Thursday, March 15, 2007

God's dupes - Sam Harris

Via Sam Harris and the LA Times

PETE STARK, a California Democrat, appears to be the first congressman in U.S. history to acknowledge that he doesn't believe in God. In a country in which 83% of the population thinks that the Bible is the literal or "inspired" word of the creator of the universe, this took political courage.

Of course, one can imagine that Cicero's handlers in the 1st century BC lost some sleep when he likened the traditional accounts of the Greco-Roman gods to the "dreams of madmen" and to the "insane mythology of Egypt."

Mythology is where all gods go to die, and it seems that Stark has secured a place in American history simply by admitting that a fresh grave should be dug for the God of Abraham — the jealous, genocidal, priggish and self-contradictory tyrant of the Bible and the Koran. Stark is the first of our leaders to display a level of intellectual honesty befitting a consul of ancient Rome. Bravo...

News Buster's Mark Finkelstein has a problem with God's Dupes.

What in heaven's name has gotten into Sam Harris? The Los Angeles Times regularly lends its op-ed page to the atheist activist. In God's Dupes, Harris took advantage of the opportunity today to make a bizarre and slanderous accusation against American Christians.

It comes down to an "our fundies" versus "their fundies" perspective. Finkelstein sees the daily jihadist violence as real in-your-face mayhem.  By comparison, the few fundamentalist Christians calling for the stoning of gays, exist only to those who are actively monitoring the movement (like me) or, those who are participating in the movement (a small fraction of Christians). Comparing the two is illogical. It is like comparing paper airplanes with stealth bombers. Harris oversold his point.