« Making Sense with Sam Harris

#24 — Ask Me Anything 2

2016-01-03 | 🔗

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris answers questions from listeners about Islamism, free will, honesty, vegetarianism, why he doesn’t publish more in academic journals, and other topics.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This punk ass has brought you buy, audible, the leading source of audio books. If you would like to support it, audible, trial, dad come forward, Slash SAM Harris welcome to the apart gas is a SAM Harris. Ok, Well, I'm going to do a ask me anything podcast this time around now as some of you know, I often set out to do these and then answer one question for Twenty minutes or more end, don't get very far. And am I I'm afraid. That's what's gonna happen this time around I'll answer. A few questions
in a rather long winded way, and then hopefully do some rapid fire answers in and get through many questions I must say I really appreciate the response I get when I. Whenever I go out for questions I get hundreds honestly, I can't even read all your asteroids. But I've read many of them, and am I just you know it's it's very hard to choose I'll, just work through them, but damn ass. I had to do with housekeeping in this pod gas I'll. I will start with that. First, I'm recording this pod cast. New year's day, so happy new year. Everyone- and I ended the here in contentious fashion on Twitter. I don't know why I use twitter if I treated Twitter the way I treat Facebook, I would never have any of these entanglements that I so often discuss with you, I would never notice what was being said
about me or what sort of skirmishes I was said being dragged into and therefore never be tempted to respond. So it say perhaps deserves some rethinking, whether it's worth my pen attention, but as I'll tell you a moment at least Two of my upcoming guests are coming on the podcast simply because of some twitter incident and so that some certainly interesting its it me forever uncertain whether I should be using this technology, but in any case As for my upcoming gas, I have actually three of the guests: coming up are coming up entirely as a result of twitter, so you can figure out whether it's a blessing or a curse, This point will soon be speaking with Jacko willing, the Navy seal who was recently
you Don T, Ferris Podcast cast first and then Georgians, and I encourage you to listen to both those interviews that that's literally five hours of interview with Jacko. He is a fascinating guy and I certainly would have always love to have him on my podcast, and it occurred to me to reach out to him, except in I just heard literally five hours of him on to my friends, podcast and it just seemed eighty, I wasn't quite sure what there would be to add that conversation and Jack O now has its own podcast Jerome and insistence. He started a podcast immediately as bang in those out, and the guy is great, but on twitter we got thrown together, sir and people were encouraged him to come on my ipod, Caston and he said he'd be happy to do it, and so here we are so I'll, be speaking to him in the coming weeks, and I look forward to that
and I'll try to find a fundamentally new line through the conversation so that we can get to some of his insight and experience that he didn't have a chance to share with timid Joe that should be fun, also be speaking with Scotty reads, whose I am a former swat operator who was that the lead weapons and tactics instructor LAPD, Swat and now trains, people in the use of firearms I'm gonna talk to Scotty about mile, in self defence and firearms and gun control, and also what it's like to be a cop and the misuse of force that we ve all seen of late from cops Anderson just to get into all of those politically sensitive. But some interesting areas and sky may I think, will be a great personal. Do with Jacko and Scotty will come close together and it now be. We can call that violence weak on the waking up podcast
also be speaking with a merry intimacy. The M ex muslim reformer based in the UK who many deprived. We know if these promising video of her as I've circulate a video of her before this was also Twitter born. There was an incident of what I considered for The fire where she went after me forum what I think is a misunderstanding of my views on profiling and it I've always thought Marine was great she more or less slammed me as a big it inspires. I could tell on Twitter- and so I reached out to her and she is agreed to come in the pot stand we'll try to rectify that situation. I know whether or not we succeed more aims as a voice. You all should hear and dumb. I will bring her to you, it was also another twitter born collision. Not so friendly fire with someone I've never heard of the young,
Islam, probably soon to be a lawyer, his I am getting his J D at Yale he's a writer who wrote a truly withering workers you in salon about my book with margin and he hated. The book seems to hate moderate, but especially hates me, and am hatred really isn't too on word. People are hurling this review at me on Twitter. As you know, I don't tenter red salon so anyway, I read it needless to say, I don't agree with it, but I am reached out to I don't know his name is pronounced Omair Omar. I will find out from you.
Let's call him: oh Mary, hats, how it spelled I reached out to him on Twitter and he agreed to come on the pod gas, and so I intimidate that being a difficult conversation, and my interest is, as I said before, in trying to figure out how to have hard conversations, how to start very far apart in a conversation end you're out how to converge or, at the very least, agree to disagree on specific points in a way that is not entangled with personal hostility and misunderstood. And in an admittedly is a challenge that not everyone is up to, and so it's why I tried it with Non Chomsky and I'll I'll be trying it with other people, macabre station with with mate was also an example of that, and I didn't know how I was going to turn out and became hugely productive. So I'm going to be running similar psychological and conversational experiments on my
gas and am omair will be one also be speaking with Jonathan Height, whom many of you know he's very influential psychologist. with whom I have disagreed in the past and innate none to friendly way. I might add an answer that, as a another insight of my reaching out to somebody who has taken some very hard, answer me in the past and I have returned fire and we're going to see if we can have a civil and useful conversation on him topics that are becoming some time and in February. I think and also oh. I will have a Steven pinker on at some point and I have a few other guests lined up so that there will be interesting conversations coming your way. I feel the need to apologise once again for the level of congestion and bring into the MIKE. Now I have to Young girls, each of whom seems to be am, driving to win the patient. Zero award for bringing new calls into the world another out there playing plane with ducks in a pond,
or where they're getting these viruses, but they're bringing them to daddy. So I bring them to you in aid, substandard audio performance, EL, bear with me there so many of you notice various twitter controversies and wanted me to address them. Here's the first with reads: the carrier, the CNN and Washington Post journalist, he sent out a tweet about a week ago endorsing a truly terrible piece of islamist propaganda, and so the tweet read my boy of the week. Who speaks for Islam? What a billion Muslims really think has as the title of the book and then he calls it an essential voice of reason now that this book is written by John Esposito and Dalia Mocha head and apologies again, I don't know exactly how to proceed. dahlias last name. I will say: mocha head is probably not right. Esposito runs a Middle EAST studies centre. Georgetown
and Molly had works for gallop. The famous Pauline organization that published this book. That's a carrier, was recommending, so I tweeted in response witness the capture of academia, Esposito, Pauling, gallop and journalism, the carrier by rank Islamism now Many people took this to me to be a sign that I had gone off: the deepened by alleging some kind of stealth Islamist take over of our institutions. Well, there isn't attempted Islamist take over of our institutions and it's not especially healthy, but to be clear, I wasn't claiming that the carrier is an Islamist, rather, I think he's probably been deceived Islamists misinformation of which there's an endless supply, and there is no question he spread in such misinformation by pushing this book and nor do I think, Esposito isn't islamist, because too many It is not even a muslim but everything I've seen him publish about Islam
has been, if not a lie, a half truth here, We have called a muslim apologist in the past and has centred Georgetown is funded with tee. Tens of millions of dollars by the saudi government is the Hence our lead into LOL Centre for Muslim Christian understand it, and its function appears to be to whitewash Islam in general and the sanity of Saudi, were hobby Islam in particular. Now I was Frank unfamiliar with Malta she's the executive director of the Gatt, of centre for muslim studies I just had, to have seen her and meet the press a few days before setting this My friend Azra no money, the m. Only rational journalist and muslim reformer and more or less every word out of Malta heads mouth what again a lie or a half truth. It seemed calculated to deceive a secular audience. She was saying things like the members of ices aren't religious. They have no theological, are popular support and there's no correlation between being a religious, muslim and dna jihadist, in fact the coral.
Action is negative, according to my God, you're more like, we d- be a jihadist if you're, not a devout Muslim. These statements are completely dishonest. I did little digging on mug ahead and from what I can tell. It seems that she has some affinity for, if not direct connection to the Muslim Brotherhood as too many people. Claim to be muslim moderates in our society and is very annoying that only people on the political right, in many of whom are dogmatic, Christians or Jews seem to have the time or the temperament Point this out a group like the council on American Islamic Relations CARE, which seems to be the most influential muslim Civil Rights Organization was a direct offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and has been supportive of terrorist organizations like Hamas Is it connected with these organizations? Now I don't know Do its members even know it could be like Scientology? You don't know how crazy the organization is until your deep in it, but I can tell you one thing for sir this is an organisation that systematic
they lies about Islam and demonize as its critics and tries to make life as difficult as possible people like I on her sally and again, this group is treated like them Muslim ACL you by the press, it's insane both s the veto and Malta had our darlings of this organisation, as his Glenn Greenwood, as you know, so whatever her connections, loggerhead practices, some of the work forms of islamist obscurantism and identity politics, scribes jihadism as a purely political phenomenon, but has no connection to religious doctrine or belief and needles it always arising out of that vast reservoir of quote legitimate grievances that Muslims have again the west and she's also an Obama pointy. She sits on the press. Said advisory Council on faith based and neighbourhood partnerships. She's one of the people who had a hand in writing President Obama's famous Cairo speech again, I am painfully aware that despairing overflow
acts like these makes. One sound like a right wing crackpot took to be clear. I am an Obama supporter. I voted for him both too. I will almost certainly vote for Hillary Clinton in the four eggs. I don't see any other conceivable choice though, I have to hold my nose over her obscurantism on this issue in particular, but it isn't easy to worry that Islamist a gaming, our system, because they quite obviously are now again. I don't know for sure whether mocha head is an islamist issue. Where the hijab incessant, very dishonest things about Islam in general, ensuring a law in particular. So she may just be useful idiot like her colleague, John Esposito, The line here can be difficult to find anything not even be important to find it. It's the aid, he is in their influence rather than the peace. Conveying the ideas that I'm worried about. This is also not to say, that ideologically motivated people
Even Islamists couldn't produce an honest pole or a book based on such a pole. and I certainly wasn't discounting the contents of the book, because his authors strike me as nefarious and dishonest people, for instance, less mister split this around if I were to produce a pole, of religious public opinion, perhaps hiring an organization like gallop repute run. It here are two things about which I am certain. Certain. I could do this honestly and make every effort to produce a pull that was well designed and scientifically valid, and I am also certain that religious people and their apologists would reject its findings whenever they happen to be because of my history as a critic of religion. I have made no secret of my views on religious faith. think religion and faith based. Religion is dangerous and divisive. Bullshit and, I think, is long, the worst of a lot, so it would be totally understandable. and also wrong for a religious
listen to reject a gala pole of religious opinion that I was associated with so to be clear. I I'm not doing that in reverse it Esposito Mogi heads book, came out in two thousand and seven. I bought it and I read it and found it so obviously misleading as to none. even be worth discussing, but now for AIDS, a carrier is pushing at eight years later, at his pick of the weak and as a quote, essential voice of reason, and it should be disturbing, that's a carry. I can't see the flaws in this book because again there are so obvious. So what's wrong with a book, while first it purports to be an unprecedented thoroughly scientific pole of muslim public opinion, but the authors don't show any data and the ways they discuss their data along with the kinds of questions they thought to ask in their pole and the questions they declined to ask prove that they were ass
ray certain result, which was to make muslim opinion, look totally benign. They want you to believe that Islam is just like any other religion, and then Muslims worldwide are just like any other group of religious people. Now the book isn't entirely filled with lives. The authors admit, for instance, that the IMF, urgent link between poverty and lack of education and terrorism or support for terrorism is a myth. Here they are mid that the most radicalized people in the muslim world tend to be middle. ass, an educated in fact accordingly Esposito in Malta had the politically radicalized tend to be more satisfied with their financial situations and belief, their standard of living is improving. and are more optimistic about their futures and general. Then the so called moderates are which proves that the remedies that many secular liberals imagine exist for extremism in the muslim world. That is more station and economic opportunity or not remedies at all. As has been said
for years. I don't know how many more engineers have to fly planes into buildings or devote their lives to wages hard and other ways for us to get it to her. that the lack of education and economic opportunity isn't the cause of muslim extremism, but even in making this concession, Esposito. Mogi had revealed getting Islam off the hook is their goal. There point is to say that background of terrorists are so diverse as to fully exonerate religion there, usual tendentious nonsense about how the nine eleven hijackers went to strip clubs, for instance, which, according to Esposito in Vogue ahead, proves that they weren't really religious much at night. with this lie in our book, they also point out, most jihadis aren't graduates from addresses this appoint. The scottish Tran makes all the time though this suggests a lack of connection between sincere religious belief in islamic doctrine and jihadism. They even goes
forest intimated. The academic backgrounds of prominent jihadists suggested, or almost anything could make one jihadist. So there have also been locked for instance, was quote trained in management, economics and engineering is like who knows which, These streams of information could have radicalized him. This is pure obscurantism, but this isn't the worst part of the book. The worst part comes down to the questions that were asked as well as those that warrant asked. and the way the results are discussed to what one I must agree. Just examples can be found in the question it s, Zito Mocha had used to differentiate what they call radicals from quote moderates they report them Only seven percent of Muslims worldwide, sitter the nine eleven attacks to be quote completely justified. And they go on to say, therefore, that nine and ten ninety three percent quote believe the attacks were not justified and they call these people model
Incidentally, the press ran with this reporting that ninety three percent of Muslims or nine and ten the world over are quote moderate. Both you know anything about anything. You should be feeling a little queasy. At this point I took one look this line that only seven percent of Muslims consider the nine eleven attacks to be quote completely justified so nine and ten or moderates and I knew I was being lied- to buy sinister people or being missed led by useful idiots. Again, I can claim to know which of these cattle he's Esposito. Malta had fallen to get so. The first thing to point out is that, even if true, even if it is most sanguine of interpretations of this pseudo data is true. Seven per cent of Muslims believing that the attraction these of nine eleven were completely justified, is a problem that should not be minimized here. The off equate this with ninety one million people. Here they became out in two thousand and seven,
today is more like a hundred and twelve million people recall what we're talking about here. It we're talking about the intentional murder of three thousand innocent non combatants. at a time that preceded our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq were too about one hundred and twelve million people who think that burning, fowls of people alive in the twin towers was completely justified as already a huge reservoir of murderous lunacy. But of course the real problem is that the seven percent figure is totally misleading And intentionally so we can tell, from the wording, input completely justified. The gallop used scale in his pole, from one to five or one to seven were completely justified and completely unjustified.
where the tail end there was almost certainly a choice of somewhat justified or mostly justified, were both that many people picked, and there was certainly a choice of don't know or no opinion. Think of all those people who couldn't say that the attacks of nine eleven completely unjustified they but said. Rather, they were mostly justified or somewhat justified. Or said they didn't know these people being described as moderates and there's another. Problem with using this particular question. As the dividing line between moderates and extremists, as many of you know, and as Esposito Mogi had surely know that numbers of Muslims think that Muslims headed thing to do with the attacks of nine eleven, because they were forth. Thousand Jews who didn't shop to work that day, milk. And of Muslims, believe them aside and the CIA conspired to bring down the World Trade Centre as a pretext to invade muslim lands
One pull indicated that sixteen percent of Americans believe something like this. Is the whole nine eleven truth movement right. So using this question in this way rigged the game. And again, Esposito and we'll get almost certainly know this, and they no that if they had asked questions about a posse or blasphemy or the rights of women and homosexuals and polytheists, or whether infidels deserve to spend eternity in hell. Fire. Results of their polling would have been appalling at every Paul Muslim. opinion has been run on these questions produces appalling results, And again, it literally took me five seconds to see the problem here. Why didn't Frida carry a sea? It he's a journalist who covers these issues. He doesn't want to see it. Even this fictional seven percent is talked about in the
in a way that is obviously tendentious and misleading. They say, for instance, a quote if this seven percent. Ninety one million of the politically radicalized continue to feel politically dominated occupied, and disrespected the west have little if any chance of changing their minds. End quote again: MS upon the west to behave better and show respect to people who think the attacks of September eleventh were quote completely justified and again remember. These attacks came before we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq justified from What ask yourself that I should say I invited dialogue ahead on the pike, asked after little sniping on twitter and done she declined, but I would have been happy With her I've seen her promulgate what I now call the narrative narrative- and basically everyone is doing this now from President Obama down
It is understandable in someone's, but it is also scary, so pay attention here. The idea I'm about to describe is almost unrivalled in its strangeness and yet those hearing it for the first time to say nothing of those who espouse. It never seem to notice that something out of the ordinary is being said. Knave heard this idea before, and I will venture to guess that you did not notice how strange and indeed terrifying a claim was being made. It is this in finding ISIS or in resisting the spread of islamic theocracy generally. We must at all costs, avoid quote confirming the narrative of islamic extremists. The fears that any further guess on the religion of Islam or its adherents profiling T intelligence gathering mosques or mere
they acknowledging that we are at war not with generic terrorism but with islamic terrorism. DR many more Muslims, to support that jihadists think about what is actually being alleged here. The thing about the underlying pessimism. If not paranoia of this claim, let's use an analogy let's say you are a bald white man, an unlikely for you. There happen to be a global insurgency of NEO Nazi skinheads terrorizing. A hundred countries came the white men are perfectly peaceful, of course, but this insurgency has grown. So captivate into a minority of them that no city on earth is truly safe, ball White men have blown up planes and buses and burned embassies and even murdered innocent children by the hundreds, and we have spent true. billions of dollars trying to contain the damage. Many of these bald white men are sick
to acquire nuclear materials, so they can detonate dirty bombs. or even atomic ones in the capitals of Europe and the United States and to make matters worse, many these men are avowedly suicidal and therefore cannot be deterred. Imagine hearing presidents and prime ministers and newspaper column, this and even your fellow bald white men express the fear They merely acknowledging the whiteness and baldness of NEO Nazi skinheads would so a prayer ass, an alien, eight other bald white men that they too. Would begin, murdering innocent people imagined. in told that at all costs we must not confirm the narrative of the NEO Nazis by knowledge in that white, bald men, emblazoned with swastikas are of greater interest from a security point of view. Then elderly, hawaiian women, this
the situation, wherein he might be somewhat confused by the racial characteristics of this analogy. Obviously, Islam is not a race, but most people appear to believe It but honestly describing the link between the doctrine of islamic jihadism and therefore admitting Islam is of special concern in a way that Anglican ISM Mormonism aren't that we will provoke otherwise peaceful Muslims to such a degree that they will become jihadists, or so with them. Now this is either one of the most pessimistic and uncharitable things ever said about a community or its true, and if it's the former. We should stop saying and the latter we should be talking about nothing else, an apple hygiene Muslims to talk about nothing else. Where are these Muslims who are just like you and me in value and freedom of speech? and secular tolerance and scientific rationality who want their daughter
to grow up to be fully self actualize members of society who aren't afraid of cartoons who think It should be free to marry, but who is subjected to an extra glance at the airport or a visit from the FBI at their mosque, we'll be quote: radicalized and helpless, They driven to support ISIS, the just like you and me now but say the wrong thing about Islam on television and they'll start supporting a group. The dick appetites. Journalists and aid workers, rapes, women by the tens of thousands. throws gaze from rooftops. That is what is being claimed and it is so loosely shocking, doubly because no one is admitted or seem to even notice what a shocking claim it is
Again, I don't know what is true hurry. It could be a totally reasonable fear or could be pure paranoia, but I'm pretty sure the difference matters. So that's all I have to say about that particular book and contradictory on twitter. Again. It is highly inconvenient that worryin about this read of islamist ideology and the deception that covers it spread, Mediately puts people in mind of the red Scare and Joseph Mccarthy and right wing conspiracy theories. You you have to follow the plot here. I am always talking about the necessity that freedom of speech and freedom of thought be safeguarded. You should be free to think and say what ever you want to say and the people who are trying to write blasphemy laws, whether actually or effectively in the way their stigmatizing. The criticism of Islam
as tantamount to bigotry and xenophobia and even racism. These people are undermining the freedom of speech and the freedom thought there is no analogy to the red scare here, but it is, I just confess, highly inconvenient. That's the New York Times doesn't do a proper analysis of where the sympathies of people like mug, ahead and ass busy. are, and they don't talk about the corrupting influence of saudi money. Money from regime that is, is theology indistinguishable from ISIS flooding or academic institutions.
And funding mosques worldwide and supplying them with literature that demonize, infidels and polytheists and, needless to say, Jews? So this is not conspiracy, theory time, this is just the nefarious work of Islamists. That is in plain view for anyone who wants to see it, but, unfortunately, most to the people who want to see it are on the right wing. So you do a Google search on someone like dialogue ahead and you your immediately dumped onto your front page. magazine and and the weekly standard and other conservative publications. That's because the liberal publications are not doing their job and many of them are doing the other job of obscurantism and you have a place like salon that. Yes, this wrong, almost as a matter of principle. Ok, so on to more of your actual questions.
what progress has been made towards becoming vegetarian or vague, and so this question arises from my podcast, I think, was the second podcast at it with Paul Bloom, where we sort of two stumbled into a intervention I performed on both of us around the topic of of the fix of eating meat- I will one of US ass, the other. What would be on your short list for things that will just more defy our descendants on our behalf. You know, though, the way we live back on Thomas Jefferson and we're just aghast that he couldn't see the wrongness of slavery, is we have a supremely ethical and intelligent person who still couldn't see what an abomination Slavery was so what analogous blind spots do we have and what will our descendants be scandalised by when they look back on us and China on both of our short lists? Was the horror show
of factory farming? Neither of us could defended both of us participated in this machinery of death and we, both, admittedly only because out of sight out of mind that we were able to do so, and neither of us could defend eating meat under these circumstances and Nor could we defend delegating the acquisition of meat to others in this way. So So we did our stumble into away and intervene a sword. Then I threw Paul under the bus by saying. Well, I'm willing to make a change in my diet and know what kind of moral monster you are that you you aren't but- and I guess I was a fine conversation and at that point I asked vegetarian and invasion listeners to send me resources- and I help me idiot proof- the process of getting off of meat
I made that appeal because I had been a vegetarian for six years at one point and became a knee make and just decided it was not day on a healthy diet for me. So, yes, I have a little to report, but not enough that I want to go into it in any depth. But I can say that since that conversation I have been a vegetarian and now that's, I think, that's about four months ago and dumb. I did some blood work recently and strangely or perhaps not so strangely, my my lips profile, my cholesterol and trackless- rides, have gotten worse on a vegetarian diet- and I think that's largely because not not because I'm in more darien eggs. The end- Yes, I am aware of the ethical concerns. Drowned, Darien eggs, but because of and probably more carbohydrates and so on. This the bread in the past in the rice and all the rest, its
Tweaking my blood sugar and that has a unhappy effect on lipids, I'm still working with this, I'm still a vegetarian. I am an aspiring, We again I keep trying to to find my way through this science experiment without making food preparation and eating a new religion for myself or the centre of my life. I have to be realistic about what I can do here and I dont want the perfect to be the end. if the good so and at the very least, I am convinced about the ethical problem of eating meat. The eggs by claim to be impeccable. Ethically, every chicken has something like a hundred and eight square feet of pasture to run on, and I am aware that that doesn't answer the concern about happens to the male chicks born in their hatchery, but
still not convinced that I can be a healthy, vague and at this point, but I'm going to try to be convinced. So again, this is it. slow unwinding of my carnivore lifestyle, but in any case, I've made the big change, which is no longer eat meat, chicken or fish. I suppose you could even make the case that eating fish, given our current system is more ethical, then continuing to eat dairy and eggs. I would be interested to know how you begins vegetarians knew view that I did have one idea for a short book or along blog article, where I could go through the comparative Neuro anatomy. Various species as well What we know about the the likely basis of consciousness and pain and suffering in various animal brains, and try to make some intelligent ranking of the
likely harm done at each stage so is it? Is it worth to kill a cow than a fish is a worse to kill a pig than a cow, Can you really eat oysters and other bivalves without any concern that they may be suffering? This might be interesting to look at some point. Take a fair amount of time to do it right, but damn then the case at the back of my mind, to look the next question is this: one from my final say: it amateur hoop. Many of you knows the Ex muslim iraqi reformer and condemn the voice of reason. He said he was recently on Dave. Rubens show and gave a great interview there, and he was. He was one of the people I consulted on my book with moderate and he gives him very helpful notice, his grey. anyway. He ass. If the islamic reformation slash modernization, movement doesn't succeed. What do you think should be the alternative
and that's a year, an extraordinarily difficult question I think come. I can't answer it. I don't think there is an alternative. If his Lompoc reform slash modernization doesn't succeed, we will have a continuous source of conflict with free speech. and tolerance of diversity and gender equality and respect for science. I think it will work at some point because it will become. so painful and untenable that it will just have to work on an how much blood will be spilled or how many pendulum swings toward reactionary government, We'll see in Europe, and even in the United States, They Donald Trump campaigns will have to endure again. I'm not especially worried that there's going to be a Trump presidency, but its conceivable as conceivable because of this, but it has to succeed or at the very least
Islam has to become like Christianity and in the United States. That a problem is big enough Meda have written a short book about it letter to a christian nation, but its comparatively intolerable problem. Once we get there once the Middle EAST is like the Bible belt, then we have the luxury of of trying to fine tune things and wondering what the far off or might look like, ok, another question. This is a long irish question that I got by e mail and it contains a criticism, but I thought it was good to see the whole thing I hears. My question was, context and set up. Do you think you're alliance on hypotheticals and thought experiments has become a hindrance to making headway in discourse on important issues, in particular the threat of islamic terrorism? Generally speaking, how bigger role should thought experiments in high pathetically play? Industry turn key issues. It seems that lately have given several gifts tier detractors, namely the statement about Ben Carson. While I,
and your position in stating that you support him over Chomsky on the point of terrorism only. I still think this was a disastrous tactical error that didn't need to be made here. What could have been made in any number of ways that didn't involve taking an absurd position voting for Carson under any metric on a situation that will never actually happen. Chomsky Rhine for present mansion apart and had not heard of your work until seen that statement maybe more or less likely to dig deeper and fully explore. The new ones of your views are right. You off as a crackpot. If the goal, is to win the war of ideas. It seems like tactics like this might be doing more harm than good. The non starter with Chomsky in the defence of torture, in certain circumstances, are other air is where relying on thought, experiment and hypotheticals did not.
came to win many supporters. The name is Jason title. Thank you Jason. Well, I agree. I think it's probably in these specific instances you cite counterproductive and perhaps I should be more disciplined in how a screen for those statements which some wine to being counterproductive or easily use to mislead them about my views. Here the Ben Carson thing is very obvious, though I couched it with so many caveats and so much context that one really had to be totally militias to spread the meme that I support Ben Carson for president. But of course I have critics who are just that malicious somewhere, like MAX Blumenthal, did Just that the issue is when people are that militias in their use of ellipses, they can defame you with any statement, but
I take your point. They may not notice that you were talking about anything until you make a statement of the sort I made about Carson and the net result of that. One certainly was not helpful on the question of thought. Experiments I noticed now I offered one at the top and talking about the narrative narrative. They do serve the purpose ass. If the analogy one is drawing, is correct of clarifying people's thinking and getting down to first principles using a thought experiment, worn analogy, however surprising can break the spell, for people in a way that just talking more and more about the complex details of events in the world, can't
So he I would be reluctant say that thought, experiments and hypotheticals shouldn't be used, but I think that more care is needed in resorting to them, perhaps release justifying their use and a year. I didn't think that kind of care was needed in the case of talking with someone like Chomsky, because obviously he's a celebrated academic who has who understands what is going on when someone resorts to a hypothetical in order to get it first principles he's also someone who seemed inclined to deliberately miss the point thinks it will serve his side of the argument. I have to factor in the price I pay for being so on my guard in conversations like the one I was having with Douglas Murray that I wind up just not having useful conversations and not branching out into areas that are ethically
interesting inconsequential, where my views may prompt someone to think differently in important ways than they thought before you know, I find it thrilling when someone raises a point that I find I'm uncomfortable with and I'm being led helplessly in the direction of something that I find. The stabilizing to my cherished opinions, and I can't see any errors the being made, and yet I don't like where I'm being taken. I find that absolutely thrilling. I find those men when some of the best moments in intellectual life and I've been told by me, if you that I managed to do that for you, so I would be released. To stop doing that, I'd be reluctant to speak more like a politician than I do, but I would be the first to admit that I may have caused myself more headaches. Then I should have by not being more careful
then so I dont know a lot of censoring of what I think or how I say things, but damn increasingly, I find that I do some because again, it's yak, if I didn't care, whether I was misrepresented, will be a lot easier and am getting off of twitter would be one way not to care, because I seemed only see these things on twitter, but then, as I said as well, I also see some useful things on twitter and what some of the upcoming conversation I will have on the spot cast our result of of what I've seen there. So the main there may be no perfect solution, an obscure trying to find my way as I eat nothing but vegetables next question: this is a similar one. Actually, obviously it's your quote. Controversial views that gain the most notoriety. However, the importance of an idea how much attention it receives our only Leslie related some ideas, arguably such as your stance on profiling, may turn out to be relatively unimportant regard.
of how reasonable are well reasoned? It is worse, it could be actively unhelpful. Such topics can be so explosive and your position may not condensed wheat length that it can easily be used by opponents to denigrate you in this guard sharing. Such ideas could detract from more critical points in what way Should the imagined repercussions effect? What you decide to publicly share? If you believe something to be true, would it be moral to withhold it in this respect? Is there such a thing as a noble lie of omission or their aid, Yes, you ve decided against sharing. What are they that's interesting? I share them now and other views of yours that you believe don't get enough attention, and this is from Jordan. Thank in Jordan.
again yeah. I think there and I once wrote an article believe it was entitled wide rather not speak about torture. On my blog and I said there were somewhere that I once had an epiphany that not everything worth saying is worth saying oneself. and that is still true. I still think that is true, and I notice certain people abide by this precept much better than I do and have commensurately easy lives. As a result, I would put someone like Steve Pinker in this category. This is not true of somebody like Richard Dawkins who gets down in the trenches in the same way. That I do part of this is: is the ideas themselves right so that there are topics like profiling, for instance, where I just think it's it's ethically both interesting and important, to figure out what we think on this topic. I may get this wrong in any significant way.
And people will die people by what the hundreds of thousands to its truly important that we figure this out so yeah. I am reluctant to say that I shouldn't touch those topics, but hindsight. I can say that yes, some of them have been just more trouble than their worth and- and I think I said on this podcast at least once that I tore up the best book contract I've ever had simply because I thought the topic Was- can be more trouble that's worth. The working title of the book was letters to a young liberal, and I was going to go after political correctness in all its forms. and talk about not only the things like Islamophobia but talk about. Violence in general and wealth and power
gender and essentially create a multi front war for myself on every topic that time the regressive left as we now call them following margin has stifled conversation, and I pitch that book and sold it and was then task to write it and literally Two days in two that contract- and I decided this was a terrible mistake and in the interests of sanity I tore up the contract. I'll, tell you what convinced me of this and you can be the judge of whether it makes sense, but so the first thing that happened was back when Ferguson was kicking off and I realize it had I written that this book already. And it done did touch issues of policing and identity.
Politics around race and all of the other really difficult inconsequential material in that area. If I had written this book and Just come out. I then in the active promoting it would have had. Have been the white guy on CNN, talk into Coronel West about police procedure and police brutality. Did I want to be that person I decided. No, I didn't know I dont want to be, I would have been thrown into contexts where it would be impossible to make sense on the again these very important issues. Without being demonize by half in the same way that I have been demonized by the left, but now by just a factor of ten And the other thing we convince me, which was also just just a surprise, eyes, but Sarah Silverman, who I dont know, but who I greatly admire and she's fantastic
noticed my blog post on on the Gaza conflict entailed Why don't? I criticise Israel question Mark she noticed this this article and liked it clearly and retweeted it to her five million fans, saying something like a. Please read this with an open mind, and it was like three months or more after I had written that Go in. My first reaction was not to be happy that someone I greatly admire liked what I had written and sent it out to her huge audience, no, my immediate reaction was. Why did she have to do that right? What what? What a fuckin headache for me and for her
in writing it. I knew that she was gonna start getting my hate mail. What I didn't want her to have to get- and I was just happy to not have to talk about Gaza and Israel again, because it is just so painful and again it's made painful by just the sheer idiocy becomes your way. It's not made painful by the the serious criticisms encounter points which are there to be made. You know, is not made painful by honest conversation on the topic. It's made painful by the demagoguery of people like and rain walls and all the rest and its inner. So my reaction to that and I look at her twitter feed and she immediately gets. You know I used to think you were funny, but now I see you just zionist cake just all of it right how much
more of that too. I want in my life when I could be having conversations of the sort that I just had with David Deutsch, for instance, and so yes, I tore up that book contract and totally happy that. I did, though I think that book should exist in some form, or the other factor here is that I have problem with bullies and am when I see someone being a bully. Whether its toward me toward some one else. I find it difficult not to respond. Many saw a recent collision between me and now seem to lab the author of the black swan and anti fragile and other books, which I shall wasn't it about but to lever someone I'm gone after before, because he's attacked me as a Charlotte. in all in capital, letters just noticed attacking Steve, pinker and again as a charlatan in all in capital letters and as a journal which he means by which means journalist.
I was unaware that had been going after Pinkerbloo, but when I saw him do that, I had to push back and I should say when I pushed back or as some of you noticed some- you worried that I was pushing back against him unfairly, and being a mean spirited in the process. If you just know the history here and I M judge for yourself, I again I want to talk about this people. This is how the sausage get made. I know many of you love this guy and think he's a genius. I can assure you, You not among you, are as impressed with his intelligence as he is disguised us insufferable and he's a bully and he's some most of the time doesn't make any sense and never
knows it have actually never witnessed a marriage of incompetence and confidence so fully and grotesquely consummated in the mind of a person with a public platform. This is the most arrogant person. I've ever had the misfortune of meeting. I had one lunch with him at a conference, we both attended, and then he insinuated himself into a debate that I have been scheduled to have with an already vastly overcrowded debate at us. You don T, lousy days in Mexico and then of the mexican version TED in that debate can be viewed in its entirety on Youtube. This was Eight, where we had done, was me Hitchin Dan Dennett on one side and the national. It and Rabbi Rabbi bosniak and I've forgotten who else on on the other side, but then nothing
Two lab insinuated himself into the debate who he was aghast that he had not been invited to participate, and though he had another talk scheduled at the conference. He really must be included in this debate because he had something so valuable to share and he was included because just can't resist such an eight hundred pound guerrilla. Now I should say that I met him first and when you meet him, you quickly discover that he radiates a sense of grievance from his pours in a way that few people do is kind of like a preternatural forests of negative charisma, and he can convey his contempt for everyone at the table. Just even in the way he says pass. The soft he's so convinced that his genius has not been appropriately lauded that he em you find some way to communicate this in almost every interaction here
child in a man's body, and the mismatch between his estimation of himself and the quality of his utterances is so complete and so mortifying to witness in person that you just you just fine, you you're, jumping out of your skin and ass. You can see what he brought to the stage at sea. It out. It was a performance that I think will stand the test of time for its incoherence and they confidence and censure of others on the stage with which that incoherence was espoused. It is really an amazing performance, and so, whenever to lab, starts bullying someone the first time this happened. He just attacked me out of the blue. I can I the know what provoked at, but I just started seeing on twitter that he was calling your charlatan then
now he's doing the same to Steve Pegre. So whenever he's done, as I think he's done, this twice that I've noticed all I've done is share this video in its entirety I'm a green walled in him greenly, by the way is a word now has taken off on Twitter, which I love you'll know what it means in context. I was not. meanwhile, the him. I was not taken some partial and misleading snippet of his speech and defaming him. That way, no I'm spreading the entire content in his into his entire. Whatever it is, it's in three segments spread the whole thing on twitter and and say yes, yoyo. Please recognize what a genius we're dealing with a judge for yourself whether this guy makes any sense at all whether his animist
science is compelling and for the first time around for time I did this, he went berserk and he said it shows you what a coward you are that you will. It will deal with Youtube videos, but you won't deal with my published work, which of course, is brilliant, and then he hurled some paper at me, which I read also found tat. for an tweeted to my audience in I thought I entirely fair way. I said now seem to lab thinks it's very important that you all read this paper and spread it. That way, so I said the content, which is in fact a representative of what the guys up to on these topics. In any case, he went berserk on twitter. You may still be going preserved, as I speak his words and done. He called me a pseudo scientist and demanded to see no what scientific papers I published and his discussion of these topics is so
oh unprofessional that term again, I wouldn't engage with it, but for the fact that is this tremendous bully he's a very rich and in some circles well regarded person he's not I'm not punching down. When I deal with this guy inexplicably their people like Daniel Economists, who really is an eight hundred pound guerrilla. We will share the stage with him and you see him occasionally bail him out when he begins to become incoherent, but for life. For me, I can't see why anyone takes him seriously beyond the few memorable ideas he's had like the notion of blacks, one which may in fact be the black swan, have fun to labs career, which is to say the one instance in which he made sense in his attack on me till I brought up a few things
again in a totally and coherent way, which many of you may find interesting irrelevant to end, and I think I've tried to sort this out on in previous podcast, but see if you can follow this there's something here, that's important and about which many people are confused. Ah, he claims I'm not a scientist that I'm just a journalist and he very slightly demanded to know whether had published any Neuro scientific papers. But by what measure am I a neuroscientist? then, so I sent him the two F Mri papers I had published and he got back where the white only chief, only published to scientific papers with six different co authors. How does that make you? A neurosurgeon
just so that it is an instance of a gull posed moving there. He asked to see the papers which he assumed didn't exist. I sent him to papers and he rejected them as being only two and having coercion there's a he, data, doesnt seem to know, understand anything about the conventions of publishing within science in general and neuroscience in particular. But damn then our response that will surely you of all people in the same are not claiming that scientific thought can only be confined to academic journals, and then got back saying that most to his desk papers had not been published, but they were. They were rigorous. Now he saying that it doesn't really matter if you published an academic journals but for some reason his papers and more rigorous his unpublished papers and more rigorous than mine, and this thing is
maybe even more incoherent, because he's attacking Steven pinker in precisely the same terms again charlatan and all capital letters journal, journalist and Steve has, I don't know a hundred and fifty two hundred academic papers. It doesn't make any sense and then he he I think try to accuse me of hypocrisy for attacking raise Ascalon for lying about his academic credentials, as though I was a stickler for academic credentials. Marcella. Let me try clear confusion on this point, because there really is a real possibility of confusion here and I think it's important to sort out. I don't care about credentials. I care about people's arguments and their evidence. I certainly don't care about whether something is published in an academic journal or in a book or on a blog again. I care about idea
and I live my own life. From that point of view, no, my phd is in neuroscience. I have always considered myself a philosopher first now, that's going to gall many academic philosophers who do care about credentials and think that up my lack of a phd in philosophy, disqualifies me to consider myself a philosopher. Well, hurry. Most of what I do is philosophy. Its moral philosophy is met. Ethics is the philosophy of mind and these kinds of questions that interests me got a phd in Neuroscience, because I want to be able to do that from the most scientifically informed, plays, and I'm still doing Some research in neuroscience I've collaborated on a paper that a follow up to my first two on belief and that's
in process now, and I am still doing near imaging work, but it is not what I'm doing mostly I don't have an appointment at a university, I'm firstly, writing in doing podcast like this rights, I write books. I write blog posts. I write articles. I do pod cast an eye attempt to spread my ideas in the in a forum, its most effective for the spread of ideas. I am often asked to submit papers to academic journals, and I always decline. Why do I decline? Because that is effectively, burying my work, Why would I write a paper for a philosophy journal when I rain article on my blog. That will be right ed by literally
a thousand times the number of readers. There are certain things that can only be published first in a proper academic journal like like an MRI experiment, should be published in some relevant journal, but, generally speaking, it would be crazy for me to write for academic journals. There's no reason to do it, and so the last conversation I had with David Deutsche he and I could have approached some scientific or philosophical journal and I too have a conversation about the foundations of science in the nature of explanation and the prospects of artificial intelligence, posing a problem for humanity and the other topics we talked about, and I am sure we could have gotten it published and I'm sure little more than five hundred people would have ever seen it in that context, and it would have to in much more work to do right here we just got on Skype,
and more or less cover the same ground, and all of you heard it and most have you found it very interesting and useful, as I did, because David is an extremely deep thinker, but this podcast isn't peer reviewed right feel free to review it yourself. This peer reviewed in terms of whether the ideas survive their collision with the minds of listeners like yourself so I dont care about where people publish and I certainly don't care about people's credentials. The only reason why I criticized raise Ascalon about his is because he is obviously exaggerating them and he's denigrating the credit at every everyone else that there's no one who has been more attached to the credentials of his opponents and, more Complimentary of his own then raise Ocelot every
open opened his mouth. He reminds you his a ph, unfortunately, that subject he has that degree in keeps changing and never seems to accurately described the one he actually hold. So I was criticising raises on as a liar and a hypocrite and, as you know, I have problems with line. This is one of my hobby horses. I think line is the worst thing you can do, Inter personally, professionally it's it's just. It is kryptonite, I'm consoled by the fact that some of my worst enemies- are rather avid liars right. These there lies eventually will bring them down. I am reasonably confident of that, so I hope that clarifies my collision with them to lab. I am against the final point to make their ideas.
Many of you know the difference. The distinction between science and philosophy or the rest of our intellectual life for me is not hard and fast. I think viewing it as hard and fast is a genuine intellectual error of some consequence. So, depending on the context, I call myself a neuroscientist, mostly because that is the than the title of the degree that I have and some of my interests can be narrowly defined as Neuro Scientific and send. Certainly some of my writing can be. No individual chapters in some of my books are pure neuroscience, but I dont think these distinctions matter and happily, I'm not in a position to have to keep tightly myself and I dont meet. Many people like now seem to lab who care or pretend to care about what I call myself and when I sit down with people like Jack O willing next week and talk about why.
Once my narrow scientists. Probably not am I a philosopher- maybe probably not I, my intellectual interests- aren't easily pigeonholed, but I certainly won't cop to being a journalist, because that is not how we operate and if you notice how I conduct my interviews, I am not merely asking questions of my guess. I'm tryin have a conversation with them and very often I'm taking up much space as they are and that's on purpose. It's a conversation is not a normal interview, because I want to talk to these people and I presume that if your listening to this part cast, you want to hear me talk to these people apology. Of all of this sounds weirdly defensive, but again I've just come out of them. The war zone of social media next Western. You place a lot of value on truth as an ideal, yet isn't lifting truth to such a law.
position, sometimes itself irrational Imagine a man who is happily married unbeknown to him a decade ago, his wife cheated on him she's, not on faithful now, nor she ever likely to be unfaithful again the man learning. This information would result in his been traumatized and destroy the marriage, leaving both of the miserable the church Children would likewise be terribly affected by the resulting divorce. Is there value gain by the man learning this truth outside of truth, as an ideal to strive for in and of itself, Wouldn't everyone involved the happier for this man's ignorance of this aspect of reality. Well granted there are some borderline conditions where it seems plausible to talk about truths that or that one is better off, not knowing, but TAT S, not the same question as whether or not one should lie to conceal these truths present.
I distinguish in my book line between keeping secrets and telling lies and if you have to tell a lie to keep a secret will then, generally speaking, I think the secret is not worth keeping it tat intrinsically separates you from the people. You care about and lies usually told out of fear for what the consequences would be. If, though, close to. You knew the truth about what you have done or what you thought. So, insofar as we want to live a life of real intimacy and end relative transparency, then I think keeping significant secrets and lying so as to safeguard them is not the way to do it. The more interesting questions: how could one become the sort of person who could know the truth? Even even truth of the of the sword described in that question, and and the okay with it I mean really written somehow in the fabric of the universe or in the wiring plan.
Of the human brain that it's impossible to overcome and infidelity, especially if the if it has no relevance in the present and reflected in some sense, the actions of a different self years before I don't think so, but again either that there are people for whom this is set in the bar way too high, and if you know that about yourself, do you know that about someone closed you will and keeping a sacred or lying or avoiding certain types of information can become
can a matter of self defense or or meant to send seven others Saturday, and I'm not saying that those situations never exist. But, generally speaking, I want to know what has happened in my life. I want to know whether those closest to me have been deceiving me and the remedy for their past deceptions, it seems to me, is not continuing to deceive me. On those specific So I would want that information and I actually cant think of an example in my own life of wishing I hadn't known something for you guys constantly experienced in this. You find out something unpleasant about someone you know and considering the situation in its totality. You wish you didn't know that thing you wish you were in the dark about it. You find out some one is only partly
in the like you, but behind your back, they say terrible things about you when you learn that you wish. You didn't know that about them. Is that your intuition? It's never been mine. So any case. I admit that is possible, but it is just not the common case. My default is to say the truth is almost always better than a lie, though there there is certainly some scope for keeping secrets. I discuss these cases more in my book line if any new interest and just to have received another question? Just now, and I similar topic question from an Ex muslim Peter I'm a twenty one year old Ex Muslim and have been in the closet. Since I was fifteen when I first lost my faith, Narrative blurb by Rebecca Goldstein for a book called creating change through humanism by Roy Speck ART, and if you don't who Rebecca goals, data sheets him,
novelist, philosopher and also happens to be the better half of Steve Pinker and quite a wonderful woman which so eloquently put down words. Everything has been troubling me. She writes about how debilitating it can be to lead a double life and havoc augmented. Dissonance can eventually lead to a loss of one sense of integrity. At the end, the following question. What resonates deeply with many ex Muslims, including myself, is it possible to be a person of integra? while maintaining a radical by four occasions between ones outer and inner lives, and if that in our life, should vote you rationality, free inquiry and the of all of us to flourish to our fullest. Then how can you keep silent about the conclusions to which your rational free inquiry has brought? You end quote, and
questioner continues I'll give you a short background. I live in a country where a pass to see is punishable by death. Gainers you listeners just take a moment to imagine what that's like understand. It's a reality of many people who are also listening to this part cast terrain the many people who also have to listen to the crew is denials of the problem. This one from all the usual suspects? The writer continues and I realize that coming out in such circumstances, not an option at all I was born to loving parents, the cherry picking peace, loving kind and will quite like have an opportunity to move out of here after completing my education. My sissy will have only social costs, so I'm lucky than some muslim women who often endure physical violence from their family? However, my relative good fortune has allowed me to speculate about the implications of coming out
I'm painfully aware that most religions, especially Islam, are the complete antithesis of everything I value and that it is necessary for ex Muslims to stand together in critic of the insanely barbaric doctrines of Islam. This is a person born to muslim family in a muslim country in the closet. As an atheist, saying these things about Islam, this is this person a big it is. His person is Lama foam scrub, the hard drive of your brain with these kinds of confessions. If you feel any concern at all that critics of his mom doctrine are lying about the nature of the doctrine. At the same time, I cannot help, but wonder of doing this would be worth the personal costs have openly criticised in Islam, such as rejection and ostracism from my beloved family and friends in the short flicker of consciousness that we are blessed with on this planet.
person say she lived a good life if she was denied familial love throughout, although it has challenges in some respects is easier for ex Muslims who face violence and hatred from their families to stir a new life once they have migrated to another country, The majority of Muslim, such as myself, are stuck between two worlds. We do not to leave everything behind and we do not want our actions to hurt our family, but living life against our core principles is mentally and spiritually. Taxing Would you be willing to be ostracised from the people? You love for the sake of the greater good, should ex Muslims, like us, delegate the task of critiquing religion to such people as Ali Risky and Sarah or who are able to leave the religion with fewer repercussions. Or do you believe that the threat of phenomena- Islam is so great that people should risk ostracism violence and even death to fight against it isn't even possible to fully flourish. human being while living your whole life under a pretence, and then she closes by saying I apologise if these questions sound naive, not at all
Considering how many more quotes serious problems within Islam, we need to tackle they're, not at all naive and arguably there. among the most serious questions. This is the issue. How do you transform the attitudes of hundreds of no in the people who are not she obviously, but who acquiesce and tacitly support or me even actively support social norms that dumb stifle freedom of speech and free thought and creativity and everything else your right to value and I'm sorry, I just don't have an answer to that question. In the specific case of any individual I have a general answer in the general, Answer is, as you
Clearly, no, I think free speech has to win. I think people have to come out of the closet. I think we have to criticise bad ideas and kids should talk back to their parents, and teachers should intrusive. We educate their students to not believe what their parents insistence true, if in fact innocent, but in the case of any one person you I can't say yes, I think you should come out of the closet and your life would be better for it because, you're. My remarks about line in self defense could well apply here. If you think your life will be destroyed, you'll violently or otherwise. By telling the truth will then the reason to keep the truth hidden by whatever means necessary is obvious, and I think it's obviously justified, and I am only only you can decide what the risks are and what the costs are. In your case of not being honest with your parents,
In my experience, people from all denominations can find themselves in situations analogous to this one. there are Christians who are worried about losing everyone. They love. I hear from husbands and wives who are married to a spouse with whom they have children and they can't tell their spouse that that they ve lost their faith and then another deciding how intolerable that is and whether its whether they can live with bringing their children up, to believe this thing they no longer believe just to avoid having to deal with their spouses reaction ones. Here she finds out that they no longer believe in God, and the same of course is true with children and their parents but what is unique to the muslim world and again, the muslim world is not just in the Middle EAST or in muslim majority countries. I'm talkin bout muslim communities in the west. What is unique
here is a credible concern about violence. No sounds like this. Woman does not actually fear her family, which is great, although she fears losing them, she doesn't fear having them kill her and again, I can't emphasis eyes too often that that is the situation that so many Muslims are in Muslim. Women in girls in particular, who are worried about being murdered by their own family members. If they talk honestly about what they believe to be true about a holy book, it almost impossible for many of us to understand that is really going on in the world. But it is so I'm sorry I I I I want to thank you for writing to me. can you should know that there are many other people in precisely or situation and our cause you to write to Sarah. Haider and highly risky who had a far more informed opinion on this topic than I have.
Could, and maybe they should set up a something analogous to the clergy project. Where were you can have a non ass, an anonymous web forum of people who are ex Muslims but are for one reason or another still in the closet, maybe that exists in a case. I find these kinds of him, heartbreaking, and they are in large measure why I keep talking about Islam that and the intolerable affronts to free speech that were all living with interesting to think about. What was her response? Someone I Glenn Green Wild wood or could give to an email like this, seeking to say, oh don't you realize it's. The same thing happens to new atheist kids, who are worried about being murdered by their parents or ostracised the new aid theatre, justice fundamentalists as any religious. Group, see lay that down in this context, then I guess it's I feel for you and I certainly encourage you to
out of that? Whatever country? That is where a pass to see is a killing offence, come to the west, surround yourself with secular people and then you'll be indifferent, position to decide whether or not you wanna tell your parents what you believe another question here, from my a woman who were described himself ass, a have neuroscientist in Argentina. So the question is on the topic of the ever present topical politics now She says our simplify your arguments against the regressive left and summarised them. Ass quote. The left has missed the point so badly that their basically responsible for smart and otherwise sensitive people like yourself to lean towards the right and then she's it goes on. so that this argument is always troubled me and I thought epitomize in the recent presidential elections in Argentina worm from isn't it intellectually
politically lazy to support right wing ideas and policies, just because the left has gotten it were most of it wrong. I get there. You are two parties, but surely must be some room for new ones. Don't you think that people in positions like yours could be could also be advocating a better left? Well, yes, thank you for the question. I think you misunderstood my point on this topic. I do view myself if someone is advocating for equal, better left, I'm liberal in virtually every relevant sense, and you also know what to call myself because so make what liberals are confused about the problem of God. Double jihadism that it say it's misleading to call myself a liberal in that context, but my view use on the topic, not a result of increased sympathy with the political right,
it's just. I am worried about a time where, given a choice between the right or the left, when the left is this confused on this topic, really civilization importance and given a force choice between the two that even otherwise liberal people will be forced to choose the right and I see that potentially happening in Europe before the U S, but I could see that happy in the: U S as well: It is not a matter of becoming more right wing, it's a matter of the house is on fire and the only people who seem aware the flames don't usually belong on. The ceiling are members of the right answer then, who are you can trust to put out the fire you ve got one at least one side is talking about fire more or less accurately and acknowledging shouldn't be where it currently is
The other side is, is speaking here delusion and in many cases region for a can of gasoline. That's the problem If you have an emergency and only one side seems to be cognizant of it. Well, then that's the side you have to pick again. I don't think we're in that situation yet, but I could see us push there by a sufficiently large act of terrorism, and this goes back to the thing I said about then Carson again, then Carson is a religion. Idiot of the first order, and happily his campaign now is foundering and will never hear from him again. But yes, I do view Someone like NOME Chomsky on this issue as well.
in suicidally out to lunch, write his views about the total culpability of the west for the problem of jihadism. That is just a sink hall. Morally and politically that we have to avoid. We have to do everything we can to avoid going down that whole into masochism industries to pine effort to placate our enemies, no matter how diabolical they are, and we now have some truly diabolical enemies, and if I, videos, can convince you of that. Will then you are unreachable,
says: videos aren't are a propaganda right. This is an US producing caricatures of the enemy. This is what the enemy is producing as its own outreach watch some of those videos and tell me that they are an expression of some sort of legitimate grievance against the west. Tell me that it's our job, to create a safe space for these barbarians. Tell me that the term barbarian is excessive. In this case, Go ahead, run that psychological experiment on yourself. Just don't do it before dinner. One question here about the black lives matter campaign and the so called Ferguson effect in policing where the law Alan crime rate has gone up in several cities, possibly as a result of cops, no longer policing as actively
I guess I'll defer that to my interview with with Scotty rates again he'll, be they the right person to go down that particular rapid hole with one reader ass. How fast you read they quite slowly. Occasionally. I ask him something, but basically I read everything like in scripture and I dont did read. I read them far too slowly inconvenient. Here's a question I've heard many atheists talk about polygamy as a negative aspect of certain religions, and I agree holy it is an evil when forced on anybody, but like all non monogamy, is something that many healthy, intelligent people engage in willingly, even without the influence of religion. is there anything inherently wrong with polygamy between three or more consenting adults. If so, what and if not Why call it out as an example of evil instead of the religious imperative itself? I think I understand that last but awoke.
about polygamy, the problem very much. I think it is a problem in a religious contacts whether to modern culture. one like Mormonism were a traditional one. As you see in various muslim contacts problem because it is synonymous with the lower status of women, something coercive about it, there's something massage monistic about it. This nigh freely chosen arrangement on the part of the women, but it certainly is the worst part of their lives in these cases, either early I wouldn't imagine it would be. I don't think as anything in train ITALY wrong with. non monogamy. I just think its most of the time. I'm unworkable. Given the nature of the human mind, I think people suffer from this. Complication of their lives are intensely for the most part. I haven't
heard of it really working. Whenever me, someone who claims to be in an open relationship, I see a virtual time bomb ticking over their heads. It just just tend not to work out, but I am not at all judgmental about it on a long ethical lines. As long as it does not involve deception. Will there and people are consenting to be in these arrangements? Will then you feel free to have a harem as far as I'm concerned, man or woman? So am I don't think it's a central concern either way, but it's in a religious contacts. It tends to be carton. Part all of the degradation and control of women. Do you think, there's a possibility given advances in technology, you could have your stance changed on free will actually don't see how my view about free will could change aware of what I think about free will. I think it's even worse. Then an illusion. I think it's it
the illusion is itself in an illusion which say that we think we have a new experience, a freeware, what we don't actually have only pay close attention and it makes no sense in third person, neuro physiological terms or physical terms or in any other term, so it it say it's not an ordinary illusion. It's not like it's something there, and then you look more closely and it's gone. If you were closely your fine that it never really quite there is certainly no there's. No, as I said, there's no way the world we can describe causality in the world so as to make sense of the conventional notion of free will, I don't see a space for it among our concepts about how causes operate in a week. We could define it differently and that's that I was not fine, I think it especially useful, but that people do that and then we can agree that that sort of free will might exist but dumb what most people mean, libertarian free will
could have done otherwise in the circumstance. If you roll back- the movie of my life. I could have decided not to answer this question that is a m, a non starter as far as I can He also actually don't see what could conspire to make me change my view here and that's not true of almost anything else. I can easily specify the terms under which I would believe that Jesus was the Son of God or that Braun, was the perfect word of God or that human beings are now than a live to be a thousand years old ovens, all kind of amazed. In things they could be demonstrated to me that would radically change my view of the world and I can pretty easily come up with the conditions under which
A change in view would occur through no freewill of my own I'll, just be helplessly led to believe something new, but I dont actually see how they can happen on the topic of free will, and I would say the same about the existence of the the self, the ego that most people feel they have riding around behind their eyes. In their heads ass, you see the other side. The coin of this free will issue is killing another human being always wrong. Even in circumstances such as self defense is earned ethics for killing. Yes, this is this some one who hasn't read my books. He I'll defer this to my conversation with Jacko willing who will be well placed to talk about the ethics of killing, but
the short answer is. Yes, I think you can the ethical. In fact, I think there are situations where you would be immoral monster for declining to kill someone in defensive yourself or in particular in defence of some other helpless person and therefore think pacifism, why It is generally considered the most refined moral position with respect to violence. I think actually, a and of orange position when you with the details must not say that that is a cowardly one. Necessarily there are very brave pacifists, like Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr, but I think pacifism, as some Orwell pointed out, only works in the presence of a severe only civilized enemy and, it's just say a guaranteed way to give the world over the most violent and least scrupulous people, and Why would we want to do that?
the question. I wonder why you don't use the example of child abuse by catholic priest is being another case of religious doctrine, in this case for celibacy having harm repercussions in real life to me, just like jihadism can be linked to certain islamic doctrines. So can the widespread catholic sex abuse case Further societies unquestioning respect for legend enabled this for a long time, even though there are countless examples the religious dogmatism causing harm. I thought this was a pretty good example and might help you to explain we're not unfairly targeting Islam but highlighting the. Dangers of dogmatism in unquestioning respect and tolerance of religion above the rule of law. If you do not think this is the same, I would be interested to know why? Ok, well, you certainly can be forgiven for not having read everything I've written, but I can just have done this I wrote a book called letter to a christian nation which, when, after a christianity, just
full bore in wait. I've never quite gone after Islam, the least all in one place, It is true that I am ignored the pedophile priests, and for a while. I think I mention it in a to christian nation, but at a certain point that stops. I refer you to my ass, a bringing the Vatican to justice, but I'll give you the first two paragraphs of that you can get a sense of how I actually haven't ignore the link between doctrine and this problem. Although its, I should say to less direct link, then the link between Islamic doctrines around she hard and the problem of jihad you'll see what I mean: bringing the Vatican to justice. I confess that as a critic of religion, I have paid too little attention to the sexual abuse scandal in the catholic church. Frankly, it always felt Sportsmanlike to shoot so large and languorous efficient, so tiny, a barrel. This scandal, one of the most spectacular own goals in the history of religion and there, Sir
to be no need to ride faith at its most vulnerable and self abased. Even in retrospect, it's easy to understand. how to avert one's eyes. Just imagine it. why is mother and father sending their beloved child to the church of a thousand hands for spiritual instruction? only to have him raped and terrified into silence by threats of hell. and then imagine this occurring to tens of thousands of children in our own time, the children beyond reckoning for over a thousand years, the spectacle of faith so utterly misplaced and so fully betrayed is simply to deprive seemed to think about, but there is always more to this phenomenon that should have compelled my attention, the ludicrous ideology that made it possible the catholic churches two millennia, demonizing human sexuality to a degree unmatched by any other institution declaring the most basic, healthy, mature and consensual behaviors taboo.
Indeed, this organization still opposes the use of contraception, preferring instead that the poorest people on earth be blessed with the largest, families in the shortest lives. As a consequence of this hallowed and incorrigible stupidity, Churches condemned generations of decent people to shame and hypocrisy. Two neolithic. Fecundity poverty and death by aids. add to this inhumanity. The artifices cloistered celibacy And now you have an institution, one of the wealthiest on earth. The preferentially attracts Petre, ass had a files and sexual sadist into its ranks promotes the positions of authority in grants them privileged access to children,. I consider that vast numbers of children will be born out of wedlock and their unwed mothers vilified wherever church teaching hold sway, leader boys and girls by the thousands to be abandoned. Church run orphanages only to be raped and terrorised by the clergy here in this
foolish machinery set whirling through the ages by the opposing winds of shame and sadism. We mortals can finally how strangely perfect, are the ways of the Lord. So am I leave you to read the rest of it, but damn, let me just plead innocent that term, ignoring this particular problem. On that happy note, You have been added for a while here I bent ear None too hopeful directions mostly happy new year people. If you enjoy it pike ass. There are several ways you can support it. You can we
reviews on Itunes or stature where we happened to listen to it you can share and on social media with your friends, you can discuss it on your own blog or podcast, where you can support it directly and two ways you can do this the donation through my website at SAM Harris DOT orgy forward, slash, donate or you can try, membership and audible leading source of audio books at all.
Transcript generated on 2020-10-08.