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Sunday, December 24, 2006

I ♥(heart) Sam Harris

The LA Times website posted a great article today by Sam Harris entitled 10 Myths - and 10 Truths About Atheism
Here are a couple of my favorite parts: (The numbered sentence is the myth and the response is the truth...)
"2) Atheism is responsible for the greatest crimes in human history.

People of faith often claim that the crimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were the inevitable product of unbelief. The problem with fascism and communism, however, is not that they are too critical of religion; the problem is that they are too much like religions. Such regimes are dogmatic to the core and generally give rise to personality cults that are indistinguishable from cults of religious hero worship. Auschwitz, the gulag and the killing fields were not examples of what happens when human beings reject religious dogma; they are examples of political, racial and nationalistic dogma run amok. There is no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too reasonable."

"6) Atheists are arrogant.

When scientists don't know something, like why the universe came into being or how the first self-replicating molecules formed, they admit it. Pretending to know things one doesn't know is a profound liability in science. And yet it is the life-blood of faith-based religion. One of the monumental ironies of religious discourse can be found in the frequency with which people of faith praise themselves for their humility, while claiming to know facts about cosmology, chemistry and biology that no scientist knows. When considering questions about the nature of the cosmos and our place within it, atheists tend to draw their opinions from science. This isn't arrogance; it is intellectual honesty."

I recommed reading the whole article.

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