American author, philosopher, neuroscientist, critic of religion, blogger, public intellectual, and podcast host. Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction and remained on The New York Times Best Seller list for 33 weeks.
The experience led him to be interested in the idea that he might be able to achieve spiritual insights without the use of drugs. Harris states that religion contains bad ideas, calling it “one of the most perverse misuses of intelligence we have ever devised”. He compares modern religious beliefs to the myths of the Ancient Greeks, which were once accepted as fact but which are obsolete today. Harris advocates a benign, noncoercive, corrective form of intolerance, distinguishing it from historic religious persecution.
He promotes a conversational intolerance, in which personal convictions are scaled against evidence, and where intellectual honesty is demanded equally in religious views and non-religious views. Harris considers Islam to be “especially belligerent and inimical to the norms of civil discourse”, relative to other world religions. He asserts that the “dogmatic commitment to using violence to defend one’s faith, both from within and without” to varying degrees, is a central Islamic doctrine that is found in few other religions to the same degree, and that “this difference has consequences in the real world.
In 2006, after the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy, Harris wrote, “The idea that Islam is a ‘peaceful religion hijacked by extremists’ is a dangerous fantasy—and it is now a particularly dangerous fantasy for Muslims to indulge. Is it really true that the sins for which I hold Islam accountable are “committed at least to an equal extent by many other groups, especially own”? The freedom to poke fun at Mormonism is guaranteed by the fact that Mormons do not dispatch assassins to silence their critics or summon murderous hordes in response to satire. Can any reader of this page imagine the staging of a similar play about Islam in the United States, or anywhere else, in the year 2013? Critics of the New Atheists such as Glenn Greenwald claim that ” and others like him spout and promote Islamophobia under the guise of rational atheism.
Harris, however, has criticized the way in which the term “Islamophobia” is commonly used. The gravity of Jewish suffering over the ages, culminating in the Holocaust, makes it almost impossible to entertain any suggestion that Jews might have brought their troubles upon themselves. This is, however, in a rather narrow sense, the truth. Judaism remains a lightning rod for intolerance to this day. Regarding Israel and Judaism, Harris has said, “I don’t think Israel should exist as a Jewish state.
It winds all over the place. Thanks very much, there are two things I want to know: which parts bore them, youve covered so many bases.
I think it is obscene, irrational and unjustifiable to have a state organized around a religion. So I don’t celebrate the idea that there’s a Jewish homeland in the Middle East.