Glen Beck Recommends A Sam Harris Book

Didn’t see that coming! Glen Beck thinks Sam Harris is a wise man. Here’s Harris’s Glen Beck approved book, Lying.

Your Thoughts?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Castilliano

    “Not the singer, I guess.”
    No, not the singer.

    That’s kind of awesome.
    Not that Harris earned a Beck plug, but that Beck unwittingly bolstered an opponent. And that Beck’s followers may dabble with more Harris afterward.

    Cheers, JMK

  • AaronCC

    A friend of mine was pointing out that this isn’t actually all that surprising. Beck has had Penn Jillette on several times talking about atheist issues and is able to find some common ground even where he disagrees. Of course, those two meet at the cross-section of magical Libertarian land, so it’s not surprising there. I was surprised to find a pretty respectful dialogue about these things in a 40 minute discussion I watched on Youtube.

    Anyway, Beck might disagree with Harris’s other books, but that wouldn’t necessarily keep him from finding good points in his book about lying. As far as I can tell, Harris’s arguments are as available to Christians as they are to atheists in that book. Whether Glen Beck actually knows who Sam Harris is is probably up for debate.

  • Michael R

    Yes, as mentioned below, anyone who watches Beck knows that he is friends with Penn Jillette (who is open about his atheism on Beck’s show) and Beck cares less about a person’s race and religion, and more about their character and culture. Atheists beating this up are guilty of rushing to judgement about Beck, exposing their own biased groupthink of anyone religious or anyone conservative, etc.

    • Sven2547

      Beck doesn’t care much about an individual’s religion, but he strongly promotes a Christian-supremacist American government.

    • Dylan Walker (Skeptimus Prime)

      I’ll admit that Beck is confusing character. It’s sometimes hard to know where he will land on particular issues. I’ve agreed with his conclusions on a number of occasions, though I agree far less often with the logic he used to get to that conclusion.

      However, It’s not rushing to judgement to point out when Beck makes legitimately bizarre arguments or promotes conspiracy theorists who pretend to be legitimate experts in a field like David Barton for instance.

    • Dave Ucannottaknow

      Penn Jillete being a friend of Glen Beck is unsurprising in that Jillete is a Libertarian atheist. As for Beck, he believes in no other cause other than to be on what he thinks is the winning side!

  • Anton

    I doubt Beck really read Harris’s book, but it’s not completely farfetched. After all, Harris is occasionally touted by the right-wing press here as a kindred spirit because of his strong words against radical Islam. After the Sandy Hook massacre, Harris made points with the FOX folks by admitting he’s a gun lover and mocking the gun control measures that later failed to pass Congress.

    That said, I’m a progressive Christian who who thinks more believers should read Harris’s books. Likewise, I think atheists who dismiss the value of subjective experience should read the “Experiments in Consciousness” chapter of Harris’s The End of Faith.

    • Olsonic

      Anti-Sam Harris slander alert! Anton’s failed to mention that Sam Harris supports much stricter gun control measures than any political candidate (left or right). He thinks acquiring a gun should be as stringent as acquiring a pilot’s license. He did mock the assault weapons ban, but only because it isn’t an honest effort to reduce gun violence (his point is that rifles of any kind account for 3% of all gun-related deaths, and notes assault rifles are a subset of rifles–therefore by definition less than 3%).

      It’s so frustrating to see people like Anton take such a flippant attitude towards representing people’s views.

    • Anton

      My apologies. Obviously flippancy is one of your pet peeves.

  • Al

    What’s the difference between Sam Harris and Glen Beck? One’s neocon, anti Muslim sensationalist, the other’s Glen Beck……zing!!!!!!

    • Olsonic


  • Shira Coffee

    He apparently has NO IDEA who Sam Harris is, except not a singer. Fortunately for him, his viewers probably have no idea either.

  • Laurent Weppe

    It’s the Gaddafi/Assad syndrome: when western right-wingers believed that Gaddafi and Affez al-Assad were socialists, they refused to touch them with a 30 feet pole; once they realized that they were merely parasitic kleptocrats who held their own people in contempt, they welcomed them with open arms.

    Same thing with Harris: people like Beck are starting to see the bourgeois white supremacist under the veneer of “militant atheism”, so now he’s respectable.