2019-05-13

Sam Harris still appealing to the equally bigoted

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by Neil Godfrey

I haven’t the patience to sit through any more of Sam Harris’s ignorance and special pleading so I’m glad PZ Myers has done the “honours” or at least has cited some one else who has done the (surely painful!) work:

Sam Harris’ very special pleading

(Who IS this Sam Harris fellow, anyway? Why does he even have a platform alongside names I can understand being of some note, like Richard Dawkins?)

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Neil Godfrey

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12 Comments

  • Steven C Watson
    2019-05-13 22:56:10 GMT+0000 - 22:56 | Permalink

    I doubt PZ has anything particularly accurate to say about octupii let alone anything else. I haven’t followed up anything he writes about that hasn’t proven a misrepresentation; wrong; a lie; a smear; or just outright defamation more than one time in twenty.

    I go straight to the source if I can and make my own mind up; I don’t take my information second-hand from people who are occasionally, but significantly, wrong; let alone obvious dishonest actors like PZ Meyers.

    Surprise, surprise though: it isn’t just filtered through PZ. He is getting it filtered through someone else himself.

    Well done Neil; you are now another unreliable source where I have to check the spoons.

    • 2019-05-15 04:57:08 GMT+0000 - 04:57 | Permalink

      Steven: I agree that PZ seems more focused on generating controversy (perhaps because controversy means clicks?) than giving useful insights or information.

      (This opinion is based on what he seemed to be some years ago, so I can’t speak with any authority on the content today.)

    • Geoff
      2019-05-16 10:59:50 GMT+0000 - 10:59 | Permalink

      I do not find PZ Myers’ content unreliable, and I recall someone (you?) making this smear before and then refusing to back it up with a single example.

      Why not just admit that you have a dog in the culture wars fight? I strongly suspect that you simply disagree with PZ, which is a valid position. This sort of ‘poisoning the well’, with no supporting evidence does you no credit.

      Most of the pushback against PZ comes from people who object to his positions on feminism, “me too”, sexual harassment and trans rights. I’m not saying this is the case here, but it is what I’ve observed.

  • Neil Godfrey
    2019-05-14 10:53:30 GMT+0000 - 10:53 | Permalink

    Well I did give you the link to lead you to the source itself. Does that make me unreliable?

    I don’t know why you think PZ is a “proven liar, smearer, defamer” or whatever. I haven’t read many of his posts but I don’t recall anything like that with respect to people I have known about. I have certainly posted my own analyses of Sam Harris’s views. Perhaps you think PZ is smearing and mispresenting Sam Harris. I don’t.

    • Ellen
      2019-05-17 17:33:37 GMT+0000 - 17:33 | Permalink

      I tend to read blogs whose authors are intellectually humble and cautious and have the capacity to direct my thinking productively. Perhaps, it is that sensibility which has drawn me to vridar over many years.

      I was, then, disheartened when you sent me over to PZ Myers and Paul Campos, who assert, in Campos’ words, “that white supremacy is absolutely at the ideological core of the political movement that at the moment happens to control the government of the most powerful nation in the world?”

      Niel — please assure me you do not approve such wild, arrogant ravings.

      P.S. For what it’s worth I’m an American and an atheist. I consider myself a liberal and a leftist. I’ve never voted for a Republican in my life.

  • The Many
    2019-05-14 17:52:05 GMT+0000 - 17:52 | Permalink

    Are you sure you want your blog to become this?

  • Sili
    2019-05-14 18:43:46 GMT+0000 - 18:43 | Permalink

    I appreciate that the previous posters don’t bother to explain why they object to your criticism of Harris. It saves me having to present an argument for why I’d have to seriously reëvaluate my following your blog if you were to suddenly defend Harris’ stand.

    • The Many
      2019-05-15 18:03:00 GMT+0000 - 18:03 | Permalink

      Oh they did in the past, only to get moderated and banned.

      Many people hate Harris’ guts, and I couldn’t care less, but such immature flame wars don’t look good and don’t do good for the blog and its main topic, which I’m interested in for a change.

      • Neil Godfrey
        2019-05-16 08:10:55 GMT+0000 - 08:10 | Permalink

        Baloney. No-one here got banned for explaining a contrary argument. In fact I look forward to contrary arguments. But I do not take kindly to repeated insults and abusive language.

        • The Many
          2019-05-17 13:01:15 GMT+0000 - 13:01 | Permalink

          You can’t possibly be talking to me, you know I know how it went down.

          Looking forward to contrary arguments eh? Great, we’ll see in time.

  • Steven C Watson
    2019-05-17 22:19:58 GMT+0000 - 22:19 | Permalink

    Lets see. Off the top of my head Abbie Smith, Richard Carrier, Lawrence Krauss, Jordan Peterson, Elevatorgate, Gamergate, Carl Benjamin, Brexit, Atholic schoolboys… and on it goes. I go to the source of PZ’s whinge du jour and 95% of the time he’ll be off by 180 and reading all sorts of malevolence into feck-all.

    I’ve been reading/listening to Sam Harris since 2005 and The End of Faith. He has a couple of silly philosophical ideas that don’t have any real-world relevance and are probably down to semantics anyway; but I think he is what he says he is: a liberal in the Whig sense; not a “progressive”; grounded in the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution; an atheist in the lower-case; and a “spiritual” person in the sense of being grounded in whatever the reality is that humans keep mistaking for deity. Ignorance and special pleading? I fail to see any.

    Musings on biblical studies, politics, religion, ethics, human nature(?), tidbits from science(?)

    What is struckthrough I won’t be paying any attention to; what is queried I’ll pay particular attention to and check the spoons thrice. Sorry.

    • Geoff
      2019-05-18 09:15:34 GMT+0000 - 09:15 | Permalink

      Thanks for that. By naming those controversies, you’ve firmly planted your flag in the sand. And I can see it’s way, way over there, on the alt-right side of the beach.

      Over there, with Carl Benjamin and his ‘jokes’ about raping political opponents and gassing the jews. Over there with the Elevatorgate team fighting for the inalienable rights of men to sexually harass women in lifts, and then threaten to rape them on twitter. Over there with the equally misogynist Gamergaters.

      Your spoon counting skills will not be required, thanks.

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