Sam Harris v Rabbi David Wolpe

I’ve been listening to this debate through the morning while working remotely, and I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and thought this was probably one of the best examples of someone clearly and concisely arguing the merits of their religion — a rarity in most debates where you get rhetoricians like William Lane Craig who never argue for their religion but rather against science and rationality.

The only instance in which I was at all annoyed with, was the repeated attempt to saddle atheism – the lack of belief in any god – with the crimes of the secularly dogmatic institutions of Stalin and Pol Pot, etc. Just because you feel your religion would have prevented such genocides, doesn’t mean that your feelings on the matter have any merit. Genocides are being carried out in religion’s name to this very day. You trying to blame atheism for genocide is the height of incivility when Harris made no such “first shot” salvo with regard to, say, the ethnic cleansing in Burma or the sectarian violence in the Middle East or that whole episode of human history known as the Dark Ages or the Spanish Inquisition.

The commonality between all of these events, was human beings. Human beings are capable of despicable acts, regardless of what they believe. For instance, Hitler was a God-fearing Christian, not an atheist that believed in science and rational thought. The point is, humans in power who have psychotic tendencies will perform acts of great objective evil, when objective morality is accepted as what is best for the continuation and well-being of the human species as a whole.

The stupid embed code auto-plays, so I’m putting it below the fold.

Sam Harris v Rabbi David Wolpe

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