marijuana | Healthcare | Gun Control | Foreign Policy | Muslim World | Terrorism | Capitol Hill | Social Issues

The Clash Between Faith and Reason

More from this conference:

Aspen Ideas Festival 2007

More videos from this partner:


  • Info
  • Bio
  • Chapters
  • Preview
  • Download
  • Zoom In
There are 45 comments on this program

Please or register to post a comment.
Previous FORAtv comments:
Lary9 Avatar
Posted: 11.15.10, 01:47 AM
thtacatdavid You are unbelievably incorrect... which is amazing since you seem to want to celebrate after each misstatement and bad conclusion as if it were a won point for your "side". Sam Harris is a logical, almost simplistically reasonable advocate of his POV. You are rising to the defense of God, as Harris suggested you would. Good luck with your superstitions, scriptures and revealed truths...I'll stick to rationality, science and humanism. We will see whose good race is run and whose faith is kept at the finish line.
Lary9 Avatar
Posted: 11.15.10, 01:32 AM
@rocketdog= "While I still think anyone plugging athiesm over agnosticism is either being intentionally deceptive or unintentionally ignorant.." >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Atheism is not a subset of agnosticism. To the contrary, it is the other way. Agnosticism is a subset of atheism. You have it wrong. What other misunderstandings could you be harboring that are impeding your progress as a 'cool dude'?
thatcatdavid Avatar
Posted: 09.02.10, 12:35 PM
Sam Harris: No Due Diligence
Sam Harris is factually wrong about almost everything he said about Christianity. First of all the religion is not based on the miracles of Jesus. When you look at the Catholic Church the litergury does not revolve around the miracles of Jesus. The miracles often were questioned by the Pharisees at the time and many of the people in his own hometown, without faith in him said mircles could not be performed. Further, to use Harris's own argument, there have been similar miracles done in the old testament, even Moses brought forth water from a rock. Secondly, he states that the second commandment is "thou shalt not erect any graven images", that is just wrong, the second commandment is "You shall not take the name the Lord Your God in vain." What little due diligence it would take to look that up before you give a lecture or write a book falls under the heading of "the least you can do", you can wiki the Ten Commandments. What Mr. Harris does is talk about religion in broad terms taking them all together as a subject and makes the error in this arrogance that he actually knows the content of each, he has proven that he does not. I will speak exclusively about Christianity, I do not know about Judaism or Islam. Religion like many specialties today is like a mine shaft one climbs down. If you want to know about the other mines you first have to climb up out of the one that you are in before you can descend into any other but who has time for that in a single lifetime? He says on this matter that taken together believers would have to believe that 'all the religions' could not be correct and that there is in probability a greater chance that most would go to hell. Well the Bible agrees with him "broad is the road that leads to destruction", yet one has to believe one or the other they could not possibly believe them all at the same time. Besides even if only one was true and most did go to hell that would obviously not be a reason for getting rid of religion all together, that would only ensure that we all go to hell. What Mr. Harris believes is that religion is foolish and even dangerous to man, so he subscribes to none, subsequently he stands an equal chance according to his views of being wrong when in deed he discovers God and be sent to hell. However, as far as religions go there is nothing in Catholocism that says for instance Jews will not go to Heaven, in fact to the contrary."What advantage then hath the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? [2] Much every way. First indeed, because the words of God were committed to them" Romans 3:1. In fact, in Catholocism you need not be a Christian to be saved. Salvation is determined by God. Baptism is the key factor for salvation but even baptism of blood and baptism of desire will do. "These can be saved by what later came to be known as "baptism of blood" or " baptism of desire" (for more on this subject, see the Fathers Know Best tract, The Necessity of Baptism)." "Thus the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "Those who die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will, are saved even if they have not been baptized" (CCC 1281; the salvation of unbaptized infants is also possible under this system; cf. CCC 1260–1, 1283)." Further, he speaks glowingly about the accomplishments of Isaac Newton but fails to mention that Isaac Newton although a heretical Arian (those who did not believe in the divinity of Christ) did believe in God and read the Bible incessantly, the same Bible that Mr. Harris believes to be so stupid. Unfortunately, although I can go on, suffice it to say Mr. Harris is not too knowledable about Catholocism or Christianity, he must be too busy working on that doctorate in Neurology.
oceanmaster Avatar
Posted: 08.24.10, 01:12 AM
Quote: Originally Posted by solaris You contribute nothing new: your argumentation has already been repeated by several flavors of so called "dialectic materialists" ranging from Marx (Karl, not Groucho :-) to Fidel Castro. Nobody claims his argument is new and either way this does not add to it's truth or non truth. Your argumentation would not hold a three minutes defence before an academic panel. On the contrary, I would say that true academic panels who are not biased by a religious motive would definatly agree with and defend the logic he uses here. First of all, science (as a framework) is based in the belief that mathematical axioms (which cannt be demostrated) are so evident that they can be considered true. This is but one tiny part of science. Much more then this it is using the most elegantly logical explanation to find answers to the questions in the world around us with. Sencondly (and I am an agnostic with a phd in biomathematics/fisheries-biology), there is noeither a theoretical framework nor any empirical tool available that will allow you to EXCLUDE the existence of a higher technology behind the Cosmos ("God" in human word) or that some of the books you refer to are not information tranferred to humans by "messengers of God". Yes, there is currently none. but then there is no evidence that there aren't giant teapots flying around the universe randomly spawning pink giraffes either. But we don't seriously consider them now do we. ie that is not an argument. Finally, you put the bible in light of 21st century political correctness matters - which is a super-error. Sorry my friend by we don't say the bible and other religions are always going to be relevant, YOU DO! In my opinion, you are arrogant and your argumentation is worthless both from the historical and scientific viewpoints. Clearly you need to get an even better education in order to understand simple logic...
oceanmaster Avatar
Posted: 08.24.10, 01:00 AM
"Eden of comforting ignorance"? Wow that is exactly the type dogma non theists are expected to listen to and logical people are repulsed by. There should be no place for ignorance in this debate and with comments like that I am sure people on both sides cannot possibly take you seriously. Perhaps you misunderstand or are in the wrong age / frame of mind bracket.
oceanmaster Avatar
Posted: 08.24.10, 12:57 AM
You say: "They seem to KNOW with certainty that believers are believing lies...". I can answer for anyone and everyone by saying that obviously if there are so many beliefs (and all not only disagree with each other on fundamental levels but actually often preclude and almost always - with regard to the Abrahamic religions anyway - WHEN CONSIDERING WHAT THE ACTUAL FAITH SAYS - put the others in very bad lighting. Often this is in the form of saying that all other religions are lies, or worse that the follower needs to take action to stop the other beliefs as they are evil. We don't need to prove 99 000 religions are wrong and only one can possibly be right. That is logic. We also shouldn't need to state that it's HIGHLY unlikely that yours isn't correct... believers of most other faiths do that for us. The argument is not with the non theist my friend. Sort out that problem first and then you can even attempt to start convincing someone who logically concludes: 1. There are many religions 2. Many religions preclude others 3. Therefor only one religion, or even less, one idea, can be correct. Does this make sense to you?
Dmitry76 Avatar
Posted: 06.19.10, 01:41 AM
Movement of flagellants derived from a form of penance in the Catholic Church as a new, at their point of view, more efficient way to practice their beliefs in the time of crisis. It does not mean that they were unsatisfied with religion itself. The Black Death killed about a half of the population and actually the most religious half because people gathered in churches for prayer had higher risk to get the disease thus I believe that it was the turning-point towards Reformation,Renaissance, development of science and atheism. Religion provides a sweet illusion that the world is comprehensible while science makes the universe more inconceivable every day. “I know that I know nothing” this is the essence of science. If you know some scientific study comparing mental health of believers and non-believers then let me know.
Periergeia Avatar
Posted: 06.12.10, 03:52 PM
Dmitry76: "In the past religion could answer all the questions necessary for life of an ordinary man" Really? Do you really believe the flaggelants would have found so many followers as to become such a threat to the Catholic Church that they were eventually condemned as heretics if the "ordinary man" had known about the germ theory of infectious disease and the black death would have been greatly suppressed by public sanitation measures? " will never explain the world totally..." Just why have I never heard a scientist claim that science is designed to explain the world in totality? Oh.... is it maybe because it simple isn't? "...creating depressions, anxiety and addictions because the more you know the less you understand." Now, how would you know that? Did you even try to learn more? :-)
Dmitry76 Avatar
Posted: 05.13.10, 08:12 AM
Nobody is preaching this nonsence from late Stone Age literally nowadays. My point is that science is like a serpent is tempting people to eat the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge to be banished from Eden of comforting ignorance.
IrPri Avatar
Posted: 04.21.10, 10:08 PM
listen to it again he is talking about how the bible does not condem rape and actual says its ok...This is said in the old testement if you have ever read the bible.