Sam Harris On The “Dangers” Of “Atheism”

This video is a bit outdated, okay, more than a bit. It is Sam Harris' talk at the AAI 2007 conference in Washington, DC, but I had not seen it until now.

The reason I am posting it here is because I really want to hear your opinions on the labels topic.

I have always stated that my world views don't define me, don't define who I am as a person, but I also think we need to be outspoken on the way we see the faith issue.

In fact, I can humbly say, that just conversing with the people who are willing to listen, without even trying to deconvert them, I have managed to change the way they think, and many of them are now, if not atheists , at least agnostics.

So, let's talk about this, please?

The discussion (hopefully) will be held here so please make sure to leave your comments there. Thank you.

Views: 14

Comment by Mario Rodgers on May 16, 2010 at 11:03pm
Seems to me the most dangerous ideology is to actually HAVE a religion. Not lack one.
Comment by Kelly on May 16, 2010 at 11:49pm
I think it takes all kinds. Good cop/bad cop style. I do think that many people are annoyed and off-put by militant atheism and are more responsive to someone explaining their views without it being in the form of a debate and if the person's religious view is unknown or ambiguous. I also think that well-informed criticism is not only important or effective, but necessary. If people want to submit their religious views or ideas influenced by their religion into the public and political realm, then they should expect and be open to criticism. We have the right to do so and, the way things are in our society, an obligation to do so. No matter how it's done, it's important for atheists, agnostics, skeptics, secularists, etc to come out of the closet and represent the 20% of the US population that we are.
Comment by Bruce Williams on May 16, 2010 at 11:50pm
He brings up a lot of points that are not necessarily good about having the label, but then dropping the label or won't change the fact that the people of our ilk have bad points.

Why is a label necessary, because you cannot spend your entire life explaining yourself to everybody you meet. Your life would simply be explaining yourself.

If you do not like the label atheist, and do not believe it represents you then don't use it. But I can guarantee that if you start into a 10 minute explanation of your ideals in life with every stranger you meet you'd be totally ignored in the long run. To most of the rest the world you're not quite that important.

Secondly, without some attachment to a group with some types of recognized ideals you are a moving mushy target and everybody knows, no matter what they say you can just say whatever you want to counter them. And most people are not willing to waste their time talking with someone like that.


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