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Sam Harris “The View from the End of the World” 16 September 2006

Posted by Todd in Democratic Theory, Religion, Science.
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The now famous speaker against maladaptive religious belief, Sam Harris gave a talk earlier this year summarizing his arguments. What I find most compelling and important are his arguments for why and how public critique of religious belief should happen, what he calls “conversational intolerance.” All democracies around the world are in danger of losing their autonomy, if they don’t speak truth to religious beliefs and work vigorously to maintain a separation of church and state. But Harris is going beyond those issues to the cultural issues of living in a society where people have a right to believe false ideas.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3975633975283704512&q=sam+harris&hl=en

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Comments

1. mark - 17 September 2006

Thanks for posting this, Todd. I have started to read Harris’ book, so it was great to be able to listen to him talk about the ideas behind it. I don’t know that I buy all of his argument, but he does make some very good points about the danger of allowing tolerance to mean a refusal to challenge the ideas of fundamentalisms. All ideas are not created equal, and we must be free to debate every idea put forward and not be afraid of offending in doing so. So long as our challenging of ideas remains that, and not a descent into mudslinging, bigotry, and persecution, then I think we must promote debate of religious ideas along with every other type of idea that enters the public square.

mark


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