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Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Sam Harris Trivector

Please note that this post has been moved to True Freethinker where it was posted at this link


  1. If you found this book intriguing, you will definitely enjoy reading My Stroke of Insight - a Brain Scientist's Personal Journey" by Jill Bolte Taylor, and her talk on TED dot com about her stroke which is an 18 minute talk you Must Not Miss! (there's a reason it's been forwarded friend to friend millions of times!). When you read the book and see the TEDTalk, you'll understand why this Harvard brain scientist was named Time Magazine 100 Most Influential People. Her unique experience, combined with her perspective as a neuroanatomist, and her sensitivity and awareness (not to mention beautiful writing style!) has produced something so powerful and so revolutionary that I think it's going to become a transformational movement in itself. Oprah also did four interviews with her (that I was able to download on the Oprah website) that are also worth checking out.
    I am trying to share Dr Taylor's story with as many people as I can because I truly believe if everyone saw it the world would be so much better and people would love one another and no longer fight.

  2. Trying to equate men's extinction within millions of years and nuclear extinction in our lifetime is like telling a doctor he doesn't need to worry about a life threatening condition in a child because the child will ultimately die of old age anyway. Yes, it's about "my own backyard", as in, it concerns me, it warrants my energy investment, because it *is* in my own damn backyard.

  3. Spharion,
    Thanks for the comment.
    You make a good point. I get it, it is about you and about your backyard. Mine too.
    I was not disregarding our backyards and what is done to and in them.
    Yet, the issue was just how similar the atheist view (if there be such a thing) regarding our ultimate destiny as bio-organisms is to thermo-nuclear devastation.
    Boom!!!!!!!! We are all gone and not so much as a memory is left of the greatest act or love nor evil—that’s all folks. Absolute materialism is a promise of absolute doom, one way or the other.

  4. Your criticisms are so self-unraveling that I'd suspect you were trolling if you hadn't put in so much humourless effort.

    You say Sam wants to replace manmade religion about supernatural transcendence that can only be known through subjective, personal experience with another manmade religion about materialistic transcendence that can only be known through subjective, personal experience.

    First off, saying that his problem with existing religions is that they're "manmade" is almost to pick a word at random. He thinks they're nonsense to the core, and you've assigned his complaints a single word because it sets up your next attack point.

    He doesn't want to set up a "religion", he wants to explore the subjects that religion purports to deal with without dogma, in the same way we now explore brain disease without the dogma of demon possession.

    He says exactly this in one of the quotes you've highlighted: "we can purse these experiences ... without presupposing anything on insufficient evidence." Where are you getting this "new religion" stuff? It's just a damning catchphrase you pulled out of ... thin air ... because it has a whiff of illicit/taboo to christians (because of marketing decisions made by generations past, to prevent the establishment of competing nonsense-peddling-for-profit organisations).

    "(Sam) is setting out to prove what he already believes to be true".

    You deduce this about him based on his response to the question "what do you believe that you cannot yet prove." Literally any possible response to that question would be equally vulnerable to your criticism.

  5. As far as I can tell, I've just neatly deflated every purported idea in this posting.

    I'd like to stress that this deflation happened automatically and in real time as I was reading: putting it in words probably took more time than it was worth, but I had to express the utter baffled frustration the initial reading provoked.

    In summary: these ideas were awful to the point of nonexistence.


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