Comment by Peter Metcalfe on July 20, 2011 at 9:11am

Wow. Powerful videos there. I don't understand why there was booing at the end though because the lady was only telling the truth. I suppose some people simply don't like to here the truth.

Thanks for posting.

Comment by Alan Goldstein on July 20, 2011 at 12:27pm

I love his books, but his politics are crap. I know of no liberals that make excuses for muslim terrorists. When it come to politics, he’s as dogmatic as any christian. Most liberals I know, research issues, and try to understand why things are the way they are. That doesn’t mean we condone because we understand, but it does mean we might be better at dealing with some issues. Bush screwed up in Iraq, because he made no effort to understand the region, or its history.

Harris lies, invents, and never gives one scrap of proof. I love his views on religion, but he’s as bad as any rabid conservative, or TeaBagger when it comes to politics.

Comment by Sassan K. on July 20, 2011 at 3:29pm

I disagree Alan. While I respect your viewpoint - way too many liberals give excuses for Islam and Islamic fanaticism. They make excuses by "blaming the west" and making such claims as "Islam has been hijacked by a few radicals" and that to claim Islam is a violent religion is like saying "Christianity is violent because of Timothy McVeigh or abortion doctor killers" - and that "understanding" is a part of giving excuses by trying to make up excuses in the realm of "tolerance or understanding" by which they end up giving all the excuses in the world one can think of.

And with Iraq - while as an Iranian I think Iran would have been much easier (the Iranian people are pro-American and pro-west) and the Islamic Republic was a much bigger threat - the world is a better place without Saddam Hussein.

And Harris never gives one scrap of proof?? I am bewildered by such a claim? All he does is give proof. Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens consistently stand up for the truth on all issues and in my opinion, have stood on the right side of history.

Comment by Sassan K. on July 20, 2011 at 3:37pm

Peter - I do think Ann Coulter is an utter idiot though - she is a Christian/conservative religious fanatic (or claims/panders to those who are so she can sell books).

Comment by Alan Goldstein on July 21, 2011 at 3:38am

Sassan K, gotta disagree. What Harris and apparently YOU, never do, is try to see both sides of an argument. That doesn’t mean condoning or agreeing with opposing views, just that you are trying to understand their reasoning. Take Bush and the Iraq war. When he referred to our actions as “This Crusade”, he helped inflame passions in the muslim world. A Liberal would understand this, and never would have made such a stupid statement (Not that Liberals can’t say dumb things). This doesn’t mean I condone or make excuses for terrorists, but I do understand why the term is offensive to muslims (you are aware of the Crusades aren’t you?). Nothing happens in a vacuum, and there are reasons why people act they way they do. Oh, and before you have a knee-jerk reaction, I’m not blaming everything on the Crusades (not even close), there are reasons too numerous to mention, for mistrust on the part of muslims.
As for your (and others of your ilk) dismissal of the effects, our and other countries and governments past actions had in influencing the region, I’m not surprised. Harris and many who think like him (Politicly), never give credence to the negative impact our actions might have. You seem to think that by doing so, you somehow legitimize the actions of radicals, and that is a stupid position to take. If you understand your adversaries thinking, you have a better chance of defeating them, or possibly finding a way to avoid conflict and bloodshed entirely. Islam isn’t going anywhere, and if the past has taught us anything, it’s that under pressure, cults, religions, etc. grow less receptive to change and outside influences.
There are reasons muslim nations are distrustful of outsiders, and not all of them are based on religion. Understanding this will enhance our efforts to eradicate, or at least greatly diminish terrorism. Understanding all sids of an issue leads to solutions. Failure to do so, leads to the mess we have now. A Liberal got Osama, and a group of Republican Hawks, screwed up Iraq, and left us with a battle hardened opponent in Afghanistan. YOUR WAY DOESN”T WORK. You and Harris think you live in a black and white world. Problem is, it’s full of gray areas, and you narrow minded types keep running off into the ditches hidden there.
Concerning Harris’ proof. Where? What proof does he offer? He makes statements in this video, but backs nothing up. His books on religion cannot be faulted, but some of his politics are just dumb, and his comments are disingenuous, to put it politely.

Comment by Sassan K. on July 21, 2011 at 3:47am

Alan, I don't think Bush referred to the war as "this crusade". What he actually said was:

On September 16, 2001, at Camp David, President George W. Bush used the phrase war on terror when he said, "This crusade – this war on terrorism – is going to take a while, [...] And the American people must be patient. I'm going to be patient. But I can assure the American people I am determined." 

This had nothing to do with the Iraq war and the war was not a part of the "crusades" - it is different to say "crusades" in a religious context in comparison to what he said.

And in fact - we have liberated two nations and people in the Middle East are demanding freedom which I believe is a direct consequence to President Bush's "Freedom Initiative".

Our actions have had nothing to do with Islamic terrorism. That is a fallacy. It may have effected the topography and form- but Islamic radicalism exists and will exist despite anything America or the west has done. Islamic radicalism will not be satisfied until the world is under a global Islamic rule. I have posted a Christopher Hitchens video below in reference to this.


Comment by Alan Goldstein on July 21, 2011 at 4:27am

Sassan K., Apparently my plea, "Oh, and before you have a knee-jerk reaction, I’m not blaming everything on the Crusades”, was in vain.

Sorry you don’t think our actions have consequences. Ignorance is bliss I guess, and your “Black and White”  world make sense to you. You and Harris seem to be very ignorant about cause and effect though.

As for your new video, what I see is and extremely rude, pompous, and condescending Harris.

One again, like you, he dismisses and mischaracterizes the questioners position. No one is laying the blame for terrorism on past actions alone. It is a factor though, and an extremely effective recruiting tool. It goes to the heart of the terrorists argument, that you can’t trust us.

As for "Bush's "Freedom Initiative”, he was a naive buffoon, and it has yet to be proven a success. In case you hadn’t noticed, WE’RE STILL THERE, AND PEOPLE ARE BEING KILLED EVERY DAY!!!

Get a clue!

Comment by Sassan K. on July 21, 2011 at 4:36am

What reason do the Muslims have for terrorist attacks in India? None other than ancient grievances and the fact that India is a nation of polytheists and the quran rails hard against polytheists more than any other group. The fact is - we were attacked and our response was simply due to the fact that the world changed after 9/11. The vast majority of intellectuals knowledgeable on these issues understand that the most fanatic of terrorist attacks acquire their grievances from the hadith - not any specific actions by us. It is the wonderful world of basing your policies based on ancient text - hence the Islamic Republic wanting to start a war against Israel once they acquire nukes due to the fact that in accord with the Hadith - they must conquer Jerusalem before the "return of the hidden imam".

And I admire President Bush for his bold initiatives in taking the fight to terrorists. And the video I posted wasn't Sam Harris - it was Christopher Hitchens.

Comment by Sassan K. on July 21, 2011 at 4:38am

I urge you to watch one more video on this very subject by the beautiful Ms. Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

Comment by Alan Goldstein on July 21, 2011 at 11:46am

Your right it was Christopher Hitchens, I’m not always that alert at 4 AM. 

Other than that, It’s obvious you don’t have the ability to understand my point, or you choose not to. That’s the problem with your side! You’re so sure (like the god groupies) of your position, that you refuse to listen to opposing views, and dismiss them without making any effort to understand. 

The fact that you admire Bush, says a lot about you (all negative). He handled both wars poorly, (He wouldn’t listen either)  because he and his minions made no effort to understand the region, plus Bush really didn’t have a clue. 

As for India, or any other dumb comparison you care to pull out of the hat, different country and circumstances. You lump all of these together as if all the issues are the same. While it’s true Islam is a factor, it’s not the only factor that must be addressed to solve these problems. Short of killing every muslim in the world (something I’m sure you and your ilk would approve of) we have to find a way to reach out to them, and show them there is a better way than radicalism. In order to do this, they must trust us, a difficult proposition given the past. There are reasons people are so easily radicalized, and religion is but one factor.

However, this conversation is pointless, and a waste of my time. Goodbye.

 

 

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