Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Man Behind the Curtain

My reading schedule for the last year or so has been confined to replicating and updating the two years of research I lost due to Katrina. So, I've missed out on some of the "major" works outside the reach of the book I'm writing, which is on the intersections between science and political, cultural, and social debates. So interesting you could die, right? Anyway, I finally decided to pick up some of the works I've missed, like Sam Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation.

I've read much of Sam Harris' other work, including his column at Huffington post, and various interviews. My impression has generally been that he's an extremist, not because he's opposed to religion but in how he's opposed to it. In other words, the fact that he would say something like this, "Some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them." That should speak for itself.

Anyway, as I'm just starting Letter to a Christian Nation, I won't do a full review here yet. However, I have to admit I broke into uproarious laughter after the first 50 pages or so. Why? The man behind the curtain, pretending to be the great wizard of atheism, is a moron. In just the first 50 pages, there are so many factual and logical errors and Harris misses the point of so many simple concepts that I can only assume he has some kind of mental deficiency. Perhaps, the rest of the book will change my mind, but so far I am amazed at his ability to gain entrance into the world of the "public intellectual."

Why was this so funny? After all, the worsening anemia of public discourse has disastrous implications. It's funny, because this popped into my head: "Don't hate the player. Hate the game." So, I have a bizarre sense of humor. Sue me.


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