Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sam Harris Isn't ENTIRELY an Atheist, He Wears His Tribalism on His Sleeve

Another 'open letter' to Sam Harris via a comment on YouTube to one of his podcasts:

https://www.samharris.org/podcast/full_archive
"Yes, Sam, the Islamic religion needs a radical reform to bring it into the 21st century. We need to acknowledge, however, that it is unchanged from ancient times in large part because, unlike Catholicism (the reform of which has a trickle-over effect upon all Christian religions), Islam does not have any 'head office' or chief leader who can begin to have an effect upon the entire religion -- so this reform may never happen effectively.

What I continue to take you to task over is your own 'enslavement' to your own conviction that ALL the jihadists are NOT, in one way or the other, 'damaged goods'. That Fin woman (if she both exists and actually wrote that article), is clearly a nut-job who would have found the Hare Krishna cult, or another cult or religion to become enslaved to if she hadn't come across Islam.

Continuing to insist that jihadists are 'nearly average' folks who merely get sucked in by the titillating seduction of the Koran actually works against your efforts to try to convince the rest of the Muslim world to reform their religion. Why? Because if you do not start the conversation with the caveat that, while the majority of Muslims are reasonable human beings who see that the ancient and egotistical notion of 'the ancient text must be adhered to literally' is no longer reasonable in circumstances that are thousands of years of modernity distant from the origins of the book, there are nut-jobs (of many different types) out there who will 'hijack' the ancient text in order to use it as cover for fulfilling their problematic brain-wiring's demands to both kill innocents and/or to blindly follow those who want to slaughter their fellow human beings for any reason they can cook up.

THIS is the most compelling argument to get average Muslims on board. We are never going to convince the majority of our human population (until the next few generations of 'entitled digital natives' grow up and take over our governance) to simply walk away from their brain's hardwired demands to embrace some religion (youth today are embracing conspiracy theories instead of formal religions to satisfy their brains' demands). Science is now coming to prove that this is indeed a hardwired demand/interest that only high IQ and education tend to ameliorate. Only by pointing out to reasonable people who happen to be Muslims that this is a clear and present danger will we be able to get them to come together en masse to begin to lobby to fix the problem through reasonable Imams in the majority of mosques.

Sam, the actual quantity of so-called zealot-converts in "the caliphate' from each nationality of the world tells the story. Even those who were raised as Muslims in Iraq or Syria and are actually ZEALOTS, not simply foot soldiers either paid or terrorized into participating, tells the story. There are very few. These individuals, who muster up sufficient zeal to convert to a murderous creed, or who have the desperate need to belong to what you point out is a VERY attractive 'tribe' wherein all the answers to most of life's irksome questions are answered very simply by "it's all in the book", and who go to the extraordinary effort required to travel to the caliphate, are nut-jobs, not average folk. Those individuals who Western nations are now starting to 'keep an eye on' because they are 'at risk for radicalization' are nut-jobs: sociopaths, psychopaths and lost souls who are ripe for victimization and would likely find themselves in abusive relationships at home if they hadn't been 'recruited'.

I admire and appreciate your work and your big brain, but we all fall prey to tribalism, and I posit that the roots of your own prejudice with regard to the issue of the most out-dated and xenophobic aspects of Islam come from your own tribalism. Continuing to assert that the danger of Islam is that it can radicalize even the most average of people means that an oppressed group of people who had their nationhood stolen and forever denied to them, are not fighting oppression and domination from a large group of power-loving 'nationalists' (which all humans are hardwired to fall prey to), but are rather victims of a radical religious dogma that demands they fight and kill those who are not of their religion. It is time to re-frame that fight, which is nearly impossible as long as the nation at the center of the battle is the only one in the world that was formed upon very loose 'membership' in a religion with it legitimacy based upon some passages in an ancient religious book. That reality of yours, Sam, continues to juxtapose your supposed 'new atheism'."

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