How to criticize bad ideas

“We have to be able to criticize bad ideas–and Islam is the motherlode of bad ideas.” While no rational person would disagree with the first half of Sam Harris’ statement, his depiction of Islam as a veritable gold mine of fatuous propositions nearly prompted Ben Affleck to go Batman on him during a recent episode of Real Time [Read More...]

Some resources to help you think through the Affleck/Maher/Harris “debate” over Islam

First of all, here it is in case you missed it. Sam Harris has written a lengthy blog post offering his perspective not only on his interaction with Ben Affleck but what he feels motivated Affleck’s hostile response. After the show, a few things became clear about Affleck’s and Kristof’s views. Rather than trust poll [Read More...]

Have you fallen for the myth of pure evil?

In his book Evil, psychologist Roy Baumeister busts what he calls the myth of pure evil, the idea that evil is, the intentional and gratuitous infliction of harm for its own sake, perpetrated by a villain who is malevolent to the bone, inflicted on a victim who is innocent and good. We see depictions of this [Read More...]

What is the best foundation for the existence of objective moral values–theism or atheism?

Either I’m getting old or something is happening at precisely 4:48 a.m. each morning to wake me up. Whatever the case, one of the things I do to while away the early morning hours/help myself fall back asleep is listen to podcasts on all sorts of topics. This weekend it was Sam Harris debating William [Read More...]

A momentary lapse of reason?

I’ve been following with great interest Sam Harris’s extended exchanges with his critics. First it was Daniel Dennet, who wrote a lengthy and scathing critique of Harris’s book Free Will, calling it a “veritable museum of mistakes.” I am grateful to Harris for saying, so boldly and clearly, what less outgoing scientists are thinking but keeping [Read More...]


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