Reading Assignment

English: Sam Harris

English: Sam Harris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In looking over my email this morning – Mondays often bring a bunch of weekly Blog reports – the one that caught my attention was “Reflections on the skeptic and atheist movements” by Massimo Pigliucci. [Here] It has links to a relevant set of papers and Blog entries in its extensive footnotes.

I’m curious to hear what you have to say about the ongoing exchanges between the aggressive atheists and their critics. The “debate” reminds me of the book Critical Condition reviewed here in which Patrick Finn worries that critical thinking is destructive, and that what we need more of in this world is creative thinking.

Sam Harris has been in the news recently for his attempt to engage Noam Chomsky in a “debate” about terrorism. Harris went public with the email exchange that he had with Chomsky. [Here]

And then Salon wrote about that exchange [Here] in a short piece titled “Noam Chomsky undresses Sam Harris: Stop “pretending to have a rational discussion”.

3 thoughts on “Reading Assignment

  1. Sam Harris is a pain-in-the-ass. Why would he publish the private email exchange with Noam Chomsky? What does darkfabric have to say (isn’t Harris your hero?)?

    Who cares? Let’s talk about rules. 😉


  2. From Salon:
    Listening to Harris talk about the mind, its innermost workings, and free will can be fascinating. But by engaging Noam Chomsky, he only managed to reveal just how out of his league he is on crucial matters on which he fancies himself an informed commentator. In philosophical models, perhaps intent is all. But when the death toll of opposing sides is different by a factor of hundreds, it’s a moral imperative to take note of body count. And when leaders’ professed intentions can’t be trusted, Chomsky’s moral universality is a far more reliable beacon.

    – Kyle Schmidlin.


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