Monday, January 09, 2006

from Chad Orzel to Chris Mooney, who sends us to Sam Harris.

The page for 'The End of Faith" comes with links to various reviews (copies on his own site) including those by Alan Dershowitz, whose entire life is predicated these days on little honest logic; and to Natalie Angier who includes this nice bit:
‘’The End of Faith’’ is far from perfect. Harris seems to find ‘’moral relativism’’ as great a sin as religious moderation, and in the end he singles out Islam as the reigning threat to humankind. He likens it to the gruesome, Inquisition-style Christianity of the 13th century, yet he never explains how Christianity became comparatively domesticated. And on reading his insistence that it is ‘’time for us to admit that not all cultures are at the same stage of moral development,’’ I couldn’t help but think of Ann Coulter’s morally developed suggestion that we invade Muslim countries, kill their leaders and convert their citizens to Christianity.

Harris also drifts into arenas of marginal relevance to his main thesis, attacking the war against drugs here, pacifism there, and offering a strained defense for the use of torture in wartime that seems all the less persuasive after Abu Ghraib.
According to Johann Hari, Harris 'draws on' Dershowitz, Bernard Lewis, and Samuel Huntington, all of who make logically dubious generalizations that can only by defended in terms of faith.
Eliminate religion and you'll eliminate dubious logic... The man's a fucking genius!

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