek, after the fall of the Claudians, and in an area dominated by Rome, and later adopted by Rome. I don't buy the story of a hippy peacenik with some hangers on.

I think you have to look at it as an attempt to change the way the people of the Near East behaved. It's a polemic work. In any philosophy you start with a world view, which in the NT is in John, ie. in the beginning was the word. This is a radically different and Hellenistic concept of "God" and essentially changes God from an anthropomorphic concept to just a philosophical one. Then one has to look at the moral philosophy. When the NT says Jesus comes to fulfil the laws, you then have to read what he means by this and he sets out a list of ways he "fulfils" the law, which completely undermine and change them, and he ends with "do unto others..." stating that this is the law and the prophets. So, while saying he is not intending to destroy the laws, he does just that.

Then there is the story of Jesus, which may be based on a real person or not. That is a polemical device, just as if someone wrote a fiction book to convey a moral message. The identity of the protagonist is irrelevant to the morality. Then there is the reference to other mythologies which is also a device as it's intended to sway the people of that region who, presumably, believed in this stuff. Again, it's irrelevant to the moral message and, in fact, much of this part of the NT, when you read it, is vague and confusing.

The promise of heaven in the NT is, for me, a necessary element to religion. People are anxious about death so this appeals to them just as Islam appeals to followers by offering them virgins in the afterlife. Whoever wrote this sort of stuff understood how people thought and knew how to "program" their minds.

I feel that Sam is seeing the NT from the perspective of someone who wasn't raised in the religion and he imposes his own views of what the religion is on it's followers, which is probably why no Christians would ever listen to him.

He argues that the NT does reference the OT God, but that's just not the case in reality. Children raised in Christianity are taught at Sunday school about Jesus, his birth, preachings and then his death. The focus of it is the Beatitudes and his message of love and peace and, in fact, the OT is not studied or even referred to. It's considered to be the book of a degenerate bunch of people, and to be rejected, which is why many staunch Christians are anti-semitic.
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11-01-2018, 05:14 PM
RE: Sam Harris
Woooooo0000ooooah! Time travel Shocking

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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11-01-2018, 06:17 PM
RE: Sam Harris
(11-01-2018 05:14 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  Woooooo0000ooooah! Time travel Shocking

7 years, 8 months, 3 weeks (give or take a few days, but who’s counting?)

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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11-01-2018, 08:29 PM
RE: Sam Harris
I used to think that Letter to a Christian Nation was the absolute best response to an evangelical American Christian's beliefs. And some of those arguments I still think hold up as very good. (Just imagine what a document written by a genuinely omniscient being would look like..) But many of them aren't so good.

For example, Sam Harris asserts that morals are about harm and care. As Jonathan Haigt discovered in The Righteous Mind after actually talking to conservatives, it's merely one of their morals (alongside loyalty, sacredness, and other things that we liberals don't value much). It's easy to argue for abortion when you're just discussing the harm and suffering involved in the death of tissue without a nervous system, but conservatives defend it with other moral values such as fairness/justice ("the fetus is innocent while the mother is not"). Such a passage doesn't really speak to them.

Sam Harris is fantastic at making logical arguments, but often gets tripped up by basing them on premises that he thinks his opponents must agree with but often don't.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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