Enough is Enough

When is Humanity Going to Get That We’re All in This Together?

Posts Tagged ‘terrorism’

Sam Harris on the Importance of Breaking Religion’s Spell

Posted by honestpoet on November 18, 2008

Here’s an excellent bit from the question and answer period after a debate with Rabbi Wolpe. I’ve been watching a lot of Mr. Harris on YouTube, and I have to say that I like him even more than Richard Dawkins. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dawkins, but, as an American, Harris is more aware of the need to speak with the religious politely and without snarkiness. Dawkins can come off a bit smug, which is a mistake when dealing with the American religious, who already feel beset and belittled, and whose defense mechanisms thereby fly up as soon as the subject is broached with any sort of superior attitude.

Here’s another bit: Sam Harris at the TruthDig conference, talking about how beliefs have consequences, and why the taboo on not examining religious beliefs needs to be lifted.

Here he is talking about the relative morality of various books of the Bible and what would happen if as a society we actually followed it.

And one more, at the Idea Festival in Aspen, where he disputes a lot of common misconceptions about atheism:

If you’d like to hear more of what he has to say, here’s the link to his website, which includes links to a number of articles and videos (including the full debate with Rabbi Wolpe). His thinking is even more in line with my own than Richard Dawkins’s. Dawkins and the rest of the recent crop of atheistic authors turn their backs on mystical experience, whereas Sam Harris, while approaching it as a skeptic, acknowledges that there’s something there to examine that could prove worthwhile, perhaps yielding up that which religions seek but never truly find, tied up as they are in their supernatural superstitions and dogmatism. He’s experienced contemplative states and acknowledges that they can lead to an increase in the ability to experience empathy and compassion, which are clearly in short supply these days.

A neurobiologist, he was motivated to start writing by the events of 9/11, and his focus is on the affect of beliefs on behaviors. Some people have painted him as some sort of warmonger Islamophobe, but that’s hardly the case when you read the suspect passages in context. Does he say that people holding the beliefs indoctrinated by Islam can be led therewith to bad behavior? Absolutely, but that’s hardly the same thing.

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Posted in atheism, Building a Better World, catholicism, Christianity, Christianofascism, climate change, economic crisis, evolution, feminism, freedom, fundamentalism, gay rights, genocide, global warming, hegemony, history, homophobia, Iraq, Islam, Jesus, Jews, Koran, language, literature, marriage, mental illness, misogyny, monoculture, morality, Muslims, peace, psychiatry, religion, religion and science, Richard Dawkins, ridiculous beliefs, science, secular humanism, secularism, skepticism, terrorism, the Bible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Republican National Security Experts Weigh in Against McCain and For Obama

Posted by honestpoet on September 25, 2008

Here’s an excellent post from a blog I just discovered in a comment at MudFlats; the author, Chris Blask, had attended this talk down in Florida, and I’m afraid it won’t get enough national coverage, so I wanted to bring it whatever attention my little blog can.

The message from the speakers was clear: Senator McCain has been making dangerous decisions for our country for the past eight years and cannot be allowed to take us down the road the current administration has set us on.

Make sure you check out the video, too, of Mr. Clarke talking about Sen. Biden and his ability to step into the presidency if needed.

Posted in Barack Obama, Bush, Iraq, iraq war, John McCain, politics, terrorism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

What Religion Can Do For You

Posted by honestpoet on April 29, 2008

Here’s a sad article from the BBC about a 19-year-old boy who was apparently planning a suicide bombing. Thankfully he was found out before he could go through with it; now he’s facing charges of terrorism.

You know, it’s hard to be a teenager. He was new to Bristol. He’d recently converted to Islam.

When I was a teenager, when you wanted to piss off Mom and Dad, you just read the Tao Te Ching or something. Now kids are strapping on vests full of explosives and sharp objects. I think I prefer Taoism as a form of teenage rebellion; at least there’s nothing in the text that can be construed as encouraging violence.

Some Muslims will insist that the Koran doesn’t, either. But if that’s so, then how come so many have killed in the name of Allah? (And lest anyone think I’m claiming Christianity doesn’t, trust me…I know plenty of violence has been done by both Christians and Jews, too…I think they’re all nuts.)

And I’ll also give credit where it’s due: the article states that the kid was picked up after an investigation following a tip-off from within the local Muslim community.

Posted in fundamentalism, Islam, terrorism | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

This is Why I’m in Poetry, Not Politics

Posted by honestpoet on December 27, 2007

Because I have children. And so did she, which is heartbreaking. They’ve assassinated Bhutto in Pakistan. Here’s the news story. And I thought our democracy was in trouble.

O, sons of Abraham, when are you going wake up and realize that we’re all one family? The human family!

Posted in freedom, fundamentalism, history, poetry, politics | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »